Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

As the sun rises, I would like to take the time to wish you all a Merry Christmas.  May your day be filled with fun and lots of new fishing items.

To all that do, thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  I really appreciate it!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Passion on Paper

As the first semester of my sophomore year comes to a close, a few of my elective classes come to an end.  One of the classes that I took this semester was drawing, and one of our assignments was a colored pencil drawing with a variety of ink techniques for added texture.  I chose to draw a big, lake run brown in fall colors, and I think it turned out pretty well!  Anyways, here are a few pics of the finished piece, so let me know what you think of it!

Full Size

Up close and personal

Monday, December 19, 2011

Tuesday Tie ~ Rio Grande King Special

I figured I would mix it up a bit today, and go back in time a few years.  Nowadays our boxes are filled with stimulators, copper johns, and many more synthetic creations.  Back in the day, the Rio Grande King Special was a staple amongst fly fishermen, and has recently been "updated" by local experts like Charlie Craven.  The pattern pictured here is the original version, tied in black.  Enjoy!

Side View

Quartering View

-Hook: Sz 14 Dai-Riki #075
-Thread: Black 70 Denier Thread
-Tail: Golden Pheasant Tippets
-Tag: Gold Tinsel
-Body: Medium Black Chenille
-Wing: Duck Quill, White
-Throat: Brown Hackle Fibers

Monday Movies ~ Spring Creek

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Snow Flakes, Call of Duty, and Fly Fishing

Glancing out the window of my friend's basement, I couldn't help but notice the fresh layer of white powder that lay frozen on the ground.  Accompanying the powder were delicately falling snowflakes, and dark, dreary skies.  But the decision was made to make the best of it, no matter the conditions.  Besides, it was the weekend, and it would be an unbearable five school days until we would get to do this again, so why not?

The mission of the day was to teach my friend Trevor the basics of fly fishing, and hopefully get him into a few fish at one of my favorite spots.  So, we arose from the mess of left over pizza, blankets, and video game controllers from the previous night, and bundled up in our warmest clothing.  As we downed our cinnamon rolls at the kitchen table, I couldn't help but think about the day, and the events that it would bring.  Trout have a way of indirectly forcing you to pursue them, no matter what the conditions; something Trevor was having a hard time understanding.

As we geared up and jumped in the truck, the thermometer read 17 degrees Fahrenheit.  Hopeful that the sun would soon show its face after a long night of hide (and seek), I stepped away from the car, and grabbed the rods from the back.  Two minuscule thread midges were selected from the warm, homely rows of my fly box, and a few feet of 6x fluorocarbon were peeled off of the spool.  My fingers shook violently as I clumsily tightened the clinch knots on the chosen meal course of the day.  After repeating the process with the second rod, both Trevor and I were ready to go, and trudged through the light, fluffy snow to the river's edge.

We watched as fish leisurely moved about a particular riffle, slowly munching on the tiny snacks adrift in the current.  With carefully placed presentations, and a lot of luck, we managed to trick a few small rainbows.

As the temperatures continued to drop, I removed the last midge on my rig from the hook keeper that sat firmly fastened to my rod.  The wind howled, and I placed one last cast into a low, clear moving run.  Intently, I watched as a glint of white showed up in the water, and I set to the feeling of a long, slow tug at the end of my line.  As trevor sat shivering on the bank, I netted the fish, and set him free  to his home in the frigid waters.

The picture doesn't demonstrate how cld it really was...

We reeled in the rods, and returned to the truck, frozen to the bone.  As the digital temperature gauge glowed with life, the temperature read 13 degrees fahrenheit, even lower than when we started.

After removing our frozen waders and boots, we returned to the basement of his house, and munched on left over pizza as we played a few rounds of Call of Duty.  About the time my Dad arrived to pick me up, the feeling had returned to my toes.  Upon entering the car, I couldn't help but laugh to myself as I glanced over at the thermometer.

