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I just hope I can pull this off in my 60's

Boots Allen

"I was just a kid when the One Fly started up in the mid-1980s. Almost immediately the impact was felt in the Snake River area. As the years went by and the event gained momentum, it became a topic of national discussion in fly fishing circles. Magazines began to post pieces about this unique event. It was not uncommon to see the event mentioned in books and other forms of fly fishing literature. The winning patterns, winning anglers, winning guides, the biggest fish of the year, and tales of miraculous rescues of participants’ flies all became topics of discussion. Today, it remains one of the largest and most recognized fly fishing events in the country. While other contests have  come and gone, the One Fly continues to grow. There is a lot of pride in being asked to guide in the One Fly and to also be asked back year after year. I am proud to have won this event on a few occasions. I also take pride in the hard work and strategy it takes to compete successfully.  Yet what I am happiest about most is something that is rarely mentioned in books and media — the One Fly raises hundreds of thousands of dollars every year to conserve and protect trout streams throughout the Rocky Mountain West.  Over the years, I have seen funds raised in the event go to projects that benefit some of the most storied waters around. Not just the Snake and the South Fork, but other cherished streams like the Henry’s Fork, the Teton River, the Wind River, the Bear River, and the streams of Yellowstone National Park. I have fished all of these waters. I know how great they are. I also know how fragile they are. All of the waters we fish nowadays are fragile. The funding raised by the One Fly helps protect these streams for years to come. My work as a guide, speaker, writer, and destination travel host, puts me in contact with a lot of passionate fly fishers from around the world. Most of them know about the One Fly, and many of them want to talk about it. At least a little bit. There are always questions regarding what fly to use (which for me changes from year to year and section to section), tackle suggestions, how points are tallied, how good do you have to be, and how much luck vs. skill it takes to be successful. I answer all of these questions as best I can. The question that seems to never get asked, however, is why this event exists after all these year and what it is really all about. Somehow, I always make sure that those I am talking with know about the conservation efforts that drives the One Fly. Competing is great. Winning is better. And being on the water and around some of the best guides and fly fishers in the country is always fun. But none of this can compare to how excited I get when I hear of how much money was raised and what projects will be funded. That is the true spirit of the One Fly and why I am proud to take part every year. I just hope that I can pull this off when I am in my 60s."

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