Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Denver's South Platte River Rehabilitation Plan Designed To Restore Fisheries

South Platte River is Back In The News
By Bruce Finley

The South Platte River is getting in the News more and more these days. No it's not just about what it was in the last 20 years but what is happening in the present! Thanks to groups like my Denver Trout Unlimited and the help of other supportive groups around Colorado, this important river system is getting all the help it needs and rightfully deserves.

South-metro leaders and a growing number of fishermen are pushing to let the South Platte be more of a natural river as it flows down from the mountains through the Denver area.

They're planning to rechannel the river, revegetate and bring in boulders to rehabilitate the wide, shallow waterway into a deeper, meandering river that could sustain significantly more fish. Not just wily big-mouth bottom-feeders — but trout.

Enhancing the South Platte, proponents contend, will lead to a healthier metro economy.

"We are the custodians of the river. It is incumbent upon us to keep that river a viable, healthy source for the ecology of the area, the wildlife, migratory birds and for the community," Littleton Mayor Debbie Brinkman said. "We're not doing this for economic reasons. There may be an economic benefit."

The Littleton City Council this month voted unanimously to move ahead with an ambitious revitalization project that will let the heavily dammed South Platte behave more like a natural river but still be controllable because of its urban setting.

The $4 million project run by South Suburban Parks and Recreation, with support from Arapahoe County and Littleton, would scoop a deeper channel into a 2.4-mile stretch of the river south of central Denver.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas From Colorado!

All the best to you and your Family over the Holidays. Can't wait to hear from others about upcoming trips in 2012 as well as some fish pictures!

Happy Holidays from Everyone at FFA and also Boca Dawg

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Merry Christmas From The One and Only Christmas Island!

Checkout This Christmas

I have a few choice destinations on my list that always seems to stay just that, my dream destinations! Christmas Island is definitely on there. What makes Christmas Island such a choice destination? Could it be from a few of my friends visiting and the stories still resonating with me years later?

Perhaps an episode of Larry Dahlberg's show "Hunt For Big fish" 15 years ago where he hooked two bonefish at the same time there?

I think it's the endless pictures that show up online that keep me coming back for more!

See these great Christmas Island slideshow pictures at our fellow bloggers site:

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Get Your Hoiliday Fly Fishing Gifts From The Angling Bookstore

Your Holiday Shopping is Here

Whether you're looking for the newest and latest books on Fly Fishing or you're trying to find the top collection of hunting books around, this is the place you need to visit. Besides having the best books around to wet your appetite for the fishing season, they also carry a unique sets of Notecards and artwork from my friend Bob White, who has some of the best outdoor artwork around.

Unlike the big bookstores, they are active outdoorsmen and able to provide the best products and service to their customers. Ben takes great pride in their company, their commitment to customer service and in the products they sell. Their online store is designed to provide you with a safe and secure environment to browse our product catalog.

You might have met them at the Fly Fishing Shows, where they have a limited amount of inventory, but certainly the best titles in the fly fishing industry. This online store is an easy way to please all of your fly fishing, fishing and hunting interests. Take a look around...we think you'll like what you've found!

Contact Ben today and settle in for the Winter with some nice reading material!

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Fly Fishing Santa is Back..Lookout For Santa on Your Local Waters!

The Fly Fishing Santa from Third Coast Fly on Vimeo.

Christmas is right around the corner and with that comes some cold weather for some of you our here in the Rockies. If you can sneak away for a few hours to fish you may have the river to yourself, than again you may come across Santa!

Keep your eyes open and who knows Santa could be out on one of your favorite streams taking the day off. Happy Holidays and I hope you get some of that outstanding fly fishing gear for 2012 from your local fly shop!

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Winter Fly Fishing Colorado Primer

What Is It About Winter That Calls You Back To The Water?

Is it the Lack of crowds? Is it the masses headed to the Hills to ski or maybe you just need to get out because, well you like to fish?

