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Colorado Solar Eclipse

Portions of the United States are about to experience the first total solar eclipse on the continent since 1918 and Colorado is right on the doorstep of some of the best views in the nation! Monday, August 21st, will be the day the sky turns black!

While Denver and the rest of Colorado will not be in the direct path of the total solar eclipse, parts of the state will have a 95% eclipse and the viewing will be off of the charts! Below is a video of a total eclipse (of the heart) and the three best viewing locations within the vicinity.

  1. The Museum of Nature and Science in Denver will be hosting activities and safe viewing galleries of the whole eclipse, which will give great tutorials & views, but none of the I-25 traffic.
  2. Speaking of I-25 traffic, Casper, Wyoming will have the best eclipse view of the entire country and it’s only a 3.5 hour drive from Denver! But, and this is a big but, the traffic heading north will be horrendous. If you’re planning on making the trek north please plan ahead.
  3. Beaver Creek ski resort sits a bit of 9,000 feet elevation and the views from atop the slopes should be amazing. The resort will be doing guided 4×4 Jeep tours, gondola rides to the top, and picnic lunches at the ski haus.

All in all, Colorado is set up to for some great viewing this upcoming Monday! Please enjoy the scientific and educational video of solar eclipses that is below.

Calling The Elk…Hunters

The Colorado summer is rolling along but for those avid outdoorsman and hunters fall is always on the mind as elk season is coming closer into the crosshairs. Sitka Gear came out with a great video on the intricacies and nuances of calling elk. Bugling is an art, passion, and science all onto it’s own!

If this doesn’t get you primed for the beginning of the season I don’t know what will!

2017 Elk Season Dates

  • Archery (West of I-25 and Unit 140): Aug 26th-Sept 24th
  • Muzzleloader : Sept 9th-Sept 17th
  • Riffle: (1st season) Oct 14th-Oct 18th, (2nd season) Oct 21st-Oct 29th, (3rd season) Nov 4th-Nov 12th, (4th season) Nov 15th- Nov 19th

 

 

Gear Review – Umpqua LEDGES 650 ZS WAIST PACK

The Flyfisher Group Vice President Cody DeGuelle reviews the Umpqa Ledges 650 ZW Waist Pack. 

The Umpqa Ledges 650 ZS waist pack has truly been an upgrade from all packs I have used in the past. The best part is the overall engineering which allows the weight to be carried closer to the body with the support from the molded frame. This “big picture” bonus has made guiding and long days on the water more enjoyable and relieved all lower back tension. No more weight leveraging against your lower back.

The zippers are silk smooth even after some abuse. The large pockets on the waist strap have been handy and are much larger than any other pack I have fished, but not too big to where they get in the way and catch fly line. A large main compartment has plenty of room for four large boxes and also provides the ability to separate with a “file cabinet” type design. This pack rides very well on the hips with a thick waist strap and sticky material preventing pack sag, even with a heavy load and net in tow.

There is room for improvement on water bottle pockets. The cinch straps interfere with that area now which forces you to carry water with a looser pack or the ability to tighten it up and not carry water. I also think rings and/or tethers inside the main compartment would be awesome to secure fly boxes. I easily installed my own with swivels, but think this would be a cool stock feature in the future. Keep up the good work @Umpqua Feather Merchants, #umpquafeathermerchants #tiedtothewater

Check it out for yourself by clicking HERE.

Cody DeGuelle
Vice President
The Flyfisher Group

When The Thunder Roars, Go Inside!

Colorado anglers are no strangers to fishing in adverse weather and don’t get me wrong, it can be extremely fun and productive to fish through a rain storm, but we urge you to use sound judgement when fishing with thunder and lightning on the horizon. A good rule to follow is the “flash and bang” rule– if you see lightning and then hear thunder within 30 seconds of that then it’s within 6 miles of you and it’s time to get off of the river!

This article by the staff at The Denver Post illustrates our point well. Have fun out there but more importantly, be safe!

