This Brown took a Psycho Prince size 14 rigged 24-inches behind a size 8 Amy's Ant. He was one of 1/2 dozen caught in a couple of hours this morning. Ike is making sure the fish is properly released...he likes to watch them swim away.
Sunday Morning in Lyons
Sunday August 5th, 2012 - 5:19pm
Fishing the Chubby again but the fish would bump it and slap at it but not take it. However, the trailing nymph was another matter. It was set up about 36 inches behind the Chubby. I had tied up a few of these a few weeks ago because I thought they might prove worthwhile.
Hook: Dai Riki 060 (1X strong/1X long) Thread: Laguarten 95 tan or brown Body: Uni Floss single strand in amber over wrapped with copper UTC wire (no coating of any kind) Bead: Montana Fly Black Nickel (tungsten would have been a better choice .... I had to use some small split shot to get it down deep enough in the current) Hackle: Dark brown hen - 3 or 4 turns
Sunday July 29th, 2012 - 5:25pm
CONVERSATION SATURDAY WITH BEN MCGEE, Guide Services Manager.
Paul: Ben, would you pick out 10 of the top guide flies for local waters (will be available in the FRA August Newsletter)
Paul: What the ------ is is this.
Ben: Its called the Chubby and fish slam it plus its an awesome strike indicator.
Paul: It looks like a cross between a huge stonefly and a hopper. There is no way this is going to draw strikes on the small creeks around here.
Ben: Trust me it works.
Paul: All right I'll try it but I'm not convinced. You have definitely been behind the counter too long!
SUNDAY MORNING ON THE SOUTH SAINT VRAIN - The Chubby is on the line with a copper John and Psycho Prince 18 and 30 inches down the leader.
Paul: Here' s a very deep pool. There's got to be a good fish here
WHAM! A 21-inch Rainbow takes the Chubby.
Paul: This is got to be a fluke. Here's another deep hole next to some fast current
WHAM! A 19-inch Cuttbow Takes the Chubby.
I can't believe this
One more time and I'll never take this fly off
WHAM! A 18-Rainbow inhales the fly in fast water
A Video from Idylwilde Flies
We carry it in the shop
How to Tie It
Getting the Most from a Guided Trip
Wednesday July 25th, 2012 - 3:05pm
A few days ago I got an email from a customer complaining about a guided trip he arranged in Estes Park through an outfitter I will not name. It brought to mind an article I wrote 5 or 6 years ago about making arrangements for such trips. I though it might be worth publishing it again.
FRA Guide, Wallace Westfeldt , with a very happy client on Boulder Creek
I recently became involved in a discussion concerning fishing guides and outfitters. Most of the conversation focused on what differentiates a great trip from one that needs to be permanently erased from memory.
At the very top of the list of favorable results was that the trip met or exceeded expectations. This means that information conveyed to the client was both accurate and complete. Moreover, the outfitter was able to deliver on the promised agenda. Everyone had horror stories about trips that turned sour due to a failure to communicate and/or accommodate expectations.
In many cases, the failure was a joint problem. The client failed to ask the right questions and/or had an unrealistic image of the trip. I've actually encountered clients that have never been fly fishing yet ask "how many fish over 20-inches will we catch today?" On the other hand, the outfitter may over promise or fail to explain what the client can reasonably expect.
Expectations problems occur with all fishermen irrespective of experience. On a trip to Chile 12 years ago I was told we would do some streamer fishing. I didn't bother to ask how much and brought only one mid-weight rod and a single intermediate sink tip line. 100% of the fishing was with heavy steamers using high density sinking lines. Even worse was the fact that the outfitter and his guides did not have spare gear to accommodate clients. I had a good time but it could and should have been a lot better for the $3,800 expenditure.
You need to identify: --the kind of fishing experience desired - be very specific about the hours you want to be fishing. --your level of skill and experience - you need to be brutally honest --the equipment you can or will provide. --desirable guide services - instruction, flies, etc. --what the outfitter includes and does not include in the cost.
The second key ingredient of a good trip is matching the right guide to the right client(s). A year ago a good friend had a guide who added virtually nothing to the experience other than rowing the boat - a $385 a day chauffeur. The client had forgotten more about fishing than his guide had learned in his limited experience. In another case, the client was paired with a guide in Belize who spoke no English. The client had never fished for Bonefish and did not know about slip striking. He hooked and lost 30 bonefish before one of the other members of his party explained the technique. The assistance provided by the local guide during this frustrating period was to say in broken English: "trout fisherman."
You need to know: --who will be your guide and his or her qualifications. I think it's appropriate to ask for a resume or summary of experience from the outfitter. This should include any certifications that are relevant. --why this particular individual is being assigned as your guide and, if this person is not available, who will fill in. --when and if the guide will be contacting you prior to the trip. I think this is a must. Be sure to ask what skill level the guide prefers and how the trip will be conducted. --how the guide is expected to conduct himself - does he fish, is he expected to prepare meals, etc. --the extent of the guide's specific experience on the water you will be fishing. Find out how often he/she fishes this location. --what, if any, equipment is to be provided by the guide and what you should expect in the way of quality.
