Fly Fishing Stories

Shedding Some Light on Fly Fishing Conservation

By Sara Golden–

There are quite a few topics that are covered consistently on fly fishing blogs. Everybody likes to read the newest gear reviews and fishing reports from exclusive locations. That’s what people generally enjoy reading and don’t get me wrong, I totally see why, in fact I myself spend a big part of my free time on fly fishing blogs absorbing those articles.
That being said, there are certain topics that -in my opinion- need a little bit more attention. As with most other sports, that heavily rely on nature, conservation should play a much bigger role in the scene than it does.

Why do we need it
A big part of why I enjoy fly fishing more than any other form of angling is how close it brings you to nature. While this might sound a little cheesy, just compare spin casting from shore to the process of stalking up on a beautiful fish you spotted, wading to the perfect position and present that carefully chosen fly just in the right way. IMG_1196A basic knowledge of entomology and observing present insects might have played a role and if the right conditions are given, you might just land that fish you were after. However, those conditions are more sensitive than most people think and especially trout as a species rely heavily on cold and perfectly clean water. Only minor changes to an environment lead up to dying fish and a collapsing ecosystem.
While you might think about big factories unloading their waste right now, the average trout river usually faces different challenges. In today’s age we have one big problem, more and more people want to enjoy the outdoors and everything that comes with it. While the revenue of fishing license sales went down in Colorado (http://www.krdo.com/news/money/fishing-hunting-license-revenue-down-in-colorado/33627880), there is no doubt that rivers get more and more crowded. Hatcheries struggle keeping up and face higher costs than they once did. People working for wildlife management lose their jobs and Colorado considers doubling costs for hunting and fishing licenses (http://www.denverpost.com/2016/08/27/colorado-parks-wildlife-hunting-fishing-licenses-cost/).
Those sensitive environments we talked about earlier face more and more challenges, overfishing, pollution and the lack of practiced catch and release, just to name a few.

A Few Basic Guidelines
It should be obvious by now, that it’s crucial to this sport to have some basic guidelines that every fly fisher should follow, although they aren’t defined by law. After all, you probably want to be able to catch trout in your favorite river, even a few decades from now, don’t you?

Practice Catch & Release
While frowned upon in most parts of Europe it’s still pretty common in the US to take that nice trout you caught home. Don’t get me wrong here, I love eating freshly caught fish myself. In terms of taste it beats everything you can buy and every once in awhile, I catch dinner myself. However, the huge majority of fish you catch should go straight back into the river. Sure you could hit your daily limits easily on some days, but do you really have to? Released trout have a survival rate of over 90% (http://www.westernsportsman.com/2014/01/fish-mortality-catch-and-release/) which assures, that others or even you are able to enjoy reeling that fish in on another day.

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9 out of 10 released fish survive. Sounds pretty good right? Well, there is a catch. Achieving those results is only possible if you handle fish the correct way. A few basic rules that have a big impact on said rate:
-Reel that fish in as fast as possible
-Reduce air time to a bare minimum
-Wet your hands before handling
-Use your landing net only if needed
It all comes down to reducing the stress for fish you are catching. Keep those basics in mind, follow them and you might land the trout another time.

Never Pull Trout Out Of Redds
This should be self evident but going after trout during spawn is highly questionable. Especially if you see big fish swimming over bright and clean gravel, leave them alone! These are their spawning beds, referred to as redds, and disturbing them at this point is an absolute no-go!

Wade Only If Necessary
Since those complex environments we talked about earlier are pretty fragile, walking over all those aquatic organisms eaten by trout doesn’t really help. Wading is a big part of this sport and generally it’s impact is negligible, IF you limit it down to only what’s necessary. If you feel like reading a bit more about that topic check this article about The Impact Of Wading Fly Fishers. (http://www.wadinglab.com/impact-of-wading-fly-fishers/)

Take Only Pictures, Leave Only Footprints
You probably heard that one before and I really like the philosophy behind it. Leave nothing behind. No trash, no flies and especially no line. Take it to the next level. See something that doesn’t belong next to a river? Take it with you when you leave.

My Final Words
I hope my point came across and hope even more, that people reading this realize how easy it is to make a difference. Try to limit the negative impact you have on those eco-systems we all enjoy fishing in. After all it benefits everyone and sticking to a few basic rules isn’t that big of a hassle, if you get a healthy river full of beautiful trout in return.
Tight lines!

A little bit about Sara: Based in Oregon, I picked up fly fishing pretty early in my life. Since then I am pretty much hooked, always looking for the next pool to fish. I am currently travelling Europe and when time allows, I enjoy writing about topics like conservation or fly fishing gear. Occasionally I get some work published on different fly fishing blogs and might start my own one in the future.