Colorado’s the third deadliest state for lightning strikes — here’s how to protect yourself

 

Remove Barbed Hook

If you fish enough you know that getting a hook stuck in your skin is bound to happen. I have had my share of streamers hit me in the ear, saltwater flies stuck in my leg and spey flies jammed into my back. Nine times out of ten these flies just sting you and leave a little red mark. But there are those times when those flies stick and need to come out with assistance. If you are a guide I am sure you have seen or used this trick to remove a barbed hook out of your or a clients skin.


This simple technique really helps you remove hooks of multiple sizes from all body parts. The best one that I have ever done was from a fellas nose. Simply find some heavy tippet wrap around the bend of the hook, press down on the eye and pull straight back. If done correctly that hook will come flying right out with minimal blood loss. Be sure to remember this technique. Streamer season is around the corner and you might need it.

Fly Casting: Adding Distance

Casting a fly rod is certainly a work of art and when done correctly it is amazing the distance you can achieve. Many of us probably believe that we are good if not great fly casters. But, I will be the first to admit that I am not. I can be accurate up to 60 feet but as soon as I try to add more line, my cast gets sloppy. The loop falls apart and my accuracy goes out the window. Now the argument is, that you hardly ever need make a single handed cast longer than 40-50 feet, especially when trout fishing. So why do you need to add more distance? I heard a casting instructor mention that “anyone who says you do not need to cast far means that they cannot.” There is probably quite a bit of truth to that statement and you might be wondering if you are that “guy.” Now lets say you are on a saltwater trip of a lifetime and you need to make a cast at a cursing tarpon or tailing permit and all of a sudden you need to cast and extra 10 – 20 feet of line accurately. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to complete that task without even thinking about it? Of course it would. This casting video from Orvis dishes out some excellent pointers on how to add distance to your cast. Take a peak and be ready next time to need to make a cast outside your comfort zone.

Fenwick Aetos Fly Rod: Great Rod Low Price

This year I have been fortunate enough to work with several fly rods that I have not used in the past. The shining star of the bunch have been the Hardy Fly Rods which I cannot say enough about. Hardy Fly Rods are on the upper end of the price scale and while I would recommend them to any angler who spends time on the water, it can often be difficult to spend that much money for a stick that you do not use that often. This brings me to a fly rod that has put a lot of fish in the basket this summer, the Fenwick Aetos. This rod casts extremely well, has a good back bone and is relatively light weight. This is an excellent fly rod for anglers of all experience levels. If I had to describe it with one word it would be Workhorse. It can handle a heavy nymph rig, big streamer patterns as well as present dry flies with accuracy. I have been lucky to have some anglers in my boat who can fish extremely well and while they often bring their own gear I like to hand them the Fenwick Aetos and see their reaction. A lot of them say “FENWICK??” and I just smile and say “try it.” While it doesn’t have the Winston, Sage or Scott name on the but section it certainly performs as well as high dollar rods at a much lower price point.  Coming in at under $200.00 the only bummer about this rod is that you cannot find it at many fly shops. You can however find these rods at bigger box stores which might give them a cheaper appearance, but you cannot complain about the price or performance of the Fenwick Aetos. If you are a fly fishing guide and are looking for some great fly rods for clients or are an angler looking for an extra stick, I would look no further than the Fenwick Aetos.

aetos-fly-rod

Full Moon Fishing

If you were fishing over the weekend and struggled you can point your finger at the man in the Moon. That’s right the Hunters Moon lit up the Earth giving us a full night bright sky gazing. Seeing the bright white disk rise out of the East is quite a sight but it can mean some tough days of fishing are ahead. I do not know what causes fish to get a wacky during a full moon, it might be the gravitational pull, they might feed all night or some other cosmic happening might lock their jaw shut for a good portion of the day. Whatever it is I am a firm believer that the Full Moon makes fishing very very difficult. Others might argue different but my experiences speak otherwise. I know that Lincoln Westby would say that the Full Moon makes Permit Fishing in Belize much better because of the larger tides. But, I have been chasing those alien looking Fish (Permit) in the Yucatan during a full moon with a lodge full of 14 other anglers and only one angler caught a permit the whole week….. and that fish was the size of my palm. I am getting off track.

