My Name is Caleb Van Wagner…see you on 2/16/2014

“I am 30 years of age and hail from Craig, Colorado or Craig, America as it is affectionately known by the locals.  In this area one is always confronted by mother nature.  Drive in any direction and you’ll be in some of the best fly fishing waters on earth.  You can hunt 20+ pound pike, ambush 4-pound smallmouth bass, or chase trophy trout on the same river – the Yampa River or Bear River as translated from the native designation.If it swims in this watershed I chase it.

At the FRA Saturday morning clinic I would like to briefly talk about piscivory.  Some data suggests that when a fish of any species becomes piscivorous (a fish eater) it rarely eats anything else.  The upper end of a trout’s predatory limit is one-fourth of their total body length though their preferred slot is one-third.  With this in mind think of a 30 inch fish, its upper limit would be a 10 inch fish.  More surprising would be thinking of a 15 inch fish and the upper limit of its predatory scale is 5 inches.  As trout fishermen we rarely think of fishing with offerings this big.  That’s why I want to focus on this upper range for these piscivorous predators.

I will be tying some of my foundation minnow patterns, along with other large food prey items.  With my KMA Minnow I want to introduce you to stacking materials.  I think stacking dubbing is a great way to familiarize ourselves to this art which the pinnacle is stacking deer hair.  We have all seen these beautiful deer hair flies but if you’re like me I had no idea where to start.  Only after a very good friend of mine and deer hair guru, Jason Goodale, showed me the nuance of deer hair did I feel comfortable enough to attempt to use this advanced tying technique. In my opinion this is the perfect missing link in the transition to deer hair.  Essentially, stacking material is stacking material; we are all a lot more familiar with dubbing than some with deer hair.  I will go into more detail on Saturday, hope to see you all there.”… Caleb