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1998 Trips

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Thursday March 26, 1998

San Juan River

 

Wind and rain was the order of the day. However, I fished above the "Lower Flats" in the main run first then "Simon Point" and and upstream from there. I tried some of the older fly patterns we used to use such as; "Light Hendrickson" nymph, some of the older "San Juan" worm patterns, muskrat nymph and "Glo-Bugs".

 

The only pattern that worked was the "Light Hendrickson" and I caught a few, one hit so hard my rod tip smacked the water and nada ---- must have been a big one, wow what a rush!!! Then, about 11:30 a.m. it started raining fairly hard so I when to the truck and made myself a sandwich and took a break. At 2:00 p.m. I started fishing below Texas Hole (about 300 yds downstream) and fished there for about 3 1/2 hours and got "skunked".

When I went to bed I decided to get even the next day.

 

Friday March 27, 1998

San Juan River

 

Wind and cold was the order of this day. I decided to fish a "Red Annelid" (#16) on a dropper and a "Pheasant Tail" nymph on the bottom. I went to "Lunker Alley" at 6:30 a.m. and fished there and upstream from there. I did fairly well in the area, six (6) fish under 16". About 10:30 a.m. I went up to below "Texas Hole" and by 12:30 p.m. I caught five (5) fish on the "Pheasant Tail" nymph four (4) of which were between 18" and 22". By then the wind was getting so cold I decided to "chicken-out" and call it a day. Besides, I had to go to work on Saturday so I started for home.

Wow, what a great trip!!!! Can't hardly wait until next time. I'm going to try to go on April 15 and 16 before they start raising the river. Tight Lines---Phil

 

Tuesday April 21, 1998

San Juan River

 

Well, I didn't make the 15th and 16th but I did make it. Just in time, as I found out, the the river flow was going to be turned up on  Thursday 23rd of April. I arrived at Navajo Dam at 9:00 a.m. and went to Abe's to check-in my room. My room wasn't ready yet so I headed for the river. I went to Texas hole and was surprised to see only one other fisherman. My first cast, with a Grey Zonker Leech I landed a 22" rainbow. Cold water-- cold hands but it was a great feeling. Second cast 19" rainbow. Thought to myself "this is going to be a great day." The weather was great, frost in the morning and t-shirt weather  in the afternoon. I fished in the area until about 1:30 catching and releasing 9 more fish ranging from 16" - 19". I changed to an orange San Juan worm about 11:00 a.m. with a #18 Pheasant Tail nymph as a trailer and did very well until 1:30 p.m.

 

I went to Abe's and checked into my room and had lunch and just sat around for awhile. About 3:00 p.m. I headed below the bridge near Abe's, using the same rig and caught several stockers and quit about 6:00 p.m. I had all of the fun I could stand for one day and called it quits for the evening. I went back the room and had supper and then prepared some leaders for the next day.

 

Wednesday April 22, 1998

San Juan River

 

I got up about 5:00 a.m. cleaned everything up, loaded the truck and got ready to go fishing. I had breakfast and at 6:00 a.m. headed for "Lunker Alley" and "lo and behold" "Nobody in Sight". There was frost on the pumpkin, but oh what a beautiful morning. I walked for awhile upstream and fished the upper portion of "Lunker Alley". The fishing was pretty good, but awhile between strikes.

 

By about 8:30 a.m. the place was getting very crowded and started to head back downstream. I finally reached the area below the wide "Flats" and started fishing the deep runs where the river narrows. Fishing was a little slow so I put on a "Telico" with a "Ginger Quill Nymph"--a woven floss pattern with dark brown top and a tan bottom. Well, that was the "Ticket". I fished about a 200 yard stretch alone until about 11:00 a.m. catching and releasing 11 fish ranging from 16" - !8" and never put on a different fly. The solitude was very therapeutic and relaxing to the point that it felt like time stood still. At 11:30 a.m. I had to call it quits  because I had to travel to Artesia on Thursday and wanted to get home to rest up. Boy, having fun sure wears you out. Tight Lines---Phil

 

Friday June 5, 1998

Rio Guadalupe

 

Well I finally got a chance to go fishing again. I got to the Guadalupe about 1:00 P.M., took my time getting my stuff ready and started fishing about 1:45 P.M. The runoff is still occurring but the water looks good. The visibility is about a foot deep but the deep runs and pockets are light chocolate not mud but discolored just the same.

