Friday, June 22, 2012

Tying the PMD Ice Emerger

On certain rivers, PMDs rule the summer.  I have been in some great PMD emergences and have great success on various PMD emerger patterns.  Here is one for you to try out.  It's a variation of my Baetis Ice Emerger.  Give it a try the next time those big fish are eating emergers right below the surface.  Drop it off an adult to track it better and have fun!

Click HERE if you would rather buy them!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Arkansas River, June 2012

I was able to get out a little over the weekend.  I fished the late afternoon on the Ark.  It was hot and the fish knew it.  They were not too interested in eating a lot on the surface during the heat of the day.  After the clouds came in, it was good until the sun came back out.  Once the afternoon sun got lower, the fish responded a little better.  It wasn't until the late evening that they were really cooperative, but that only lasted for a half hour or so.  I camped in my car that night at Salida East.  I had to share my bed with Buddy and Miles.  They are pretty much bed hogs.  After falling asleep, I received a phone call and somehow I ended up breaking my glasses in the process of looking for the phone in the dark, proceeded to set my car alarm off around 10:30 PM for about a minute before I found my keys to turn it off, had to go to the Salida Wal-Mart to look for parts to fix my glasses and then sneak back into the campground after setting my car alarm off and loading my crap up and then come back to the campground and unload all my crap again.  By then it was 11:30PM.  I had an old pair of eye glasses that got me to Wal-Mart and back, but I wonder what the people who saw me thought.  My "back up glasses were broken also.  Oh well.  I stayed that night and slept with the dogs and got up the next morning and headed out.  I fish a section with a streamer and had a few misses.  I moved on to other stretches, but it was still early and the fish not too active.  I finally found a great stretch of water and proceeded to fish it hard.  I also proceeded to find out I had a leak in my fairly new waders.  What else could go wrong?  Oh, I hit my rod hard with my cone head Sculpzilla.  It was my Hardy Zenith, so they claim it is up to 60% stronger than regular graphite.  After a hit like that, I believe them.  The sun was bright and the fish ate--every once in a while.  I caught a few, but not like I was expecting. The water was great looking, but the fish just were not eating my bugs like they should have.  The wind came up and was blowing steady about 20-30 mph.  I finally had enough around 11:30 and left.  The fishing was only ok for me.  It was the heat and the wind that did me in.  The good flies were the Hopper Juan and a Prince Nymph as well as a Sculpzilla.  A CDC caddis also moved some fish that shied away from the bigger hopper.  I would guess the fishing during the heat of the day is going to be tough for a while until we get some rain and clouds.  The fish just don't really want to come up on the surface with the sun beating down on them.  But the evenings are great, they just don't last that long!  

Perfect looking water.  

The boys having a ball!

Just chillin'

MFC Godzilla Sculpin.  The same as a Sculpzilla.  This was money in the evening.  

Caught some on Turk's Tarantula

This one turned down the Turk's and ate a CDC Caddis.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Picture this.......

  I’ve been able to get out a few times in the last few weeks, but…..I don’t have any pictures to share with you.  My mantra for blogging is “stories are worthless without pictures”.  So if you are still with me, I’ll quickly cover what I have been up to.  First, I took a few days off of work to go camping at Williams Creek near Pagosa Springs, CO.  My wife and kids met their friends down there last year and I promised I would go this year.   A few days before we were to leave, our car broke down.  The alternator fried.  It was a Volvo and if any of you have one, you may know that they are pretty expensive to fix.  This was right after I sunk $1,500 in to it to maintain it.  That killed that trip, but I still had the time off.  One day, I took the kids up to Rosemont Reservoir near Colorado Springs. It was fun as they were all able to strip in leeches and feel the hits and hook the fish.   They each landed several and it was good experience for them to feel what it is like to “feel” the fish.  I made the casts out for them, but they did everything else, including fighting over who would unhook the fish!  The next day found us traveling to New Mexico so the kids could stay with my parents and get some time on the ranch having fun and doing some work. My dad still grows alfalfa and he had just cut the hay.  It was about 3 weeks early this year, but what hasn’t been early this year?  We needed it to not rain and it did.  It got the hay wet and so we needed the wind to blow.  It didn’t.  If you know the area, you know that a day of no wind comes around about 3 times a year!  I left the day after and headed to the Cimarron River near Cimarron, NM.  This was my home water and where I learned to fly fish and to guide.  The Cimarron is a small little tailwater stream the size of the Middle Fork of the S. Platte and with the population of the Arkansas River.  It also has the bug life of both the Arkansas and 11 Mile Canyon combined.  I arrived and saw PMDs, Little Yellow Sallies, Golden Stones and Salmonflies all fluttering around.  I also saw fish splashing the water, eating whatever happened to be on the surface.  It was great!  I started nymphing, and then realized that it was summer and the fun is on top, so I went to a stimulator.  I then remembered why I loved fishing foam flies.  They floated a lot better and longer and after hooking and landing fish, they didn’t need nearly as much care as dubbed patterns.  The Hopper Juan was called on and performed perfectly.  Although it has the word “hopper” in the name, it doesn’t mean that’s all it covers.  It passed great as a golden stonefly, at least that what the fish told me!  Around noon, things got slow as I expected with so many bugs in the water and the way fish were eating, they got full!   That little river always amazes me.  The fish were fat and healthy.  The river was not crowed and I had a great time.  The next day, my wife and I had a date.  We headed into Cheeseman Canyon, her first trip there.  It was a good day as she landed her first “bigger” fish around 17” right off the bat.  I was able to land a big, fat 21” cuttbow right above the “Narrows”.  I actually had to land her in the fast water as that was the only place I could.  I was able to get down to the water to land her, but getting back up the smooth rock faces was a challenge and I got stuck with nowhere to go after getting halfway back up the rock face.  I finally made it back up and then had to figure out how to get my rod and reel, which was halfway on the rockface as well.  I finally got it and walked back to my wife who was happily fishing.  I told her I was almost on my way to Deckers.  After nymphing for a while, I switched to a Hopper Juan and targeted the faster water.  It was a success.  The fish were looking up and eating the bigger bugs.  I landed 4 more fish before we decided to head out.  The walk back out can be hard after spending all day in wading boots.  We ended the day with a great dinner in Woodland Park.  This weekend, I hope to get out, and have a camera with me.

I have one picture!  Jamie and I raking the hay to turn it over after it got rained on.