On the Fly column: The valley’s best fly tyers

Scott Spooner
On the Fly
Youth division gold medal winner Ruthie L. (her last name is hidden because of her age)
Rick L.

Last weekend the Roaring Fork Valley Fly Fishing Club, the Roaring Fork Conservancy and the Roaring Fork Fishing Guide Alliance hosted the fifth annual Iron Fly Competition at the Tipsy Trout in Basalt. This year’s event was a smashing success, with some returning winners on the podium plus a few new fresh faces.

Who are the best fly tyers in the Roaring Fork Valley? Local youngster Ruthie L. took home the gold in the youth division, and local guide Brandon Soucie claimed the title (again) in the adult division. These two local Basaltines made their “trout town” quite proud.

This isn’t exactly a serious event — the main ingredients are having a lot of fun and meeting fellow fly tyers. Tyers came from as far as Park City, Utah, this year. Tyers are given a bag of materials and a hook for each round, and judges (varying from quasi-experts to never-evers) advance the best tyers to the next round. Mystery materials this year ranged from baling twine, wine corks and latex gloves, which must be incorporated in the fly. Proceeds from this event will benefit local youth fishing camps, Project Healing Waters, the Mayfly Club and others.

None of this would be possible without generous support from Alpine Angling, Basalt Firearms, Boulder Boat Works, Brick Pony Pub, Capitol Creek Brewery, Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley Fly Fishing Club, Crystal Fly Shop, El Korita, Fishpond USA, Heather’s Savory Pies, HMC Construction, John P. Newbury, New York Pizza Basalt, Orvis, Shannon Outing, Roaring Fork Anglers, Roaring Fork Conservancy, Roaring Fork Fishing Guide Alliance, Roaring Fork Valley Fly Fishing Club, Tan Bar, Taylor Creek Fly Shop, The Tipsy Trout, Timbo’s, Willits Grill and Woody Creek Distillers.

Congrats to Ruthie L., Jacey R. and Gracie C. from the youth division, plus Brandon Soucie, Andrew Soliday and Cal Massey from the adult division. See you next year.

This report is provided every week by Taylor Creek Fly Shops in Aspen and Basalt. Taylor Creek can be reached at 970-927-4374 or

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