Monday, April 14, 2014

Snow and BWOs

If you have never fished a full blown BWO hatch as my client had not, it can be quite a sight.  We had to stop and walk away from rising fish.  It was getting late and our fingers couldn't tie on another dry fly.  There were so many heads poking out of the water, I'd see naturals float down the river like a pinball, bouncing off of the rings of a rising trout and then bouncing off another, on down the river.  For my Floridian clients, the snow was a thing of amazement.  It was truly a great day on the water, even if the true magic happened in the last quarter of the day.  

Fighting another BWO eater

Almost in!

Right between the rocks.


The walk back to the car.  It was beautiful!

Early on, before the rods were buried

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Fryingpan-Arkansas River Project video

 I stumbled upon this video the other day and watched it.  It is pretty interesting, showing the process of the movement of water in the Fryingpan-Arkansas River Project.  The use of Google Maps is pretty cool.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Royal Gorgeous Caddis

The production of the Royal Gorgeous.  These flies are now available in local fly shops such as Royal Gorge Anglers in Canon City, Anglers Covey and The Peak Fly Shop in Colorado Springs.  These will be a hot pattern to have starting right now and going into into the summer.  Make sure you have some!   


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Hopper Juan Tying Kits

Hopper Juan kits are again available for purchase!  They include hard to find materials to tie 6 Hopper Juans.  Included are 6 hooks, size #8, 12 pre-cut foam bodies, 6 pre-cut over wings, rubber legs and indicator material.  You will need the thread, elk hair, super glue and krystal flash.  The kits cost $5.00 per + shipping.  Please e-mail me at if you would like to purchase some kits.  I accept Pay-Pal.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Arkansas River Guiding

After a few years talking and trying, I will be available to guide on the Arkansas River.   Royal Gorge Anglers owner Taylor Edrington and I have tried in the past, but things never have quite worked out.  This year, we both hope to have some trips booked.

If you would like to book a trip on the Arkansas, you will have to go through Royal Gorge Anglers to do so.  Please click HERE to go to their site.

I am excited for the Spring season and would love to show you some water and some productive ways to fish it.  Generally, starting in late February, the stoneflies start moving around as well as the baetis nymphs.  As March rolls around, there is more action as more bugs start moving and BWOs start hatching after mid-month.  When April rolls around, the BWOs are popping, the Stoneflies are still moving and the caddis larva are pupating and preparing to make their journey into adulthood..   Things only get better as the month rolls into May.  Adult caddis, adult BWOs and lots of Stonefly nymphs are available to fish everyday.  As late May rolls around, run-off puts an end to all the fun for a while.  Soon after, the bugs and fish are at it again-for the rest of the summer!  
Don't forget that the Arkansas River has been designated as Colorado's newest Gold Medal water!  I've know for a while that it was worthy, it just took them a while to designate it as so.

I usually limit myself to the area between Cotopaxi on the west and Parkdale to the east.  This covers about  20 river miles.   All my trips are walk/wade trips.

If you have been waiting to get on this river, why not now?  If you would like to learn from me, please note that I have a full time job and I am limited to the weekends unless I know in advance and can make time to get out during the week.

I'd love to get you on the Ark. and chase some wild fish!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Tungsten or Brass Beads?

Tungsten or brass beads?

I often get asked that question during my tying classes and demos and my answer is that it depends.  
With the cost of everything going up around us except our pay checks, it's hard to encourage people to splurge and spend the extra money on tungsten.  But there are times that it is important to do so.  I tell people that if I know I will be nymphing with split shot on my leader, I can adjust that weight to get those flies down deeper where I want them to be.  If I lose them to fish or rocks, it's not as painful on the wallet.  
When do I use tungsten then?  When I know I will be using a certain pattern as a dropper off the back end of a hopper or a big dry.  I want that pattern to drop like a rock and stay in the zone for as long as it can.  I have to make sure I use a big, buoyant dry fly to do this.  On a lot of rivers, there is plenty of pocket water, especially if the water is on the high side.  I want the nymph to get deep as soon as it hits the water and stay in the zone.  If the nymph is too high in the water column, the fish may never see it.  If the fly is right in front of their mouth, they only have two choices and at that point, you have a chance.  If I know I will be using a BHFBPT(try to figure that one out) as a dropper, I will make sure to tie some with tungsten beads.  Since I am blessed to be a part of the MFC team, I can get tungsten beads at a really good price so I usually tie almost all my nymphs with tungsten.  
I still have and tie plenty with brass beads, but I have decided to make the change.   So think of the patterns you fish the most as a dropper and make sure you tie those with a tungsten bead.  Other patterns you fish with that won't be used as a dropper can be tied with a brass bead.  

