Thursday, December 26, 2013

Deckers- 12/26/13

With a few days off of work due to the holidays, I am trying to take advantage of every single day that I am able to get on the water.  I have fished the Arkansas tailwater and DSP in the last week, and kept it rolling today by heading up to Deckers to fish the South Platte.  It's fun to see this river change throughout the seasons, but the one constant is educated, tough to catch fish, and today was no different.  Mostly fished around Midge Pool all morning, with the fish really starting to get active around 11 or so.  It's crazy when you literally feel the river go from off, to on, and off again in such a short amount of time.  While it was on, we hooked up with 8 trout, and brought 4 to the net.  Besides the crazy amount of river grass, the Deckers area is looking perfect right now, and seems to fishing really good.

My parents gave me an awesome Christmas gift; a fly fishing journal.  I've been talking about wanting one for a while not, and was super excited to use it for the first time today.  It literally has a lifetimes worth of pages, and I look forward to another way to document our adventures.

Flies and Lies

Fav Christmas gift!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

FINALIST- Trouts Photo Contest

So my San Juan River winter rainbow was selected as a finalist for Trouts- Your Year in Photos- Photo Contest.  After looking at all of the finalists, I feel honored that one of my pictures is even considered with all of these amazing photographs.  I am asking that all my readers follow the link above, and take 1 minute to vote for my picture.  My San Juan Rainbow picture is #18.  Thanks.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Trout's- Your Year in Photos- Reader Poll

They say that a photo is worth a thousand words, and that every great photograph tells a story.  Whether it be a great day on a local stream or a new destination with new fish, you can look back at the photos that were taken, and relive the day and remember the fish that were caught and the good times that were had.  Looking back at the last years collection of photographs, I can say that I had a very successful season, full of amazing waters and beautful fish.

What I've done is choose my favorite pictures from 2013, and will leave it up to my readers (if I have any) to decide which picture shall be my entry to Trout's Fly Fishing- Your Year in Photos- Photography Contest.  While I have my personal favorites, it will be interesting to see how others view the pictures that I took this year.  There is a poll to the right of this post that will close on Dec. 13th.  Thank you so much for the help.

  • Cheesman Canyon fall brown-  Caught this beautiful Brown out of Jamboree pool while my dad is fishing in the background.  I don't think there are any trout as beatiful as a fall Brown.

  • Dream Steam turquoise water-  Picture was actually taken by my wife on our only fishing trip of the year together.  We spent the morning walking the banks of the Spinney Mountain section of the South Platte.

  • San Juan River monster rainbow-  Fish took a red annelid in Cable Hole on a misty San Juan morning.  Fish was so great because my uncle joined us from Michigan for his first western trout trip.  Biggest trout I have ever caught.  Nuff said!

  • Grey Reef cutthroat-  This picture was taken during my first trip to the North Platte River in Wyoming, fishing the Grey Reef section just above Government Bridge.  This fish was taken during a hour long feeding frenzy by the fish, where fish were hooked literally on every cast.

  • Roaring Fork brown-  This lengthy brown hammered a bead head Hare's Ear in a spring creek feeding into the Roaring Fork River just outside of Carbondale.  The creek is about 10 feet wide, but absolutely packed full of gorgeous fish.

  • South Platte rainbow-  I really like the coloring of this rainbow that was caught just above Deckers on the South Platte.  It is fish like this that make people say that the rainbows around Deckers are a species of their own.

  • South Boulder Creek rainbow- This colorful little Rainbow hit a dry fly on blistery cold spring day below Gross Reservoir.  It was my first trip to this beautiful tailwater, and enjoyed the loneliness.

  • Espiritu Santo sunrise- Picture was taken on the dock of Charlies Boat Ramp just outside of Seadrift, TX just as the sun was coming up before my first salt water fishing trip.  Spent the day catching speckled trout and a few Redfish.

