Fishing Report - FRA Blog

Sight Fishing on Gulf Coast is Outstanding .... Chamber of Commerce News Release

Thursday June 6th, 2013 - 12:12pm

Getting the timing right is essential on a Florida Gulf Coast Fishing Trip.  The crystal clear waters with a gentle breeze is your objective and you pick a time of year that will assure this result.  Sometimes things don't quite work out.   In three weeks I've yet to see the bottom.  After talking it over with my fishing companions we defined our for summer outfits at a local mall, go to a awful movie, try tying flies in the dark, get haircuts, or do housework.  I'm thinking of going out in the storm with my fly rod to experiment with the lightning.

The Squibbster - destined for fame or .....

Monday June 3rd, 2013 - 6:38am

  • Hook- 1X Long saltwater hook - size 1-2 (pinch down barb)
  • Thread- White 210 denier
Eyes- medium black bead chain

  • Tail- Supreme hair- white with a few strands of Krystal flash- silver
  • Wing- Marabou blood quills all white or 2 white and 1 tan in the middle (3 feathers)
  • Body- thread wraps over tail materials

  • Collar- EP tarantula hairy legs, 1" long brush, white
  • Substitute mono eyes for bead chain. However, the EP fibers float, and the minimal weight of the bead chain allows the fly to suspend. Mono eyes hold fly at/ near surface.
Substitute one chartreuse marabou plume for the center white plume.

  • Substitute olive pearl Krystal flash for silver.
    This summer in Florida I have been diligently engaged in  trying to unseat the Squibbster as a favored pattern for Snook and other species along the beaches in Southwest Florida.  So far its not working!  Pete Squibb came up with this pattern after a night of intense intellectual reflection (some of his peers think he was encouraged by other factors).  Norm Zeiglers Fly Shop can't seem to keep them in stock and Norm asks Pete to tie more at every opportunity.

    Last night I copied the fly, made a few alterations, and renamed it the Paulster.  I have high expectations that this rendition will make the Squibbster a distant memory for the local crowd!

    Free Fishing Weekend in Colorado!

    Friday May 31st, 2013 - 2:36pm

    Fishing in Colorado is free this weekend, June 1&2 2013!

    Did you know that Colorado residents and visitors can fish without a license during Free Fishing Weekend, this weekend, June 1 and 2?

    Licensing requirements are set aside for these days to make it as easy as possible for kids and their families to discover the enjoyment of fishing in Colorado’s great outdoors. Although no fishing license is required this weekend, all other regulations  remain in effect. 

    Front Range Anglers is making it easier for you to learn to fly fish as well! This Saturday (and every Saturday during the summer) you can come to the shop for a FREE one hour overview of fly fishing! We'll start you off with 30 minutes of basic casting instruction, showing you the mechanics of the cast. From there we'll move back into the shop and will go over the basic gear needed when starting out. We'll cover rods & reels, waders & boots, and spend a few minutes on flies and leaders.

    Fly fishing is one of those sports that can be very intimidating when starting out because of the numerous gear options and accessories, but in reality there are very few things you really need at the onset. We even rent gear so you can try it a few times before committing to buying your own gear!

    As an added bonus, if you decide you want to learn more after going through our overview and sign up for a paid introduction class, casting lesson, or take a half-day guided trip, we'll even give you $50 credit in the store!

    So this weekend you have no excuse! You can get a FREE fly fishing lesson and then try out fishing for FREE as well! If you need some gear to try out, just let us know, we can hook you up!

    Class times: Saturday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
    Learn more about the classes

    News from the Salt

    Wednesday May 29th, 2013 - 12:12pm

    After 8 days in Belize chasing Tarpon out of Plencio I left for Florida for the last week of May and all of June to fish for Snook off the beaches.  Its been a pretty tough proposition as a result of stormy weather, dredging operations in Blind Pass that are killing visibility and constant SE winds.  Not many fly fishermen are scoring but some of the spin fishermen are picking up occasional fish on white bucktail jigs bumped along the bottom 30 to 40 feet from shore.   If you're fly fishing you need heavily weighted closer and an intermediate sinking line or sinking head.  The big female are right on the bottom and with just a few inches of visibility it has to be right in front of them.

