Monday, December 24, 2012

Hank Patterson's Holiday Extravaganza!

Because Hank loves us so much, he did this for us!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!!  
I hope you wake to find your stocking filled with leaders, tippet, Thingamabobbers, TMC hooks, Dr. Slick scissors and much more.  

Thank you all for taking the time to read and look at this blog.  I appreciate it. 

I hope this upcoming year is better than the last.  

Feliz Navidad!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Hoppy Holidays!

Happy Hopper Days from the Holiday Hopper, I mean the Hollywood Hopper!  

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Juan's Hollywood Hopper

A new hopper pattern for you for you to start tying to be ready in August.  This pattern is a lower riding, more realistic pattern than the Hopper Juan.  While it may look complicated, after trying it a few times, it all comes together.  The hardest part is getting all the materials together.  A recent change has me using a Chernobyl taper cutter to get a more precise body cut, otherwise everything else is the same.
Pull out the foam and Super 77, order some eyes and legs and get started.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Hopper Juan's Gift Guide

Hey fellas.  Christmas is just  a couple of weeks away and Hopper Juan is here to help you out.  Take a look at some gift ideas below and see if any of them are desired and if so, just e-mail this page link to your wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, brother, mother, sister-in-law, rich uncle or Santa Clause and let them know what item you like.  All the items here are less than $100.00.   If you want to see specific items listed here, just shoot me an e-mail (click here) and I will get them listed.  
Simms Windstopper Foldover Mitts.
If you fish in the Winter, why not have the best?

Simms Boot Sock/Liner Combo
This will make anyone have happy feet.

Montana Fly Company Aluminum Fly Box
Maddox "Snack"

MFC Water Bottle
Sylvester's Rainbow Reflection

Montana Fly Company Aluminum Fly Box
Sundell's Rainbow Skin

MFC iPhone 4 cover
Udesen's Salmonfly

Montana Fly Company Aluminum Fly Box
Udesen's "Hopper" Box
Nite Ize S-Biners
These are awesome to have on your vest, pack or lanyard!  You can hang lots of crap on them.
Various sizes and colors for less than $5.00

Orvis, Clearwater Large Arbor Reel

Morning Star Lanyards
A great alternative to vests and packs.

Simms Headwaters Pro Waist Pack

Trout Skin Nippers from Orvis
A great "must have item" for the vest, pack or lanyard.

Li'l Guppie Multi Tool from Orvis
Why not carry around one of these?

C & F Fly Boxes
These are the best boxes to your your flies.  Sizes and prices vary.

C & F 3 in 1 Clipper/Threader
This is one of the finest Nippers I have ever used.  It's great!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Sage ONE v. Orvis Helios 2

As most of you may have figured out already, I am a fan of fly rods.  I love to compare and see what others think about different rods.  In all this study and self data collection, I have come to one conclusion:  If you ask 10 guys what they think of a certain rod, you will get 13 answers!

Here is a great comparison of two great rods, the new Orvis Helios 2 and the established Sage One.   I think both are great rods, but I would like to see where the Hardy Zenith would rank in this particular comparison.  I wouldn't be surprised to see it thought of as a better all around rod than either one of them.  I have only spent only 2 minutes with the ONE on the water and zero time with the H2.  I hope to get both the Hardy Zenith and the H2 out together soon to see what I think.  I'll let you know.
Check out the link HERE!

Thanks to Headhunters for taking the time to do this.
EDIT:  The link is gone as Headhunters lost all their data this summer.  

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cream of the Crop

Which will be the best?  I have a feeling that neither one will be better than the other.  One may cast better in close, one may have some "extra" kick on the long shots, but both of these rods are at the top of the list.  That list has 3 rods on it and two are in the picture above.  It's going to be fun fishing this winter and summer.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

MFC River Camo goodies.

Montana Fly Company has been cranking out new items every year and the new stuff this year is great.  I just ordered some new goodies from their River Camo line up.  If you haven't looked at what they offer, make sure to check out their web site and see what else they have.  Make sure to get those wish list over to mama so maybe you got a chance at getting something under the Christmas tree.   That is, only if you have been a good little fly fishing boy.  

Maddox's "Snack" Aluminium Fly Box

Udesen's Hopper Fly Box

Udesen's Hopper Fly Box Waterbottle

Tungsten Carbide Nippers-"Snack"

This box is awesome!  

And this one is too!  

Just like the fly box, this one is one of my favorite  series.

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Lucent Prince Nymph

The Lucent Prince Nymph is another family member of the great Prince Nymph family.  By replacing the body material with MFC Micro Lucent Chenille, you can create many different colors to match the bugs you require.  MFC Lucent Chenille is a micro sized chenille perfect for tying caddis larva and even using it as a replacement for standard peacock herl.  The purple is a great looking color and makes a great looking purple Prince Nymph.  Give it a try and see what you think.

