Letcher Lambuth Award Presented to Jerry McBride

In January, Inland Empire Fly Fishing Club member Jerry McBride was honored by the Washington Fly Fishing Club by receiving their highest award, the Letcher Lambuth Angling Craftsman Award.


The award is given to an individual who has some of the skills possessed by Letcher and has used those skills to make an original, significant and lasting contribution to the sport of fly fishing.


Jerry is a retired mechanical engineer and has created many new fly patterns, but his real claim to fame is in designing the “balanced leech”.  Realizing that “most insects move in a horizontal position”, Jerry sought to come up with a way to fish leeches under an indicator.  His invention was introduced to the fly-fishing world through Fly Tyer Magazine in the summer issue of 2006.  As you likely know, balanced leeches are now available in virtually every fly shop in the nation.  Promoted heavily by such fly-fishing personalities as Phil Rowley, the balanced leech has become an essential fly for those fly fishers frequenting still waters.

Jerry includes an illustrious list of previous award recipients from the Inland Empire Fly Fishing Club, that includes John Propp, Del Coppock, Gener Lorenson and Steve Moran. 


Congratulations to a very deserving Jerry McBride.


December Meeting Holiday Raffle

Thank you to all of our members who helped organize and contribute to the annual Holiday Raffle!

Chair Gordon Olson and the Raffle Committee did outstanding job!  Members took home great fly fishing related items including flies, waders, books, art, guided trips, and much more!  The many generous donations allow the club to continue with our various programs that benefit fisheries in the greater Spokane area.  More details to come in the January Fly Leaf publication.

Fly Tying at YaYa Brewery

Thursday night fly tying has become a success.  The sessions, being held at YaYa Brewery, have been fun and well attended.

The brainchild of IEFFC member Bryan Harman, the evenings have been filled with excellent tying, good beer, and great conversation.  The plan is to continue with every other Thursday evening format throughout the winter.

YaYa Brewing is at 11712 E Montgomery Dr, Spokane Valley.  Tying will be from 6pm to 8pm every other Thursday.

This is casual fly tying, Yaya has some great beers, so grab a beer, tie a fly, shoot the breeze with friends. If you are not a fly tyer, come by and get out of the house, the beer is good, and the conversation should be great and this is an opportunity to look at what other fisherman’s favorite flies are and see if there is something you have been missing. Yaya does not have a kitchen so if you want food bring your own.

Come by and see what is happening!

That’s Wyoming

Rocky Ford Bridges Replaced

The north and south bridges have now been replaced at Rocky Ford Creek and the results are impressive.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, (WDFW), has really done an outstanding job with this project and should be commended.  The access routes to both bridges are safe and the bridges are both attractive and functional.  With safety being the most important factor, the project was certainly overdue and the replacement bridges have accomplished their purpose.

The fishing remains excellent at this popular venue, so don’t hesitate to take the trip over to Ephrata and get a close up look of the finished product.

Long Lake (Republic) Opens With New Route for Access

Long Lake, just south of Republic, was looking to be closed due to closure of Scatter Creek Road, but an alternate route has been readied and the campground is now open.

Although you will need to rely on back roads to get to the lake, the Republic Ranger District has indicated the Long Lake area is accessible and the campground is open.  The route can be followed with forestry maps or on-line maps such as those supplied by Google.

The alternate route starts just west of Republic using Old Swan Lake Road (217), but you should contact the Ranger District just to heading out for updates as this route may have modifications with further rains.

Montana Governor Declares Invasive Species Emergency

“Gov. Steve Bullock issued an executive order in late November declaring a statewide natural resource emergency for Montana water bodies due to the detection of the larvae of invasive aquatic mussels at Tiber Reservoir and suspected detections at Canyon Ferry Reservoir and the Milk and Missouri Rivers.”


Zebra Mussels

This is a serious concern for all of us and the implications are far reaching.  We should make an effort to educate ourselves in the proper treatment of our equipment and watercraft following exposure to these affected areas.  We have included links to a number of sites offering information, including the complete article regarding Montana Governor Bullock’s executive order.