    This fish was taken by my fishing partner, Pete Squibb, on a white marabou Clouser style with a collar of gold/bronze flash.

    Last night we had a tropical storm that dumped about 2 inches of rain but the winds didn't let up as they normally do meaning no fishing in the evening.

    Things can only get better

    Home on the Grange

    Tuesday May 28th, 2013 - 12:00pm

    Join FRA this Saturday, June 1st, for a special event at the historic Altona Grange Hall. We'll be on-hand giving casting lessons and demonstrations as a part of this unique event!

    This will be a fun event that benefits not only the Altona Grange, but also Casting for Recovery! Just some of the day's activities include live music, B.B.Q, a farmer's market, and a silent auction. In addition to all of that, you'll have the opportunity to meet the Sisters on the Fly. The SOTF are an exciting group of women who buy, restore, and decorate vintage trailers, then travel around the country fishing, playing cards, cooking good food outdoors, drinking wine, and basically just having a grand time!

    You can find out more details on the Home on the Grange website.

    A Special After-Brunch Event Just For Mom

    Sunday May 12th, 2013 - 7:48am

    Just For Mom

    Still looking for that last minute Mother's Day gift? After you wrap up brunch this morning, swing by the shop to pick out the perfect gift for mom! You'll look like a hero and we guarantee that you'll be deemed the favorite son/daughter! Look below for just some of the options we have in stock and ready for wrapping! Plus for every $100 spent, you'll receive a $10 FRA gift card, or you can get double reward points, you choose!

    A special customer appreciation event for our internet customers! Win incredible prizes now through Sunday!

    Wednesday May 1st, 2013 - 4:50pm

    Nope, we didn't forget about our loyal online customers!

    A special event for our friends that visit the shop digitally: We were extremely honored to see over 500 of our local customers join us at the shop on April 13th for our in-store customer appreciation event. Everyone enjoyed meeting our special guests, getting their product questions answered, and winning some serious prizes!

    We had a full house for customer appreciation day!But we also realize that our loyal customer base extends beyond Colorado's borders, into nearly 120 countries to be exact. While we would have appreciated it, many of you just couldn't jump on a plane to join us! Some of you even sent us messages saying "Hey, what about us?" Well, we heard you and you're right.

    We appreciate everyone that is a member of the FRA family, even if we can't see your smiling faces walk through the shop door or talk fishing in person. So in honor of all of those that join us digitally, we are throwing a five day Customer Appreciation Event just for you. From now through 11:59 p.m. MDT on Sunday, May 5th, every online sale over $20 will get you an entry into our customer appreciation drawing. The more you purchase, the more entries you receive. If you do happen to be local, you can even buy online, and pick up in the shop. On top of that, we'll even give you a $50 FRA gift card for future purchases when you purchase more than $500 during the event! Just our way of saying "Thank You" digitally.

    We thank each and every one of you for choosing Front Range Anglers for your fly fishing needs and information, and hope to see in you in the shop one day.


    Entry into the raffle is based on dollar-value spent from May 1 - May 5. Minimum of $20 purchase to enter. Receive an extra entry for every $100 spent. We'll hold the drawing on Monday morning and post the winners to our Facebook page. Make sure to "Like" us if you haven't already! Here's what you could win...
    Win a Scott Rod! Scott S4 9'0" 5# Rod - valued at $745
    Win a Ross Reel! Ross Evolution LT 2 Reel - valued at $299
    Win a Sharkskin Line! SA Sharkskin Trout Ultimate Taper WF4 - valued at $99.95
    Win a $100 FRA GC! FRA Gift card for $100
    Win an MFC Fly Selection! One of two MFC Fly Selections - valued at $25
    Win a signed book from John Gierach! A signed copy of John Gierach's No Shortage of Good Days - valued at $15
    $20 minimum purchase = 1 entry
    $100 purchase = 2 entries
    $300 purchase = 4 entries
    $500 purchase = 6 entries
    $800 purchase = 9 entries
    $1000 purchase = 12 entries (max 12 entries per customer)

    Here's hoping everyone

    Monday April 22nd, 2013 - 9:40pm
    Here's hoping everyone enjoyed Earth Day! Did you know that it is also National Parks Week? From today until this Sunday, you can get into any of our 400 national parks for free!