The final component of a good experience is to be a good client. All of my companions had a few stories about how one or more individuals made a trip miserable for other fishermen and the guide.
A good client: --treats the guide with courtesy and respect. Every guide I've met wants his clients to enjoy themselves and they try their best to make this happen. --recognize that not every day on the water will be perfect - weather is not controlled by the guide. --be totally honest with the guide concerning your skill - it will be self evident in a matter of minutes. --don't try to tell the guide where and how he should be fishing. --don't forget a gratuity. Contrary to popular belief the guide is not making a boatload of cash. After expenses and outfitter fees the guide might make more money as a clerk. Guides do this kind of work because they love it. --be on time and, if possible, have your fishing license and paperwork completed prior to the trip.
U.S. Youth Fly Fishing Team Takes Silver
Tuesday July 24th, 2012 - 7:00am
The eleventh FIPS-Mouche World Youth Fly Fishing Championships ended last Friday with Team USA bringing home two medals for the second year in a row. This year’s competition was held in the Lozére region of southeastern France and involved teams from 11 countries fishing three streams and one lake.
Headquartered in State College, the USA’s travel team consisted of six teens. Team members hail from California, Colorado, Texas and Pennsylvania. Only five anglers can fish at a given time while one serves as an alternate.
At the competition, the 55 young anglers from 11 countries were divided by lottery into five groups of 11 contestants — one from each of the 11 international teams. Each group of 11 fished a different water during the five 3-hour sessions that make up the world competition. All anglers are assigned a “beat” that consists of 300-350 meters of stream, monitored by a judge, called a controller. With each trout and grayling (or other fish at the lake venue) caught, the contestant takes it to the controller to measure, record and then release the fish back into the water.
Eighteen-year-old Austen Randecker, a graduate of Central Mountain High School, finished in third place in the individual standings and took home a bronze medal. He also won the 2012 US Nationals, which were held June 22-23, in Cherokee, N.C. During the 2011 Nationals — held in central Pennsylvania — he finished tenth. Randecker will enter Penn State this fall to major in chemical engineering.
“Austen fished like a champion,” commented coach Bourcq. “He possesses a tremendous skill set and ability and he never needed to be watched. I knew that he would stick to our game plan and do well.”
Cody Burgdorff, who placed eighth, caught the largest fish of any USA anglers — a 20-inch European grayling. Burgdorff, who hails from Lafayette, Colo., also won the America Cup Loch Tournament, which was held June 17, near Avon, Colo. Robbie Wirth, from Moraga, Calif., finished at No. 10 and was the third USA angler to place in the top ten in the individual standings.
Cody is the third from the left
Cody got his first big fly fishing opportunity when he was sponsored by the Boulder Flycasters to attend the CTU Camp in 2008.
Where to Fish on the Saint Vrain
Monday July 23rd, 2012 - 7:39am
Just Released.....get a copy at any local fly shop for $12.95
Talking about Thingamabody flies (see posting a few days ago) here are pictures taken yesterday morning on the North St Vrain.......one trout on the Thingamabody (size 12) and the second on the dropper, a chartreuse Copper John (size 16)
Building a Better Future
Sunday July 22nd, 2012 - 11:28pm
No words are necessary........
Don't Forget Thingamabody Flies
Saturday July 21st, 2012 - 10:05am
The Thingamabody™ is incredibly buoyant and waterproof. It is easy to tie traditional patterns with unbelievable color versatility and yummy looking color translucence.
No floatant required
Amazing versatility: Use with traditional tying methods, attach legs, wings, hackle, etc.
Available in several different colors and sizes.
In the spring of this year we did a special clinic on how to tie tie and use these new products from WestWater. A couple of points are worth repeating. 1. Consider using mono thread to secure the body to the shank of the hook 2. Use 2X heavy hooks like the TMC 3671 (the above tie is a small body on a TMC 3761) 3. Coat the under body with a small amount of Loon Knot Sense or Clear Cure Goo. 4. Tie in the legs with UTC 70 and at the tie in point - front and back. 5. Tie in an indicator of some type - above is McFlyfoam in florescent flame 6. Consider wrapping the shank with midge diamond braid for extra flash prior to tying on the body.
These flies work wonders on Boulder Creek, Big T, Saint Vrain, and so on. Best of all they can support heavy dropper flies.
Buffs Find Browns and Bows
Thursday July 19th, 2012 - 6:08pm
Jeff with nice Brown taken from fast pocket
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.