Quagga Mussel







Hugh Evans – Arlington National Cemetery

Longtime IEFFC member Hugh Evans, who died March 15, will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington, Va., at 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 9 with full military honors.  That evening, the Evans family will host a dinner from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Clyde’s of Gallery Place, 707 7th Street Northwest, in Washington, D.C., to celebrate Hugh’s life. The restaurant is across the street from the National Portrait Gallery. A no-host bar will be available.hugh5

Hugh, called by many members the best poacher the IEFFC ever had, was known for his unerring sense of humor, his captivating story telling, and his way of leaving club members wishing he would poach them again. He was a fine fisherman, who particularly loved the Methow River. He provided unfailing good company to his fishing partners. He loved fishing so much he often was the last to quit for the day, and on his best days, he introduced himself to many steelhead.

Hugh was a successful attorney and a good litigator. He rarely talked about his military service, which like many things about Hugh, was extraordinary.

Hugh, an attorney at Evans, Craven & Lackie for many years, was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action on Nov. 29, 1968, in Viet Nam when he continued to direct his men in a firefight with the Viet Cong even after he had been shot in the right arm–and for then helping to evacuate casualties out of the intensely contested area even after he was shot a second time that day, in the left shoulder. “Ignoring his injuries, he continued to supervise his elements’ fire and movement until the aggressors retreated,” his friend, Bill Maxey, wrote in the Spokane County Bar Association’s Calendar Call publication in 2014.

hugh1Hugh also was awarded the Bronze Star with a “V” for valor for heroism in action on Oct. 30, 1968, when he led his men through dense jungle and on a heavily mined road to help embattled forces, “directing the deployment of his men, and directing them through a hail of hostile rounds with complete disregard for his personal safety and exposure of himself to enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire, while encouraging his men and directing their fire on the Viet Cong.”

In a moving tribute to Hugh at his services in Spokane, Jim Craven, Hugh’s law partner and friend for more than 40 years, said, “Hugh was quietly–without any sort of fanfare–kind and generous, whether taking home a homeless veteran for a good meal and a warm place to sleep, or tapping into his network of friends to help an acquaintance find a job.” He added that Hugh “always believed in managing one’s priorities and referred to golf played during business hours as ‘mandatory real estate inspection.'” He remembered that Hugh loved people and parties, and would say, “I’d rather be a liver than have one.”

Craven also said, “Hugh loved to fish and was passionate about it. When he was on a river he was at peace with the world and immune to all its challenges. The picture of Hugh standing on the river with a steelhead in his hands–recently in the newspaper–was to Hugh a snapshot of the Heaven to come. That was Hugh at his happiest.”

hugh4 hugh3



Yellowstone River Fish Kill

yellowsThe upturned, bloated bodies of mountain whitefish litter the banks of the Yellowstone River at a spot typically thick with anglers and drift boats. The native species is being killed by a parasite that affects their kidneys. So far it hasn’t been found inside Yellowstone National Park itself, and the river’s prized wild trout appear to be fighting it off. But Patrick Byorth with the conservation group Trout Unlimited says the fish killed downstream of the park still hits like a punch in the gut. The magnitude of this kill is unlike anything our fish health specialists have seen before in Montana.

Not only is fishing now forbidden. People aren’t even allowed to float on the river or enter it at all to prevent the parasite from spreading. That means river guides in one of the world’s top fly fishing destinations are canceling reservations, and Byorth says tourists are going elsewhere.

Specialists are scrambling to get a good assessment of how far the parasite has spread, whether it’s affecting the Yellowstone’s hundreds of miles of tributaries and to sequence the genome of the parasite, which will help them understand exactly what they’re up against.

Biologists expect the outbreak will die down when the water temperature in the Yellowstone River drops next month, but they say it may take until next spring when the river level rises with spring runoff before things get closer to being normal again. At this point, they’re not making any firm predictions.

Long Lake Open For Fishing

After last years devastating fire, there was concern that Long Lake 2the fishing at Long Lake, near Republic, might be affected.   It looks as though prospects for this year have improved quickly.Long Lake 1

I visited Long Lake today and the campground is open and looks very much like it always has.  There is some fire damage in the campground and around the lake, but the affect is somewhat minor.  The campground was also filling up throughout the day.  They have removed the garbage containers, so if you go make sure you are prepared to pack your garbage out with you when you leave.  They also have signs indicating that the trail around the lake is closed.


The fishing…well let’s say the fishing is good.  I tracked a lot of fish on Long Lake 3my finder and I caught a fair number.  I have to say it seemed like I caught more of the bigger fish, although the largest fish would not be considered a monster, (about 15 inches).  I only lost one fish to the loons and I was lucky he didn’t get it first try, because it was still attached to my fly.  In my judgement the three hour trip to Long Lake is certainly worth the drive.