Hook:  MTC or TMC 1 XL hook #14-18
Thread:  MFC 8/0 or 6/0
Bead:  #14=7/64" #16 & #18=3/32"
Weight:  0.15 lead or lead free wire
Tails:  Brown goose biots, forked
Body:  MFC Micro Lucent Chenille, Color of choice
Thorax:  Ice Dub or similar
Hackle:  Brown Hen neck
Wings:  White goose biots, forked

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Sparkle Braid Prince

The Prince Nymph is one of my all time favorites.  I love the traditional bead head pattern, but over the years, there have been may variations of the standard Prince.  It's not that the fish have seen it too many times, it's just as fly tiers, we can't leave shit alone!  Today's post is going to be one that I tie.  I call it the Sparkle Braid Prince.  I use the UTC Sparkle Braid to create the body and I can change it to different colors as needed.  Some of the fun with these patterns are that we can tie different colors to see if they work and usually they work just great.  Don't be afraid to tie some different colors for those fish who have seen it al.

Hook:  MTC or TMC 1 XL hook #14-18
Thread:  MFC 8/0 or 6/0
Bead:  #14=7/64" #16 & #18=3/32"
Weight:  0.15 lead or lead free wire
Tails:  Brown goose biots, forked
Body:  UTC Sparkle Braid, Color of choice, Midge size
Thorax:  Ice Dub or similar
Hackle:  Brown Hen neck
Wings:  White goose biots, forked

The Sparkle Braid Prince

Here is a video tutorial :

Friday, October 26, 2012

"The Stopper Juan"

October is know for 2 things.  Great fall fishing with small BWOs and big browns and the NFL wearing pink shoes, gloves and towels in their games, showing support for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  
The Stopper Juan was tied as my way of showing support from my fly tying bench.  I have yet to fish it, but if a pink San Juan Worm works as well as it does and other pink hoppers work well, then why not!  

"The Stopper Juan"  

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

More Hanky Panky!

Since I have posted the first two episodes, I figured you would like the latest edition of Hank Patterson!

Monday, October 22, 2012

A reminder

Don't forget the 2nd Annual Tying and Giving Back Event to benefit Casting for Recovery, Tuesday, October 23, 2012!
Last year's inaugural Tying and Giving Back was a great success!  Many of our professional tiers battle the season's first blizzard to help tie and donate 63 dozen flies during the event.

This year we will have the famous CMCTU Chuck Wagon on site, grilling up elk brats (donated by Board Member Terry Deaton) and hamburgers! 

Allyn Kratz and Jeannette Liard are cleaning out the CMCTU's storage boxes for a CMCTU Garage Sale selling our extra "stuff" to include;  flies, fly boxes, fly fishing gear and equipment.  All funds raised to benefit CMCTU's conservation, restoration and education programs. 

Please join the following professional fly tiers, authors, guides and fly shops for a night of "tying and giving back."
Rick Takahashi
Jerry Hubka
Larry Kingrey
"Hopper" Juan Ramirez
Charlie Craven
Angler's Covey
Royal Gorge Anglers
Sportsman's Warehouse
South Platte Fly Shop
The Peak Fly Shop
and many more!

All flies tied and donated to benefit Casting for Recovery's breast cancer survivor fly fishing retreats.

Where & When
Colorado Parks and Wildlife Building
4255 Sinton Road
Colorado Springs, CO

Tuesday, October 23, 2012
5:30PM - 9:00PM

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Eggs, 10 years of bliss and current nothingness.

There is a whole lot of nothingness going on at the Hopper Juan Headquarters these days.  I finally got some time off of classes and guiding this past weekend.  I also celebrated my 10th wedding anniversary this weekend, so there was no fishing going on.  I had planned to fish with David Knapp of The Trout Zone, but had to bail on him when I remembered it was my anniversary.  Make sure to see what he has been up to.  I can't wait to see all the awesomeness he got around to without me.
I have started tying a new midge box and I hope to share with you some photos and patterns in the near future.  I hope to get out soon and enjoy the fall season, which seems quick to get out of here so winter can take it's place.  Fall is short enough as it is.  It doesn't need help moving along.
Pictured below is a photo from two fall's ago.  It was on the Animas River in Durango, CO.  It's one of my favorite pictures to show why I always carry egg patterns with me.

Needless to say, this pattern worked great.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Fool's Gold

Greenback Cutthroat Trout.

Just this week, scientists released information that turned the local fly-fishing world upside down in Colorado.  The Greenback Cutthroat Trout, the Colorado State fish, was determined to reside in only a 4-mile-long section of a small creek not to far from my home in Colorado Springs.  Yes, you read that right.  The purest strain and the only link back to the original linage of one of the indigenous strains of trout in Colorado reside within 15 miles the hustle and bustle of a city, Costcos, meth labs and Apple Retail Stores.  This essentially crushes our idea of finding these fish in wild, remote, pristine areas, not touched by man.  Not only that, but the Greenback’s natural drainage was the South Platte River.  This stream is located in the Arkansas River drainage.  I will spare telling you all the details; you can read the press releases here. 
Bear Creek

Let me tell you that I am very pleased that they found these fish and the research has determined that they are pure strain and steps have already been taken to protect the fish as well as some being used as a brood stock.  I give credit to the researchers for taking the time to do the work and to process all the information to get where we are now. The technology didn’t exist to get these results several years ago.  There was recent research that supported the idea that all of the cutthroats east of the Continental Divide were probably not pure stains.  There was an understanding that Greenback Cutthroats were “mutts”.  A mixture of different fish originally thought to be native to the drainage.  This new evidence has shaken the foundation of cold-water conservation and the restoration community.  Now, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and plan the new path forward to save these pure stain cutthroats. 

