Iron Fly - Lander, WY

Iron Fly - Lander, WY Dec 3 6:30 @ Lander Bar's Coalter Loft

Yo. It's about to go down - Iron Fly Lander

We're just days away from Iron Fly. You gonna be there?


Weather might be an issue for those traveling. Please be careful. 


Iron Fly - Lander, WY

Event was scheduled for Dec 3.  Space became unavailable so it's now on for Dec. 17.


Hope to see you there.  

Bring a 10 dollar-ish wrapped present if you'd like to be a part of the White Elephant exchange.  

Tying competition will go down.  Bring a rookie and we'll show 'em how to tie.

Questions, email me.

Who are these people?

Not to brag (or sound really lame), or go into random information that no one cares about (except for me), but this blog sees anywhere between 25 and 75 visits a day.  When I get on a social media kick, the site brings in more.  Some months, when I actually put in effort to content, I see monthly totals in the few thousand visits range.

Why then, please tell me, do I have those days where I see massive numbers?  I din't write anything interesting (ever).  I didn't blast social media with promises of free shit, or anything at all, actually.  Why are so many people looking?

On October 1st, saw 1651 unique visits over a 24 hour period.  For real. October 2nd, I check the stats and clocked in a whopping 56.  Were they all just hugely disappointed?

Oh well, rainy days are meant for pondering important stuff.

#ProtectOurPublicLands - A success

Thanks to everyone who supported the #ProtectOurPublicaLands push that we had going on September 13.  The word got out and hopefully the public was educated on an important topic.

I signed the petition over at :

There's still time for you to do the same.  I received two emails from my Wyoming Senators within a few days of signing that petition.  Here's the text from those.

From Senator John Barrasso, MD:

Dear Jeffrey, 
Thank you for taking the time to contact me about public land management. It is good to hear from you.
As a citizen and U.S. Senator from Wyoming, a state with over 50 percent public land, I am very interested in the multiple-use management of our nation's public lands and resources. I believe any land use decisions in Wyoming must be borne of community support that includes all stakeholders. 
I appreciate hearing your concerns with state ownership or management of certain public lands within their borders. You may be interested to know the Wyoming State Legislature passed legislation in 2015 to require the Office of State Lands and Investments to commission a study on the management of federally administered public lands in Wyoming by the state. This bill requires that the Office of State Lands produce this report by November 30, 2016. 
Thank you again for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. I look forward to hearing from you in the future.
John Barrasso, M.D.
United States Senator

From Senator Michael Enzi:

Dear Jeffrey:
I appreciate hearing your concerns about returning federal land to the state. You made some good points. However, I believe that those closest to the land, know best how to handle that land. I have sponsored legislation in the past to return land to state and local management but only on a case-by-case basis. In each instance, there was support for the effort from state, local, and even federal officials. For example, I sponsored the Powell Shooting Range Land Conveyance Act in 2013 that gave a specific piece of federal land to the Powell Recreation District. The land had a specific use, funding, and a specific proposed plan. I have long supported policies that preserve and expand public access to public lands. When the federal government maintains control of public lands, I believe the state should be more actively included in the management processes. I believe we can find a balance between local management and federal support. Thanks again for contacting me. 
Michael B. Enzi
United States Senator

I realize that these are just form responses, but at least the info is being passed on to the government officials.  This is a great reminder that your vote will count.  Not happy with the people making choices in your state?  Get out and send a message.  Don't elect the same old and expect that they'll do something different.  Politicians are in the pockets of corporations and they're not doing us any favors.  Hold them accountable and tell them how you feel.  OK, enough from my soapbox.

Midcurrent was good enough to show the fish bloggers some love and spread the word about our group effort to share the wisdom.  Check it out here when you get a chance. Thanks Midcurrrent for your help.  Thanks to Jason Tucker for lighting a fire under the asses of the blog community - good effort.  

Protect Our Public Lands

If you're a reader of fishing blogs, you might notice that many of your favorites are posting about public lands today.  That's not a coincidence.  A group of fly fishing bloggers have made a goal to team up with the intent of raising awareness about the sale of our public lands.

I'm going to give you a couple of links and spare you (a whole bunch of) my political spin.  Do your research and form your own opinion.

Since the blog is based in big windy Wyoming, let's start with some specifics about here...

You can add your name to the list of over 32,000 other individuals who are concerned about the transfer of federal public land...

Outside Magazine published this...

Adventure Journal gives us a specific list of politicians working to sell public land...


Back at it...

