Flyfishing has lost a great one… Denny Breer, longtime guide on Utah’s Green River and owner of Trout Creek Flies, was killed in an accident yesterday. Breer literally wrote the book on fishing the Green… Utah’s Green River: A Fly Fisher’s Guide to the Flaming Gorge Tailwater. He was a tireless advocate for protecting and promoting that fishery. Many of those giant terrestrial fly patterns that initially made other guides from throughout the West wonder… then believe… are Denny’s creations.

Most importantly, Denny Breer was a genuinely good, caring, and honorable man. He was humble, honest, and he and always had time for the “little guy.” For example, I remember about 10 years ago, there were two young “writers” (who had never seen their work in print) and a photographer, working on a book (for which there was no publisher). Denny agreed to be a part of the project and show the group the Green River anyway. On their first attempted trip, it snowed so hard (though they did float part of the day), the group ended up eating popcorn with Denny and his wife, Grace, back at their home in Dutch John… and making plans to return in the spring. When the group returned, Denny floated them for three consecutive days, down the A, B, and C sections, because he wanted them to see the whole river. And he wouldn’t take a dime for his efforts when it was all said and done. “You can pay me back by writing good things about the Green,” he laughed.

I was one of those writers. The book, Castwork, launched my career, and I will always be grateful to Denny Breer, the mentor and friend. I remember one of his lessons vividly, and find myself repeating it to others often: “Time on water equals fish.” Meaning, let those flies ride on the water as long as you can… and also, the more time you, the angler, spend on the water, the more you will teach yourself how to catch fish. “Time on water equals fish.” Indeed. And time on water is precious… for me, especially the time I spent with Denny Breer.