    While the front range is getting snow at the moment, later this week the weather is supposed to clear, and it should be a great time to check out Rocky Mountain National Park.

    To celebrate the beginning of the RMNP fishing season, we've got a pattern from Steve Schweitzer that works great for high altitude fishing. Introducing the Spun Bunny Muddler!

    Customer Appreciation Day - fun had by all!

    Monday April 15th, 2013 - 9:17pm

    Thanks for making it a success!

    We wanted to take a minute to thank everyone for taking advantage of the nice day and making it out for our Customer Appreciation Day and 31st Anniversary open house last Saturday. We truly appreciate all the great comments we received about the presentations and activities we had available throughout the day. 

    All of our representatives were kept busy with questions throughout the day, which just goes to show the level of passion that our customers posses about their gear and the sport. We look forward to the bug activity picking up over the next few weeks and providing you with whatever you need to enjoy a day on the water.

    In addition to all of the free activities throughout the day, we also gave away thousands of dollars of giveaways. The lucky winners are listed below. Make sure to swing by the shop to pick up your prize!

    Item Winner
    Sage One Rod Nathan Nelson
    Simms $500 Shopping Spree Tom Dowd
    Hatch 4+ John Kinney
    YETI Roadie 20 Larry Jones
    Ross LT2 Jean Bettenhausen
    Costa Glasses John Bishop
    Smith Forum Glasses Mark Feigal
    Umpqua Deadline Bag Henry Beer
    TFO BVK 5 Wt Justin Johnson
    SA GPX 5 Wt Bob Burnette
    SA GPX Hover  WF6 Madoka Meyers
    SA VPT WF4F Amanda Regan 
    Fishpond Pawnee Gear Bag Don Holmstrom

    Saturday March 30th - Join us to see two Boulder fishing legends!

    Friday March 29th, 2013 - 10:06am

    Gordon Wickstrom and Rob Kolanda

    Two Boulder Fishing Legends!

    Our final Saturday presentation of the season is one you won't want to miss! On Saturday March 30th you will have a unique opportunity to hear from two sides of the same coin.  On one is Gordon Wickstrom, the steward of Boulder’s fly fishing history. A man who grew up in a sleepy little college town and entered the sport via a 1939 Christmas gift - a restored, eight-foot bamboo rod and a new South Bend Orenomatic automatic fly reel. On the other side is his great friend Rob Kolanda, a leading edge enthusiast of the sport using techniques that reflect an international flavor. Rob aggressively pursues any species of fish that might be inclined to take a fly. Both were born and raised here and share an abiding love of fly fishing and the wonders that surround it.
    Gordon Wickstrom Rob Kolanda
    Gordon Wickstrom is a WWII Navy veteran, a graduate of Stanford with a Ph.D., a college professor, and a serious student of Shakespeare. For more than 60 years, when asked about his occupation, he always stated “I’m a fisherman that teaches school and stages plays.” But Gordon is far more than these things. He's contemplative about where things are headed, and reflective about where they have been. He's an incredible resource about our fly fishing history and a voice to be heard through his writings. His books, Notes from an Old Fly Book and Late in an Anglers Life are classics about why we do, what we do.

    On Saturday Gordon will share with you his thoughts on writing about this wonderful sport.
    Members of the fly fishing industry, our customers, and Colorado fly fisherman in general either personally know or have heard of Rob Kolanda and his prowess as a fisherman and fly designer. He grew up in Colorado and currently resides with his wife and family in Longmont. Rob has made a living guiding, instructing, and managing a variety of fly fishing operations for 18 years. He has been a member of Fly Fishing Team USA and part of Front Range Anglers Management Team for some years.
    Rob’s competitive angling successes include numerous medals and high place finishes in competitions across the US.

    On Saturday Rob will be discussing and demonstrating some of his new fly designs.
    The presentation will start at 10. Get there early to get a seat after you grab some fresh coffee and a doughnut!

    - The FRA Team

    My Name is Caleb Van Wagner...see you on 2/16/2014

    Thursday February 14th, 2013 - 12:28am

     "I am 30 years of age and hail from Craig, Colorado or Craig, America as it is affectionately known by the locals.  In this area one is always confronted by mother nature.  Drive in any direction and you'll be in some of the best fly fishing waters on earth.  You can hunt 20+ pound pike, ambush 4-pound smallmouth bass, or chase trophy trout on the same river - the Yampa River or Bear River as translated from the native designation. If it swims in this watershed I chase it.

    At the FRA Saturday morning clinic I would like to briefly talk about piscivory.  Some data suggests that when a fish of any species becomes piscivorous (a fish eater) it rarely eats anything else.  The upper end of a trout’s predatory limit is one-fourth of their total body length though their preferred slot is one-third.  With this in mind think of a 30 inch fish, its upper limit would be a 10 inch fish.  More surprising would be thinking of a 15 inch fish and the upper limit of its predatory scale is 5 inches.  As trout fishermen we rarely think of fishing with offerings this big.  That’s why I want to focus on this upper range for these piscivorous predators.

    I will be tying some of my foundation minnow patterns, along with other large food prey items.  With my KMA Minnow I want to introduce you to stacking materials.  I think stacking dubbing is a great way to familiarize ourselves to this art which the pinnacle is stacking deer hair.  We have all seen these beautiful deer hair flies but if you’re like me I had no idea where to start.  Only after a very good friend of mine and deer hair guru, Jason Goodale, showed me the nuance of deer hair did I feel comfortable enough to attempt to use this advanced tying technique. In my opinion this is the perfect missing link in the transition to deer hair.  Essentially, stacking material is stacking material; we are all a lot more familiar with dubbing than some with deer hair.  I will go into more detail on Saturday, hope to see you all there."... Caleb

    Learn to tie flies and take your game to the next level

    Tuesday February 5th, 2013 - 1:12pm

    Rob hitting it big in Slovenia for Fly Fishing Team USA!

    Fly tying is inextricably linked to the evolution and history of fly fishing. While basic fly tying methods and techniques have not changed dramatically since its origin, there have been incredible changes to tools and materials, especially with synthetics, hook designs, and vises. 

    Tying flies is not just an extension of fishing enjoyment; it inherently improves your ability to catch fish through the creation of food sources and knowledge of their behavior.  While you don’t have to tie flies to be a successful fishermen, you will never have the edge that accomplished fly tiers enjoy.

    Rob Kolanda (see below for more about Rob) will be hosting a beginning class on February 10, 2013 for $69.95 and an intermediate session on February 24, 2013 for $79.95.  Both classes will be 3 hours in duration and limited to 6 students.  The shop will provide all necessary materials  to complete the sessions and can (if needed) provide the students with the necessary tools.

    Why take such courses? “I can watch Internet videos, buy books and DVD’s, and go to Saturday morning clinics.” All true, but nothing speeds up your proficiency and knowledge faster than one-on-one help from a seasoned tyer.  As an additional incentive, Front Range Anglers is offering a 15% discount on any material or tools you purchase.  In effect, this will probably cover most of the instruction fees.

    The rapid growth of fly tying is being driven by readily available digital/hardcopy information, specialty materials, and knowledgeable fly shop resources combined with fly fishermen who are pressing to move to the next stage.  Don’t miss this great opportunity!

    About Rob Kolanda

    Rob has been involved in the fly fishing industry for nearly 20 years, including time at a number of fly shops.  Aside from managing various segments of the retail business, he has been a signature fly tyer for several companies, and a key member of Fly Fishing Team USA. Throughout his years as a competitive fly fiersheman, Rob has collected five Gold, five Silvers and a Bronze medal with the US National Fly Fishing Team, was a winner of the America's Cup and a two time winner of the South Platte Carp Slam.

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