Winter Fly Fishing in the Rockies can be an experience all to itself if you need a day out on the water. Winter fly-fishing in Colorado is much different from Fall and Spring fishing, the people are gone, the scenery is awesome, and the pace is relaxing. Due the winter weather it can change minute to minute so be mindful of your area and always be prepared for that nasty storm at any time.

Definitely first and foremost you need to keep toasty and stay dry while Winter Fishing. A way to keep your feet warm is to always wear boot foot waders. Avoid various types of stock foot waders and wading shoes because they restrict the blood flow to your feet making them cold. You can also use the chemical heat packs in between two socks to help keep your feet warm on very cold days or go sockless if you're a tough guy. There are a ton of tips out there to do, it really comes down to how cold you get as well. I don't get that cold so my techniques may be different than others. My favorite gloves to use are capilene liners with a couple of fingertips clipped off. Over the gloves I wear fingerless gloves. One thing also to look out for since Winter time fishing means Midge Fishing, so watch out for those tiny flies catching your gloves when swapping them out.

It's almost a magnet for small flies to get snared on your gloves every 5 minutes so I just take mine off when changing flies. I always carry two or three pairs of different style gloves (for me and those who may forget) so that I can replace them if I get a hand wet holding a fish for a photo. I’m also a huge fan of cold weather wading pants of the micro fleece variety with anything that breathes and no sweat. NO JEANS ALOUD!!! This set up allows me to fish in various temps well below freezing in comfort and safety. Jackets, hood and socks can also vary so do your homework and don't forget to be comfortable, nothing worse than being stiff and uneasy all day in the cold.

Fish tend to hold in the lower layers of the water, sometimes coming into the shallowest areas when the sun warms a specific area. Deep nymph fishing is the most preferred fishing method for most in the winter time. Some use a sinking tip line that will quickly take the fly but I still change up and a majority of the time use floating line. If you are not using a sinking line, try adding some split shot weights to your fly if needed, just watch your casting. If you chunk streamers, any big streamer or heavy fly, slow down your casting motion and you'll eliminate a lot of knots before they happen. Nothing is also worse than trying to keep changing your flies when freezing fingers are present so keep it simple and be confident in a few flies and leave it. For a complete listing of top winter flies to use, Pat Dorsey is the man to listen to on what to use, I've used so many of his flies during the Winter that anyone of a number of them will work perfectly.

Winter trout are unlikely to rise to take a single fly normally. Trout save their energy for either a big hatch or perhaps a tempting morsel. Streamers can be effectively fished using a slow retrieve or through various stripping techniques. On rivers like the San Juan this is a prime time to be out fishing, or other places can be a dead day so make sure to also do some homework on what is fishing well and what turns on better for Spring fishing.

Your Guides Freezing?
Use vaseline, dip rod into the water, use your forceps and pock/prod, use cooking spray, WD40 spray? Too many to choose from I'll let you decide what works best. If you are "dipping" you rod to thaw the guides be very careful. While fishing the water tends to run down the line on to the reel. The result can be a frozen reel that can lead to a variety of problems; some of which can be hilarious and others not so funny - sprung reels and when a fish attempts to run smash leaders and in one case a snapped rod tip. There are a ton of ideas on what guys use so feel free to let us know what you think also, opinions always vary.

As a final note, I always take a few rods, nothing worse than one rod hanging up and either not casting well, the line gets hardened or you need to change up quickly without freezing changing your gear out on the same rod. There are guys I know that fish much more in the Winter season than I do (it's my busy seasonat work) so this is just a little information I can up with, I'm sure there's much more out there on tactics and things that work better. Get out enjoy some fishing and stay warm!

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Monday, December 5, 2011

Fly Fish Addiction 2011 Photo Contest Winner

And The Winner Is

Thanks to all that contributed to our annual FFA photo contest. Lot's of great stuff out there and plenty of talented shots taken. I could definitely learn a few things from some of the guys out there. I appreciate all the shots and sorry to those that didn't win this time.

The attached photo is from the Clark Fork in Missoula Montana. By Gus O'Bosky a student at the University of Montana.

