Friday, July 24, 2009

Juan's Ice Emerger Tutorial

The Ice Emerger is one of my favorite flies to tie on once I see fish rising to emergers right below the surface. It borrows from the great RS2 pattern and the floating nymph, two of the best patterns out there. It is fairly easy to tie once you figure out what you are doing. I also tie this one in a BWO pattern in sizes 20-24. You can either dub the body or make it a thread body. It's up to you.

PMD Ice Emerger
Hook: TMC 101, Dia Riki 310, #18-20
Thread: UTC 70, 8/0 Uni-thread, Brown.
Body: Thread body or dubbing, Hareline Dubin, #24, Cholocate
Tail: Microfibetts, divided
Wing bud: Ice dubbing, U.V. Light Yellow
Thorax: Hareline Dubbin #24, Chocolate.

Thread Ice Emerger

BWO Thread Ice Emerger
Tie On two Microfibetts and split them.

Dub with the color that you want the body to be. This is Hareline Chocolate dubbin.

The wing color for PMDs that I use.

You may have to tie a few to get the amount correct.

Dub onto the tread and make it fairly tight.

With your thumb and index finger, slide the dubbing down the thread so it bunches up on the thread.

Once it is on top of the hook shank, make sure you hold it there with your fingers and make a complete wrap of thread around the hook shank. When you pull down on the thread, the dubbing ball should stay put right on top of the hook shank.

It will not be secure so you will need to make a few wraps to secure it better. I wrap in front and behind as well as use some X wraps.

Just make sure you do not compress the dubbing ball down too much.

Now you can start to dub the thorax area. Do not use too much dubbing here as it will cover up the dubbing ball. You just need enough to cover things up.

Your fly should look like this now, once you tie it off.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Fly Fishing From a Woman's Perspective - and you can leave your hat on!

Ladies, (and gents) here is the website you have been looking for! A site specifically for ladies by ladies. Sabrina Stratford has a wonderful site that helps the ladies with all their questions and then some. Check out her site and enjoy the video.

Fly Fishing From a Woman's Perspective - and you can leave your hat on!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

PMD emerger

I pumped this from a Snake River Cutt, (yea, I pump). It was feeding hard on emergers and I took him on one of my PMD Ice Emergers. It was a great fish about 18" and solid.

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PMD Ice Emerger
Hook: TMC 101, Dia Riki 310, #18-20
Thread: UTC 70, 8/0 Uni-thread, Brown.
Body: Thread body or dubbing, Hareline Dubin, #24, Cholocate
Tail: Microfibetts, divided
Wing bud: Ice dubbing, U.V. Light Yellow
Thorax: Hareline Dubbin #24, Chocolate.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Red Headed Damsel Nymph

How many times have you opened up your fly box to look for that one fly that is just a bit different and might give you the edge during a hatch? Many times, I have stared into my box at the usual flies that every fly shop carries and almost every angler on the water has in their boxes. On day as I was fishing damsels, I was facing the same dilemma. I needed just one fly that might be a bit different from all the others. The Red Headed Damsel was just the fly. It had the damsel nymph characteristics; the long marabou tail, segmentation and a thicker thorax. What made it different was the bright red glass bead on the head. It made a difference that day, as well as many other days. I often fish this fly on a floating leader, making short twitches, always retrieving towards the shore. Natural damsels migrate towards the shore, looking for anything that might be used as a hatching platform. Often times, they end up on your waders if you are float tubing. Others who make they journey towards shore are intercepted by cruising trout. Those damsels who make it to shore, climb up rocks or other dry land to emerge into the adult tenerals, often tan or olive colored, before turning into the brilliant blue we often see as they fly around. One other popular method to fish these is to hang them under an indicator and slowly retrieve them towards you. A damsel nymph followed by a callibaetis nymph offers the fish a choice of their meal of the day. The Red Headed Damsel is a very easy fly to tie and only takes a few minutes to tie up a few. So grab some materials and get tying and fishing.

Hook: Dia Riki 270 #10.
Bead: Medium Silver Lined Red Glass Bead.
Thread: UTC 70 Denier, Olive.
Body: Marabou, olive or brown.
Rib: Small Red wire.
Wing: Leftover Marabou from body.

1. Begin by placing a bead on the hook. Tie in a 6” piece of red wire.
2. Wrap wire to opposite of tip of hook point. Using two wraps of thread, tie in marabou. Make sure it is not too thick of a feather. Lift up marabou and wrap thread to behind bead.
3. Lay marabou down and make three wraps of thread over marabou. Your thread should be behind the bead. The marabou should be tied down at the rear of the fly, and now behind the bead.
4. Make a wrap of wire over exposed thread wraps at the rear of fly. Continue making wraps forward to behind bead. When wrapping the wire, your marabou should “cup” over the hook shank, forming the body.
5. Tie off marabou, making sure you leave a bit of space right behind the bead. Don’t crowd this area.
6. Cut marabou close and cover butts. You should have a little space behind the bead for the next step, placing the wing.
7. Lay the marabou wing on the hook shank. I use the remaining piece from the body. Make sure the feather is tied in the same direction as you did to tie in the tail.
8. Make several wrap directly behind the bead to secure the wing. Cut the wing length about 50% of the fly.
9. Grab 2-3 individual marabou fibers to use as a dubbing to cover up the thread and make a finished tie off.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Big bugs and big fish