13 Degrees.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Home Invader Take Three

This is probably getting old by now, but when given suggestions for a fly, I never quit until I (and others) are satisfied.  So, I decided to try the home invader yet again, this time with even a few more changes than the previous time.  I am tying these up for a good friend of mine, and will hopefully have some pictures to prove its effectiveness shortly after they arrive at his door.  So without further ado, the home invader round three!

Straight on shot...I really like the color combo on this one

I must say, I am liking this thing more and more every minute

After a swim...the profile is sweet!

Up close and personal

This one's for you Charlie! Let me know what you think!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Tuesday Tie~Home Invader Take Two

I got a request from one of my friends to try an olive version of the Home Invader with a stinger hook rather than on stationary hook.  So, I decided to put my english paper on hold for a few minutes, and give it a shot.  I messed around a bit, and here is what I came up with.
Quartering View

Before a Swim

Olive Stinger version after a swim.  I really dig the profile of it with the stinger hook
Materials are the same except for the loop tied in at the back that you will use to attach your stinger hook.  I prefer 30 pound power pro fishing line, though Dacron backing will work fine as well.

 This one's for you Charlie!

Monday Movies~Pike Teaser

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fishing has been minimal lately.... With finals, homework, and getting hit by a car a couple of weeks ago, I haven't been out on the water very much, and each time has resulted in rough conditions with few fish landed.  But hey, that's why they call it fishing not catching, right?

So, in response to not having any fishing news or pictures to post, I figured I would share an essay I wrote for my AP Literature class.  We were told to write about a specific event in great detail, so I decided to write about a fishing trip from this summer.  Enjoy!

Tight Lines
The grasshoppers were never active in the cold morning air.  I knew that I could remain there, lying under my toasty, green and brown striped covers for another hour.  At that time, I could head out in search of a trophy, a magnificent trout, with a fly rod in hand.

At nine o’clock, I was awakened by the deep, moaning sound of my alarm.  I threw on my favorite shirt and shorts, sloppily placed my worn, old fishing cap on my head, and let my crooked, scratched sunglasses hitch a ride on my tired, saggy face.  I clumsily climbed the stairs from my room, greedily reached for a few granola bars, and stumbled out the door of my house into the garage.  Slowly but surely, I loaded all my fishing gear into the car and left with strong ambitions. 
“I will be back in an hour to get you, okay?”  My mom yells from the car as I nod hurriedly, and sprint down to the water’s edge.  The raging water came crashing over rocks, and the grasshoppers had awakened from their night’s rest.  Beer cans were littered around the bank, and a bait fisherman sat upstream from me, staring in wonderment.  I poked and prodded in the bank side grasses, scaring the innocent insects into the water.  Intently, I watched as the small creatures floated down river.  The sound of the fish inhaling the hopper was similar to that of a toilet flushing.  I saw a flash of pink, and the grasshopper was gone.
I crept into a casting position, and nervously muttered to myself, “Well, here goes nothing”.  Would my new hopper pattern work?  The rapid beating of my heart caused my temples to throb.  I presented the fly, and prepared for warfare.  As if my imitation was a natural, the fish calmly slurped down its meal, and I knew that this was what I had been preparing for.  
I slowly lifted the fly rod, and the surface immediately erupted as if Mt. St. Helens was exploding from beneath.  Twisting around branches, rolling near the surface, and diving beneath boulders, the colossal slab of silver and pink worked against me like a piston in a racecar.  The fish ran across the river as if he was being chased by a monster from a childhood dream.  Reel in, pull back, reel in, pull back, like a game of tug-o-war, we fought for bragging rights.  The muscles in my arm burned like needles puncturing one’s skin, and screamed for the battle to end.  The sun’s intense heat felt like a laser burning into the skin on my neck.  I could feel the wondrous beast starting to tire, and entered the refreshingly cool water in hopes of netting my trophy.  This was it: one wrong step and the entire thing could end.  Slipping, scrambling, and falling over the river bottom, I moved into a comfortable position.  I raised the rod, and slid the fish towards my awaiting net.  My mind was rushing like a running-back going for the touchdown.  I reached, I leaned forward, and then it happened: I felt the weight of the monster in my net.
I could not believe my eyes as I glanced down at the beautiful specimen in my net.  The zipper on my chest pack screamed as I dug for a scale and measuring tape.  I attached the rusty old scale to my net, and the marker dive-bombed straight to eleven pounds.  Against the old metal tape measure, the gorgeous fish measured at twenty-four inches, a true behemoth.  
Speedily, I removed the bent and deformed hook from the jaws of the beast.  Gasping for air, I rocked the gentle giant back and forth in the water.  Little did the fish know, all I desired was a few pictures.  With the current pouring over the fish’s fluorescent red gills, the brilliant creature regained its breath, and slowly swam into the abyss.  My emotions had quieted, and all that could be heard was the trickle of the river water.

