Monday, May 31, 2010

Fly Fishing Winter-Spring Recap, Fly Fish Addiction Trips To Remember

Full Speed Ahead

Just when I thought we've entertained enough out of town guest, wiped off the cold in February from a few trips and have been gone for what seems like forever on most weekends, Primetime Summer Fishing is right around the corner! Hmm....big Stillwater Cutty's, Carp-Wiper-Pike-Smally fishing and Dry Fly action beckons.

Sit back, relax, turn off your iphone and enjoy some great pictures from the past few months. Whether it was entertaining friend's from Minnesota, Alaska, Georgia, Pops coming into town to chase a few, or it was the guys hitting such local haunts such as the Pan, Dream Stream, Colorado, Blue, Taylor, Cheesman or Carp water....there's been some great days out so far!

Can't wait to see what the Summer holds and our Montana trip (7 playas to entertain) is right around the corner!

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

May is Water Safety Month

Make Sure To Be Safe Out There

Careful out on the waters this month, you never know what you might encounter while out Carp fishing or chasing trout during runoff season! Whether you're wade fishing or out on a boat floating, be careful with all the crazies out there over the Holiday weekend.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fly Fishing Colorado This Summer..Where To Begin? Hatches? Rivers? Crowds and Some Hot Spots!

Your How To Guide For Fishing Colorado
Link to a detailed page on Colorado Rivers

Multiple times a year I get an email from out of town friend's, fishing buddies, friend's of friend's, or newbie's to the state that ask.....where's a good place to fish?

Rivers of interest are all dependant on where you would like to fish, the area you may be in, scenery, crowds, size of fish, numbers of fish, weather and lodging are all big factors. While there are plenty of choices to choose from, it basically comes down to what you're looking for. Regardless, I'm sure you'll find what you're looking for!

Cheesman Canyon-South Platte River 1 hour away, Spectacular scenery hands down, little tougher fishing since they are quite finicky but great place to fish and it's close to the front range.

Big Thompson-Estes Park (right near Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park) 1 hour 15 minutes from Denver, easier fishing, close to RMNP if going to spend time in Estes Park, 12-14" avg size fish, decent scenery but the drawback is that it's right off a 2 lane hwy.

Blue River- (below Dillon Res) This popular area is close to not only Denver but also a popular shopping area for your wife or girlfriend, lot's of lodging accomodations, access up and down the river, close to Resort areas, nice size fish from 12-20". Expect crowds and spooky fish.

11 Mile Canyon- Incredible views in the canyon, nice pocket water, average fish around 12-14", very crowded on weekends, camping close by and lot's of hatches. If it's not your thing or not fishing well, you have Tomohawk, Dream Stream, Spinney or Antero to fish close by.

Arkansas River-Buena Vista 2 1/2 hours away, perfect access to 50 miles of water, easy to fish, 12-14", whitewater, many big mountains in the back drop while fishing so hard to stay focused with it being so pretty there.

Colorado River-Kremmling 2 hours away, near Winter Park, spectacular scenery area, great dry fly fishing if the right time, fish avg 14-15".

Clear Creek-30 minutes away Idaho Springs,10-12" avg size fish, easy to fish, decent scenery but right off I-70 hwy, perfect dry fly stream.

Frying Pan River- near Basalt and Aspen 2 1/2 hours away, amazing area with the red cliffs, near Roaring fork river as well, more crowded but BIG fish, BIG hatches and a must if close to there.

Spinney Mtn Ranch- Commonly known as the Dream Stream is a 5 mile section of the South platte river nestled between Spinney Rez` and 11 mile Rez in South Park. Big fish move up when the water exceeds 100 cfs in the Spring and Fall for your best chance at huge fish...that and lots of people! One last tip...expect Wind!!

Antero Reservoir- If already in South park, check out this Gold Medal Stillwater location. Yes there are waaaay to many crowds for me, but if you're lucky enough you could score the fish of a lifetime here.

Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park- Definitely a must stop when in Colorado and to drive over Trail ridge road is a must! Lots of small water to choose from and my personal favorite, get out of the car and walk a few miles to see truly what some of Colorado's high mountain lakes have to offer. Start out 1st at Sprague and Lily, than work your way up higher!


