Posts Tagged ‘Aspen CO’

When I reflect upon the joys that Fly Fishing has brought me and my time spent with my children on the water, my thoughts go back to this wonderful man. George was the first Fly Fisherman who taught me the intricate aspects of nymphing on the Roaring Fork River in Colorado in 1975. Quietly, he demonstrated the technique of “high stick” nymphing that most of us are well acquainted with today. I have sadly learned that he is now approaching the end of this life and is on life support in a hospital in Salt Lake City. In my mind he is a legend…



(Georges Odier focuses its research on the Jurassic period of several years in the desert of Moab, and he just made a fascinating discovery: mammals have been at this period of prehistory and more diverse than the dinosaurs themselves. Their burrows and their bones are found clear evidence of their presence. He offers his book entitled “The Mammal Explosion” in preview before the Embassy of France.)

About the Book

A new beginning for the Jurassic? Perhaps not in the then entire Pangea Continent but certainly in the region that is now the Western United States. That’s what discoveries of new fossil footprints are either implying or confirming. While the uncovering of Sauropod or Ornithischian tracks in the very early and upper Middle Jurassic simply confirms their pre-supposed presence during that era, and while diminutive tritactyl tracks from the onset of the Jurassic onward only support the birds’ dinosaurian origin, the presence of multitudes of primitive but true mammal species as early as the Triassic-Jurassic as dreary and inhospitable deserts. Contrary to earlier theories based on a death of fossils and tracks that era was most likely if not in fact dominated by a vast variety of early mammals suggesting that the true mammal lineage had already coalesced as far down as the Middle Triassic.

About the Author

The author began his involvement in fossil footprints studies as a part-time ‘tracker’ in 1991 in-around the Canyonlands of southeastern Utah, then moved to Moab, Utah, in 1999 as a full-time field researcher. Among other scientists his studies were inspired by Prof. Martin Lockley, an ichnologist, (U. of Colorado) and Prof. Frank de Courten, a paleontologist (Sierra College, CA) both of them well-known for their work in this part of the US. He wrote a Field Guide for amateur ‘trackers’ in 2000, and continues to write Field Reports for the scientific community, mainly preliminary documentation of new track sites. His methodical field research has helped him uncover many fossil footprints of scientific importance in-around the Moab area of the Canyonlands, particularly diminutive mammal tracks and trackways hiterhto unknown in the track recorded.


Ah yes, George with his pipe!!!


PUB: 1984


I met George at Chuck Fothergill’s Fly Shop in Aspen, CO. More about that experience here:

Georges Odier, Aspen, CO

This was Georges’ favorite fly pattern and one that produced endless hours of enjoyment for me on many streams and rivers over the last 34 years…



This pattern has produced more solid fish for me through the years than any other nymph …George introduced me to it one morning on the Roaring Fork on a stretch of private property he had access to – several miles downstream from Woody Creek Bridge…

Presentation Tips: Georges Odier popularized this fly as a NYMPH in his landmark book “Swimming Flies” published in 1984. This is the real beginning of the high-stick nymphing technique and is worth the read. (HATCHES)

More information on Georges may be found here:



THE ROARING FORK, below Aspen, CO…


Georges Pierre Odier, 1931 ~ 2009

died 2009-08-31

Georges Pierre Odier, age 77 years, passed away early on August 31, 2009 at University Hospital in Salt Lake City. Georges is survived by his sister, Michele Odier and brother, Jean Pierre Odier. He is preceded in death by his sister, Anne Marie. He leaves nieces and nephews Emmanuelle, Laurent, Nicolas, Jimmy, Alexandre, Stephan, and Walter. Georges made many friends in his travels through life. He will be sadly missed.

Born Oct. 18, 1931, Georges spent his childhood and youth in Marseille, France. He emigrated from France in 1951 with his longtime friend Jean Jacques André. Landing in New York they passed through the U.S. to settle in Canada, where they worked on farms in Saskatchewan for a year. The following year they moved on to British Columbia and worked in the lumber mill at Penny, B.C. while learning the English language better. Georges moved to Victoria B.C. and worked in the Water Rights Branch of the Provincial Government of B.C.