Thanks to all who took the time to read it! I hope you enjoyed it!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fly Tying Demo ~ Elkhorn Fly Shop

Hey Everyone!  

I will be hosting the Saturday morning fly tying demo down at Elkhorn fly shop in loveland tomorrow morning from 10 till Noon.  I will be tying an assortment of small midges, micro baetis, and a few other winter staples used for fooling those tough winter time trout.  As always, there will be hot coffee and snacks, as well as loads of fishing tales.  For directions, click here!

So swing by the shop for a cup of joe, some fly tying, and plenty of monster fish stories.  I hope to see all of you there!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Small Flies and Light Tippets...

I got a call yesterday from my good friend Dennis Martin inviting me to go fish with Vincent Su and himself today.  I gladly accepted the invitation, and made plans with Dennis to meet Vincent in the parking lot at 9:30.

So, I arose to the sound of my alarm, threw on my favorite fishing clothes, jumped into the truck with Dennis, and off we went.  About an hour later, we were rigging up, and sharing stories of our recent fishing ventures with Vincent.  After extended conversations, we set out in search of our quarry.

Upon arrival at the river, we noticed several fish taking small midge pupa just below the surface, so we each took turns targeting specific fish with super tiny flies and light tippets.

Jake Ruthven photo

Jake Ruthven photo

The flies towards the top are bigger, but we were using the ones in the bottom right corner...size 30 2X short

Vincent Su with a fiesty little brown

Dennis Martin with a beautiful brown
Long story short, we all ended up having a tremendous day on the water, and despite not catching any monsters, each other's company made it such a joy to be out.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A weekend all my own

I was lucky enough to get a three day weekend last week, and decided to make it the best that I possibly could.  I had grand fishing plans, and knew that I was going to have an excellent three days relaxing.  I had also ordered a new hip pack from fishpond, and was anxious to try it out.

So, come saturday morning, I arose swiftly at 7:15, threw on my favorite fishing clothes, and headed out to my porch in order to wait for my ride, and good friend Dennis to arrive.

He pulled up in his old turquoise ford pickup truck, and off we went.  Now today would not be just any normal day of fishing.  We weren't headed for the river just yet...instead we soon found ourselves outside of Rick Takahashi's house, and after a little conversation, we transferred all of our gear to his car, and to the river we went!

The day began with some excellent nymphing, and slowly transferred over to great surface action.  We were pulling fish on an assortment of small dries, as well as several different emerger patterns.  The highlight of the day was seeing the baetis emerger pattern I created catch over a dozen fish!  It was truly incredible watching Mr. Takahashi fish, and he ended the day with a fish count exceeding 30.  My friend Dennis did quite well also, bringing in several fiesty rainbows.  After fishing, we grabbed lunch at a mexican restaurant, and then headed our separate ways.

 Sunday, I completed my behemoth load of homework, and was fortunate enough to hit the river with my dad that evening.  We fished until dark, and though success rates were minimal, it was still awesome to get out and fish with my dad.