Tips For Fishing In The Rockies
*Determine when is the best time for you 1st and foremost
*Choose a time that is preferably before or after our run off season (Mid May-late June)
*July and August can be superb dry fly fishing season, the best and often easiest way to fish many of our popular Colorado tailwaters
*Do your homework whether you're hiring a guide or DIY (doing it yourself) on how crowded your river of choice will be, current hatches, water flows, camping/lodging in the area and distance

Guides In The Area To Check Out:
Colorado Trout Hunters
The FlyFisher

Links for fishing Colorado:
1)FFA Website River Reports
2)Good site for hatches and rivers
3) Colorado Stream reports
4) River Gauges

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Iceland Volcano Slideshow...Wow!

Amazing photography

Sit back, relax and enjoy some truly amazing pictures from the Volcano in Iceland. Pretty scary stuff, I hope you're not flying in that direction anytime soon...hate to see a plume cloud headed your way!

Link To Some Wild Pictures

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Hooked on Denver's Project Healing Waters!

Great Day Out Fishing With Project Healing Waters

I recently had an opportunity to help out with Denver's Project Healing Waters Chapter. We had a great time taking local vets out here in the Front Range area!! Special thanks to Scott from the Colorado Division of Wildlife, Brian, David, Bill, Rachel, Jeff from Umpqua Feather Merchants, Larry from Fly Fishing Crazy, Dan from Channel 9 News, TFO Fly rods, and all of the PHWFF volunteers for helping to make ...some huge smiles on some well deserving Veterans!!!
project healing waters

Without the help of Nathan (he runs the National Saltwater PHWFF chair and still waiting for me to put him on a carp) for putting this all together, it would definitely not have been such a huge success. My pal Tom did an amazing job at catching fish this day. Though I gave him a few tips to use, a top secret mohair fly and his #1 net man, Tom was on a mission catching close to 25 trout when I left that day. Tom won the award for the most fish caught that day and I was just happy to be along for the ride! Great bunch of guys and can't wait to do it again soon

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Boca Grande Florida on The Fly! Spring Tarpon Fishing at It's Best

Tarpon Ain't Easy to Catch from Reel Escape Films

What's more exciting than catching a Tarpon on a Fly? If you've found it let me know, otherwise Chasing Silvers is about as exciting as anything I've ever done and love getting out as much as possible to do it whether in the Keys or Boca Grande. Whether it was catching juvy's at night by a full moon, jumping an 150lbr that took off like a Colorado freight train, or hooking a few 100lb Bull sharks, we definitely had some fun!

Checkout our video trailer (thanks to Nick for all the hard work) and can't wait to get on a few more Tarpon with Nick, Colin, Rob, Donny B and our superb Captains Al and Pete! We had so much fun with Capt Al, he put our video on his website.

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Getting Lucky on Colorado's Big Trout Tailwater

Every Dog Get's A Bone Sooner or Later
Nothing like Spring in the Rockies with a little luck and landing my biggest Rainbow trout to date, ohh what a weekend!

What is it about sight fishing for big trout that brings out a heart thumping nervousness that usually ends with no take or if lucky, a take than break off shortly after the battle has begun? This weekend was a little different and one I will not soon forget!


Catching big trout is something that most of us all want to do at some point or for many of my friends, something we can never get enough of. The next stage of fishing is "how the heck can I catch one?" that's the all important question and more times than not ending with another weekend left with what if's. This weekend was a little different with luck being a large part of my success. Catching this monster was my biggest to date and after landing a few fish over the years over 10lbs, this one takes the Cake! She measured in at 28" in length, 20" in width and topped the scale around 15lbs!!!

Taylor spring Bow2jason-bow2

Another nice trout fell victim to a #22 rojo midge. Jason (from the Trophy Stalkers) got into a number of nice fish as well and put on a clinic as to how it's done. Jason and Matt made the long trek from Minnesota to chase some big Colorado Tailwater trout with us. It was great to fish with them and catch up.

biggy cutbow

Though the flows weren't the greatest, we managed to do pretty well nonetheless. I was able to get into a number of big bows and browns this weekend. Nymphing was the way to go but also an awesome baetis hatch brought out my dry fly selection and close to 15 browns one day. Despite the common break offs that occur here, my 4x tippet managed to be the way to go for keeping the fight time down and also keep the big boys from ripping downstream becoming just a memory.

travistaylor fishing spring-sig4

Travis knows this place well and after the amount of time spent here, I had to tag along and learn a few things about how to fish this popular tailwater. Travis got into some nice pigs and had lot's of action on some smaller ones as well. Small flies, big fish that's I'm talking about!