Spey Daze: Great Lakes Steelhead

This video popped up in my news feed this morning and thought it went well with a previous post about preparing for a Steelhead Trip. This video teaser hits hits home with me as it is filmed on many locations where I caught the Steelhead bug. Keep an eye out for the release of the 4 hour DVD series coming out in March.

From the Film Maker- This is the trailer for the upcoming film Spey Daze. It was shot over the course of two and a half years in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and various parts of Ontario. Though largely a film about the pursuit of Steelhead on the swung fly, the film also focuses on the past, present and current issues the Great Lakes are experiencing, how these issues effect the fishery and how they might affect the Steelhead populations that call the Great Lakes home.

SPEY DAZE Trailer from RT on Vimeo.

 

Fishermen & Hunters Unite

We are experiencing a wild time in our lives. Between the news, blog posts and social channels there is so much negativity on media outlets that it is driving me nuts. The finger pointing game has gotten out of hand and I feel like I am listening to a room full of children fighting over a crayon. I recently read an article that pointed out the separation between sportsman. If you care to read it you can do so HERE, but the point it got across is that we need to come together as sportsman and not as individuals.

royal coachmen

I am sure that some of you have felt superior to other sportsman regarding the technique you use to hunt game or target fish. Conventional fishermen vs fly fishermen is a good example. Fly fishermen are looked upon as yuppie elitist that wear fancy clothes and look down on those who do not embrace a fly rod. On the other hand it is thought that fly fishermen look a conventional anglers as neanderthals who kill every fish in the river. The same thing applies in the hunting world between archery hunters and those who prefer a rifle.

rapala

If we can look past our methods of hunting fishing and glance at the larger picture I think we can all agree that no matter how your choose to pursue you quarry we are there because we enjoy being outdoors. It is time to put the finger pointing and name calling away for good. Be respectful of each other, respect the land we are able to use and stop being quick to judge. All outdoorsmen have the right to pursue game in a manner that is lawful. So if you see an angler throwing Rapalas for trout in your favorite nymphing run, ask them how their day is going and wish them luck. Life is too short to be bitter, especially when you are enjoying the outdoors. We need to come together as sportsman to fight for the land, rivers and mountains we love so future generations have the same opportunity we have. United we stand divided we fall.

Fish of the Week

The grayling is known as the “Lady of the Stream.” In England and Wales, they can be fished for throughout the core fishing season (June 16 to March 14), providing exciting sport on the fly when the trout season is closed. There is no closed season for grayling in Scotland; where they have been introduced. The grayling is the dry fly fisherman’s fish with popular flies including Royal Coachmen’s and Humpys. “Czech-nymphing” is a very productive tactic for anglers fishing grayling in colder periods. The method involves moving a series of Czech nymphs under the tip of the fly rod with the flow of the river and the nymphs should entice the grayling to take one.

Grayling on the fly

For the dry fly fisherman, there may be no better fish than the grayling…

In Colorado, many streams and lakes offer fly anglers the chance at their first grayling. Joe Wright Reservoir and Joe Wright Creek are a great place to start for Colorado fly anglers looking to hook grayling.

Tight Lines,

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports

Dog with a Blog Part III

Our “Dog with a Blog” series has become quite popular with our readers and it has been awesome to get so many comments about fishing dogs!  Today, we got some great feedback from one of our readers, Thomas and his fishing dog, Buddy.  Thomas was kind enough to share some great photos of Buddy’s adventures on Colorado’s Clear Creek & South Boulder Creek.

Buddy fishing Clear Creek

Buddy fishing Clear Creek

Looks like Buddy loves the water!

Looks like Buddy loves the water!

Boy does this picture get us a CFFR dreaming about summer on the stream!

Boy does this picture get us at CFFR dreaming about summer on the stream!

If you would like to make your favorite fishing dog famous on Colorado Fly Fishing Reports, please email: tyler.bowman26@gmail.com with stories & photos.

Tight Lines,

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports

Fly Fishing Washington Steelhead: Swinging For Lightning

This video popped up in my news feed today and while my attention span is less than that of a goldfish I had to spend the 11 minutes to watch this piece by Todd Moen. While this fishing video was not all action, like the millions of others on the web, it captured the reality of swinging flies for Steelhead on the Olympic Peninsula.

The OP still remains one of my favorite places to fish for Steelhead. The lush scenery paired with beautiful rivers is tough to match, you also do not need a passport to get there. We used to do an annual fly fishing trip to the OP to visit our friends at Brazdas Fly Fishing but over the past few years life has gotten hectic and our group couldn’t commit to the trip. This is the time of year when images of chrome bright fish start to fill my news feed, I long for the smell of the rainforest. This video brought back a lot of fond memories of my weeks in Forks, WA. Maybe this will be the year that I finally give in to my desire and set responsibilities aside for a week.