Gorgeous Rainbow
Beautiful little fish...the colors on this guy made him the fish of the night

A note on the pack...
I was extremely pleased with how the new waist pack performed on the water this weekend.  It is able to hold all of my gear and a lunch, as well as two water-bottles.  I also like the fact that it swings easily out of my way, making fishing a heck of a lot easier.  Overall, it is an excellent pack, and definitely worth the money.  if any of you would like a full review, feel free to let me know.

In summary, it was a great three days off.  Fishing with Mr. Takahashi, and Mr. Martin was truly a gift, but fishing with my dad made for a perfect ending to the weekend.  Before we know it, things will be covered in snow, so get out and fish before the pleasant fall days turn to snowy, cloud-filled skies!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tuesday Tie ~ Depth Charge Bird's Nest

This pattern is a twist on the once famous Bird's Nest fly pattern created by Cal Bird.  The original pattern is tied using a small brass bead in order to hold the fly just below the surface.  This version is tied with a brass bead in front, and a tungsten bead behind it, giving it the weight needed to reach fish holding in deeper water.  I like to fish this fly behind a mercury flashback pheasant tail, or any other pattern with a mercury bead because the bird's nest gives the fish a nymph option, and a mercury pattern gives them an emerger option.  So without further ado, the Bird's Nest...

Materials List:
Hook: TMC 2457, size 12-18
Thread: Rusty Brown 70 Denier UTC
Beads: Gold tungsten sized to hook, and black brass sized to hook.  (Black goes on first, and then gold.  The tungsten bead is threaded with the bigger hole facing forward so that it hugs the back of the brass bead)
Weight: Lead wire, sized to hook
Tail/Antennae: Amber Goose Biots
Abdomen/Thorax: Arizona synthetic dubbing, color of your choice
Rib: Small Gold UTC Ultra Wire
Legs: Hen Back Fibers

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tuesday Tie ~ The Home Invader

The home Invader is an excellent streamer pattern that was created by famous guide Doug Mcknight.  What I love about this pattern is its simplicity.  It involves only a hook, eyes, flash, marabou, and Arctic fox, and the action it gives off in the water is pretty awesome.  There are endless color variations to his pattern, so feel free to mess around with the materials, and see what you come up with!  So without further ado....The Home Invader! So next time you are out on the water, give this thing a try. You might just get the biggest fish in the river...

Thread: UTC 140 Denier (color to match), and hot orange 70 Denier for the hot spot
Hook: Tiemco 700 #2-10
Eyes: Dumbell eyes, sized to hook
Tail: Marabou (color of Choice)
Body: Arctic Fox fur (color to match the natural)
Gills: Wrapped hen hackle (color of choice)
Flash: One color of flashabou, and one color of krystal flash ( a few strands of each), tied in on the bottom of the fly. (silver flashabou and gray krystal flash used here)

Finished Fly, note the hot orange bump of thread at the front

After a dunk.  The fly has a great baitfish profile

So next time you are out on the water, give this thing a try. You might just get the biggest fish in the river...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011

2b + 3a * F (a) = Fishing Time?

Not so much.  Over the past month or so, I have been literally up to my eyeballs in homework, and have had minuscule amounts of free time to go fishing.  I apologize for not posting in such a long time, but now that school is finally starting to somewhat settle, I should be able to post more frequently.  I have been busy solving for the value of 'X', and exploring the literary elements of culture, while trying to maintain my sanity with each passing day.

Notes, notes, and more notes...
I did manage to get out a few times back in september with excellent luck throughout wyoming, and have been out a few times since, with rather disappointing results.  I was quite satisfied though, because the hopper pattern that I recently came up with managed to out-fish some of the more popular patterns such as Charlie Boy Hoppers.  As for the conditions...The Poudre is running low and clear in town; almost so low that it looks more like a drainage ditch than a river.  I was watching the flows like a hawk, and despite the recent bump to around 200 CFS, the lower stretches of the river are still being deprived of precious water.  As much as it bothers me, it does get me excited for the 20 degree days on the water with 7X tippet and size 26 midges....

