Dan Byford Dies
October 20, 2011
Jim Teeny reports that Dan Byford, inventor of the Zonker streamer fly at Steamboat Springs, Colorado in 1975, died Sept. 10 in Thailand where he ran his business tying furled (helical) leaders and his superb leaders for saltwater fishing. Dan was in his early 70s when he died. He ran a flyshop for many years in Steamboat, and in 1983 I fished with him (and Lefty Kreh) on the Yampa River, perhaps Colorado's best large-trout stream. Dan was a consumate fly tier and fisherman, an outgoing free spirit, who loved life, people, and especially fly fishers. His Zonker streamer, winged with dyed rabbit skins and body of mylar tubing, quickly became a worldwide favorite, especially for large trout in streams and stillwaters. It became one of my favorites for steelhead, sea-run browns in Tierra del Fuego and other Patagonia streams, and for smallmouth and largemouth bass in both streams and lakes. Dan Byford was one of fly fishing's most memorable and kindest men, in a sport noted for its larger-than-life figures. He will be missed by all.