Jack Dennis presents long-standing credentials as an international angler, film producer and fly-tying guru. (Special)No one took much notice when an obscure Polish fly-fisherman named Vladi Trzebunia waded into the World Fly Fishing Championship 15 years ago.
By the time he'd left the water, the world of nymph fishing - indeed, competition fly-angling in general - had been changed forever.
Not only did Trzebunia and Poland win the title, he individually compiled more points than the next three national teams. Thus the Polish Nymphing System was born, soon to be hijacked in part by the Czechoslovakians, more accomplished in the marketing department.
On March 30 and 31, Trzebunia will join noted Jackson, Wyo., fly-fishing authority Jack Dennis as featured presenters at the ninth annual Western Colorado Fly Fishing Exposition at the Grand Junction Doubletree Hotel. The event also includes appearances by Frank Smethurst, Denny Breer, Brad and Tyler Befus, John Duncan, Tom Craddock, Harley Reno and Brent Curtis.
Trzebunia grew up in a small town where the parish priest was Karol
Wojtyla, later Pope Paul II. Vladi's brother taught the future pope to ski.
"Vladi is a great fisherman and a great human being. You can't help being inspired by this man," said Dennis, who met him through international competition at which Dennis served as the U.S. Team coach.
Trzbunia's principal contribution is a straight-line nymphing technique for fast water enhanced by his own style of woven nymphs.
"If I had to pick one state where European nymphing should absolutely shine, it's Colorado," Dennis said. "It has so many of the smaller faster rivers where using indicators are difficult at times."
Dennis noted that Buena Vista resident Bob Good pioneered a system with certain similarities four decades ago.
"Bob realized years ago that indicators often aren't the most effective tool."
Vladi's way, Dennis said, involves a close-order approach to the trout with constant
Vladi Trzebunia's nymphing technique, above, is a perfect fit for Colorado
water. (Special)tension on the line to detect even the lightest strike.
"It seems simple, but there are intricacies of how you hold your wrist, when you pause, how you put the weight on."
Dennis also noted Trzebunia became attached to fellow Wyoming angler Jeff Currier and was instrumental in Currier's 2003 bronze medal, highest U.S. finish at the world event.
"You'll pick up something very special from this guy."
Both men will conduct tying seminars as part of a two-day event that promises equal parts entertainment and education.
Dennis and Trzebunia also will conduct fly-tying classes and a fishing seminar April 16 and 17 at The Great Western Fly Fishing Company in Loveland. The tying session costs $100, the on-water fishing $200. Call 970-461-0701 for details.
Charlie Meyers can be reached at 303-954-1609 or email@example.com.