 

Fishing was pretty tough most of the day because of all of the new vegetation and high water, but a #16 prince started working about 4:00 P.M. and I caught several (8 or 10) fish and then I put on a #14 Royal Wulff. I fished near the bank and caught 6 medium sized fished (8"-10"). I used a #10 Yellow Stimulator and did not do very well it, I caught 2 fish. The Stoneflies that were hatching were the small yellow ones....about 1/2" long. Apparently the large ones have started yet and another fisherman confirmed that. Well, I fished about a 1 1/2 mile stretch of the "Box", walked out of the canyon to the road and walked 6 miles back to my truck, if you get what I mean. I had a tiring afternoon by 7:00 P.M. but, it was another great trip. Tight Lines---Phil

 

Thursday June 18, 1998

Rio Guadalupe

 

I was having so much fun at work on Wednesday I just couldn't stand it any longer, so I decided to go fishing. I arrived at the Rio Guadalupe about 7:30 A.M. and fished the deepest part of the "Box" until about 2:00 P.M. then I scaled some cliff walls out of the canyon and headed back down the road to my truck. It was a gorgeous day, the water was clear and the flow was normal for this time of year. Fishing with a "Low Profile" was the order of the day. I tried several flies during the day. A #16 Prince, #18 Pheasant Tail and #10 Peacock Lady nymphs worked well landing about 9 fish ranging from 6" - 10". The dry flies that worked were a #10 Yellow Stimulator and a #16 Gray Moth pattern inticing about 5 fish to test the morsels. Boy it was a great day and the solitude was appreciated. Tight Lines---Phil

 

Sunday June 28, 1998

Rio Grande near Pena Blanca

 

My wife and I left for the Rio about 6:00 A.M. and we were fishing by 6:45 A.M.. The flow from Cochiti Lake had been increased just 2 days prior and the fishing was great but the catching was a little difficult. The water was murky in the deepest parts but was still pretty clear in the shallow areas. I caught some fish on a black wooly bugger. I caught a sucker (Rio Grande Chubb) about 9:30 and while I was releasing it I looked down stream and saw a very large Rainbow jumping out of the water and, of course, my wife was at the other end of it. She caught it on salmon eggs. My wife, always the biggest fish and usually the first fish on every trip that I take her with me. Good for her! Well, we only fished until about 2:00 P.M. but, the fishing was very slow. The only fly pattern I could get to work was the black wooly bugger.

 

It was a real nice morning and I enjoyed fishing with my wife. Tight Lines---Phil

 

Thursday July 2, 1998

Rio Grande near Pena Blanca

 

My friend Tony and I decided on Monday to go fishing and we were anxious all week to go. Well, Thursday at noon we headed north, stopped off to get a burger, fries and a soda and we were off fishing. We started fishing about 2:00 P.M. It was very hot in the afternoon, 90-95 degrees and the water temperature was about 78 degrees which is not very good for trout. About 6:00 P.M. the wind came up and it got cloudy and left as quickly as it came. We thought we were going to get rained on but it didn't happen. It was a tough day for fishing. We fished until 8:40 P.M. and got skunked. We saw one other guy catch a nice fish on a spinner about 5:00 P.M. but that was the only fish caught by anyone all day. I had a fish hit my line several times but I just couldn't set the hook. I guess I need to be re-trained.

 

The evening turned out to be a beautiful one with a great sunset. What a great place to live! I really enjoyed my trip with my friend Tony and am looking forward to the next time. Tight Lines---Phil

 

Friday July 10, 1998

Mora Flats

 

My brother Craig and I have planned a backpacking trip for a long time and decided to go to the Pecos Wilderness. I just recently quit smoking after 35+ years and my 17 years senior over my younger brother made for a grueling trip for me. We started out at Iron Gate campground northeast of Cowles at the trailhead for Mora Flats and beyond about 12:00 noon. The hike is 3 miles to Mora Flats from the trailhead and it took us about 2 1/2 hours of some of the most breath-taking views one can experience. We arrived in the "Flats", setup camp and my brother Craig started fishing while I stayed in camp to rest my weary bones. I know I made this a tough trip for my brother having to look after me because I am so out of shape, but he is a good friend what more can I say.

