Saturday, August 6, 2016

Happy Anniversary!!

It's already been a year since I decided to walk away from my desk job to become a full time Fly-Fishing Guide.   The year has flown by as they all do, especially this summer.  Walking away from my full time job was scary, but it was the best thing I have ever done, other than ask my wife to marry me.  It's been super busy this summer with lots of time on the water and many fish to the net.  But, it's not all about the fish.  There have been friendships that have been created and existing friendships that have become even better.  There is lots of time behind the windshield, time to think about things that may or may not be important.  There are new fly pattern ideas that are born and new patterns to test.  There are new things that I learn everyday.   There are days when the catching is easy and there are days like today when the catching is almost nonexistent.  There are many big fish that haunt me.  Ones that never made it into the net, ones that we never saw, only felt the power of their tail.
Overall, it's been awesome and I still ask myself "I get paid to do this?"  If you would like me to stand next to you, pointing out fish and helping you become a better angler, let me know.  I am already packed and ready to go!!  Thanks for being along for the ride.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

The New Sage "X" Fly Rod. Thoughts and comparison.

Recently, Sage released the New "X" fly rod with lots of media attention.  As you know, I like to see all the new rods and compare them to some of our favorite rods out there.  I was able to cast the new rod and I'll share with you a few thoughts.
First, when Sage releases a new flagship rod, you know it's going to get a lot of attention.  Sage is probably the consumer's favorite rod brand and has been a major player in the fly rod game for years.  As the newest release and replacement for the hugely popular Sage "ONE", the new "X" touts some advanced materials.  Kennetic HD Technology is basically a high density fiber composite used in the new rod and provides a stronger, better recovering and a better loop and line controlling fly rod.  So is it better than the "ONE" or any other rod out there right now?  
I was able to take this rod out on the casting pond to see what it feels like.  My first impression when putting together the rod was, "why are they still using hard chrome guides on a high end rod"?  Most other high end rods use the Recoil guides. My preference is the recoil guides and not hard chrome.    After stringing it up, I casted it.   Hmmm?  It felt good, but I could feel the swing weight, as it was something that immediately jumped out to me.  One other thing was that the loops felt great.  It definitely has a great feel on the casting stroke.  I did like how tight I could get the loops.  But, I kept going back to the heavy swing weight.  Honestly, I actually think I liked the rod.  After telling myself that, I went to my car and grabbed a Hardy Zephrus and a G. Loomis NRX LP to see how it felt next to these benchmark rods.  I can say that both of these rods felt much better to me that the "X".  There is just a different feel to these other rods.  For me, a rod should be able to cast well up close and have enough power to make the long ball.  The "X" just couldn't cast well up close.  Similar to the "ONE". That was where I really felt that heavier swing weight.  The NRX LP just blew it away up close and just had a smooth feel to it.  The Zephrus was also smoother and better up close.  Also, the swing weight and overall weight of both rods felt lighter than the "X".  
With just a few minutes casting it, I can tell you that the "X" is a great feeling rod and most Sage fans are going to love it and think it is the best thing since Gore-Tex, but it's not for everyone.  I've read many great things about it already on social media, but I've also heard some not so flattering things about it in person.  
The price of this "technology" continues going up and these rods are retailing for $895.00.  A bit steep for a rod that to me feels "OK", compared to other high end rods out there.  I'd like to cast some of the other rods in the series as I think some of them would be pretty awesome, such as any of the 4wts.  I'd also love to fish the 10' rods.  I am sure those are great fishing sticks as these longer rods don't really need the tight loops and super light swing weights to preform.
I am sure you will hear how awesome this rod is and how you need it to make laser-like casts and catch more fish.  It is a great feeling rod, but as I told someone, "I like most of this rod, but not all of it."   It's not like this rod can do things that other rods haven't already done.  The top rods (Scott Radian, Hardy Zephrus, G. Loomis NRX LP, Orvis H2) have already shared their technologies and seem to be doing ok  in the "rod wars".  I don't think the "X" will knock any of these rods off the pedestal anytime soon.  Just my thoughts.
Thanks for reading!!  Let me know what you think if you have cast or fished this rod.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Roll Cast Baby!!

