Fishing Report - FRA Blog

The Creek is Back Baby!

Wednesday October 9th, 2013 - 11:33am

A guest post from FRA Guide Services Manager Ben McGee

All we could do was sit back and watch as Mother Nature put our city in a headlock last month. Panic and unrest prevailed as Boulder residents and our customers strained to hold on while valuables were being ruined and possessions were being lost. It's very unnerving when things that we care about are suddenly out of our control and destroyed before our very eyes. Some were directly affected, some not so much. Our hearts are with all. 

Throughout the event we were bombarded by emotions and information that was so foreign that it was difficult to process, so much so that it has taken weeks to digest. 

This event has given us a snapshot of our resilience and our fortitude, while we helped our friends and families pack up and pump out basements. Offerings of free beer and pizza for help were expected, but not necessary. 

Before this event, no one would have imagined that our peaceful town and creek could be so close to disaster. We were all surprised and seemingly caught off guard as if there were something we could have done to prepare for this. What's even more surprising is the toughness that we have buried deep within us to resolve hardship. 

Most of the traffic in the shop over the last few weeks has expressed similar concern over the future of what we value most. For decades, our Front Range streams have been a safe haven for us; providing stress relief, excitement, challenges, and most importantly peace, sometimes even worth calling in sick or playing hooky for. 

Fast forward to Sunday Oct. 6th at 5 p.m. when Boulder Canyon was finally opened back up to the public

It was like visiting a long lost friend that you care about and had gone through rough times. Nervous, not sure what to expect, driving the canyon yesterday was incredible on so many levels. The colossal power that we witnessed in town has moved earth and in some cases completely removed earth that once held landmarks for those that knew Boulder Canyon well. 

I drove up the entire canyon, rubber necking at 15 mph as so many others were doing. Pulling over at many of the places that were most memorable, taking in the shocking nature of what I saw and comparing it to memories and past experiences. I pulled over at Four Mile Creek and found myself so intrigued that I was running down the trail to the bridge ahead to visit the creek once again. An incredible sigh of relief exhausted as I quickly recognized the stream that I have loved. Water level was good, water clarity was good, and better yet a small Brown was out and actively feeding on a newly formed gravel bed. I could hardly contain myself. I began running back to the truck because I was so excited to see the rest of the canyon. From top to bottom, the canyon is in great condition!

On the way back down I was stuck behind a large, slow moving truck, so I decided to stop and fish. Incredible. Not only are there fish still in the canyon, the fishing is superb!

Arriving back to the busy fly shop, I was smiling ear to ear and jubilant with the news that our home water is alive and well. A gentleman in the shop was speaking to Wallace about fishing instruction and asked if we had any guides available in the next 24 hours for a trip... absolutely! I found myself not caring about obligations and playing hooky for the chance to guide Boulder Creek again. 

Jim may never know it but his trip was more memorable for me than I can ever express. Fishing was great, as it always is on Boulder Creek. I encourage all to go see for yourself soon. Our stream and our fish have shown an incredible resilience of their own.

Make sure to check out our Fishing Report for the latest and greatest on where to fish and what to use!

U.S. National Fly Fishing Championship, Basalt CO Oct. 4-6

Monday September 30th, 2013 - 10:51am
In case you missed it, the U.S. Nationals are taking place this weekend in Basalt, CO. It's a great way to experience the best of the fall colors here in Colorado and also see some world class fisherman vying for a spot on the 2014 Team USA Worlds Team. These events are always in need of controllers (think scorekeepers) and volunteering is a great way to see a world class angler in action up close. You're guaranteed to learn something by attending or volunteering!

For more information about the event, including a list of venues, volunteer sign up and a schedule check out the official event page.

During the event the members of Fly Fishing Team USA will also be holding a Fish-A-Thon that will help raise money for day-to-day activities of the team. You can either donate a lump sum, or pledge a certain amount for each fish caught. We'll be cheering on our very own Rob Kolanda as he competes and if you would like to make a Fish-A-Thon donation, we encourage you to contact Rob directly.

Here's to you Boulder!

Thursday September 26th, 2013 - 11:54am


Here's to you Boulder!

We are truly honored! In case you missed it, Front Range Anglers was recently named Boulder County's Best Fishing Supply Store by the Boulder Daily Camera! We want to thank everyone that took the time to vote for us, fished with us, traveled with us, sent in pictures of great catches, attended our events, and just spent time in the shop. It has been an incredible and busy year for us, and we have all of you to thank for that.

We have plenty of exciting things in the works for the coming year, and we will be striving to earn your vote for next year!