 

5:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Craig fished upstream on the Rio Mora to the confluence of the Rio Valdez and up the Rio Valdez about 200 yards. He was using a goddard caddis pattern and caught 22 browns 7" to 14" and hung one Rio Grande Cutthroat. Our goal this trip was to catch Rio Grande cutthroat. The largest brown was landed where the Rio Valdez spills into the Rio Mora.

 

I fished the Rio Mora upstream for about an hour and caught 6 browns using a #16 elk hair caddis. The caddis fly hatches were abundant and there were hoppers everywhere. We both got as many rises from fish as we landed, literally getting some action with every cast.

 

Saturday July 11, 1998

Mora Flats

 

We got up after a good night's sleep, ate breakfast and started fishing at 7:10 a.m. Heading upstream on the Rio Mora fishing every run and pocket. Fishing was a little slower than Friday, but still great. We fished upstream until about 8:50 a.m. and then started fishing downstream from our camp site until about 10:00 a.m. where we had an early lunch. After lunch, I fished upstream from that point until I got back to camp at about 11:15 a.m. Craig continued to fish the Rio Mora downstream from our "lunching site" to 1/2 mile beyond where to Rito los Esteros spills into the Rio Mora. Craig caught 10 more fish, seven of which were caught on a #14 Joe's Hopper, and got an equal number to rises. I caught 6 browns using a #14 Yellow Stimulator and #16 Elk Hair Caddis and in addition got several more rises.

 

We ran into Jerry Burton of The Reel Life guiding some fishermen on the Rio Mora and the Rio Valdez.

 

The water levels in the area were up due to the recent rains but the waters were clear. The fish were not very selective which makes for great fishing (catching). We decided to break-up camp and hike out at 1:00 p.m. The trip out took 2 1/2 hours and was actually an easier trip than going into the "Flats". Craig and I don't get to go fishing together as much as we would like and this trip will be among my most memorable with him. What a great friend to have!

 

My next trip will be Saturday July 18th. My wife and I will be fishing the East Fork in the Jemez. Looks like I am in for another fishing lesson. Tight Lines--Phil

 

Saturday July 18, 1998

Jemez - East Fork

 

My wife and I got early in the morning to fish until about noon and it's a good thing we planned to come back early. The East Fork was low and ver muddy due to recent rains and some run-off, water visibility was near 0. I didn't even try dry flies. I fished with a prince nymph, hare's ear nymph and for and aft patterns, and nothing, not even a nibble all morning. Of course, my wife caught some fish, with salmon eggs, but they were all small stockers that were returned to the muddy depths of the East Fork. We quit fishing about 11:30 a.m. and went back to the truck to eat lunch. We had a nice lunch and decided to call it a day. The weather was a tab hot but all-in-all it was a great day fishing with my wife. Tight Lines--Phil

 

Sunday July 19, 1998

Rio Grande near Pena Blanca

 

My buddy Tony and I meet at the Rio Grande at 6:00 a.m. and I cook us some eggs, sausage, fried potatoes and tortillas for breakfast. We finished eating breakfast about 6:35 a.m. and started fishing. Due to recent rains the Rio Grande was high and muddy but, that never discourages us. We fished all morning up and down the river about a mile or so and did not get one hit. We tried everything that we could think of and the fish were just not to be had. The river flow was recently increased and, with the muddy conditions, the fishing was just not happening. We fished until about noon and decided to head home. It was a great breakfast and another great day of fishing "it is just not possible to have a bad day of fishing." It was nice to have my friend Tony with me for the day.  Tight Lines--Phil

 

Wednesday July 22, 1998

Rio de las Vacas

 

My friend and co-worker Tony and I had to go to Dulce to do a final inspection on a building that we designed the mechanical and electrical systems. The meeting was at 1:00 p.m. and the inspection lasted for a couple of hours and we were finished. It is about a 3 1/2 hour drive back to the office and we could not get there before quitting time so we went to the Rio de las Vacas in the Jemez Mountains for some fishing. When we got there is was about 3:00 p.m. and we started fishing. It started to rain and rained for about 30 minutes, lightly, and we continued to fish. The stream was a little murky but, the water looked good. We caught several fish and got alot more strikes.