Congrats to Gus, great shot! Gus will be checking his email soon for a new Orvis fly box courtesy of FFA. We could use more photos here at FFA so feel free to send fishing pics anytime and we'll be happy to add them to our main FFA website.

For those of you who are Orvis fans, checkout these great fly boxes. I own quite a few and whether you're looking for a new dry fly box perfect for that fishing shirt pocket or something bigger perhaps for streamers, Orvis has it.

If you're in Boulder, checkout the new Orvis store for some specials and new line of fishing gear for 2012.

Still Jonezin, Checkout These Similar Threads

Friday, December 2, 2011

Hazardous Spill at Sand Creek South Platte River...Great Fishery Get's Hit Hard

Hot Zone Alert
Denver Post Link

State health regulators on Thursday issued orders formalizing cleanup work already in progress to stanch the the flow of hazardous liquid seeping into Sand Creek and addressing newly identified contamination spreading underground from Suncor Energy​'s refinery to an adjacent Metro Wastewater plant.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cleanup coordinators determined that the black goo oozing from the bank of Sand Creek north of downtown Denver is "a gasoline-like material" that contains cancer-causing benzene. Highly toxic, benzene has been linked to leukemia, and federal authorities have determined that even minute amounts are harmful.

Sand Creek Petroleum Discharge Time Line
My fellow fishing Pal Trevor broke the story wide open on this event with a timeline including all accounts of what happened, check out his full story from this:

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy ThanksGiving...I'm Chillin at The Beach For a Week!

Happy Turkey Week

I escaped the snow in Colorado to head back home down South! Nothing like enjoying the beach, some incredible seafood and some Saltwater fishing in Clearwater with Family members.

More Turkey, Pumpkin pie and a cold's that time again to hit the Beach!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Florida Redfish on The Brain! Fly Fishing for Big Reds

Florida Fall Reds Here I Come

The redfish fly fishing action continues to be fantastic. The redfish were all caught sight fishing. It's an awesome sight to watch a red charge and grab your fly! . The past few weeks have provided some great days on the water. All of my redfish trips have yielded at least one nice sight fished red on fly. There has been plenty of shots at fish on any clear, cold day. The amount of fish we've been catching depends on the anglers ability to see the fish, and deliver an accurate 20-30 foot cast. Anglers who can do this have been catching between three to six sight fished reds a day. I welcome any skill level and work patiently with my clients to develop their skills. It's a truly fun and addictive way to fish!

The Trout fishing has been great in Tampa Bay. As with the redfish, the cold weather gets the trout going. I have been finding trout along the edge of a flat in about three feet of water. The incoming tide has been best. I fish DOA jigs or chartreuse clouser flies on sink tip lines. Remember to handle the trout gently when releasing them. I find a fish de-hooker tool to be the best option for release. The season remains closed in the month of December.

Fishing Report from Shallow Water Fly Fishing Guides

Pics provided by Shallow Water Expeditions

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fly Fishing Still Going Strong in Asheville North Carolina

ASHEVILLE — The economy still stinks, jobs are scarce, the price of gas and peanut butter are up, and now Christmas — and all the expenses that come with it — is on the way.

Instead of feeling overwhelmed by it all, grab a rod, some waders and flies, and go fly-fishing.
That’s the theory Frank Smith has as to why, after years of faltering, fly-fishing is on the upswing in Western North Carolina.

“Our business has been up the past year, after falling the past couple of years,” said Smith, owner of Hunter-Banks Co. fly-fishing shop and guide service in Asheville. “It’s tough. Fishing depends on people buying gear, traveling to fish and spending money on gas. But people are now finding a way to do the things they want to do. They’re going to find a way to fly-fish.”
And a great way to kick off a fall fly-fishing trip, learn about the best new gear, hear about the sweetest honey spots, try your hand at fly-tying or casting and, yes, get a head start on Christmas shopping is at the third annual WNC Fly-Fishing Expo Saturday and Sunday at the WNC Agricultural Center.

While fly-fishing is often considered an elite and expensive way to catch trout, with fly rods running up to $800 and the waders necessary for walking out into icy cold trout streams costing as much as $700 a pair, Smith said you can get started in the sport without shelling out so much.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Derek DeYoung Brings Fish To Life via Canvas Fish!

Spruce Your Home Up With Some Canvas Fish

No doubt that if you have visited a Fly Shop in the last few years you undountedly seen some of the best artwork out there showcasing manhy fly shops and galleries abroad. If you are looking for true to life artwork in relation to fishing, this is the guy!

Derek DeYoung is one of those artists that was born painting. By age six, he was declaring to his schoolmates and family that he would one day be a famous artist. Few people who knew him well ever doubted this prediction. His parents say he was a stubborn little kid, but that very stubbornness is what now gives him the strength to persevere the hardships that accompany the life of an artist.

“I’ve committed my life to being an artist, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. To be an artist is more then just painting a scene on canvas. An artist sees the world differently then most people. I am always seeking out the beauty in life and in the world, searching for that magical experience or vision that will inspire me to paint at a higher level. The act of pursuing trout and steelhead with a fly rod contains so many of these magical moments. For me the truly inspirational vision, both as an artist and as an angler, comes once I’ve landed a particularly beautiful fish. I hold it up, tilting the fish back and forth in the sunlight, allowing all the subtle colors and patterns to come alive.”

Derek is often asked why he paints fish. “I find fish so interesting and they are truly a challenge to capture on canvas. When I paint a fish, I try to capture all the intricacies they possess, their scales, patterns, dimension and texture.”

DeYoung’s work has veered off from the traditional fish illustration style. His paintings are very contemporary, placing more importance on using a unique style and palette rather than painting a fish to look photo realistic.

We had a great time this past year in January attending another great showing of artist in the Fishing Industry, some incredible work as well as Fly fishing Art.

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fly Fishing Florida in November

This is one of my favorite months for fishing both inshore and the coastal gulf waters. Seasonal species like cobia, Spanish and king mackerel will pass through our area as they follow warmer water and baitfish south. Albies (little tunny) will thrill fly anglers and tripletail will also provide sight casting opportunities. Reds and trout will feed aggressively in shallow water and snook will stage around bars and docks and bridges in the ICW. Deep grass flats will have a smorgasbord of activity with trout, blues, Spanish mackerel, flounder, pompano and more.

Trout will be aggressive on both shallow and deep flats this month and will feed longer during the day due to cooler water. You may find big trout in skinny water early in the day where they should be aggressive on fly poppers or Gurglers. Later in the day, my Grassett Deep Flats Bunny and Clouser flies fished on an intermediate sink tip fly line on deep grass flats will work well. A popper/fly combo may also work well. Tie on a popper, add 30” of leader tied to the bend of the popper hook and put a smaller, lightly weighted fly behind it. Make sure you pause after each strip to allow the trailer fly to drop. I like deep flats that have a good mixture of sand and grass and good tidal flow, such as the Middleground and Radio Tower flats, Stephens Point and Bishop Point in Sarasota Bay. Trout season closes this month and will remain closed during November and December in the south region. It is inevitable that you will catch trout, especially since so many other species will be found in the same water this month, so handle them gently. You can get more details and boundary information at .

Reds will also become more aggressive this month. You’ll find them in potholes and along bars when the tide is low or along mangrove shorelines and the top of bars when the tide is high. They will feed on a variety of baitfish, including finger mullet, pinfish and pilchards, but as it gets cooler their diet will shift more towards crustaceans (crabs and shrimp). I like to target reds on a rising tide beginning at low tide. Less water means they should be easier to locate. I prefer sight casting whenever possible but you’ll probably need to do some blind casting to locate them. Best visibility for sight casting will be on light colored bottom on top of bars or along mangrove shorelines. When blind casting, focus on mullet schools and seams where grass and sand meet. Start with short casts and then lengthen your casts to avoid lining fish that you may not see. My Grassett Flats Minnow or crab fly patterns should be good fly selections when sight casting. North Sarasota Bay is one of my favorite areas for reds in November.

Snook season remains closed, so use tackle heavy enough to catch and release them quickly with minimal handling. If you need to remove the snook from the water to remove the hook, be sure to hold them horizontally and support their body. You’ll find snook around lighted docks and bridges in the ICW where you can cast small white flies, like my Grassett Snook Minnow, around shadow lines. Fish peak tidal flows for the best action. I like to fish the area of the ICW near Venice known as “snook alley” for snook at night. On the flats, snook may be staging along sand bars or in potholes when the tide is low or along mangrove shorelines when the tide is high. I would use a wider profile baitfish pattern, like a Deceiver or EP fly for snook on the flats. The same areas of north Sarasota Bay that hold reds will also hold snook in November.

Deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay will have a lot of variety and action this month. In addition to trout, you may also find blues, Spanish mackerel, jacks, flounder and pompano. I like to drift and cast ahead of my drift with lightly weighted flies fished on intermediate sink tip fly lines to locate fish. Surface activity or diving birds may also indicate the presence of blues, jacks, ladyfish and Spanish mackerel. A fly popper/fly combo is also a good choice especially when blues and jacks are around. I fish the same deep Sarasota Bay flats that I fish for trout when targeting these species.

Fishing the coastal gulf in the fall is one of my favorite things to do when conditions allow it. Look for albies (little tunny) and Spanish mackerel feeding on the surface. You might also find ladyfish, blues, jacks, sharks and even tarpon in the frenzy. Terns are one of the best indicators of baitfish and predators. Get ahead of schools of breaking fish by following the birds and cast small white flies on intermediate sink tip fly lines to them. They will also take Crease flies and fly poppers if they are the right size. “Match the hatch” by observing what size baits that fish are feeding on and duplicating it with the same size fly.

More info

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Monday, November 7, 2011

Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife, Fly Fishing For Carp

Fly Fishing for Carp - Eleven Mile Reservoir from Colorado Parks & Wildlife on Vimeo.Link

Nick is at it again filming some outstanding Carp footage for the Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Carp fishing is an amazing experience if you haven't tried yet and Nick does a great job at showing just how challenging they can be! Whether it's in a local pond, the South Platte River or 11 Mile Rez, there's plenty of options out there to hook up on a few.

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Largest Dam Removal in US

Diversion Channel Completed

The log boom just upstream of the Elwha Dam, seen in the photo above, will be removed on Friday, October 21. During the life of the dam, the log boom kept logs from hitting or damaging the dam. No longer needed, it will be removed, allowing the river's woody debris to float naturally downstream where it will enhance habitat for fish and other wildlife.

Today, the Elwha River flows through a new diversion channel, allowing contractors to access and remove the 'stairstep' gravity dam on the left side of the photo.

The new diversion channel at the Elwha Dam is finished, and yesterday morning, crews opened the coffer dam above it. The photo at right shows the river flowing through the new channel. Thanks to videographer and Olympic NP volunteer, John Gussman, for sharing this time-lapse series of film clips. In the space of less than 90 seconds, John shows us the 3-hour transition from the old channel to the new. (Side note: John filmed these clips from the Elwha Dam Overlook trail, a ten-minute walk from the trailhead parking lot on Lower Dam Road.)

Effective immediately, the exposed reservoir areas of Lake Aldwell and the remaining Lake Aldwell are closed to public use.

This emergency closure is designed to protect the public from hazardous conditions caused by the draining of Lake Aldwell and removal of the Elwha Dam and associated structures. The log boom that prevents boats from drifting over the dam will be removed at 2:00 p.m. tomorrow, October 21. Without the log boom, there is no barrier between the remaining reservoir and the swiftly moving river as it flows over and down the new diversion channel. These factors make the area around the dam extremely unsafe for boating and other forms of recreation.

Once the log boom is removed, the raft of large logs behind it will move downstream with the river. Anglers and other downstream river users are urged to use caution around the river in the coming days and to be on the lookout for logs moving downstream.

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