I'm about ready for fall fishing, how about you?

There's a new SCOF issue out.  Head over to the Southern Culture site to see the new content.

Back home, and back to work next week.  Life continues...

The idea of home...

Tomorrow, at this time, I will be on the road.  I'll be heading to a place that was home.  It was the first place that I chose to be "home".  Being born into a life in Florida, I realized at some point that there was more out there.  It took hundreds of thousands of miles of driving to realize that there was so much to see in this big country of ours.  I drove and drove and eventually settled into an existence in the upper reaches of New England.

Maine and New Hampshire hold a special place in my heart.  My family is there.  It is where I picked up a fly rod for the first time.  There's a different peace in those ancient mountains and rivers.  It truly changed me.

Six years (and few months) ago, I chose to go west and try a life in a different time zone.  I went back to visit, but it's been years since really returning.  A toxic relationship kept me away from New England for many years.  I spent two years living less than a day's drive away, but never made it back.

Tomorrow, I'll take a break from this amazing place in Wyoming and head to the place that means a whole lot to me.

It is a bittersweet feeling for me on the days leading up to a big road trip.  I'm taking the first leg of this trip on my own.  My favorite part of Wyoming is staying here.  She's supportive of this trip and is letting me go on my own.  I think she knows that my wanderlust and demons require such a journey every once in a while.  She's going to hop on a plane in a week and find me in Boston.  We'll make the drive back together.

Until then, I have nothing but wide open plains, big highways, and plenty of miles to explore on my own.  The destination will give me the chance to visit with my mom, fish the waters that changed my life, hopefully catch up with some friends that represent much of what I miss about New England.

The car is loaded with trout rods for the Androscoggin River, where I plan on "spending some time" with Dave Baker.  I've got some 9wt rigs ready for the salt, too.

But home is here, now.  I'm right where I need to be, but before I settle in for the school year and weekends of guiding, I need to go to that home.

It's summer, it's America and it's time for a road trip.  See you there.


A photo posted by Jeff Needham (@jefevonjefe) on


As a product of Florida, I'm bummed to see how bad the state has been treated...

A weekend in the mountains...

Way up in the high alpine wilderness of Wyoming's Wind River range, there are supposedly over 1300 mountain lakes.  Many of those lakes are loaded up with fish.  Access to this mountain paradise is often limited to foot travel, horse packing, and high clearance 4x4 vehicle.

We took a trip to one of the many high mountain lakes this last weekend.  Access was with a decked out Jeep CJ.  The trip was arduous, with travel taking place on a 10 mile stretch of "road" not for the faint of heart.

To make the trip a bit more challenging, we hauled in a small aluminum boat and trailer behind the Jeep.  The trailer had been modified to withstand the rigors of such a trip, and we loaded the boat with food, beer and camping supplies.

The view of the world from 10,000+ feet up.
After a few hours of travel over a ten thousand foot pass, we dropped into our destination.  Our lake was situated at about 9000 feet, and we settled into an amazing campsite.  The 90+ degree weather at home was a distant memory as we set up camp with a light breeze and upper 60s for the temp.

The view from base camp.
The breeze picked up as we got into the afternoon, so we focused on setting camp, enjoying some frosty beverages and cooking up some wicked camp food.

A weekend with a little less oxygen is good for the soul.

After dinner, Jim and Kristi headed out on the boat for some fishing.  They came back with reports of big brookies.  We settled in for a cool evening at camp.  Temps dropped into the upper 40s and the bugs descended on us in huge numbers.

Bugs like craft beer, too.

Saturday began with coffee, breakfast and another Jim / Kristi outing on the lake.  Kristi landed some huge fish.

Kristi with a beast of a brookie.

Our fearless outfitter with a decent fish.

Afternoon was breezy and we stayed off the water.  Beer, sleeping, hiking and food helped pass the day until it was time to get back out after the fish.  Jim and I headed out after dinner and got into some decent fish.  

Jeff releasing a little brookie.

Our second night in camp was even cooler, with temps dropping into the low 40s.  We woke casually, broke down camp and headed back up the pass.

Jim doing some trails maintenance.  We didn't need that fender anymore.

The trip out included a pretty serious push to get up the hill.  We had some issues with the trailer, but were able to limp out and make it back home in one piece.  It was a good weekend.  

A fishing guide goes for a hike (for a good cause)...

Somewhere in the woods of Vermont, there's a fishing guide from Western North Carolina.  He's on a long walk for a good cause.