Day 3

Another day in the Rockies and another day to fish. I choose to check out the upper Taylor for the day, never having seen it, I assumed it was a decent sized creek. It was a full size river. It was flowing pretty good and it was clear. I decided it was a good place to start, so I rigged up and headed downstream. I got to a property line and made my first cast. A second later, I had on my first fish. It was a nice little brown, the first of many that morning. I continued to fish until noon, stopping, as I was starving. Lunch was to be peanut butter and jelly. Man, I was getting tired of them, since I had it for dinner and breakfast. Oh, well, I had to eat. After lunch, I drove down to the lower Taylor just to check it out. I pulled over and stood there and looked at all those big fish. After about 5 minutes, I decided that since I was there, I might as well fish it. I gathered my gear and grabbed my 4wt, thinking it was as good as anything. Besides it was either that or my 2wt. I tied on a single #24 midge on 7x tippet. I picked out a fish and worked it over a few minutes. Of course it would move out of the way every once in awhile, but one time it moved and I felt something. My fly was gone and I had no idea if she ate my fly and immediately broke It off, or I just snagged her and got broken off. I guess I will never know. I was just in my jeans and I didn't want to get my waders on just to fish there. Waders aren't necessarily needed there, just if you happen to hook a fish, they would come in handy. After about 20 minutes, it started to rain and everyone out, gathered their things and headed for their cars. I headed for Willow Creek. After about 2 hours,it cleared and I decided to try a short section of Willow Creek. I fished about 20 minutes and landed a couple browns and one Snake River Cutt. I wanted to stop by the General store I saw on the way up to the creek. I stopped and found that they actually had some real food! I bought some goodies and went back to the van to enjoy them. Later in the day, I headed back to the upper Taylor. I rigged up the 2 wt with one of my Hopper Juan's and just had a blast. All the fish in the morning were caught on a dropper and finally the fish were looking up for a meal. I had a blast throwing big bugs on my 2wt. Many more fish were caught and I decided to call it a day. The plan was to spend another night there, but for some reason, I just kept driving. I decided to head home. Buddy was out of food and so was I. I was tired and thought a day spent at home might be a good idea. Once we left, Buddy never made a sound. I got home at 11:00PM that night and went straight to bed. Buddy was not amused that he had to get up and go to his bed. We still had one more day to burn, but again, we were at home with no plans for the next day.

Buddy ready for another day after having breakfast.
Some of the water I was fishing. It was flowing at about 340CFS. A bit high, but still lots of fish that were hungry.

Throwing big stones on a 2wt. was a blast!

Just outside of Buena Vista.

On top of Cottonwood Pass. I couldn't believe how amazing it was at sunset. I didn't want to leave.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Just head West and fish!

Day 2
After getting a good nights rest, I awoke to realize that I didn't have a plan for the day. I had originally planned to be fishing the Arkansas since I had been hearing reports that it was on fire, but when I drove by it on Friday, it was basically blown out. My other plan was to fish the Middle Fork of the S. Platte, but once again it was like chocolate milk. So with out a plan and anything to do, I did what most men would do. I called my wife and said I was at home and thinking of going somewhere. She said that sounded like fun and so a plan was hatched. I would head back towards Buena Vista and see what I could find. Since all my gear was already loaded in the van, all I needed to do was get some more clothes, a few extra rods and reels and some more food and water. I guess it would have been a good idea to get Buddy some more food also but that never crossed my mind. So off we went. Not knowing where we were headed was somewhat fun, but also a little worrisome as it was possible for me to leave and end up back home a few hours not having a plan. Taylor Park was our destination after talking with a friend at the Angler's Covey parking lot. Maps were pulled out and locations discussed and that was our destination. I had never been there and it sounded exciting. A quick stop in Buena Vista at the grocery store and then we were off again up in elevation headed up Cottonwood Pass. I watched the thermometer drop as we headed higher. It was 86 in B.V. and once we reached the top of the pass at an elevation of 12,126' it was 52 degrees. What a change. And what a view! Holy crap I said as I looked out towards the west over the Taylor valley. The mountains were so incredible and awesome.
I took a couple photos for a family from Nebraska and they too were amazed. I said, "nice view huh"? The lady replied, "yea, were from Nebraska and there is nothing like this out there. You could stand on a soda can and see both ends of the state". Another hour or so and we were on Texas Creek. I didn’t think it was going to be that big. It was probably running about 100CFS. I walked right up to the most beautiful pocket of water I have seen in a long time. On the river right, it was a little self that dropped off to about 18” of water. A beautiful seam ran about 18” off the bank and there were a couple of fish rising. They were browns and they took the caddis on the first few drifts. Like a kid in a toy store, I quickly made way upstream, jumping in the van to move higher. I soon came to the meadow like section and it was beautiful water. I did see fish, but t hey too saw me. It was a bit too hard to fish that water in higher flows, so I moved even higher. I eventually got to areas of the road were I was afraid I might leave part of my mother’s van on the rocks, so I pulled over and started to fish. I pulled out my 8’ 2wt rod with a new Sage Click II reel that had never been fished and I was going to break it in. After a few missed fish, I made it to some more pocket water were the fish were easier to locate. I finally hooked up with a nice fish for that creek. It was about 12-13” and was a pretty good fight on that rod and the higher flow.
Buddy and I had made our way upstream and it was getting late so after just one more fish x 4, we headed back to the van. About half way down, I spotted something that I was not expecting. A moose and her calf! I have seen them before, but never in Colorado. I had not expected to see them. It was a nice surprise. They were located across a small pond and Buddy barked enough to chase them off only after a few pictures. My batteries decided to die just at the wrong time. After another long day of driving and fishing, both Buddy and I sat down by a small campfire and had dinner. Buddy enjoyed Purina One for puppies and I enjoyed my peanut butter sandwich, one of many I would have and eventually get very tired of. We crawled into bed, Buddy wet from a misstep on a log crossing and myself deciding to put on some fleece, just in case. It was 36 degrees when I woke up in the morning to begin a new day….
Buddy being a good dog.
The meadow section.