Even though many are still rebounding from the historic flood event, Boulder and the surrounding communities have shown us that they're determined to get back on the water. Fall fishing is shaping up to be epic around Colorado, and we want to continue to do our part to make sure you get out and enjoy this magical time to be on the water.

As a thank you for your continued support, come by the shop and show us this blog post and we'll give you six free flies*! It's our little contribution to make sure your fly box is stocked and ready for the exciting months to come. Hurry, the offer ends on Sunday!

A HUGE thank you for your support and we hope to see you soon!

 P.S. Don't forget that we have an Intro to Fly Fishing class from 9-1 this Sunday too! With so much action in the fall, it's a great time to get someone new into the sport! This four hour class is only $80! Learn More

* Offer ends 4 p.m. on Sunday, September 29th 2013. Valid for one half-dozen flies per customer. Fly selection limited to discount bins only. Valid for in-store customers only.

Colorado Front Range 2013 Post-Flood Fishing Update

Monday September 23rd, 2013 - 10:24am

Due to the historic flooding of most of the Front Range watersheds, you may be thinking "What now?" To give you some ideas, we've assembled this list of rivers that are still relatively close to home and will continue to fish excellent through the fall.

While time is the only medicine for many of our local favorites, this list should give everyone something to explore while we all wait for the rebound (which we believe will be sooner than people think!) If you need more information on how to get to the rivers in the list below, flies to use, or techniques to try, come by the shop and we'll point you in the right direction.

Also don't forget that our guides have been scouting relentlessly since the rain stopped. We are still doing 1/2 day, full day and overnight trips close to Boulder and around the state! If you want a great experience on the water while walking away with a better understanding of the techniques needed to enhance your fishing time, contact us today!

Blue River
Access: Public Driving Time: ~1.5 Hours
With plenty of access in and around Silverthorne, your experience on the Blue can be everything from your own cheering section to complete solitude. The big draw for the Blue is that you have the possibility of getting into a trophy fish just about any day of the year. While large Mysis-fed fish are common below the dam right in town, other large fish move up and down the river regularly.
The Blue in Silverthorne holds some big fish. Here's Caleb VanWagner with a beauty!

Fraser River
Access: Private Driving Time: ~2 Hours
Front Range Anglers has a townhouse available for rent within steps of the Fraser river near Granby. With over ¾ mile of private river access to chase wild rainbows and browns plus three ponds stocked with rainbows and browns up to 24”, there is something for everyone. The townhouse has three beds and three baths with a full kitchen, so it’s the perfect destination for a group of friends or a family. Explore the local waters of the Fraser or even use it as a base camp to explore the Colorado and Williams Fork, both of which fish excellent in the fall. Call the shop to reserve. 303.494.1375
Get 3/4 mile of private access to the Fraser river plus three ponds while staying in a beautiful cabin!

Williams Fork River
Access: Public Driving Time: ~2.25 Hours
The Williams Fork is a great tailwater option that often gets overshadowed by the Colorado. Since accessing the river requires a short hike, many people skip it and just fish the Colorado river at Parshall instead. With nearly two miles of river to explore, it can keep you busy all day. Fishing the Williams Fork during the fall is especially enjoyable as the the Brown bite really heats up and epic days can be had on a dry dropper rig.
The Williams Fork Valley is beautiful in the fall.

Arkansas River
Access: Public/Private Driving Time: ~2.25 Hours
The Arkansas river is absolutely on fire right now and looks to continue fishing great through October. The FRA guide staff has been conducting incredible full day and overnight guide trips on multiple sections of private water in the upper Arkansas Valley. The upper Ark is also plentiful with public water options and this dynamic stream can offer some of the most epic dry fly fishing in the state. Call the shop to get more information on guided trips on the Ark, or stop in to pick up your hoppers and fall caddis patterns.
The Arkansas always provides great action and scenery during the fall.

South Platte River (Dream Stream Section)
Access: Public Driving Time: ~2.5 Hours
While the 3-mile section of the South Platte that runs through the Charlie Meyers State Wildlife Area is a great option any time of year, it can be exceptional in the fall. Large Browns move into the river from Eleven Mile Reservoir during September to stage for the spawn. September is a great time to target these large fish before the crowds congregate in October during the heart of the spawning season. Another option is to wait even longer and target post-spawn fish in late November and December. A streamer fished in the early hours of the day is a sure-fire way to turn a few fish!
FRA Guide Andrew Zentner with a couple of great pre and post spawn Browns!

Join us for Monday Night Flies

Tuesday September 10th, 2013 - 3:04pm


Monday Night Flies

Are you ready for some football? Join us every Monday night for MNF - Monday Night Flies! We'll keep the shop open during the game and have tying tables setup within view of one of our two huge flat screen tv's! Bring your own tying materials or pick some up at the shop. Bring your own vise or try one of ours. It's up to you!