Steve has been guiding in WNC for ages, and is one of the most knowledgable guides I've ever had the opportunity to meet.  His kindness and good heart are known to many.  In February, Steve set out on their Appalachian Trail in an effort to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters.

He's down to the last five hundred miles, and there's still a chance to help out him raise some money for a good cause.

If interested, you can help here...

To follow his progress, you can go here...

Summer Doldrums

I keep a "to-do" list on my phone.  Writing a blog post has been near the top of that list for months, and it has taken this long to finally get to it.  But this does' really count.  I'm posting to let the world know I'm still breathing (for now) and that I'm working on real stuff.

So after a long hiatus, I'll post this and promise to get back soon with some real content...

Back Roads & Killer Bows from VEDAVOO | BETTER AMERICAN GEAR on Vimeo.

Having a good weekend?

Hoping you're out on a river, and not reading this blog...

New stuff soon.  I'm in the lab working on a podcast!

In memory of Dave Baker

The Androscoggin River was the place I went to fish.  It was the first river I fished, where I took my first float trip, and where I learned a whole lot from some great people.

There was one particular evening that stands out more than others.  It was summer, and it was that kind of warm and muggy night that falls on New Hamsphire in July.  I rode in the back of Dave's van as we made our way to the Andro.  Stephen was up front with Dave.  There was the usual bullshit banter that always took place on a trip with those guys.  For me, it was a pleasure to be in the company of two amazing anglers.  These were the two guys that had more impact on my angling than anyone else.

We arrived at one of our usual spots.  I figured that Dave would hang out with me and give his usual advice / critique of my shitty casting habits.  He would make it look so easy while I flailed the water and watched as landed fish after fish.  He would eventually leave me alone, disappear around the bend and come back holding up four crooked fingers as I asked him how he did.  But that didn't happen.  Instead, I walked in the opposite direction with Stephen.  We made our way into some great water.  I hooked into a monster bow that had scars left by some kind of predatory bird.  She was a beauty, with full colors that I had never seen before.  Stephen and I fished until the sun started dipping down behind the hills. 

We made our way towards the spot we knew we would find Dave.  There he was.

"How'd you do?"

He held up four crooked fingers.

We fished together into darkness.  I had on a hopper dropper combo and he just sat back with Stephen while I worked the riffle.  No fish.  Dave stepped in and hooked fish in the same spot. He was fishing his go to fly - a splittail.  

There was no critique that night, just a smile that let me know that I did ok.  It was a good night.  

***** ***** *****

Almost two weeks ago, on Easter, Dave was back at that same spot.  They say he never got home that night, and the next morning his wife called the police to file a report.  They found Dave 50 yards from the river.  

We called him Old Man Dave.  He was an amazing angler.  He could tie better flies than anyone else I knew.  His teaching methods were a combination of kindness, concern and pure brutality.  He would rip my hook from the vise, peel off the material and throw it back at me.  He told me I was wasting the hook.  Then we would slide a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup across the table and laugh.  I'm lucky to have a few of his creations in my fly boxes, and more fortunate to have learned many tricks from him.  

***** ***** *****

We all used to take a trip to upstate New York right after Thansksgiving.  Dave was at home with his splittails, always finding himself in the right place to land some fish.  

He stood on the bank, tucked into the combat fishing crowd.  There were baitchuckers all around, and Dave was in the middle of them with his 9wt, landing all the fish.  

He had this one particularly annoying baitchucker next to him that couldn't keep his line off of Dave's fly line.  Dave would kindly untangle the guys gear and toss it back.  Time after time, he did this.  Chucker eventually wore out Dave's patience.  Dave pulled out a blade and hacked the guys line, leaving that sack of eggs to sink into the depths of the Salmon River.  Well, as you can guess, our bait hurtling friend was not so happy.  He charged at Dave, who just stepped aside and sent that guy stumbling into the drink.  A very soaking wet and soon to hypothermic dude went in search of the F&G warden who only laughed in his face.  Dave was back to fishing within seconds.  

***** ***** *****

I'll miss the old man.  For all of us who learned from Dave, we should make an attempt to pass on what he taught us, and hopefully do it half as well as he did.  


The current state of Wyoming and how it relates to fishing (at least for this guy)

Hey there.  How have you been?  Long time, eh?

I'm just here, living the dream in Wyoming.  Haven't been able to commit a whole lot of time to the blog, so I'm doing a little catching up today.