  • San Juan River winter rainbow- This gorgeous, fat Rainbow was literally caught on the last cast of winter expedition to a deserted Juan with a group of fraternity brothers.  This was caught at the bottom of the quality waters just as the sun was about to go down on this legendary water.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Blue River- 12/6/13

Colorado is blessed with so many great tailwaters, which means the fishing season never really needs to end. If you are up to fishing in the snow and wind of winter, then there are plenty of trout feeding actively feeding in tailwaters all across the state.  Sure, winter fishing is not as comfortable as fishing during the other seasons, but it is so refreshing to have such a heavily pressured river to yourself, not seeing another angler all day.

Spent the last day of my vacation in the mountains today, skiing frigid Copper Mountain in the morning for a few hours, and then heading back to Silverthorne to try to warm up a little on the Blue in the afternoon.  There were lots of active trout in the river, but I only managed to hook a few of them using small midge and mysis patterns.  The flows on the Blue are currently at an impressive 132 CFS, and the river is in prime winter condition for peace and solitude.  While the rest of the state is heading to the mountains to ski or board, us diehard fly fishermen get the rivers to ourselves until the spring thaw.
By morning

By afternoon

Friday, November 22, 2013

Poor Man's Fiberglass

After buying my first fiberglass fly rod, I kinda went crazy buying a few more in a few short weeks.  Mainly because it allows me to collect old, cool rods for a fairly small amount of money.  I enjoy the "game" of bidding for them on Ebay, and browsing Craigslist, just hoping that someone had stumbled upon one in the corner of their garage and they decided to sell.  I plan on upgrading to a modern (more expensive) rod when I can scrounge up enough cash to get one I really want (Swift Epic).  But until then, I'll probably just keep looking for the best deals I can find locally.  

Eagle Claw Featherlight 5/6 Switch Rod

This was the first "fiberglass" rod that I purchased, even though they are mostly graphite.  After seeing the switch rod conversion that This River is Wild had done to their featherlight, I knew I had make my own.  Thankfully, it's easy now that The Fiberglass Manifesto helped make it easier to find the needed parts.  A mere 15 minutes is all it took to make this easy switch rod.  I paired it with Rio Outbound Short that makes this rod super fun to mess around with.

Shakespeare- A924 

Bought this rod off Ebay for a mere 20 bucks, and I was super excited when this rod showed up at the door.  It is a rod that was built in 1964, and it casts really nice.  With it casting like a 7 weight, I plan on using this rod to chase carp around the Denver South Platte.  It should be able to help make nice presentations with the heavy flies that we use.  I really like the spiral guide wraps, and the overall look of the rod.  A very classic and old looking fiberglass rod.

Eagle Claw Trailmaster- TRP-600

Swiped this rod from a guy on Craigslist for 15 bucks the other weekend, mainly just to say that I own an old Eagle Claw fiberglass rod.  It is one of the fly/spin convertible rods, and I don't really plan on fishing this rod much, just having it sit in the garage for one to add to my collections.  I really like the gold, Eagle Claw logo emblazoned on the cork handle.  When I think of old fiberglass fly rods, I think of rods that look exactly like this.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Clear Creek- 11/8/13

Snuck away from the office for a few hours this afternoon, and head up the canyon to enjoy some perfect fall weather.  Found lots of willing, wild Browns that were very active chasing my little black streamer around.  So much fun watching small fish try to eat a fly that is almost as big as they are.  Clear Creek still has some nice flows, and the river is looking absolutely amazing.  With so much time dedicated to work in the last few weeks, it was nice to sneak away from the computer and cell phone and enjoy the Rocky Mountain sun and tug on the line.  Looking forward to the Waypoints fly fishing movie tonight in Denver

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Cheesman Canyon- 10/19/13

There are some places that are so beautiful, that it is hard to do them justice with words.  The South Platte River through Cheesman Canyon is one of those places.  A place that Colorado anglers hold dear in their hearts, where truly wild and beautiful trout roam free and thrive.  There are very few places where we fish where the river is not enhanced by the helping hand of man,  that it is so great that there are still rivers out there that are still healthy enough to be self sustaining.   

Walking the narrow trail above the edge of Cheesman Canyon with the boulder spewed river below glistening in the morning light is my favorite sight in fly fishing.  The 30 minute walk into the canyon to hike Gill Trail all day long is worth it enough, even if the fish are not willing to eat our flies.  I understand that we all enjoy bringing fish to the net, but if you plan on fishing Cheesman regularly, you must start to appreciate this amazing river for what it truly is.