 

I broke my sage fly rod that I built last year and tried to use a spinning rod that Tony brought but, I just wasn't having much fun. So, I got my fly rod back out and fished with it and had a great time even with tip gone. I tried dry flies for a while but did much better on a prince nymph and hare's ear nymph. I got into a deep pocket and a brown slammed the tip (end) of my rod down to the water. You know how exciting that is. After fishing for awhile I checked my fly and the end of the hook was gone, it must have been a large fish. I put on a new fly and continued to have fun.

 

After awhile, I went upstream where Tony was fishing, and watched him fish for a while and trying to give him some pointers. Tony is a good fisherman but is somewhat of a novice with a fly rod. About 6:50 p.m. I was explaining to him about the advantage of keeping the tip of the fly rod up and as soon as he lifted his rod, WHAM, a nice brown hit his nymph. He sure was excited, this was his first fish on a fly with a fly rod. That just made his day, I think.

We continued to fish for awhile and decided to go home. I was about 7:45 p.m. We drove through the mountains to the other side, hit the highway and went home. On our way, in a large meadow, Tony spotted 3 Elk grassing. The 3 Elk that we saw turned-out to be 20 Elk. Seeing the Elk was a wonderful sight to finish-off a great day of work, fishing and therapy. Days like these are what keep us coming back and the saying "it doesn't get any better than this" also held true for this day of fishing. I can't hardly wait until the next time.  Tight Lines--Phil

 

Friday August 7, 1998

Red River

 

I arrived at the Red River Fish Hatchery at about 9:45 a.m. and I took a look at the river before I got ready to fish. The water was higher than normal at this time of the year but it was clear. I got all of my stuff and headed downstream to fish the Red. I started out using the Poundmeister, a Taylor Streit fly pattern, and fishing was a little slow. Then I remembered that Taylor told me that it only works on huge fish and since I was in the stretch where there are mostly stockers I decided to change flies.

 

I put on a Peacock Nymph and that was the trick. I caught several rainbows ranging between 9" - 12" and by then was about a mile and a half downstream from the hatchery. I started using a for/aft pattern with a brown hackle in the back and white hackle in the front with a ginger chenille body. At this point, the fishing started to get better and I caught about six fish on the pattern. By now I was getting hungry so I sat down, relaxed and ate lunch at 2:00 p.m. After about 45 minutes I started fishing and I tied on the Poundmeister again. I got into a 16" brown and after playing him a little while I released him. What a great fish....reminded me of the good old days on the Red.

 

I went back to my truck and headed for the middle fork of the Red River, above the town of Red River. I got up there about 6:30 p.m. and was able to get permission from a resident to fish a stretch of the river near his property. The water was crystal clear and using a low profile with a #16 tan Elk Hair Caddis caught several fish 6" - 10" two of which were Cutthroats. They were hard to come by because of the clarity of the water. In these conditions it was important for me to use a low profile, of course. I fished almost until dark and then headed back to the fish hatchery where I camped overnight.

 

Saturday August 8, 1998

Rio Hondo

 

After a good night's sleep I got up early, cooked my breakfast and went to the John Dunn bridge and fished the Rio Hondo upstream from the confluence with the Rio Grande about 6:45 a.m.. This day was the day for dry flies. The river was clear and I used an Elk Hair Caddis and caught several browns, making fairly long casts, in pockets of water at the end of runs. I fished this area until about 9:30 a.m. and then I drove to the Rio Hondo near Twinning.

The water was crystal clear but easily fished. I noticed a lot of grasshoppers around and I did the obvious by tying on a Joe's Hopper. I didn't catch any fish after awhile so I moved downstream near the Lower Hondo Campground and started fishing downstream. The fishing started to get better using the hopper pattern. I was using a low profile again and it worked. After fishing the pocket water I decided to fish the runs and it paid-off because that is where the fish were. I fished until about 1:00 p.m. and by then I had caught and released several fish 8" - 10" mostly browns but a couple of cutthroats. At this point, I headed for home. My brother and I started this same trip last September and I twisted my ankle bad enough to shorten our trip and I am sorry he wasn't able to go with me on this trip. My next trip will be to fish the Rio Santa Barbara and/or the Rio Pueblo de Taos and I am looking forward to it. Tight Lines--Phil

 

Sunday August 16, 1998

Rio San Antonio, Rio Cebolla and Rio de las Vacas

 