Beautiful Cutbow caught on one of my new hopper designs!
One of the highlights of the past month was getting to meet April Vokey, and learning how to tie some steelhead stuff!  I, and several of my other friends have major crushes on her, so it was quite the treat!  Not only is she super nice, but she loves fly fishing!  I can't help but to wonder if there is a better combo out there... 

Me and April...Ahhhhh
My Steelhead Fly...

Like I said, I have been extremely busy, but am planning on getting out this weekend.  The canyon is lit up yellow with the gorgeous fall colors of Aspen trees, so if you get the chance, get up there a ways and do some fishing! 

Sunflowers at sunset
Scott Ruthven Photo
Barn in the Country
Scott Ruthven Photo
 If you do manage to get out on the water, let me know how fishing was!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Greenback Kinda Day

I received a message on facebook the other day from a good friend of mine saying that we were going to pursue some Greenback Cutthroat when he got back from the IFTD in New Orleans.  We made a plan to meet in the parking lot at 10 A.M Saturday morning.

The lush vegetation was incredible!

Casey and I before heading out in search of trout
 Vincent brought along a friend of his, so he and I decided to hike ahead of the other three guys.  We hiked pretty far up, and fished about a mile and a half upstream from where we started. It was a breathtaking place full of great scenery. clear water, and tons of Greenbacks.  We started off the morning with ant dries, and switched later to attractor dries with unweighted emerger dropper patterns.  It was amazing to see some of the takes.  One of us would spot the fish, and then the other would cast to it.
Discussing tactics in order to fool that particular fish

Can you spot the fish?

Super clear water, and rising cutties. Nothing gets better.
Not huge, but beautiful as can be!

I was a bit upstream of Casey, and spotted a nice (for this area) greenback feeding heavily on emergers, so I decided to try for him.  I put one cast over him, and he came up to check out my dry, but refused it.  On the second drift, he kicked over to the side a few inches, opened his mouth, and I set.  The reward was a beautiful cutthroat.

Trying to Indian Hand Grab  a monster Rainbow in the stocked pond
 We ended the day with eating at a local pizza place is estes park, and had some fun messing with the huge trout that reside in a stocked pond there.  Overall I had an awesome trip, and will definitely be heading back soon!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Late evening spinners

My dad and I had a chance to get out and fish one more time before I start school, so we decided to head up the Poudre canyon a bit.  We decided not to leave the house until about 5:15 due to the high number of tubers that would be out, so we ended up getting on the water at around 6:00 that evening.

As soon as we got to the river, we noticed a few green drakes fluttering around, lots of caddis in the air, accompanied by a couple of PMDs.  We both rigged up with big attractor dries, and small caddis pupa droppers, and set out in search of pocket water.  It didn't take very long to find a colony of boulders strewn throughout the water, and every cast into pocket water seemed to produce at least one take, but the fish would often miss the fly due to their small size.

This little guy came up and slammed the dry fly in pocket water

Then, at around 8:00, the sky was suddenly loaded with PMD spinners, and we were both jumping with excitement.  We clipped off our pre existing rigs, and tied on anything that was small, and slightly yellow colored.  As we scanned the surface of the water, noses began showing up in every direction, sipping the fallen spinners by the dozens.  I ended up pulling in four trout in the course of probably 30 minutes, putting me at six for the night.  Th fish were by no means huge, but I did manage one nice brown that went about 16 inches, caught under the light of the moon.

One of the better browns of the night; he calmly came up to sip my PMD spinner pattern.

Same fish as above, just a different angle.
The story of the trip is this: I was standing midstream fishing the tail-out of a riffle, and all of a sudden, I look to my left, and this pit bull is charging into the water like he wants to eat me.  Thankfully the current was strong enough that he couldn't swim upstream, instead he just swam stationary. He proceeded to charge me three more times, but again, the current saved me. Scary, but at the same time, I did enjoy taunting him as he sat there idling in the current.

