Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Santa Claus is coming to town.....

Shitter's full!
Hopefully you were good and you will get all you wish.  Rods, reels, lines, waders, boots, flies, fly boxes, leaders, tippet spools, sushi rolls, Hopper Juans, Fishpond nippers, Simms packs and everything else you could think of.  Eat lots, enjoy your family and drive safe.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Almost Christmas

As I sit here writing this, I am in an area with some of the most trout infested rivers around.  The wind is howling out of the Northwest about 60 miles an hour and I didn't happen to bring any tying equipment with me for my trip.  The Animas is within an hour, the Dolores is within an hour and the San Juan is within an hour.  These are just the fishable waters in the winter.  I thought about heading out this morning but it was snowing hard.  I could go Christmas shopping, but the funding dried up around the 2nd present we bought.  To the West, the sky is clear, but the fast moving clouds hit the tall San Juan Mountains in the North and the clouds are dark and heavy.  Tomorrow is another day to try and get out on one of those rivers.  For now, I will leave you with a couple of pictures.  These are the only two on my desktop as I don't have a library on this computer.  I hope some of you are getting out and enjoying the weather!!
The Santa Hollywood Hopper

Friday, November 28, 2014

Who says it has to be Black Friday?

Black Friday, I mean Adam's Gray Friday.
I heard it was Black Friday, but I stayed in and tied a variety of patterns today, making it an Adams Gray Friday.

Hook:  TMC 100
Thread:  Gray 8/0
Tails:    Microfibbets
Body:  Natural Gray Goose Biot
Post:  Natural CDC
Hackle:  Whiting Dark Dun Neck Hackle
Thorax:  Adams Gray Superfine

Hook:  TMC 101
Thread:  Veevus 16/0 or MFC 8/0, Yellow or PMD color
Tails:  Mircofibbets
Body:  PMD Superfine 
Wing:  Natural Gray CDC tips

Monday, November 17, 2014

Tiemco 16/0 Thread

Sad news for those of you out there who have grown to love this thread.  It's being discontinued by Umpqua.  I only had a few spools of this thread and wanted more.  My plan was to buy a ton of it before it became a problem in the future.  I was just a bit late and now I have to move on.   How many times has that happened to you?  I'd try to go grab as much as you can that exists in shops near you.  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day 2014

Thank you.

There are many Veterans out there who fish and hunt and I just want to say thanks again for all that you do and all you have done.

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Mercury RS2

The Mercury RS2 is one of my staple patterns in my box.  It passes for so many bugs and does it really well.  It often comes out to play when I need an additional trigger such as a bit more flash in deeper water or even off colored water.  I especially like this pattern in a size 22 for trico nymph and emergers and sunk spinners.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Tropical moisture brings BWO out to play

When a tropical storms rolls up from the Pacific, which doesn't happen all too often, although this is the second time this year, into the Southern Rockies, it brings with it the perfect BWO weather.  What to do?  Take a few days off to throw dries.  That is what I did today and it was awesome!  I've been tying lots of different BWOs lately an they all worked great but.......I couldn't see them.  Between the rain falling and the low light, I had trouble seeing anything other than the hi-viz patterns.  I threw them all anyways and had a great day.  Check it out.
Streamers before the rain starts falling

Fall colors all along the riverside

Looking downstream

Looking upstream

Carl Pennington's Biot Emerger is one of my favorites. 

Look at the colors!

Sparkle Dun eater

My first fish on a no hackle pattern.  These things are so sexy!

The drying patch.  It was so wet today, I had trouble keeping things dry even before they hit the water.  

Monday, September 29, 2014

Tricos and Rainbows

It's been a long summer full of Tricos and the fishing has been great.  We are getting to the tail end of the hatch, but recently, the hatch and spinner fall has been awesome.  The fish are still eating hard as you can see in the video.  The bugs are small and now I am having trouble fooling them with #26 spinners.  They still eat them, but not like they were a few weeks ago.  Still, it is fun to watch such a sight.  Make sure to check out the short video with a rainbow going nuts, eating spinners.

Tricos and Rainbows on The South Platte from Juan Ramirez on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


The fishing has been great all year long.  The bugs are really small right now, but there are still a ton of Tricos in 11 Mile Canyon.  The fish in the picture above was caught on a #26 trico spinner by some beginner fly fisherman. It is possible to teach never evers how to cast a dry fly and catch fish on small patterns.  It helps if the clients are younger than 50 too so they can see the pattern on the water!
There is still some really good time on the water right now.  The tricks are mixed with BWOs and that makes for a great dry fly day.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

PMD Sparkle Dun video

I've been tying a lot of these lately and I think I have it down.  The Sparkle Wings are excellent patterns to use during any hatch.  Tied in a PMD, as shown here, or a BWO pattern, it's hard to beat.  I threw in a little extra to try out.  Enjoy.