Sage Click II

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Getting High

Now if that didn't grab your attention, I am not sure you have a pulse.
Day 1
What to do when your family leaves town for a week and you have access to three vehicles, a little cash and a dog to care for? Get high! The idea was to hit several rivers and one high mountain lake. It started on Thursday when I rushed home to grab the dog and to change vehicles from my car to my mom's van that had all fishing gear pre-loaded and a mattress with down blankets and pillows thrown in the back. Soon, we were headed west to Salida for a night spent camping riverside in the van. On the way, time was spent jamming out to Michael Jackson's hits as all radio stations were paying tribute to him and his career. After a night on a soft mattress, we rose at 5:00am to get a start on the day. We headed west towards Monarch Pass to the Waterdog Lakes trailhead. After arriving and reading all my gear, I realized that it might be a trek up the hill. I had a loaded, fully inflated float tube, 2 rod cases, 2 reels, water, camera, dog food, boots, waders and fins. I think I had it all, at least it felt like I had more than enough than I needed. The trail is only about two miles but it felt like several. I was worried about my dog and his short legs. Was he going to make it up the mountain alright? About 1/4 of the way up, I realized that he was not the one to be worried about and he would make it just fine, it was the other one in the party that needed a little encouragement. After reaching the lake, I was in a hurry to get my waders on and fish. I did just that and rigged up my 4wt and a mini leech. I saw a fish rise about 15' out and I made my first cast. Strip, strip and I had on my first fish. A nice Greenback Cutt, I took a photo and released it. It was my first Greenback I've ever caught. Second cast and second fish caught. My third cast wasn't as lucky as was my 70th cast. Where did they go? Eventually, I picked up a few more. The day remained cool and a bit windy, with weather not too far away. I did manage to get out on the float tube after I harassed all the shoreline cruisers. I hauled that thing up there and never caught a fish off of it. Buddy, the dog, was out there with me and climbed on the side of the boat after sitting in a bit of water for too long and fell off and took a dive. After rescuing him, it was time to head back to shore. I was a bit cold, as leaky waders will make you cold. I thought I fixed those leaks, but you never know till your immersed in cold water that you realized there might be a few you missed. There were a few risers out and about. I used a Griffin's Gnat to fool a few. By 11:00am it was cooler and rain was on the way and more people were headed up. About halfway down the trail it started to rain lightly. At the bottom of the trail, it was raining really hard. With a half day left what were we going to do? The Arkansas River was really full and not a place to fish. It was running about 3,000 CFS, a bit too high for me to try to fish. We started towards Colorado Springs via Buena Vista. The Middle Fork of the South Platte is on the way so I decided to check it out. The plan was to fish it on Monday 06/29. It too looked like chocolate milk and was running high. So much for that plan. So much for my other plan of staying around Buena Vista and fishing the Arkansas. The next stop would be in Hartsel on the S. Fork of the S. Platte. I fished a short section that some people had just gone through and it didn't fish worth a crap but I wasn't about to head home early, there was more fishing to be had. The idea I had was to hit 11-mile Canyon in the evening and it was only 3:00. So why not stop and fish? About 5:30pm I drove up through 11-mile canyon to fish some evening caddis. I swear that for every 5 fish that try to hit you r caddis fly, only one comes close to getting it in their mouths. It was a while before I actually landed a fish, even though the fish were quite active. A skittered caddis was what worked the best. After a good fish, I called it a day and Buddy and I head back home. He was able to sleep for about 3 hours throughout the day, gaining strengh for the following days. We had a good nights rest and prepared for the next day.....

Buddy getting pumped for the hike in.
At last! I thought I might die, but I wanted to fish before that happened.

Buddy wondering what the heck is going on and how did I fall off that rock?

This time, I'll keep from getting wet.

My first Greenback Cutt!
Time to throw some dries to cruisers.

Lower Waterdog Lake