My wife and I got up early this morning and headed for the Jemez. We chose to fish the Rio San Antonio, upstream north of NM 126. We hiked in a short distance and started fishing about 7:00 a.m.. The water was clear and I had to use a low profile because I was spooking the fish. I was using a #16 light Elk Hair Caddis and fished all of the runs and got a fish or a strike on just about every cast, but I only got one cast per run, the fish were very spooked. My wife was fishing with salmon eggs as usual and there wasn't must pocket water and consequently didn't get many strikes. We fished the Rio San Antonio until 9:00 a.m. and then went to the Rio Cebolla.

 

We went to the end of the road at the Seven Springs Fish Hatchery and started to fish upstream. The water was very clear and fishing was challenging. The water was low with great spots for fish to hide in the undercuts. We were able to get a few fish to come out and chase our tiny morsels. We caught several small browns and rainbows, nothing large enough for supper but just as rewarding. We fished this area until about 11:00 a.m. We hiked back to the truck and ate lunch. After lunch we went to the Rio de las Vacas.

 

We drove up to the entrance to the Chaparral Girl Scout Camp and fished upstream from there. There was more water than the Rio Cebolla and there was more pocket water which my wife likes. I continued to fish in the deeper runs with the same Elk Hair Caddis pattern, that I fished all day, with the same success of catching a fish in almost every deep run. The water was very clear and it sprinkled for about 5 minutes as we continued to fish. My wife found some deep pocket water where the fish just kept stealing her bait. But, she had a lot fun feeding them. We quit fishing about 2:00 p.m. and headed for home.

 

All-in-all it was a good day of fishing and fun, but for a change my wife did not out fish me. I'll have to mark this day down because there are very few trips that my wife does not out fish me but, in her defense we were not in her element today, that being deep holes and deep pocket water. The fish we caught today we small but were plentiful which is always a great day of fishing. My next trip on August 21 - 22 will be to fish the Rio Santa Barbara and/or the Rio Pueblo de Taos with my brother. I missed plans for a trip there this week. Tight Lines--Phil

 

Saturday August 22, 1998

Rio Cebolla

 

As you'll see, I didn't make to the Rio Santa Barbara but I HAD QUITE AN ADVENTURE.

My brother Craig and I have been planning to fish the Rio Cebolla for some time and we went to the Jemez late Friday afternoon. We stopped at the Seven Springs Fish hatchery and CHATTED with "JJ" Jeff Johnson who works with New Mexico Game and Fish Department. Mr. Johnson gave us some information about the Rio Grande cutthroat and we were able to see a few of the fish in the holding tanks. It was late in the day and we decided to get a good night sleep and head out on Saturday morning for a day of fishing.

 

We got up early Saturday morning, after a evening of rain, prepared breakfast and went fishing. We fished the Rio Cebolla in most of the meadow areas above Fenton Lake and had a great day of fishing. We used dry flies exclusively with Craig using a Humpy and an Elk Hair Caddis and I using an Elk Hair Caddis. The water was very clear, even after a night of rain and at almost every bend in the meandering stream we had a strike or caught a fish. The fishing, for us, was the most productive it has been all year. We used a low profile, even crawling at times, because if we didn't you would see fish the dart away at every turn. So, needless to say the fishing was challenging. The fish ranged in size from 3" to 13"+. I'm trying not to count fish, so much, and get into the "counting" game but I can assure you we caught enough fish to keep us busy all day. This was without question one of the most enjoyable trips that I have had for some time.

 

We got back to the truck about 6:00 p.m. packed everything and headed for home. A fellow sure is lucky to be able to have great days like these to counteract the not-so-great days especially with a friend or family member. Next week my grandson and I are heading for Red River. Tight Lines--Phil

 

Friday August 28, 1998

Red River

 

I guess I may not make to the Rio Santa Barbara this year, but I'm going to try. My grandson James and I left for the Red River Box at daybreak and was fishing by 10:00 a.m.. We hiked in for a short distance below the Red River Fish Hatchery, and started fishing . I guess James learned more from his grandmother than from me, because he caught the first fish and the biggest fish for the day. Must be some genetic thing. We were intended to go downstream about a mile and a half before we started fishing but the fishing spots were just too tempting. It is a good thing we did because the fishing was very good. We caught several fish throughout the day in the deep pockets and smooth deep runs. The water was very clear. We fished about 2 miles of the Red very heavy and started hiking back about 4:00 p.m. We got back to the truck and set up camp near the hatchery and had supper.

