Saturday, July 27, 2013

A very cheap stud and dealing with fresh elk hide.

A very cheap stud.

     Normally, I like to support my local fly shop. They deserve the business, I need them for advice, fly materials, new rods, and support of Denver Trout Unlimited. But this is a safety issue. Boot studs are absolutely essential on Colorado streams but $29.95 for 20 studs is just robbery. At a $1.50 per screw, it's not the boot sole that's being screwed. This is a SAFETY ISSUE. As you can see, my $29.95 studs are both rusted and worn down 1/2 way through the season. I'm ready for another solution.

     So I stopped in at a local cycle shop and asked for ice studs for motocross racing on the ice. "Getting  a jump on the season are you?" "No, just re-studing my wading boots for fly fishing." "You know, I always wanted to try that. We'll have to order them. It will be four days, pay in advance $24.95 for 250."
     Now we're talking. $.10 rather than $1.50. At these prices I can afford to put nice fresh studs on both sets of boots and my wading sandals. Come-on boot makers. Get real. I'm sure you can make up some reason why your screws are $1.40 better but I doubt I'll be convinced. Your screws do rust, do get dull, and except for a ground off tip seem to be exactly the same as these ice studs. We'll see.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

30 fish in RMNP on one fly in 4 hours.

Thirty fish in 4 hours on a single fly in a National Park along a busy hiking trail. 

An Elk hair egg-laying green caddis. Looks a little beat-up, doesn't it.

John and Fred w/buffs to make us disappear in the forest. I always take a before picture to show the investigators that he wasn't coerced into this trip.
    Within two hours of Denver, there is a National Park with many small streams loaded with hungry trout. The reason they are hungry is that at the elevations in the park, insect life is difficult and the trout as a result do not grow large but are always looking for food of any kind.
    The parking lot fills up with hikers, mostly families on Rocky Mountain motor vacations. The few fly fishers spread out along the trails which follow the streams or take a feeder branch. I have very seldom run into another fly fisher on these marvelous mountain streams.
     The wading, casting, and drifts are not easy. Roll cast and bow and arrow casts are all you'll be able to use unless you are casting parallel to the stream. Even then a set will often put you in the branches. And there will be lots of sets.

An Easter Brook trout descendent. Stocking of these easterners probably can be blamed on the Railroads.  The higher you go and the further you hike the more likely you are to encounter cutthroats. 

The trail follows one side of the stream but the other side of the stream, with the fast rushing waters will give you complete silence and solitude. 

The brookies do have beautiful colors though.

     Fred does a flash back to fishing from the pier and demonstrates the cast called dappling that's been around since 1653.

Fred does a perfect release.
It's not just about the fish.

     Don't forget to take a break once in awhile at this altitude. I used a 6 1/2ft  4 weight rod and 5x tippet. Fred even devolved to streamers at one point but I wanted to see if I could do it with one fly. Somehow it lasted all day, through 30 fish brought to the net and another 15 that were hits, runs, but none left on. ( We call that a Trout Unlimited in-stream release.)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Teach the dog to Tie.

Tying some up.

I turn my back for one minute and Rua, the in-house Rhodesian Ridgeback tries to tie her own flies. Apparently she loves the chartreuse bucktail.  Her tying session was not all that successful, but every 5 years or so, I really should thin out the decades of feathers and hair that I haven't used and never will. 
     Back on track, I tied some Goddard Caddis using a video from  MidCurrent, A dab of zap-a-gap certainly simplified this complex fly. They also had a caddis emerger pattern but it called for New Zealand white wool. I guess Rua ate it, so I substituted z-ylon.

On to the Arkansas.

Ned convinced me to try upstream of Vallie Bridge on the Arkansas. 
You've always got to share the Arkansas. Rafters, fly fishers, campers, Christos  Over-The-River  (hope not), and apparently horse.

The Arkansas is fishing very, very well this year. Thanks to a mild runoff and lots of bugs last year, and a long sustained runoff this year, the fish are large, healthy, and hungry. 

Later  in a side channel above Wellsville Bridge I found this little pocket on the left,
seam in the middle,

and shelf on the right.

I couldn't seem to do anything wrong. They loved the Goddard Caddis. I caught the rainbow below, clicked and released it, flicked my fly into the water to get ready to cast and wham! This brown decided to take the caddis emerger for the first time today.


This net filling rainbow appears to have had a luck encounter with an eagle that just missed the mark by grabbing to far near the tail. That's why we all call it fishing.

And Release

This is my favorite part of fly fishing. The gentle below the water , stress free release.  The brown just wanders out and moseys off.


What worked.

The Goddard Caddis was the winner today but only after I switched to 4x. The monster takes by these large Arkansas browns broke me off before I could even set a hook. After three of these I finally changed. I'm a slow learner.