Oh yeah, the YETI will be filled with some refreshments as well!

This will be a pretty free-form gathering, where everyone can tie up whatever they want. Come and share a new pattern, or learn a new one from someone else! Come and share a few lies from the summer, and fill up your box for the fall season!

All tying levels are welcome! If you're considering picking up the art of tying, swing by and check it out! We'll be happy to get you on a vise and show you some of the basics.

Most games start at 6:30 Mountain Time, so stop by anytime after work and twist up some new flies!

Learn More

Straw Boss Questions

Wednesday August 28th, 2013 - 10:51pm
We've had a couple of questions about the Straw Boss pattern featured in the July Newsletter and how well it works for small tarpon.  Here's a picture taken yesterday by Joe Mahler...."Caught 4 and lost 3 over 5 # on my 3 wt bluegill rod."

River Pigs ... a featured article in the August Newsletter

Monday August 26th, 2013 - 8:09pm
The August newsletter will have a featured story on where and how to fish for River Carp.  If you don't get our newsletter sign-up today

Giving Montana's Hybrid Carp Fly a Go

Monday August 26th, 2013 - 7:53pm
I happened across the Hybrid earlier this year I finely got around to giving it a try this weekend.  It produced three very nice carp on a lake near Longmont.

The original pattern is a bit different than how I tied them, but the profile and materials are pretty close

Original Recipie:
    •Hook:  Size 8 or 6 Scorpion / CarpPro Gaper
    •Hackle:  Olive pheasant rump
    •Tail:  Dark red or Wine colored micro chenille
    •Body:  Peacock chenille.

I tied some with brass eyes and some with bead chain.  When fishing shallow and the carp are spooky I find bead chain to be a better option.

Diana good as it gets

Thursday August 22nd, 2013 - 8:09am
Meet the Lady of Record, Diana Rudolph who has IGFA world records for Tarpon, Snook, Blackfin Tuna, Bonefish, and Permit on August 24, 2013 at Front Range Anglers.

Roaring Fork Valley Report

Friday August 16th, 2013 - 9:16am
My fishing partner, Mark Riley, and I found the fishing on the upper Roaring Fork to be relatively slow - bright sun and low flows.  But the fishing on the river below Carbondale on large brown stone flies (4's and 6's with a small trailing fly like a size 16 Hare's Ear) was outstanding.

PMD's continue to come off almost all day on the Frying Pan and the Green Drakes are about but we didn't get into any substantial hatches.  Be prepared for a lot of other fishermen...I'd guess weekends are a zoo.

Mark Riley showing off an 18-inch rainbow taken on a size-14 PMD Sparkle Dun - one of several fish of the same size caught in a run on the far bank.

Outa Sight!

Friday August 9th, 2013 - 4:02pm
This Golden Dorado was taken by Jeff Currier in Bolivia a couple of days ago.  Jeff seems to have a knack for landing a huge fish at the end of his about what here

2013 Carp Slam in Denver

Friday August 9th, 2013 - 12:00pm

The Carp Slam is a fly fishing tournament where the finest professional and amateur anglers in the region (and beyond) match wits with the wily and elusive common carp. Carp are one of the most difficult freshwater fish to pursue on fly – meanwhile the urban South Platte River running through downtown Denver is one of the finest carp fisheries in North America. The purpose of the tournament is to raise money for the reconstruction /rehabilitation of the Urban South Platte River below Chatfield Reservoir and through Denver.

How the Carp wound up in the Denver South Platte and how the Carp Slam started….
In 1879 the German common carp was brought from the reflecting pool of the Washington Monument in a railroad "fish" car by the U.S. Commission on Fish and Fisheries and dumped from the railroad bridge just below the confluence of Cherry Creek and the South Platte. The purpose was to provide fresh fish to Denver since the South Platte had been overfished and polluted. Like many grand plans, the food fish idea didn't catch on in Denver or anywhere else in America. We have all been
raised to despise the Carp as ugly and a nuisance.

But in 2006, Barry Reynolds, Denver resident and author of “Carp on a Fly”, convinced his other Denver Trout Unlimited Board Members, that the carp in the South Platte were actually an extremely exciting and difficult to catch game fish which could be used as a basis for a fund raising fly
fishing contest. The first Carp Slam was held that year and began the rehabilitation of the reputation of the carp, as the Denver Chapter of Trout Unlimited dedicated itself to the rehabilitation of the Urban South Platte.

The Denver South Platte is now recognized world wide as an excellent carp fishing destination.

Watch for an upcoming August Newsletter which will contain a featured article, River Pigs.

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