 

Saturday August 29, 1998

Red River

 

We went to bed early Friday night, got up early on Saturday morning had a great breakfast and headed downstream about 7:00 a.m. James stayed below the hatchery a short distance and I continued down about a mile before I started fishing. The fishing was even better on Saturday, I hooked several fish in a few deep holes. The smaller fish were in the deep runs. I had one on my line that was in the 2-3 lb. range but, just couldn't win the fight. It appears that the browns are starting to move up from the Rio Grande to spawn but, it seems about a month early. I kept one fish that was about 15" that chock was full of eggs. I think the next month or so is going to be great fishing on Red River. We quit fishing at 11:30 a.m. and started back for Albuquerque. This was a very pleasurable trip I really value my time with James since we can't do as much together because he's going to college and working so much.

 

The flies to use are #14 Prince Nymph, Taylor Streit's Poundmeister in a #10 size, #14 Elk Hair Caddis and a #14 Royal Trude. Tight lines--Phil

 

Thursday October 15, 1998

San Juan River

 

I finally got away from work, didn't even go fishing in September. My grandson James and I have been planning a trip to the San Juan since August. This week was the only week he will have off from college until winter. James and I had to work part of Wednesday and then we headed for the San Juan in the afternoon and got to the San Juan about 8:00 p.m. We got some sleep, got up early, had a good breakfast and was fishing at Lunker Alley by 7:00 a.m.

 

A cold front was coming in bringing some wind most of the day, but the fishing was still pretty good after we figured out what to do. The fish were being driven to bottom due to the weather conditions so we started fishing deep, using more weight than normal to get the flies down quicker. It worked because the fishing started getting better. I got into a 24" rainbow and had a good fight for awhile. James caught a nice 20" rainbow and we both got into several others about the same size throughout the day. The pattern that worked best was a #18 red midge larva pattern.

 

All-in-all it was a great day of fishing even with the wind. James got some practice casting in the wind which is always helpful. The last time James when to the San Juan with me was 15 years ago when he was 5 years old. So it was a nice reunion trip for us. Besides he is a lot of fun to be with and I hope to go fishing on the Pecos with him before it gets too cold.

 

Hope you enjoyed our trip. Tight lines----Phil

 

Friday November 27, 1998

Red River

 

After a great Thanksgiving Dinner, I had on Thursday, I needed a way to walk it off so what better way than hiking down in the Red River Box and doing some fishing. I got to the hatchery at 9:45 a.m. on Friday and I headed downstream. I hiked about a mile and started fishing with a beadhead prince and with my first cast I caught a small brown and continued to fish with the prince nymph for about an hour and caught a few more. The water level on the Red was up a little but the water was clear. The weather was quite warm, especially for November. The fish were in the deeper runs and on the bottom. Once I figured that out I started catching more fish.

 

By noon I had reached the "Wall". I crossed the river and sat down on a stump to have lunch and rest a little. After I finished lunch I tried on a #16 Blue-Winged Olive because there was a Baetis hatch occurring. That proved to be a wise choice, I fished the pattern in the fast water catching a few small rainbows over the next hour or so. By 1:45 .p.m. I had reached the first set of shelters. Sitting back and resting at one of the picnic tables was not a choice I could easily pass up. After my short rest I tied on a #10 Poundmeister, added some lead to the tippet and started fishing the deep runs and pocket water. After about 30 minutes I landed a real nice brown and a couple of nice rainbows. Taylor Streit is right when he says that the Poundmeister only attracts large fish, it's a great pattern. I continued to fish downstream until about 3:00 p.m. and decided to head back to my truck only fishing a few holes along the way that were irresistible.

 

I got back to my truck a little after 5:00 and by now it is getting pretty chilly. I got out of my waders, put my stuff away and headed back for home. It was a long day but a productive one. Tight lines----Phil

 

 

 

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Phil Springer, All Rights Reserved

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1998-2016 © Copyright Trout Flies by Phil

 Phil Springer, All rights reserved.

 Designed and maintained by Phil Springer