It is ironic that the same people who gathered fish from the west slope and from California, Germany and Scotland, to spread the wealth in fish diversity, wrecked the fragile balance of the cutthroat’s existence.  Some of these same people moved the native Greenbacks around from drainage to drainage and this is how one isolated pocket of fish survived all these years.   I just thank God for those that put these fish in this stream and did so over a hundred years ago, never knowing they were protecting these little gems from the rest of the world and from extinction.

What I find amusing is that while we were happily trekking up to high mountain lakes contained within remote wilderness areas to hold one of the few remaining specimen of this species, it turns out that we were fooled; we were holding an imitation. While we were admiring these fish at 12,000’ elevation, the real deal was miles away in a different drainage within miles of strip clubs and hookah bars. 
So, what are all those fish in the pictures were have plastered all over the Internet?  They are all beautiful fish no doubt, but they just aren’t pure Greenbacks.   They are a cross of this and that, essentially, a “Colorado mutt”.  Some East Slope genes mixed with some West side genes, a little bit of Gunnison River, Colorado River and maybe some South Platte River genes mixed in to make a good looking trout.   For me, catching those fish at 12,000’ feet is still just as exciting today as they were before.  I can’t say I like them any less.  I care about indigenous trout and I have held some pure strain Rio Grande Cutthroats in my hands after fooling them with flies.  I have also held many brown trout with mixed European genes and they all bring a smile to my face.  Knowing the fish in my hands is a pure strain brings me a bit more of a smile knowing we have not ruined everything yet.  I hope that day comes for all of us, knowing for sure the Greenback Cutthroat in our hands are the real deal.  Until then, I will continue to look to the west and think of all the small streams and high mountain lakes filled with “Colorado mutts”.  I will daydream about what fly pattern I would cast to them.  And when I hold them in my hands, before I release them, I will grin all the wider because they are still beautiful. 

 Photo: Doug Krieger — Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fun times on the water.

If you have the time, load in HD and let it load and come back to watch it later.  Everything is better in HD!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

It's here, but will be gone soon

Today was the day. The low clouds and rain. The snow falling on the high peaks. Fall is here. It was last week that I turned to the Woolly Bugger. It worked just like it was supposed to. From now on, I make sure to always have my full arsenal of streamers with me. It's not like they won't work in the spring or summer, it's just that time of the year, it's time to throw drys, hoppers and droppers. From now on, things are going to be different. The water is lower, cooler and just a bit different. Enjoy it as Fall is just too short.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What a beauty!

This photo was sent to me by Cheyenne Mountain Chapter of Trout Unlimited President Erik Heikkenen, who used the Hopper Juan to fool some great Greenback Cutthroats on a high mountain lake in RMNP. Thanks Erik!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

It's a blur!

I've been pretty busy guiding the last few weeks. This week I had a couple great clients that made my job easier. The month of September is going to be just as packed as I will be teaching the Orvis 101 class as well as the Orvis 201 Streamside class at Anglers Covey. I'll fill you guys in when I get a break! Don't worry, I am still tying and trying to come up with a new, hot pattern. Maybe a few new tying videos will be in the works. Shoot me an e-mail if you have any suggestions.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Got Tricos?

July, August and September mean one thing in the 11-Mile Canyon section of the South Platte River in Colorado.  Trico spinner falls are usually the name of the game mid-mornings on the river.  I usually try to have several patterns in my box for the spinner fall.  One of my favorite patterns over the years has been the 180° Trico Spinner.  I call it my pattern, but I am sure there are others out there just like this.  It has been a solid pattern and when tied on a 2488 hook, it can be tied really small, just like the naturals.  Enjoy.  

Sunday, August 19, 2012

On the Water

It's been a very busy last month and a half.  I have been pretty busy doing classes and guide trips this summer.  I spent the last two days in 11-Mile Canyon throwing hoppers and PMDs.  My hopper/dropper class on Saturday was good and the guys who took it came away with a ton of new info.  Some nice fish were landed even though 11-mile Canyon is not know as good hopper water.  We even threw hoopers to rising fish eating tricos and hooked them!  Today saw some beginners in the Orvis 201 class land some fish.  At the end of the class, the fish were getting picky, but a PDM Ice Emerger did the trick and they walked away having learned a few new things today.  I returned to the water by myself after the class to some "smooth" water.  I tied on a parachutue PMD Emerger and proceeded to hook fish.  I was using my new Hardy 8'10" 4 wt. Zenith Sintrix rod with a 12' leader and that thing is the real deal.  It cast like a dream and has enough power to cast the distance and to turn over a long leader as well as handle the bigger fish when needed.   It's been a great several weeks, but I am ready for some down time next weekend!

Pile of rods and reels

Ready for throwing some hoppers.

4wt., 5wt, & 6 wt.
Fishing some of the faster, pocket water.