Took a trip down the North Platte last weekend with the drifty.  Had a special guest in the boat that had never thrown a fly line before.  It had been pushing summer like weather the days preceding the trip, and wouldn't you know that things had to change for the day of the float.  What had been a balmy start to the weekend swiftly switch over to a blustery day.  Go ahead and float they said.  It'll be nice, they said.

Maybe I'm just getting old, but when the fuck did a five mile shuttle start costing so damn much?  Thirty one fucking fifty (!!!) for a quickie shuttle seems like highway robbery, but whatever.  The car and trailer were waiting when we wrapped up the float, so I shouldn't bitch too much.

The float was a pain.  Good company helped, but I had to row my ass off to stay off the banks.  The forecasted wind was a joke. It felt like Hurricane Andrew was blowing that day.  The river had whitecaps pushing us back upstream, so fishing was limited, and chance for instruction was impeded - no one needs to learn to sling bugs with a 30 mph gale blowing.

Obviously, we made it down the river, as I'm spewing this drivel today.  There will be other days, and I'll heed some good advice that I heard years ago - pick your days.

So, last night was the F3T and Iron Fly in the booming metropolis of Rock Springs, Wyoming.  It was put on by Seedskadee TU.  They had a good turn out, some great raffle prizes and it was a good time.
Throwing down some Iron Fly.

Bags of random ingredients.

My submission for the Wyoming Fly competition.

One handed tying competition.  I whip finished this gem with one hand, but  didn't win.  

F3T films...

the aftermath of the Iron Fly.


I've been a no-show for a while, huh?  Yeah, life gets crazy.  Fishing time has been limited, and it's been time to do that J-O-B thing.

Fishing today, so maybe a report soon.  In the meantime, go fish.

Damsels in Distress

The Winter Fishing Blues (aka drinking beer in Colorado and a tiny fishing report)

If you've never been to elevation, you might not know that alcohol kicks a bit harder when you're there.  I'm sure there's a scientific explanation, and maybe I'll check with wikipedia later and see act that is.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, you'll just have to take my word for it.

Last week, as previously posted, I took a quick trip down to Colorado to check out the F3T and to see some old friends. The film festival got rolling later in the day, and upon my arrival in Summit County, Colorado, I found myself with a few hours to kill.

With all the gang busy doing the work thing, I hit up one of my old favorites - the Dillon Dam Brewery.  After two beers, I moved on to The Baker's Brewery (in what used to be the Village Inn).

As we all know, sometimes that one beer you stopped in for turns into more than one.  Tasty beverages and good conversation will do that.

After tying on a proper buzz, I made my way over to Cutthroat Anglers for the show.  The beer and elevation were combining to make for a great evening.

As previously mentioned, the films were great and I had a chance to catch up with some really good people.  I went to bed that night dreaming of trout and decided that heavy drinking be damned - it was time to fish the next morning.

Friday morning greeted me with 3 inches of fresh powder and bluebird skies.  I made my way to some of the best "urban" water ever - the Blue River in Silverthorne.  This a a gold medal fishery, yet is within spitting distance of outlet malls, weed dispensaries and restaurants galore.

The morning was frigid, with temps in the teens.  The sun made it bearable.  I geared up with long underwear, a recently replaced pair of waders and studded boots.  I fished the old spots I knew from my days living in the area and landed a few gorgeous rainbows.  They were hungry for mysis shrimps, and i fortunately had a few dozen left over from my CO days.  They hit hard - not the typical slow winter takes that one might expect on such a frosty day.  The Blue gets it's water from the reservoir, and fishing a tail water this time of year has it's advantages.

I stopped by the stretch of the Blue below Green Mountain Reservoir and opted not to try it.  Many years ago, Eric had to find some climbing rope to get us back up to the truck while fishing there.  The trail was snowy and icy, and having a definite lack of rope made me think about saving it for another day.

The whirlwind trip had to end, so I headed north to the windy realms of Wyoming.  On the way back, I stopped in to see the gang at Wind River Outdoor Co.  Geoff hooked me up with some map info on the Wind River and encouraged me to go check it out.

My first fishing experience in Wyoming was indeed on the Wind River.  I headed up near Dubois (don't say it with the French pronunciation - its said DO-BOYS, ok?) and found some beautiful public access areas tucked in between the private lands that dominate this state.  I rigged up my "new" JP Ross rig and threw on a stinky pickle with an RS2 under it.

Fishing was quiet.  Had a few takes, missed a few takes, and landed a decent brown.  Then disaster struck.  My phone (I know, why did I have it?) goes off.  It's the bank.  Someone had a shopping spree with my debit card and I had to go deal with the nasty business of finding out that I was up a creek financially for a few days.