PMD Sparkle Dun from Juan Ramirez on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

I remember

I had only seen these two buildings in pictures but I thought the simplicity of them and the height was so awesome.  Being a kid from New Mexico, I figured I'd never see them.  When I stood at the base of them, I couldn't believe it.  The height and scale of them was unbelievable.  As we drove out of the city, there they were, standing like a fourteen thousand foot peak in the middle of a small mountain range. I couldn't stop staring.  I would see them a few more times before that day they disappeared and it was always the same feeling of amazement and  wonder.  I have not been back since, but if I did, I can only imagine what it would look and feel like.  It would be as if Pikes Peak was gone, if Mt. Rainier was gone or the part of the Front Range disappeared.  One day, I will go back, but it will never be the same as I remember.  

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


It's almost over.  It's getting a bit colder and the snow has been flying in the high country.  I don't know about you, but I think we are in for a hell of winter.  
Here are a few newly shared photos of my trip to Montana in July.  If only I could rewind to late June!  

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Selective Fish

Selective fish can frustrate you, but if you are prepared, you can quickly make the change to match what they are eating.  In this case, a Rainbow who was eating Trico duns immediately switched to emerging PMD nymphs.  How did I know?  The rise forms were more hurried as it was chasing the bug from below the surface and turning downward after eating the nymph.  What pattern worked for this fish?  My PMD Ice Emerger.  The wing on the Ice Emerger duplicated the adult crawling out of the nymphal shuck.  I'd say it worked pretty good.  There were several fish eating these nymphs 10 feet above fish still eating tricos.  Always bee on the lookout for easier fish.  There is a huge difference between throwing a #22 spinner than a #18 dry and dropper.   

Monday, August 4, 2014

Taylor Reels, Albuquerque, NM

I've always been a gear junkie.  Most of you know that.  I love rods, reels, gadgets and other crap that most people don't ever think about needing.  I have most of it if it's used for fly fishing.  I like my stuff and and when I find something I like, I tend to stick with it.  I like to support the USA made companies and the local companies.  When I stumbled upon Taylor Fly Reels, I checked out their website and I liked what I saw.   A local company, they are based in Albuquerque, NM.   They are a new company and I shot the owner, Matthew an e-mail asking him if I could test out a reel and provide a review to help him out in anyway I could.  I have a few trips out with the Taylor Reel, the Type 1.  What do I think?  I think it is a solid reel and can do everything a Nautilus, Sage, Lampson, Orvis or Ross reel can do.   I've put it in the hands of my clients and I never worried about it having any issues.  I noticed that as soon as I unboxed it.  It was a good reel and it was a quality reel.  I'll have more information about the reel as I use it more, but I am pretty sure I won't have much more to add as I can already tell this is as good as any other reel.  Check out their website and their story.  It's always great when someone works hard to create a great product.  More to come..........
You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Lil' Hollywood Hopper

 Last week, I shared my Hollywood Hopper pattern with you.  While a great pattern, many people love to throw a smaller sized hopper say in size 12 or 10.  With that in mind, I tried to scale down the pattern to a smaller size.  The choice in hook is purely personal.  The wide gap allows to hold bigger fish and you can use whatever hook you choose.  Just make sure you don't have a small gap because you will lose a lot of fish.  Please excuse the lack of instruction on this video as you are accustomed to.  If I could do it over again, I'd leave the music out.  Enjoy and tie some up and have fun!

The Lil' Hollywood Hopper from Juan Ramirez on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hopper Time

If you are looking for a challenging but fun pattern to tie for hopper season, take a look at the Hollywood Hopper.
It was a challenge for me to come up with this one, but once I figured it out, I loved it.   Feel free to make changes as needed but do this for me.  Have fun and get out and fish!  These are also available from Montana Fly Company and their dealers.  Here is one online shop that carries all of my patterns with MFC.

The Hollywood Hopper from Juan Ramirez on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Smith River MT, 2014

2008-As I am walking down the road alongside the Arkansas River, I stumble upon a group of credit cards on the side of the road.  I look at them and wonder what happened.  I put them in my pocket for nothing less than making sure they are not just laying there as trash.  When I get home, I tell my wife about it and she looks in the phone book to see if the name is in there.  There is a name that matches the cards so she calls and speaks to a teenage girl who does say her dad had his car broken into on the Arkansas River and his credit cards stolen.  We tell her we have the cards and that her dad can stop by and pick them up.  He never does so we put them in the mail.  I never know who the cards belong to.    

