He was born March 1949 in Salina, Kan., to Bernard and Edna Glatz Breer. Dennis married Grace Miller, and for 22 years they lived together in Dutch John. His grandfather, who worked for the Santa Fe-La Junta Railroad in Colorado, introduced him to fly fishing. They spent many vacations together, exploring different regions in the southern Rockies and poking around on rivers like the Conejos, Arkansas, and Rio Grande. These early trips sparked a lifelong passion in Denny, one that would lead him throughout North America, to the far reaches of Alaska and eventually, back to the Green. He is grateful to his granddad for this gift. “I wish I’d have taken him to Alaska, and I wish I could have rowed him just once on the Green. He would have loved it,” Denny says. “He would have gotten a real kick out of what I’m doing with fishing now.”
Denny was an Army draftsman during the Vietnam War. He fashioned military maps of Danang, Ben Hoa, and the City of Saigon. You can still see his meticulous attention to detail when rowing, tying flies, or working a run. After the service he returned to Colorado and worked various surveying, construction, and civil engineering jobs during the seventies and eighties. It was during this period that Denny started rowing dories, and discovering some of the West’s legendary trout waters. It was also around this time that Denny’s mother set him up on a blind date. He and Grace hit it off on the first night, moved to the Green, established Trout Creek Flies in 1987 and never looked back.
Denny often says that Grace makes the guiding life possible. “It’s tough to compete out here. Tough to run trips, a web-site, coordinate a staff, and tie and sell flies. We are starting a shop now as well. I couldn’t do it without her.”
Dennis always had admired and loved Utah’s Green River. His credits include several TV appearances, one in Alaska with Jerry McKinnis on “Fishing Hole” and two Green River appearances on ESPN with Jim and Kelly Watt’s Fly Fishing Video Magazine. Dennis completed two Green River fly-tying videos for Jim and Kelly Watt’s “Hooked on Fly Tying” series titled “Green River Terrestrials” and “Green River Guides Choice.”
Dennis served several terms as president of a local association of Green River Guides and Outfitters. He demonstrated his dedication to preserving the Flaming Gorge Tailwater’ s trout fishery by being its representative on the Flaming Gorge Working Group. This working group consists of state and federal agencies and others who have an interest in the operation of the Flaming Gorge facilities. When Dennis was not fishing, guiding, tying new creations, or slide show presentations of his favorite river, he enjoyed photography, scuba diving, traveling, and pigeon keeping and racing.
Dennis Edward Breer, 59, passed away Nov. 6, 2008 from an accident at his home.
If you can get Denny to stop joking for five minutes, you will notice that he is a cerebral and ambitious man, often tackling projects that force him to elevate his personal and professional game. In 1998, he wrote a book, Utah’s Green River: A Fly Fisher’s Guide to the Flaming Gorge Tailwater, not so much to show off what he already knew about the river, he says, but rather as a personal challenge, and as a means to learn more about himself and the area.
Portions of the above were taken with permission from Castwork: Denny Breer by Andrew Steketee and Kirk Deeter