Welcome Friends!

Report FAOL Summer Fish-In 1999
Mamma Kate and Al's Photos!
Photos from Griz!
Here are Parnelli's Photos!
Some Al Campbell Photos!
And even more Ken Wooten Photos!

By Deanna Birkholm, Publisher FAOL

Here's the run down on the 1999 FAOL Fish-In. We are using the photos JC and I took - but there are a lot of photos yet to come from folks who were there. If you have photos and a scanner, send them by email and we will put them up! If not, send us duplicates via snail mail and we will add them as we get them. This page is intended to be permanant and will be here for memories, laughs and giggles as long as FAOL is here!

The "official" dates for 1999 were June 12 -20th. Some folks got there on the 11th and took advantage of wonderful weather, clear streams and lots of co-operative trout. Most of our crowd was present by the time JC and I arrived Monday evening.

Al Campbell, Ken Wooten and Brad Benson (the local guys) took care of all of us. They arranged everything that needed arranging, drove or directed us to where the fishing was best, and even sat on the porch of the Alpine Inn in Hill City Thursday nite for an hour to make sure we could all get in together. Our sincere thanks gentlemen - your act will sure be hard to follow! Besides that you're great guys and just plain fun to be with.

Monday nights events, after everyone had caught their fill of trout, was a welcome by State Senator Drue Vitter. It may seem unusual to have the local Senator welcome a group like ours, but Drue is a great supporter of his local community, having served two terms as Mayor of Hill City. Still, at the end of a working day for him, it was a very nice gesture. Not wasted on our group at all.

After Drue left, Al Campbell did a wonderful slide presentation on the local fishing and insects. Great stuff! It really helped us to know what to look for. As the rain came down, Keith Wintersteen the local hatchery biologist for the South Dakota Fish Game and Parks filled us in on which streams should be the best, (considering some rain had fallen and streams were rising) and also explained the South Dakota philosophy on stocking and wild trout. We really appreciate his efforts.

Coffee before breakfast

Here's some of the group at the morning coffee clatch on the deck in front of FritzFratz, Slic, Craig, and Parnelli's motel room. Breakfast is in Hill City shortly!

Tuesday morning JC and I had promised a casting clinic, so off to Deerfield Lake we went. About half of our group opted for some casting help, while the others tested the trout options. We took off with slicfoot after the clinic to do a little sightseeing and a little downtime since JC had a slide show to do that night. By evening the rain came down again, but some of the more inventive guys in our group figured out a way to get some heat in the shelter building, which really helped. There were a lot of questions, and very much later we found a Subway outlet in Hill City for a bite. Small town, and local weekday eating places close at 10:00 p.m.

Ditch Creek, big hole, big rainbows! Wednesday we get to fish! Off to Ditch Creek. Someone must have run out of names, this is no ditch. A meandering small meadow stream with a variety of fish. From small brookies to major rainbows. The altitude here is about 6,500 feet, and the stream drops into Deerfield Lake. Perfectly lovely. Do a 'Mouse Over' for the name of the person(s) in the photos.

Ditch Creek


Breakfast in town

Not everyone fished the same water at the same time. A couple guys had float tubes and tried a couple of local lakes. Mamma Kate and Al had a small boat, and we all were provided maps of the area with suggestions offered at breakfast for the best for the day. Folks would share rides and it worked very well indeed.

Native Brookie

Ken Wooten

Mamma Kate

slicfoot and rainbow

Castwell and Brookie

Castwell's Dinner

Castwell had requested a brook trout on the fire, and he got it. We asked if there was a surplus, and were told we could indeed have a cookout of trout! The fixings were done by FritzFratz and his wife Rachelle, and it was super! Here are some of those evening campfire photos!
Cooking Staff Randy and Rachelle

Putting a fine touch on dinner

Mamma Kate

Rupe and Wizard

LadyFisher and dinner

The Wizard

Our Campfire

LadyFisher and Old Rupe

FritzFratz gets a dose of smoke

Parnelli and Mike

Just relaxing



Result of Parnelli's joke

Al Campbell and Craig

Dinner is over

Following the food Wednesday evening, Al Campbell did a tying demonstration - actually tying flies (with instructions of course) on request. You want to know how to tie something? Just ask.

Campbell getting into it

Grizzly Hackle matharon fishing

Secret stuff

Parnelli brought his bench too

Al sets up Potts weave

Mamma Kate is just learning

The Master

And his stuff

Al's portable bench

Castle Creek, LadyFisher and Al upstream
Thursday we fished with Al and headed to Castle Creek which is the tailwater of Deerfield Lake. Many of our group fished Castle Creek. Castle Creek is a lovely piece of water with everything from downed sweepers, mossy runs, to hairpin meadow stream. It became a favorite for many of our FAOL group. The trout of the week came from a pool in Rapid Creek. It was caught by Jeff Fields (Grizzly Hackle) and was a rainbow of about 24"- 27" depending on who told the story.

Some of our folks had to leave on Thursday, so not everyone made the Thursday nite dinner at the Alpine Inn, but for those who did, it was a real treat. No menu, just small or large beef tenderlions, baked potato and salad. Dessert wasn't shaby either. You may have to wait - it's a busy place - but worth it!


A fine dry fly cast by Wizard

Friday we headed back to Ditch Creek, there is a lot of water and we wanted to fish some other runs. By now the rain of the past week had colored the water badly, but we caught fish on dries, and the nymphers did even better. Again a few trout were kept, and Brad Benson (B2) did the honors. He can cook too!


We had a couple of guys who got up at o'dark thirty and hit the streams and lakes. One, Jim McCall even found a local restaurant, The Centennial in Hill City, that would cook a couple of his fresh-caught pan-sized trout for his breakfast. They charged the huge sum of fifty cents to do that. We stopped for breakfast there on Sunday morning and as we were leaving in walked Jim with 2 more fish for his breakfast. He says it goes with pancakes really well.

Saturday was the day scheduled for our Sporting Fly Contest. This is a series of casting games - some of which might even improve a persons casting. The accuracy cast was performed with a soft, rotten fly rod from a drug store costing $14.98. It did have a really good line on it. Old Rupe is the winner on this one.

Old Rupe wins!

B2 working on loops

Winner Rupe
Casting at targets from a boat, (and not hitting the guide behind you) isn't as easy as it looks! Especially if the guide rocks the boat. And the winner? Old Rupe - again.

Runner Up LadyFisher

Here's a tough one. Think you are a distance caster? Well, meet the broom! Brad was the winner with a cast of 57feet! Jim McCall (Jim from Walla Walla) brought a really neat measuring device so we could be accurate. Neat! JC won the "professional division" by being the best - and only entry.

Mamma and broom

Ken going for accuracy

Parnelli himself

Wizard goes for it

Ken makes friends with the broom

Craigs not too sure

Craig hanging in there

LadyFisher, note style

Walla Walla Jim

The Wizard gives it heck

Walla Walla Jim and broom

Last but not least Old Rupe

We ended our stay with a cookout at Mamma Kate and Al's camp on Saturday night. Rupes ribs, barbequed chicken and all the fixings. Lots of great food, great people, great fishing and a fine time.

Wonderful to meet everyone! Wouldn't have missed it!

~ Deanna Birkholm

Here's How This Fish-In All Began.

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