Despite a cloudy, snowy weekend we pretty much had the place to ourselves one of the last days we were there. Gorgeous scenery and great company made this a trip to remember for sure. If you're thinking of fishing some of Colorado's top tailwaters remember this: do your homework, bring some good polarized glasses, know your equipment well, don't wing it with a bad knots, small flies only and use some'll need it!


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Friday, May 14, 2010

Barry Reynolds Carp on A Fly Video!

Another great video presented by Barry Reynolds and Jake! Can you really ever watch enough Carp videos...really!

I was out with Jake the other day chasing a few Pike and kept thinking about what my Carp were doing in this cold weather. Love Carp fishing in the Spring, if you hit it right there's not much that can truly compare with chasing such a feisty fish being so close to home. Enjoy the video and can't wait to see what Jake and Barry are up to next. More Carp? Musky? Wipers?

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tampa Redfishing is Heating Up! Tampa Bay Area Fishing Reports

Redfish on the Fly...It's That Time Again

Just got an update from my brother n law again, status...The Reds are on and here come the big boys. I love to Redfish down in the Tampa area as much as I can and when I get a message saying how well it's been, my wallet always seems to get smaller and smaller. Trips to Tampa never happen as much as I would like them to but with a possible trip down that way in July, my Reds may have moved out by then.


Springtime in the Tampa area means big schools of redfish move from the Gulf of Mexico and join the resident redfish on the flats. During this time it's not uncommon to locate herds of redfish containing a hundred or more fish to cast a fly to. When these large groups decide to move into the flats areas, the redfish action can be absolutely incredible! It's all about the timing, *temp's, tides and getting to the fish that can make a big difference.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My Birthday Present to Myself! Hell's Bay Flats Boat Here I Come

Okay I can always dream right? Hell's Bay boatworks finest has been on my list for years now, hey why not I live in Colorado but fish a ton in Florida that makes sense right? With a few more paychecks possible than perhaps my backyard will have another boat to store back there. Ahh it sounded good though.

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day Caddis Hatch on The Arkansas River!

The Mother of All Caddis Hatches

We made it to our annual river trip to the Arkansas River recently with my Dad in town and despite most of the hatch scattered all over and somewhat thinned out, we managed to enjoy ourselves catching many browns.

Gorgeous scenery and few crowds at this spot

What were the Hot patterns you ask?
Yellow Golden stones #10, PT #16, EHC #16, #16 Black foam caddis, any Soft Hackle #16, BHPT #16/18, #20 green Copper John, #16/18 green caddis pupa, #20 Olve RS2, #20 Olve WD40, #16 yellow Golden stone beadhead

The ticket when fishing the Ark during this time is simple...Think greeen and 16!

papa arkansas

Camping made it all the best and that will continue year after year at Rincon, what is better than catching fish all day, finishing up by the campsite, have a few cocktails, a nice steak or trout and a roaring campfire with the sound of ripples to put you to sleep every night...sounds good to me!

brownyarkansas river

When making a trip to the Mothers Day Caddis Hatch, it's not hard to find the bugs or the fish, just drive till you need your windshield wipers, pull over and look for the fish jumping. The crowds do show up in the masses so get up there early, reserve camping ahead of time if needed or at a private camping area, scout out the areas where you will be fishing ahead of time so as not to play catch up when there and driving a bunch.

Tips to try:
Check local fly shop reports to see what the caddis are doing, yes it does help
*Water temps are key, 52-54' the magic number for the caddis to show up get active
*If water is muddy, runoff is not happening, many creeks/tribs below Sailda flow in and cause a mini runoff, drive further upstream or downstream to to get away from the muck
*Drive till you either see a bunch of cars -good sign as to where the fishing is best but also bad due to where everyone else is fishing
*Float the Ark if possible, Sailda to one of many takeouts downstream is a great way to see the river, miss the crowds and hit some better holes not accessible by wade fisherman


Miles of Access
With fishing access reaching close to 50 miles on the Arkansas and 200+ additional Colorado river miles, the BLM do a great job maintaining this area so make sure to clean up after and respect the right a way of others fishing close by.

Who has the Best Caddis?
Madison River caddis are very well known in the Rockies as well, they are Brachycentrus occidentalis, sometimes called early Grannom caddis. The Mother’s Day caddis hatch is probably best to fish on Colorado's Arkansas and Montana's Madison River. It also happens on Washington’s Yakima River and other rivers in Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon, and California.