Overall it was a fun night on the water with my dad, and it really made me feel good seeing the Poudre fish that well.  All of the fish caught were browns; all of them wild. In short, it was a good outing to one of my favorite rivers.

Oh, and I apologize for the quality of the pictures, all I had was my two megapixel cell phone camera, so they are not the best.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Stones by Day, Drakes by Night~Taylor River

 Personally, I enjoy being challenged as an angler.  Challenging situations drive me to think outside of the box, and try new tactics on tough fish.  Until recently, I had only heard stories of the grotesque fish that live in the Taylor River Tailwater, also known as the "hog trough".  Big fish, and I mean BIG fish being pulled on a day-to-day basis, tons of mysis shrimp, and solid hatches of a plethora of different insects.  What else could one ask for in a trout stream?  Long story short, I had been chomping at the bit to get to this amazing fishery, and have my shot at some monster trout.

Well, my opportunity came a few weeks ago when a friend of mine invited me to tag along with him, his mom, and another one of his friends on a camping trip to the Taylor River.  I did not hesitate to say yes, and before I knew it, we were on the road, headed down to Gunnison in search of trophies.  I had never fished the Taylor C&R before, so I had no idea what to expect; how tough the fish would be, if we would catch any monsters, etc. 

Well, we arrived at our campground at around six o'clock that night, and headed to a few beaver ponds in search of dinner. We spent about 45 minutes searching for brookies, and ended up with 9 trout for the three of us. As much as I hate keeping fish, it had to be done.  We cooked our fish over the fire, gobbled them down, threw our gear on, and headed to the River at about 10:30 that night.  It was bitter cold, and the river was rushing at around 500 cfs. Being sight fishermen, we both stuffed a flashlight into each side of our buffs, and set out looking for trout. 

We found trout, and sat with our lights focused on them as we drifted our rigs past them.  When we saw the mouth open, a calm lift of the rod produced severe headshakes that made you look as if you were hammering nails, and intense runs that made the hair on your neck stand up straight. We fished all through the night and all through the day, slept for a few hours in the car, and repeated the process again.

21.5 Inch Rainbow that moved out of his spot to slam my fly

My buddy Joe with a sweet brownie that didn't hesitate to move over 3 feet to slam the nymph as it swung through his viewing lane.  My mysis/scud/midge rig was the best producer, so we alternated with that rod
We spotted this fish midstream, and he took on the second drift
A trophy is what you make of it; the colors of this bow made it the fish of the day
This brown was spotted right on the edge of a fast seam, slamming drakes.  We made a presentation, and on about the twentieth drift, he inhaled our green drake nymph.
We also fished the lower Taylor in the Town of Almont, and did quite well with an assortment or fish landed on big dries.
Matt and I spotted this fish from a cliff rising constantly to what appeared to be green drakes.  Using binoculars, we were able to determine that the fish was feeding on small yellow sallies rather than the green drakes that were everywhere.  Joe went down to cast to him, and on about the ninth cast, the fish calmly came up to slurp his dry fly.  We waited until the fish turned to yell "lift!"
 We ended the trip with a stop at duck lake, which is just below squaretop lake.  We were in search of big greenbacks, and boy did we get into them good.  Right off the bat, we all landed cutties, the smallest measuring 16 inches.  we kept having success throughout the day, with the biggest fish being caught by Matt, and measuring 21 inches.

this monster greenback appeared from the depths to try and eat my 17 inch cutty. Luckily, Matt was right there, and was able to coax the fish into eating a beetle pattern off the top.
 Overall it was a sweet trip, and I am looking forward to going back.  My next trip will most definitely be in the winter/early spring when the rainbows are spawning, so that the chances at a monster are even higher.
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