After that unpleasant bank stuff, it was back to the river.  In that hour of not being on the water, Wyoming decided to reveal it's true nature.  The wind was raging and with temps in the low 30s, it was damn cold.  It was about that time that I realized my foot was wet, and those Patagucci waders with about 5 hours of use had decided to let the water in.

Needless to say, I threw in the towel for the day.  Winter fishing is tough, but I'll be back (with patched up waders).

A quick trip to the F3T in Colorado...

Last Thursday, the F3T (Fly Fishing Film Tour for this of you living under a rock) came to Silverthorne, Colorado.  Jim Buckler and the gang at Cutthroat Anglers did a great job hosting the event at the Pavilion next to the shop.  They raised a ton of money for PHW in Colorado Springs.

There was a great appetizer table, plenty of silent auction gear to check out and of course a decent selection of beer.

I had the chance to run into a bunch of the gang that I hadn't seen in years.  The films were also great, with all types of fishing locations being featured.

If you have a chance to get to the F3T, make sure you do as this year's event is guaranteed to be a good one.

New video page

Hello readers.  How's that winter treating you?

I'm busy getting myself established in Windy Wyoming.  Put up a link to a new page here on the blog - a page featuring videos from Von Jefe Productions.  These were all made a few years back.

Have a laugh at my horrible skills.  Anything good that you see was probably was done with the help of Matty B.

Hello Wyoming!

The Popo Agie River near Lander, WY

And after one hell of a drive across the majority of this continent, here I find myself in Lander, Wyoming!

Leaving behind the gentle mountains of the east, I'm once again out in that big ol' west.  There are huge craggy peaks, and more importantly, I find myself in spittin' distance of amazing rivers - the North Platte, the Bighorn, and of course there are some old favorites like the Upper Colorado, Arkansas, and Roaring Fork.

Look for possible reports and info about this new place.  I've got some exploring to do!

Thanks for the support!

Last night Flies for Fuel event went down at Innovation Brewing in Sylva.  A few flies were made and someone made their very first bugger.

Thanks to Nicole at Innovation for the support, the raffle prizes, and for keeping the beer flowing.  Thanks also to Helen and the rest of the Howler Bros. crew for providing the great schwag we were able to give away to those who supported the event.

The bone chilling weather might have kept many folks at home, but for those that came out, thanks for giving.  Every dollar we made is now in the hands of Frankie at Thompson Gas.  She's going to make sure that someone gets a little help when they least expect it.

It's cold out there, so stay warm.

The middle of January is here. See you tomorrow!

Hoping to see a whole lot of folks from the WNC fly fishing community tomorrow night at Innovation Brewing in Sylva, NC.  Event starts at 6, with raffle drawing at 7:30.  Stop by for what should be a great time.

Click on the "Flies For Fuel" tab above this post for more info.

Winter has set it's icy grips here in WNC and throughout much of the country.  I'm seeing less people out on the rivers around here.  You've got to be pretty hardcore to be in this wind and cold, so it might be time to focus on tying up some good patterns for the spring.  Then again, nothing wrong with layering up under the waders and hitting the water when you can.

In other news, 2016 is going to be a big year for and it's author.  I'm considering making some big personal changes and with that will most likely come a home in a new place and a new state of mind.

Greetings from FL...see you in a week.

Greetings from sunny and warm Florida!

Being a native Floridian, I can attest that this weather isn't quite normal.  It's a bit chilly in these parts, and of course the weather took a turn to the lower side while we're here.

The good news is that I got to spend a great day with an old friend, and at the same time shared some water with a new friend and my better half.

There will be a full report when vacation is over...


One week from now, it'll be Flies for Fuel night at Innovation Brewing in Sylva, NC.  Get out and tie up some bugs, drink some beer and help heat some homes.  6pm is the start time.  If you're in WNC, please stop by.

First post of 2016

Here's my first post to this thing for 2016.  I'll be quick, scattered and try and keep up.

Vacation eve - not so easy when I'm packing for salt - something I don't do very often with my WNC mountain location.  Got the 6wt, 9wt and 12 wt rods and reels ready.  Can't wait to share some water with an old pal.

Two weeks until the Flies for Fuel event.  If you're in the WNC area, plan to be at Innovation Brewing on the 19th.  We'll tie bugs, drinks beers and raise some cash.  No excuses.

The new year is here, and is entering it's third year of "life".  Look out for a new look and a podcast in the next few weeks.