When I get people on the stream who have never fly fished before, or even those that have tried it a time or two, I keep them on a tight leash in terms of their casting.  I teach them how to roll cast and that is it.  As we get more and more rising fish, I will take the time to teach how to throw a dry fly, but for the most part, we throw indicator rigs and I don't let them overhead cast.  Why you might ask?  Have you ever tried to teach some one who has never fished how to throw an indicator rig?  That is why.  If you haven't, you might want to give it a try and let me know how it goes.  Just a tip here, take an extra leader or two!!
As beginners, I don't think they need to try and throw an overhead cast.  I want them to spend time fishing, not untangling their knots.  I always tell them that they catch more fish when their flies are in the water, not tangled up on the rods.  It usually make sense to them, so why doesn't it make sense to us?  If you are new to this, or even if you have been fishing for a few months now, keep roll casting!  Don't get in a hurry and try to be like everyone else.  I still get tangled a lot when I try to make longer casts with an indicator rig.  It's really not that hard to do.  Add in some wind and you will have one hell of a mess.  Remember how I told you that you can catch more fish with your flies in the water?  Really, it's true.  So next time, go out and roll cast more.  Get better at it and make it an integral part of your fly fishing skills.  You will tangle less and spend more time with your flies in the water, thus leading to better stories on the way home with your buddies.
You can thank me later for the tip!!!
Roll casting keeps you in the game to score more! 

Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day 2016

I once heard someone say never to wish anyone a Happy Memorial Day.  There is nothing happy about it.
I want to thank those who have served our country so we can continue to live free and safe.  A prayer and huge thank you to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. Let us all never forgot.  Thank You!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Do you need a better rod for nymphing? Yes, you do!

It seems like a while since I last posted and looking back, it has!  I've been on the water quite a bit recently, guiding and actually fishing on my own some.  Over the last few weeks, I've wanted to share something with you about rods.  Nymphing rods in particular.  I am here to tell you that you need to save up, sell some old gear, mow some lawns or whatever you can do to save up some money to buy yourself a 10 foot rod for nymphing.  I have been guiding with a 3 and 4wt 10 wt. rod for a couple of years now and I can say that they really do make a difference.  I can put them in the hands of my clients and have them casting instantly and making good drifts with nymphs.  There are so many advantages when it comes to nymphing, but it all boils down to better casting and presentation which leads to more opportunities.  I recently took out a new to me rod, a 10' 5wt rod.  It was the perfect rod for the situation.  Small nymphs and lots of lead.  I was fishing somewhat fast water and in a depth of about 7/12' from lead to indicator.  I was able to make long casts and perfect presentations and once the fish hit, I was able to set immediately and control the fish better with a bit more leverage than a 9' rod.  Did I mention these fish were pissed off and crazy?  They were and did things that I didn't know fish could do!  One other thing I want to recommend once you get a 10' rod is a line to match.  I am a big fan of the Rio Indicator II lines. They make these rods perform the way they were designed to.  It doesn't do much good to put a Rio LT line on one of these rods.  It just doesn't make sense.  There are some disadvantages to these rods though.  If you run into a BWO hatch, I don't really want to be tossing #22 Duns with a 10' rod.  It could do it, but I prefer to be prepared with a shorter 9' or 8 1/2' 4 or 5wt. rod for these hatches.  So there you have it.  You need a 10' Rod for nymphing.  Just take my word for it.  If you don't believe me, let me take you out on a guide trip and you can use one and you will see.
My favorites:  Hardy Zephrus and Orvis Helios 2.  The Orvis Recon is also another good choice with a lower cost.

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Gore-Tex Boys.

I remember looking at this ad in the magazines and thinking that these guys are bad ass!  How about you?  It was the beginning of my fly fishing career and I was new and these guys looked like they knew it all.  Little did I know that almost 20 years later, I'd meet the two gentleman on the left.
I spent a few days in Sheridan Wyoming last week and I was fortunate enough to meet these two gentlemen and share with them some of my new patterns and some guide stories that I wouldn't share with most people because they are somewhat embarrassing.  Things about losing gear and basically doing stupid things on guide trips.  There were a lot of laughs!
Sheridan Wyoming is an interesting place in the fly fishing world.  There is some serious talent there and most people really don't know how influential the anglers and fly tiers of that area are on the Bighorn river scene, which in turn, help to shape all the flies and theories of the tailwater style fishing and fly tying.  I hope to be able to go back up there to Sheridan to fish and help build those new relationships that were formed last week.
Paul Dubas and Bob Krumm of Sheridan, WY.