James with first trout on Fly Rod
Report on the Upper Roaring Fork
Friday July 13th, 2012 - 5:24pm
Earlier this week I arrived in Basalt for four days of fishing. I found the water levels on the upper Fork to be far less than half of of the norm (flows should be over 125 cfs in the early part of July). The fishing was pretty good on drys - CDC Comparaduns, Baetis, Ants, Elk Hair Caddis, Red Quills and Royal Wulffs. The key was spotting fish and getting a good drift. If I got a refusal or if the fly was ignored I would change immediately to something different or smaller.
Nymphing the fast an deeper runs with heavily weighted Stoneflies flies like the Cat Poop Stones and 20 Incher in larger sizes complemented with smaller nymphs like red Copper Johns and Prince Nymphs. were producing.
The fishing was fun but tough and I knocked off around noon due to the heat. I ran into a lot of fishermen who were not having a solid day - two or three fish.
Here is part of an article that appeared in today's Aspen Times.....
"The severe drought gripping most of Colorado continues to drop water levels in local rivers and raise water temperatures, potentially endangering the health of fish and returning the Roaring Fork to a trickle in Aspen, as happened in 2002. The river on Thursday was running through town at 23 cubic feet per second (cfs), below the state’s recommended instream flow of 32 cfs, and well off the 115 cfs average, according to a Roaring Fork Conservancy report. Besides the drought, the level is so low because holders of some rights are allowed to take water and drop the river below the recommended instream level, which was implemented in the 1970s by the Colorado Water Conservation Board.
"The Roaring Fork near Aspen on Thursday hit 68 degrees, the state standard for a healthy ecosystem, O’Keefe said. Anything above that affects dissolved oxygen in the stream to the point that fish get stressed; insects are also affected. If the temperature rises to 72 degrees, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Division can shut down stretches of rivers to fishing.
The Roaring Fork Conservancy has been discussing the issue with the valley’s fly-fishing shops, O’Keefe said. Many of the businesses, aware of the temperatures, are limiting trips for guests to mornings and wrapping up the excursions by early afternoon."
If what I saw is indicative of things to come, August is going to be a back breaker!
Heavy rains in the Vail Valley have completely blown-out the Colorado River.
Old School in Roaring Fork
Thursday July 12th, 2012 - 7:48am
Floating from Catherine's Store to Glenwood Springs is a pretty standard operation. Chuck and duck some streamers and stoneflies and catch fish. Well, the water is considerably lower than seasonal average. Temps are up. And, as you can see, nary a cloud in the sky. My nymph rig was catching squat, except the bottom. But a well known angler slightly older than me had the solution. Using a Sage LL (Graphite III generation) 4 weight and throwing a #18 Stimulator. Of course, perfect casting helped.
Catch and Release Me ... Please!
Tuesday July 10th, 2012 - 8:11am
"Hang on there," says Mr. Brown Trout. "Don't skip this post, just because you think you know how to do it. And maybe you do. Perhaps you have even released me ... Thanks! But a little review never hurts, certainly not as much as the hooks you keep sticking in me. So, let's go over it again and who knows you might even learn something new."
1. "Okay, first of all, use barbless hooks ... for three reasons: you will spend less time unhooking me (Yeah!), it's easier to get out of your clothing, and it's easier to get out of your ear. Yeah, I know, that never happens to you. 'Rip some lips' is just a saying right?"
2. "I know that the 'tug is the drug" but let's see if we can keep our tussle to a minimum amount of time, particularly when the water temp is too high or too low. I know it's not always up to you. Sometimes I get pretty angry and don't know when to give up. And if that is the case, take extra time getting me ready to go."
3. "Speaking of extra time. Us older big boys are less resilient than the smaller ones, so be more carful with us."
4. "We have a protective slime, (we prefer the word 'glisten'). Make sure your hands are wet (with water, not sunscreen or mosquito repellant) when you handle us."
5. "Please don't touch our gills at any time and we won't touch your ... ."
6. "It's okay if you have go into our mouth to remove the hook as long as you don't damage anything (like our gills), but if it's too hard to get, cut the line. I'll deal with it ... yuck and ouch. BTW, some of us have bigger teeth. If you turn me upside down, I get a little disoriented and it may be easier to remove the hook."
7. "For those 'grip and grin' photos, don't grip the life out of us. However, you can hold us pretty firmly where the tail joins my spine. It's called the Caudal Peduncle, if you want to impress your friends. Putting my pectorals between your fingers might help while holding me for the photo. Also, don't forget we can't breathe out of the water. If you want to know how long we can stand it, stick your head underwater and go f ... I mean, time yourself."
8. "During the photo session, keep me low to the water (with my good side to the camera.) If my air bladder inflates and you drop me (or I squirm out), it might pop ... and then I will haunt you forever."
9. "Don't just throw me back into the rushing river. Hold me gently in a soft current until I swim out of your hands. If I'm in a lake, move me back and forth slowly until I get my bearings and swim away upright."
10. "Thanks for your time and consideration on this. And as we say in trout land: 'May you always forget to put hooks on your line."