Georges was always an active outdoorsman. He learned to ski with style at the old ski cabin on Mt. Brenton on Vancouver Island. He was very musical and could play the piano and mouth organ by ear, never having had a lesson. He was in Montreal for a short time, and then went to Bloomfield Hills, Mich. to teach skiing for the Stein Erickson ski school, subsequently teaching in Aspen, Colo., where he taught many famous names including some of the Kennedy family. While in Aspen. Georges served a term as head of the Chamber of Commerce, and was always involved with the community. His years in Aspen were some of the happiest and most fruitful of his life.

As the younger generation took to the ski slopes Georges renewed his passion for fly-fishing. He worked at Chuck Fothergill’s Outdoor Sportsman and Guiding, and was active in organizations such as Trouts Unlimited and Ducks Unlimited. Georges had taken up fly-fishing with great enthusiasm and, as with all the activities he did, became a true expert. He practiced the catch-and-release advocated by his mentor, Chuck Fothergill. Georges served as guide to many including former-President Jimmy Carter, who sent to him, with the seal of the White House on it, a letter of thanks and appreciation for the time they spent together.

After Chuck Fothergill retired and the shop was sold, the following year, Georges’ brother signed the lease for the new store under the name Odier Ltd. Georges and his associate Jeannie Donofrio designed the new shop and put their hearts into that store. It was an elegant fly-fishing and gentlemen’s store, with a French flair, with clothing, etched stemware, wood carvings, and luggage all imported from France; they were very proud of it. The store was successful partly because Georges was so well known in the community. Some of their clients were Hollywood celebrities such as Robert Wagner, Jill St. John, George Hamilton, and Vanna White, who became regular customers and were good friends. Georges and Jeannie enjoyed the store for several years until Georges’ life changed. He moved on, and did guiding in Alaska, traveled through much of the North American wilderness, and enjoyed many fishing trips with friends. He returned to Aspen to work for the Aspen Historical Society. In his free time he took great pleasure in making trips to explore the Canyonlands of Utah.

Georges was a prolific writer. He wrote for his own and his friends’ amusement, funny stories of history and wars. He sometimes had a sharp critical voice in expressing his views on a wide variety of subjects. He was also a researcher and knowledgeable particularly in French history. During his years in Aspen Georges wrote “Swimming Flies, A Revolutionary Approach to Fly fishing” published in 1984. In 1998 and 1999 he also wrote outdoor articles for the Glenwood Post newspaper.

Georges took some time out to travel and visit his family in France before returning to the US to settle in his beloved Canyonlands. He has lived in Moab, Utah for the last ten years. Here he pursued one of his major interests – ichnology (studies based on the discovery and analysis of burrows, trackways, trails etc. of early mammals), and made his hobby of exploring the Canyonlands into a full-time and passionate occupation. He worked with Fran Barnes and was determined that there should be recognition from the scientific community for the importance of tracks in the Jurassic Period. After Fran passed away, Georges continued his own research. He wrote and published: “The Jurassic, A New Beginning,” August 2003, “The Jurassic, The Rise of the Mammals,” March 2004, “The Jurassic, The Mammal Explosion,” August 2006. These books documented Georges’ findings in and around Moab. Recently he collaborated with Steve Hasiotis of the University of Kansas, and led studies in the field around Moab. As a field researcher, Georges’ goal was to have recognition for his theory that small mammals were prolific in the Jurassic period.

At the onset of his illness he had just met with a freelance reporter from Grand Junction who was to write an article on the subject of Georges’ discoveries. An article Georges had been waiting five years to be written and published.

Until we wet our lines together, again…I am grateful to have known you…



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I think I take too many photographs..Naw…

BONJOURCHEESE’S BLOG Link is to ‘yer left…that’s our son Michael and his amor – Aimee’s current Euro trip…


Michael in Paris…


Michael and Aimee…


Michael, eating breakfast and getting ready to send Dad an email….


Well, it IS Colorado...




Twilight, off the Roaring Fork


FF Babe, peeling waders…#1


FF Babe, peeling waders…#2


What a smile…


Not the only one who does…Er, let me make that who did


Nice Jeep!!!…


Another “LOOK”…


Castles section, Frying Pan River…


Pink on The Frying Pan- 1978…


Tired, after a day on The Fork…


Even with her tongue out…she looks good!!!- 1978…


Who cares about the fish? – 1978…


Above the Roaring Fork – 1978…


Aren’t those mountains in the background BEAUTIFUL ? – 1978


Look at the JEEP and don’t think of Blue Bears


Frying Pan River – 1978…


Pensive – 1981


Frying Pan below Reudi Res. …


All wet – 1981…


Fidget with the hands…


Hot Jeep….


Even walking away…



Through the windows on the JEEP…


A cool one on a hot day…1981…




PT on The Fork…


This is what I caught – A nymph!!!


Jean and her sister Cindy – 1981…


PT, Frying Pan River, CO, 1978…


Ready for fly fishing…


I picked up this “HOTTIE” in a parking lot at the base of Mt. Ajax…


Sister Act…Rocky Mtn. style…


Casting on The Roaring Fork…


Glasses that would fit in today…1981…


One more by the Urban Assualt Vehicle…


Re -riggin’ on The Fork…


Casting into a quiet pool…


Lookin’ up the Frying Pan…


Pretty girl sweeping hair back…a lot of really, pretty girls do this…(and, shake their heads at the same time)…

My FAVORITE photo of Jean Marie, Aspen, 1978…




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I had been with Jean Marie for about 5 months when we decided to take a one week vacation to Aspen, Colorado in September, 1978. She had never been fly fishing. She had, however, taken trips with me to Palm Springs, Santa Barbara, Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe. Most of those trips required my presence because of the clients I worked with. We were not living together at this point, both of us had different residences, Jean lived on Olympic near La Cienega and I lived just off La Cienega near Burton Way in Los Angeles

I had just changed PR firms at this point and wanted to spend some time with the fish before I burrowed myself back into the insanity of the Music Business. We left LA on a clear and hot Friday afternoon, driving straight through Bishop ( the freshly mowed alfalfa smelled wonderful ) to Ely, Nevada – arriving at 3 AM where we spent a few hours in the most less than rustic motel that I have ever been in (It didn’t matter). We continued on, early the next morning, towards Green River, Utah. Just outside that speed trap, I was pulled over by a cigar chomping constable and fined for the same. He had me follow him into that oil spot, leading me to the local Justice of The Peace where I could immediately pay my fine (in cash) of course.As we stepped into the JP’s office, his wife came in and stated that her hubby wasn’t in but that I COULD make payment directly to her. She opened a roll top desk and wads of greenbacks spilled out of the desk and dumped onto the floor (retirement funds, no doubt). I paid my fine and eased out of town. For many years afterwards, I made a point of depositing bodily fluids whenever I crossed the state line into or out of that desert domain. It felt GOOD!

We continued on through Grand Junction and Glenwood Springs arriving in Aspen early on Saturday evening. We stayed with Stefan and Stascha Kaelin. They owned Kaelin Swiss Sports in Aspen and were great hosts.

Jean in front of the Kaelin house, September, 1978

The next morning, I stopped by Chuck Fothergill’s to pick up some gear – where my friend George Odier commented on my recent acquisition. Then, it was on to the Roaring Fork. We parked, ate some lunch and rigged up at Woody Creek Bridge.

Jean caught her first Rainbow down there, September, 1978

We used Rat Faced McDougals and Adams dry fly patterns. I wanted Jean to experience the thrill of seeing a big fish grab a surface fly. She had some inital problems getting her casting stroke down. However, by the end of the day, she a hooked and released a number of excellent fish.

Jean, laying out a cast, Roaring Fork River, Sept., 1978

We fished together for the next several days on the Fork and on the Frying Pan. Her angling skills increased with each outing and she got into several nice fish at this spot on the ” Pan”.

That obstruction in the center of the flow holds good fish in front, both sides and in the slow water behind the rock. I hooked a really big fish on the near side in ’75 that broke me off when it dove under the rock.

Jean takes a break, Aspen, Sept., 1978 ( band aid from fly wound – see below)

Most of our evenings were spent clubbing in Aspen which was a great place to pursue that activity. Also,the restaurants were great and less expensive in those days.

The Frying Pan, Sept., 1978

” No, you don’t UNDERSTAND – I WANT those sunglasses”

Jean rigs up on the Roaring Fork

On the fourth day, Jean was fishing a stretch of the “Pan” below me when I heard her let out a scream. She had hooked herself in the finger with a # 14 Adams. As I made my way out of the water to the road side, I saw a Game Warden approaching Jean. He asked her for her license ( yeah) and she proffered that she couldn’t reach it in her back pocket with the fly stuck in her finger. He offered to help ( how convenient) but noticed me approaching and demurred. That effectively stopped the day’s fishing. She wouldn’t let me push it through, crush the barb and pull it back out. We finally did that and looped a section of tippet material in the bend when we got back to Stefan’s. I paid for that – later that night (no comment).

PT on the “Pan”, Sept., 1978

Jean coming off the Roaring Fork, Sept., 1978 and…

Getting prepped for a night out in one or two of Aspen’s many restaurants and clubs to be followed by ….

Nymphet on a rock, Roaring Fork River, Sept., 1978

I had a client who called me and was becoming OBNOXIOUS and all kinda’ clingy so it was necessary for us to head back to Los Angeles. We spent a last night in Aspen with the Kaelin’s and headed out for Grand Junction the next morning. We spent a final (great) night in a small motel outside of Salina, Utah and arrived back in SMOGVILLE the next afternoon…

Jean said, ” I wanna’ come back to Aspen….and, will hold this position until I do….

We came back…( and she held several other unique positions before that happened)….

Grainy B&W Retro…

But, that is – another story…..

NEXT: Sleuthing the Owens Valley and the East Walker River with Jean


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“The Castles” section of the Frying Pan River holds some deep pools and big fish. I was taking my daughter Nadia, who was about 3-½ fishing with me and stopped in Basalt, CO where the Frying Pan enters The Roaring Fork. I picked up a container of worms (yes, worms) and intended on rigging a short leader to the fly line attached to a #20 treble hook. Driving up the road towards Ruedi Dam, my daughter looked forward to her fishing experience with mixed emotions. I asked her to sit on the bank and hold the worm container while I aired out a couple of casts up and to the side of a mid-stream boulder. On my third cast, a large rainbow surged over my Rat Faced and submerged as I started to lift the rod, I noticed, out of the corner of my left eye, Nadia dumping the entire contents of the worm container into the river.

By the time I had my rod tip almost vertical, the rainbow rushed upstream, separating the 5x tippet. At that moment a howl escaped my throat,” Nadia, WTF are you doing?” She looked up at me with her big green eyes, a smile stretched across her face, “I’m feeding the fish daddy!” An unarguable point…

Fish on the Frying Pan, 1975

I went back to that same spot on three more occasions, hooking what I believed to be that same fish twice. Each time that character either dove under or around that same boulder it occupied as a feeding station and broke me off. Some fish are just NOT in the celestial cards.

Leonard Graphtek and Frying Pan fish, 1975…

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After leaving Ennis, we made our way South through Yellowstone National Park to Jackson Hole, WY. We spent the night in Jackson and visited the Milliondollar Cowboy bar and consumed vast quantities of” Jack Black. The next morning we visited Jack Dennis Fly Shop and purchased some flies and clothing.

For some reason, probably alcohol induced, we decided to take a dirt road out of Green River, WY to Rifle, CO. We never saw another car on that road but did see numerous antelope in the fields and low lying hills parallel to our path. Our destination was Aspen, CO where Fritz’s then girlfriend (now wife) and my wife (now # 1 ex.) and daughter Nadia would meet us. Bernie didn’t have anyone meeting him.

I remember making a request to my wife Ilse, that she bring a bag of luggage containing additional clothes for me since we were traveling in a 1974 Monte Carlo stuffed with camping gear and had decided to travel light. When we arrived at the Aspen airport, our significant others had already arrived from LA. There was no bag for me and three large ones for my wife and daughter – this was not going well. Now, about the fishing….

PT and Nadia, Aspen 1975

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