This river is not easy.  It is a graduate course in fly fishing, where anglers can come to test their skills.  One day you can have an amazing day on the river, catching some very nice trout in the various deep pools, while the next day, you can find it nearly impossible to even see a fish, let alone fool any.  Fly selection has to be perfect, matching the size and color the naturals that are in the river.  But the most important skill a fisherman has to have to be successful in Cheesman is the ability to control your drifts. With the myriad of different currents and depths, anglers must come prepared to adjust weight and indicator depth, while working to have a perfect drift on every cast.  It's the difficulty in achieving this that makes the canyon so tough to fish, but the skills it teaches you help an angler to be successful on any river that they fish.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Charlie Meyers SWA- 10/12/13

I've said it before, but one of my favorite things about fly fishing is the continuing newness that is involved in every outing.  There is always a new adventure to be had, whether it is a new river, new fishing buddies, new fly patterns to fish, or as was the case yesterday, a new species to try to catch.
I have fished the Dream Stream many times in the last couple years, and have learned to enjoy this ever changing river.  Every season brings so much change to the stream, with large Rainbows in the spring and monster Browns in the fall pushing into the stream from Eleven Mile reservoir to spawn.  The summer months bring outstanding fishing, with so many different hatches occurring, sometimes all in the same day.  We headed up to South Park this past weekend, with hopeful optimism of catching the Brown of lifetime.  With such low flows (33cfs), the large influx of Brown Trout had not pushed into the river yet, but there were Kokanee Salmon everywhere.  Every deep pool had large pods of salmon in them, mostly large males with huge hook jaws.  I was super excited to hook and land a few of these crazy looking fish, including a very nice male.  With the low flows, it was crazy to watch your flies drift through the pods of Kokanee, with the occasional instinctive reaction to strike.  They fought hard, with quick powerful runs and lot of acrobatics.  I now see what the draw is for anglers who pursue these fish every fall, running around the state trying to find and catch them.  It is a rush to hook salmon, and is so cool that we can do it in our beautiful state.

Just another day in the life of fly fishing junkie, where every time on the water brings a new adventure!!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

San Juan River- Sept. 2013

I don't know what to say about the San Juan river that I haven't said before.  I could talk about the breathtaking beauty of this northern New Mexico river, or about the giant trout that reside in its waters. I could try to describe the peacefulness of the sun rising over the braids, slowly filling up the river with golden rays, but it just wouldn't be the same as being in the river yourself.  There are just so many things that I love about the San Juan, that it is impossible to convey just how much I enjoy fishing this river.

My uncle and his buddy joined us from Michigan for our annual trip to the San Juan this year, and we did our best to convert two more "Fishheads" that share our deep love of this mythical water.  The fishing was absolutely outstanding this year, with literally tons of fat and willing trout in every pool.  I have fished this river many times in the last few years, and I can honestly say this was the best the river has looked.  All of the trout that have been stocked in the last few years have grown fat beyond belief on those little midges, creating a haven for anglers to come and test their skills, with numerous chances at a trophy.  Countless times we had fish peel line off our reels after feeling the sting of the hook, that beautiful sound of screaming reel filling the ear.  The usual assortment of flies did the trick, but the battle tested combination of a red annelid and cream UFO midge still were top producers.  There was also some outstanding midge dry fishing to be had as well.  Nothing like watching large fish rise to size 24 midges on the surface. Wow!

I was very fortunate to hook and land some of the bigger fish that I ever have anywhere, with many 20"+ fish coming to the net.  The entire river is stuffed full of large trout, from Cable Hole down to Crusher Hole, making it a certainty that you'll have a chance to land a fish of a lifetime.  When the fish are this big, the angler truly is at the mercy of the fish.  The only chance of landing them is to allow them to make powerful runs and slowly follow down river, hoping that the small tippet and hooks hold.  Such an adrenaline rush when it finally gets in the net!

Always a let down when the Jeep turns back north, and heads back to Denver, but the memories of the trip will get us through until the next trip south.  This one will go down in the books as one of the best ever.

26" slab from Cable Hole
Brothers on the Juan

Like son, like father??