As far as the fishing the best of the Rockies area outside of the Arkansas River area, look for an incredible Mother’s Day caddis hatches on the Yellowstone, Madison, Beaverhead, Ruby, Big Hole Rio and Animas. Some of the hatches will vary depending on weather patterns, water flows and other situations but the Brachycentrus occidentalis is an impressive caddis species on almost every trout stream in the Rockies so it pays to carry quite a few caddis patterns when you fish these areas in April and May. One thing is for sure, head straight to the Arkansas for some fun and if more time checkout the Madison River for some dry fly mayhem.

Recent Report thanks to our friends at Montana Troutfitters
Madison: The caddis have been consistent on the Madison now for a week or so, and with this warmer weather we've been seeing bugs popping off all up and down the river - the only problem has been clarity in some parts of the river and some hit or miss dry fly fishing. Our advice is to concentrate your efforts on the better dry fly fishing water from Warm Springs to Black's Ford and ignore the rest if you are truly looking for good dry fly fishing.

Yellowstone: The river is in great shape right now and seems to be holding on well and the caddis literally exploded on Saturday and Sunday and fish are definitely looking up for dries, both caddis and March Browns, now would be an ideal time if you like to fish dries to be out and on the Yellowstone before runoff really hits.

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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Antero Reservoir Fishing is Open! Why Are There So Many Cars & People?

Antero Reservoir is Back and So Are The Big Fish/Crowds

The reports are out and everyone in Colorado has seen the news, Antero has opened and so have the crowds! I had a chance to fish Antero this weekend but plans changed work was calling and I had to bail!

For those who have counted down the days, it's finally here so grab your boats and head to the lakes with a few thousand of your not so closest friends. Antero Reservoir is a great fishery and everyone in a tri-state area knows that so prepare yourself for another South Park welcome when heading this way.

Best Local Tips
Big fish available? You bet if you're lucky enough
Plenty of crowds there? You better believe it, prepare for the lines
Bad weather to fish in? That's it and 40mph windy days expected
Callibaetis? Doubt it you're a bit early try some Chironomids
Boat or Land? Boat if you like fighting the wind, land if you like a shorter distance to your car to run back to when it turns South
Tips on how to fish it? Look for a baitchucker with a stringer of fish,than you know you've gone to far,turn around immediately and run

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Georgia's Spring Bass Bite Is On!

Looking For Big Bass Georgia Has It!

If you're a serious bass fisherman, odds are that you probably live in the South...sorry my California pals. The South (ie: Georgia) had the world record bass for decades and how did I know, I grew up down the road from where it was caught. Bass on a fly are one of the most exciting bites in the game so make sure to get out and try it if you haven't yet!

Mind you California has become the new leader in Bass fishing thanks to some dandy water near San Diego and other parts down low, but Georgia still has more bass ponds to shake a stick at and get into more double digit bass than almost anywhere. Texas and Florida are still a great choice as well and there plenty of big boys in Mexico if you really want some action. No, Colorado Bass fishing is not even close to being in the same conversation, but it's still nice to chase a few on some warm weather days here in the Rockies.

My friend and fishing Pal Dr. Rawlins, a former Colorado big trout guru, knows a few things about how to catch big bass and to spends ample amount of time learning how to do so out on his ponds or local Georgia Lakes. I can't wait to get back there to get on a few myself and wish I could have scheduled a trip just in time for the Spring bite.

Georgia Bass are known to grow pretty big and when you have local lakes like Lake Oconee or Lake Sinclair to fish, odds are in your favor to get into a few bass over 5lbs each time out if lucky! Need a private lesson and some how to, contact Rachel Crumbley with Callaway Gardens on how to catch a Bass on a fly, their fly shop is well known for targeting bass and lessons. What species of Bass can one expect to catch in Georgia? Shoal bass, Red eye bass, smallmouth, spotted bass and of course Largemouth make up the large percentage of bass caught in these parts. Growing up an hour or two from some of the top water in the country for bass made my childhood very memorable, to those heading this way, the top lakes in Georgia to target monster Bass that I would recommend would be:

1. Clark's Hill Lake
2. Lake Hartwell
3. Lake Oconee
4. Lake Sinclair
5. Jackson Lake
6. Lake Lanier
7. West Point Lake
8. Bartlett's Ferry
9. Lake Eufaula
10. Lake Seminole

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