Full Moon Fishing

When it comes to trout fishing this is what my latests experience has told me. Trout will feed for a short window of time during the day then stop. For example last week I had an angler hooking fish consistently for 45min then everything stopped. Bugs continued to hatch but fish stopped feeding. We fished hard for the rest of the day; changing flies, weight, depth etc. With no luck. When I got skunked-fishingback and spoke with other guides on the water they had the exact same fishing conditions nearly 30 miles away on 2 different rivers. Coincidence? I do not think so. How is it that the day before on the same river, fishing the same flies our clients hooked fish after fish after fish. I am blaming the Moon. So here are my tips for trout fishing during a full moon. Get out there early and try to catch the window when fish are feeding. Once that is over go home. If you are young and hard core go at night and throw mice because that stuff is fun. Don’t let the Full Moon get ya down, but think twice next time you are booking travel, the full moon might curse a couple of your fishing days.

Tibor Reels – Class & Quality in the Same Package

Recently we had the opportunity to sample Tibor reels and needless to say, we were blown away by the engineering and craftsmanship found in these reels.

The Tibor series of reels were first introduced in 1995 and have established themselves as the benchmark for custom-crafted fly reels. After years of development and input from the likes of Lefty Kreh and Flip Pallot, Tibor has become a household name in the world of saltwater fly reels.

Tibor Fly Reels

With a range of reels designed to stop bonefish to tarpon, Tibor Reels are a household name in salt water fly fishing.

The spool’s large arbor design significantly enhances the rate of line retrieval, which is critical when you’re trying to control bursting fish like bonefish, bonito, or wahoo. Tibor Reels are also a mainstay for Spey enthusiasts, delivering the ultimate balance, overall capacity and drag performance for the double-handed rod.

As with all of Ted’s reels, the drag system is absolutely flawless and has withstood the test of the world’s most demanding game fish, including over 350 World Records so far. If you were to own only one fly reel, this is the one to have.

Features:

  • Large outer hub diameters offer quick retrieve, even when the backing is low.
  • Hard coated, aluminum Main Gear means minimal heat build-up and great strength. Both the Main Gear and Spool rotate flawlessly on three sealed precision, ceramic Ball Bearings
  • An impregnated Cork Drag Disc is the smoothest and strongest in the industry.
  • Open hubbed, perforated Spool and Drum allow the Reel to remain cool during scorching runs and outer holes act as a tippet keeper.
  • The Detended Drag Adjustment Knob is smooth and positive.
  • Triple outgoing line signals are easily removable for silent operation.
  • Lightweight to balance with modern fly rods and reduce casting fatigue.
  • Made from solid bar stock aluminum.
  • Our delrin handle offers positive gripping and quick release – The Gulfstream and Pacific come standard with our Gorilla Handle.
  • SpeedHandle Spooloption available.
  • Comes with an extra thick neoprene case for easy storage and transportation.
  • Finishes: Frost Silver, Frost Black, Satin Gold, Jet Black, Royal Blue, Crimson, Graphite Gray & Aqua.
  • Each reel is serialized for identification and protection. The serial # is located at the top of the frame by the reel stand.
  • Available in 4 sizes.
  • Made and assembled in the U.S.A.

For more information, reel sizes and specifications, check out: https://www.tiborreel.com/tibor/

Tight Lines,

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports

 

 

Fish Poses

You finally landed that giant fish you have been hunting forever. You made the perfect cast, selected the right flies and played the old boy like a pro all the way to the net. This is the moment you have been waiting for. Your friend grabs the camera or phone and is ready to snap the next cover photo for Fly Rod & Reel. Having spent a lot of time on the water with various anglers for the past 15 years we have seen a lot of great fish photos and a lot of fails. Cody and I decided to show you what we have seen in the past and while we try to educate beginning anglers on a solid fish hold it is easier said than done. Just remember that the harder you squeeze the more the fish is going to squirm. Gently cradle the fish about a foot from the water, square it up to the camera and get a great shot of that trophy you have been working for. Try to avoid the following holds. The BELLY SHOT, The BEAR HUG, The GUITAR HERO and The BASS MASTER.