A 2 Bit Hooker is a great dropper pattern that should be tied with tungsten beads.  A regular Hare's Ear is a pattern that I normally don't use as a dropper, so I would tie that with a regular brass bead and fish it deep with split shot and another fly.  If you are trying to figure out what patterns to use tungsten on, just remember, if you want to catch fish on droppers, use tungsten.  
If you nymph a lot, regular beads will work well and losing them on rocks and snags doesn't hurt as much.   Now remember that there are exceptions to everything and I do use a lot of tungsten beads on my nymph rigs.  I mostly use them on bigger stoneflies and anything I need to get deep in higher water in addition to split shot. 
The costs are high, but the fish are deep and to me, it is worth having tungsten beads on most of my patterns.  I recommend that you ask your local fly shop (not a big box store!) if they carry either Flymen tungsten beads or Montana Fly Company tungsten beads.  

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2014 Denver Fly Fishing Show

The 2014 Fly Fishing Show in Denver has come and gone and with it was another great year.  This year was pretty busy with Friday being much busier than the past years.  It may have something to do with people still on vacation as the show was a bit early this year.  It may have also been that there was a storm expected over the weekend and many people wanted to get there before the snow started falling.  Either way, it was a great way to kick off the show.  
I want to thank everyone who stopped by and thanked me for doing this blog.  It certainly is nice to hear that I am helping you get better at fly tying.  I really appreciate the followers that I have and it is appreciated.  Thank you.
As a beginner fly tier and fly fisher, I could only imagine that one day I would be sitting at the same table sharing lunch or dinner and jokes with some of the people who were teaching me at the time through their articles and books.  Phil Rowley, Rick Takahashi & Jeff Currier are the people I look up to in the industry.  As time goes on, I hope I can be as helpful and gracious as they are.  I thank them for offering the help and guidance they provide. 
This year, I didn't get to get out and take many photos.  Before I knew it, it was late Sunday afternoon and I had yet to take a photo.  The following photos were taken quickly and in poor lighting.   Next year, I will have to make it a point to spend more time visiting with other tiers and vendors.  Hmmm. What should I tie next year?

Orange Stimi

My "Slim Shady"

Chubby Chernobyl

Shea's awesome box

Got Damsels?
Rich Pilatzke is a tying fool!
Lots of eggs!
Jerry Hubka's big ass hopper
Tak's vise
Austin Manthey's box
Big ass stones look good right?

My Slim Shady #22 and Trico Spinner #26
Lots of hoppers!  MFC sample box

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Slim Shady Baetis

I've been messing around with this pattern for a while now.  You may remember it as Juan's Baetis, or the 719 Baetis.  I really didn't have a good name for it, but it fished well.  It's a fairly easy pattern to tie as there are only a few materials.  I like to fish this early and late in the year when more baetis nymphs are in the current.  If you tie this in a larger size, say size 14-16, it can pass as a small stonefly.   Just change the colors to match what you need it to look like.
I'll be tying these in Denver this weekend, so stop by and I'll show you how to tie them.
The Family

Holographic Black

Holographic Bronze

Holographic Red

Holographic Purple

Slim Shady Baetis
Cream, Holo. Fuchsia, Bronze, Holo. Purple

Hook:      MFC 7002 #18-22
Thread:   MFC 8/0 Cream, Black, Red & Brown
Body:      MFC 8/0, Cream Thread. MFC Holographic High Voltage Holo.  Black,  Holo. Red, Bronze and Holo. Purple
Rib:         Hareline Ice Thread, Brown or Black                                                                                          
Wingcase/Legs:  Spirit River Fluoro Fibre, Brown or Black.  12 strands split on both sides for legs.
Tail:         Hareline India Hen Back, Natural Brown, well mottled.  Back hen for Holo. Fuchsia or Pheasant Tail.