If you have never experienced fly fishing for Steelhead there is no better place to cut your teeth other than Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. It will surely test your patients and psyche but can be incredibly rewarding in a blink of an eye. Take a look at this video segment and get the feel of what it is like to stand in a glacial river in the pouring rain waiting to strike lightning.

Fish of the Week!

Due to popular demand, Colorado Fly Fishing Reports has been asked to post weekly fish of the week! With so many fishes out there, it is truly fascinating as a Modern Fly-Fisherman to dream about all the possible angling destinations and fish species in the world!

Barramundi!

Barramundi!

This week’s fish of the week is the barramundi or Asian sea bass (Lates calcarifer) is a species of catadromous fish.  The species is widely distributed from Southeast Asia to Papau New Guinea and Northern Australia. Known in Thai Language as pla kapong, it is very popular in Thai Cuisine.

A lunker for sure!

A lunker for sure!

Barramundi inhabit coastal waters, estuaries, lagoons, and rivers; they are found in clear to turbid water, usually within a temperature range of 26−30 °C. This species does not undertake extensive migrations within or between river systems, which has presumably influenced establishment of genetically distinct stocks in Northern Australia.

Thanks to Colorado fly fishing guide, George Gumerman for awesome Barramundi on the fly photos!

Thanks to Colorado fly fishing guide, George Gumerman for awesome Barramundi on the fly photos!

Highly prized by anglers for their good fighting ability, barramundi are reputed to be good at avoiding fixed nets and are best caught on lines and with lures. Fly-fishing for barramundi is highly possible but generally a new frontier for fly anglers.

Tight Lines,

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports

Fishing Dog with a Blog, Part II

To get the most out of your fishing dog and “good luck” charm, the key is to get your pup acclimated to the water and riding in the boat at a young age.  This will be much easier to accomplish when your pup is little and not a 80 pound two year old thrashing around the oars!

fishing dog

“Powder”learning the finer points of rowing a boat…

"Mend that drift!" says Powder

“Mend that drift!” says Powder

There's nothing like nailing a big brown on a streamer while drifting Colorado's Roaring Fork!

There’s nothing like nailing a big brown on a streamer while drifting Colorado’s Roaring Fork!

Neil says, "Thumbs Up Dude!"

Neil says, “Thumbs Up Dude!”

Have a fun & safe weekend on the water!

Tight Lines,

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports

International Sportsman’s Expo comes to Denver January 12-15

Looking for something to do this weekend? Join The International Sportsman’s Expo to celebrate for the 40th year in Colorado. More than 525 exhibiting companies offering gear…expertise and travel adventures. 125+ free seminars. Expert-led clinics. Archery, casting and a new elk-calling contest. And check out the giant Youth Activity Center, hosted by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

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Location: Colorado Convention Center
 700 14th Street
 Denver, CO 80202

Hours

Thu 12 11am – 8pm
Fri 13 11am – 8pm
Sat 14 10am – 8pm
Sun 15 10am – 5pm

 Tickets

Adult Admission – $17.00
 Youth under 16 – Free!

 No Pets
 No Weapons, Firearms or Ammunition

Parking

Parking & Shuttles: $5 per car at Park Ave. & Wazee (near Coors Field). Limited wheelchair and scooter rental available at UPS Business Center

Tight Lines,

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports Invites You to The Fly Fishing Show!

Well, we hope you have enjoyed your Holidays and are settled back into “The Grind.” Winter is in full swing in Colorado, with temperatures at a high of only 10 degrees today! The weekend is fast approaching and with the colder temps it might be a good weekend to leave the river to the trout, ducks & geese and instead head downtown to The Fly Fishing Show!

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The show is a great place to get deals on the latest and greatest fly fishing gear, enter a raffle to win a trip to your dream fly fishing destination or just grab a cold beer and hang out and talk fishing. Here is the info you need this weekend:

Show Hours Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 9am – 5:30pm, Sunday 9am – 4:30 pm

Admission is cash only at the gate and a one-day pass is only $15. Back again this year is the International Fly Fishing Film Festival, one night only Friday January 6th at 6:30 PM, $15 ticket.

If you can't be on the river this weekend, why not join us for swapping lies & stories at The Fly Fishing Show?

If you can’t be on the river this weekend, why not join us for swapping lies & stories at The Fly Fishing Show?

The show is a great place to learn from authors, outfitters, fly-fishing guides and fly tiers. Weather you are looking for fly tying materials, books, DVDs, rods, reels, waders or apparel, you simply don’t want to miss The Fly Fishing Show!

Check it out at: www.flyfishingshow.com

Tight Lines,

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports