On Saturday July 14th, Ben and I assisted with the CU Fly Fishing Club event on the upper Arkansas River. We were expecting a wide range of angling experience in the group, and that's exactly what there was. In fact, one student told us how excited he was to fly fish for his first time!
Our goal was to not only get the club members to catch fish, but more importantly educate them and help develop their angling skills so that they can be successful out on their own.
The Club decided on holding this event on the incredibly dynamic upper Arkansas River. Fishing through this section of river is an excellent opportunity to educate, because conditions on a large freestone river can often present challenges to less experienced anglers.
We started of with a stream-side clinic for the group and went over a few basics before getting on the water. We covered fish handling, wading safety, fly selection, rigging, casting/presentation, hook setting, and landing techniques.
Fishing was productive in the morning but a little inconsistent. Most of the club members caught fish, but all reported fish were taken on different flies. After lunch and short trip upstream, our cool overcast day turned into a light rain and led way to a thick Blue Wing Olive hatch that fish really focused on. Fishing was very productive through the remainder of the day and a couple of very healthy fish were landed, including a big Rainbow taken on the Chubby.
Overall, dry-dropper rigs were the most productive with Chubby's, Drakes, and JC Specials on top with 2Bit BWO's, Tungteaser, Surveyor, Blue Tung, and Swing Caddis underneath.
We had a great time with the CU Fly Fishing Club and a great day of fishing. We are happy to help develop these young anglers and we can't wait to do it again.