2009-As I am standing at the street crossing, a man walks up and asks me a question about fly fishing.  My Simms jacket gives me away as a fly flinger.  We visit a while and make small talk about fishing.  

2014-As we drive over the bridge crossing the river, Kent is already fishing.  This is not his first time here.  He has been visiting this water since 2001.  I am tagging along for my first trip to the Smith River and to Montana for the first time in a long while.  I am told that there are big fish in the water and that we will fish until we drop, only stopping to eat.  
The fishing was great.  The bugs were around only sporadically, so the dry fly fishing was limited to the evening only.  When there was some cloud cover, a few fish would come out to play but for the most part, it was a streamer party.  Wooly Buggers, Sculpzillas, and more buggers were on the menu. As you will see, the banks were high and the fish tucked into them.  With a higher flow on the front end of the trip, the water temps were good but as the week went on, the water dropped and the water temps went up causing the fish to make a change in their positions.  The bugs were almost nonexistent and those that were on the water floated unmolested down the river as far as we could watch them.  The first few days provided me with four 20" fish.  At that pace, I though I could win the MVP of the week.  As the week wore on, so did I.  I got tired! Fishing for at least 8 hours a day is pretty hard work.  Throw in walks back and forth to the river in chest high grass and it makes it tough.  I know, poor me!  There was a session mid week when I got blanked.  I tried everything, but I just couldn't close the deal on about 10 fish.  It was bad.  Think John Starks bad in game 7 of the 1994 NBA finals.  By Friday, our last day on the water, it was hard to get up from the Lazy-Boy and decide to put on the waders and sunscreen and bugs spray and hoof it to the water but as I told Kent when he asked me what I wanted to do, I told him that we should go fishing.  On Monday, he wasn't going to have the option of asking me what I wanted to do.   Let's go!  
On the trip in.  I would have loved to fish this little creek.  It was gorgeous.  

My first peek at he Smith River


Our first night on the river.

Our porch view.  Not a bad way to plan the day.  

The Simms boys.  While in Montana, fish Simms.

Kent and the big fish of the trip.  It measured 20.5"

Being released.  20.5"

One of my 20" fish.  

It lives!

"The Diesel"  My Hardy Zenith 1 piece 6wt.  I nicknamed it "The Diesel" because I was throwing double streamers and hopper/dropper rigs with ease.  This rod is smooth and feels like a 4 wt. until you open it up and lay on the gas.  Then you really feel how much power it really has stashed away in the butt.  Also, I bent this rod way more than a rod should be bent, especially when that big fish took me under a log......

Kent Releasing another nice fish

Here it is

This view doesn't get old

Kent, me and Scott

Yes, I know.

Another nice fish.  

Streamer eater

A "pesky 15"er!

Some of my favorites.  Simms, Waterworks-Lampson and Hardy.

More fish.  It never gets old.  

One of my favorites.  The take is burned into my memory.  It rose to the streamer very slowly and all I remember is the bright colors on the flank of this fish in the water.  The colors were incredible.  

Same fish being released

This fish was even more colorful than the others.  It slammed the streamer as soon as it hit the water.

20" fish.

The ranch.  

Sculpzilla eater.  

A few PMDs were out and some fish were caught with dries.  

The Scott G.  Dry fly heaven.  Only missing the dry flies.  

Smaller 16-17"er.  

On the way to find some water.

I told you there were a few PMDs on the water and a few willing fish.

I need more weight!

A fish on a Glossy Back Baetis Nymph on the Sheep Creek.

Sheep Creek


Check out the spots!

Scott on the Sheep.

Scott's son, Jeff who joined us for a few days on the water.  Jeff is a great Czech nympher and I learned a lot from him just watching him fish.  I certainly need to look into Czech nymphing.  

The river near the cabin. 

Another fish!


Streamer eater.....again

This never got old. I enjoyed every minute of the trip except when the mosquitos were really bugging me.  
On the way out, back home.  Montana is so wide open and big! It was bittersweet leaving as there were no other people in the area, but hey, we were headed back home to Colorado, which isn't so bad for a fly fisherman.  
Bridger Range

The Yellowstone Valley near Livingston.

The Yellowstone River

The credit cards I found belonged to Kent, the one who asked me if I fished that day on the corner of Tejon and Bijou in downtown Colorado Springs.  Since that day we have been friends and have fished together over the years.  This trip is just another chapter to add to that mysterious book we are writing.