Four days on the San Juan River

I recently joined fellow Heart Of America Fly Fishers Kevin Carril, Steve Hedgstrom and Ron Carruthers for four days of trout fishing on the famous San Juan River in northwest New Mexico. We stayed at the Soaring Eagle Lodge where we enjoyed scrumptious buffet breakfasts and mouth-watering dinners.

After daylong guided fishing trips we lounged outside our riverside accommodations, tired but happy, sipping adult beverages, awaiting the 7PM dinner and watching the river flow past a few yards away.

The trout, a mixture of browns and rainbows, were taken on tiny #22 and #24 nymphs and emergers. Most were 12″ to 15″ but several approached or topped the 20″ mark.

It sounds like a commercial but it’s true. You can’t beat The Soaring Eagle for tasty food, comfortable, clean lodging, helpful, courteous employees, and knowledgeable guides.

Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a rank beginner Heart Of America Fly Fishers has something to offer.  Check us out at

Interested in learning more about Soaring Eagle Lodge? Take a look at their web site .


Pike on a fly rod

What’s the old saying? Even a blind hog finds an acorn every once in a while? My long-time fishing buddy and fellow Heart Of America Fly Fishers member Bill Lindley boated this 42.5″ northern pike on a 7 weight fly rod recently.


Where? Someplace between Nebraska and Canada. Wish I had been there to slap high fives with him … after he washed his hands of course. Pike are really slimy.Bills Pike_edited-1


Heart Of America Fly Fishers

I always look forward to our One Fly Tournament. The last few years it has been held at Lake Of The Forest in Bonner Springs, KS. This is a very old residential lake surrounded by homes and is full of fat, sassy bass and bluegill.

This year we were joined by some veterans from Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing.

A light rain fell all morning with temperature hovering in the low seventies: a fisherman’s dream. As usual those who arrived early and fished from kick boats or float tubes were the most successful.

The idea is to use one fly all morning. Theoretically if you lose your fly you’re done for the day. Small prizes are awarded for the biggest fish and the most fish and it’s all done on the honor system. Yes, some fishermen are actually honorable. This year the biggest fish award went to a guy who caught a 21” bass (that turned out to be “only” 19” when measured). The award for the most fish went to someone who landed an astounding 63 bass and bluegill. All fish were released.

The morning was capped off with a delicious picnic lunch,  lots of bragging and probably some lying. But I didn’t hear ANY bitching.

Heart of America Fly Fishers winter outing

As usual the Heart Of America Fly Fishers annual winter outing at Bennett Spring State Park near Lebanon, MO December 5th through 8th was a big success. Everyone enjoyed the picnic Saturday and the dinner that night at Ollie’s. Some trout were caught and released and this time the weather even cooperated (if you didn’t mind a little light rain). Upcoming club events include a January 16th outing at Rockbridge, MO and the spring program February 21st with Rick Hafele.

Whether you’re a beginner or an old pro you’re always welcome at HOAFF meetings the third Monday each month (except for December), 7 PM, at Community of Christ Church, 7842 Mission Rd. Prairie Village, KS. Check us out at .


A motley crew Bennett Spring State Park Don Grundy playing the canjo Highway 64A bridge

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing

Representing the Heart Of America Fly Fishers, Mark Borserine and I sat in with a couple of other fly tiers at the Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing meeting Tuesday night. PHWFF is an organization that helps wounded service men and women get into all aspects of fly fishing from rod building and fly tying to developing fly casting proficiency.

You can become involved in this worthwhile project by contacting Bob Barnett at (816) 309-7071   or

Annual Winter Outing: Heart Of America Fly Fishers

The HOAFF winter outing at Bennett Spring State Park is one of our most popular events each year. Always the first weekend in December, the weather is usually pleasant but this year Mother Nature out-did herself and smiled on us with 60-degree afternoons.

A picnic lunch near the spring on Saturday, followed by more fishing till 4 PM, then barbeque at Ollie’s at 6:30.  Throw in a trout or two and you’ve got yourself a super weekend.

If you’ve never taken advantage of the winter catch & release weekends at Bennett Spring you’re missing out on some of the best trout fishing of the year. The winter season runs from the 2nd Friday in November to the 2nd Monday in February.  All three zones are open to catch & release fly-fishing from 8 AM to 4 PM Friday through Monday. No daily tags are required but you must have a valid MO fishing license.

Thanks to Webmaster & Event Coordinator Bill Brant for these excellent photos.

Now put on your waders, get out there, and start pounding the water to a froth.