Ice may still cover many of Wyoming’s fishable waters, but that doesn’t mean the state’s fly fishermen can’t get a jump start on the year with a little practice tying flies.
And that’s just what the organizers of this year’s Great Bug Battle in Casper are offering up.
The Great Bug Battle, entering its second year, gives fly tyers a chance to compete in what organizers describe as an “Iron Chef” type of contest, where competitors will be asked to tie flies using unusual materials and under interesting situations.
One of last year’s competitions saw an estimated 30 tyers using materials from a dollar store to make flies, said Corey Lincoln, manager of The Ugly Bug Fly Shop, the Casper store that organizes the contest.
“We just bought a bunch of stuff from a dollar store, threw out out there on the table and they used stuff out of there to tie flies,” he said. “We don’t do it to be serious, we just want the time to get together and have some fun with it.”
The event will be held beginning at 7 p.m. Friday at Casper’s Frontier Brewery, where those attending will be able to partake in beer brewed specially for the occasion.
The night will see fly tyers taking part in five or six different competitions, Lincoln said, with Ugly Bug owner Blake Jackson setting the terms of the contests.
Winners will walk away with promotional materials provided by several different companies, such as fly boxes, a waterproof duffel bag and a reel.
Attendees, including those who just show up watch the action, will also be able to bid on an original piece of artwork by Ty Hallock, a fishing guide known for his one-of-a-kind drawings of wildlife using Sharpies.
Money raised through the auction will be donated to “Casting for a Cause,” an organization that arranges fishing trips for women with breast cancer.
Last year, some 30 to 40 people turned out to watch the competition and Lincoln said he was hoping for a similar turnout this year.
There is no entry fee for the contest or to watch.
“Just come, tip your bartender, drink some beer and have a good time,” Lincoln said.
For more information on the Great Bug Battle, visit the Casper Area Convention and Visitors Bureau’s website at or see Ugly Bug’s Facebook page.