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Slim Shady Baetis Nymph

I know, I know, I already have about 4 or 5 patterns that I have called the "Slim Shady" at some point, but this one is the last one, I promise.  This is it.  This is the one.  I finally settled on a pattern that I will now retire that name.  The reason why I like that name so much is because it is catchy and the younger generation knows exactly what the reference is.  But more than that, I love it because I strive to tie my baetis nymphs slim and skinny.  That is what the fish like and that is what I like.  So, from now on, this fly is called the Slim Shady.  It's been killing it lately and I have enjoyed tying it and fishing it.  After a few changes, I find that it is bomb-proof and durable.  There were some challenges early on with durability, but they have been fixed.  Stay tuned for a video and more info on these bugs.  They are brand new, so I am still working on colors right now.  Stay tuned!!

They like the "Slim Shady"

Not a clue as to why?  

It worked awesome as a match to the dark baetis nymphs the fish were eating

Lt. Olive Slim Shady

Lt. Brown Slim Shady


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Scott G2 Rods for Sale

Are you looking for a 2nd rod or a new to you fly rod?  I have two Scott G2 rods that I am putting up for sale.
They both are in good to great condition and have been used gently over the years.  They were my personal rods and not used for guiding so they are not beat up.
I am asking $300.00 for each one, plus shipping.

Scott G2 8'8" 4wt fly rod.--SOLD!

Scott G2 8' 8" 5wt fly rod.  SOLD!!!

Please e-mail me at if you are interested.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Arkansas River Report

All of a sudden we went into spring mode!  We have been having great weather for the last few weeks on the Front Range and that has led to rivers warming up a bit and with that, the bugs have started moving and that makes the fish move and look for more food.  The fishing on the South Platte and Arkansas Rivers has been great, considering it's still February and winter.  I was out three times this week and each day was different than the one before it.  Monday brought a last second guide trip to Deckers where the fish were really eating both midge larva and baetis nymphs.  
Wednesday and Thursday were spent on the Upper Arkansas where I fished and guided, using the normal stonefly, caddis larva and baetis nymph combo. The fishing there has really turned on as the water has warmed.  There is no ice on the water and readings have made it up to 45 degrees from readings of 38 last week.  The fish are eating all types of food, but are really looking for baetis nymphs when the water warms up.  We will probably have some early BWO hatches so get ready now!
For February, the river is really fishing well and that is due to the weather we have been having.  I think it will continue to be nice, with a few storms thrown in here and there, but it's only going to get better from here on.  If you are interested in visiting either river with me, let me know and we can get it set-up!  Until then, get out and fish!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

I smell Spring!

I figured that I should post something for the month of January.  It's been a busy month for me with some shows and a lot of time at the vise.  I've been looking forward to February for a while now.  Things will start to warm up a bit around here and the days are already getting longer!  Soon, the golden stoneflies will start moving around on the upper Arkansas River and that will get the trout looking around for them more.  There is nothing like seeing bigger bites available to the fish to get them looking for Big Macs rather than french fries.

Stoneflies, along with the usual midges and Baetis, will kick start the late winter/early spring feeding on the Ark.  The usual early spring set-up for me is a stonefly/caddis larva or a caddis larva/baetis nymph.  Some days even start with a stonefly/caddis/baetis nymph set-up.  The fish will let me know what they are eating and I can remove one fly.  If they continue to eat all three patterns, I keep fishing all three patterns.  Make sure to use weight and get the flies down!  
If you would like to make a trip down there with me, please contact Royal Gorge Anglers to set up a guide trip to show you how to fish this river in the early spring.  I am really looking forward to fishing this river very soon as I think it is the most overlooked season.  I'll post pictures!