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.