Fly Fishing Stories

May Tarpon

The month of May in Colorado usually means the start of high water and caddis hatches. However, on the other side of the country, May means the start of the migratory tarpon. Every May in Florida anglers gets the unique opportunity to have a chance to catch a large migratory tarpon. These fish cruise up the beaches of Florida on their annual migration to spawn. Fish upwards of 200lbs are not uncommon. Anglers will find the tarpon is large groups in May then will start breaking apart into smaller groups come June and July. By the time August rolls around the tarpon seem to dissipate. If you have not had the opportunity to go see this phenomenon I highly recommend it. So when the water gets high in Colorado think about booking a flight to Florida and giving it a shot.

2019 Fly Fishing Film Tour

It is that time of year again in Colorado. As we transition into spring we eagerly await our rivers to unfreeze. Every March the Fly Fishing Film Tour comes to Colorado and excites anglers all over the state. This is an opportunity fly anglers and non anglers to get together have a few cold ones and watch some epic fly fishing films. If you have not gone to the film tour in the past you should check it out this year. The list of Colorado dates are below.

March 13 Edwards Colorado,

March 20 Boulder Colorado

March 22 Fort Collins Colorado

March 23 Denver Colorado

March 28 Aspen Colorado

April 6 Durango Colorado

May 9 Parker Colorado

For more info and tickets check out their website Here

West Coast Steelhead and Salmon

I was lucky enough to go spend the Thanksgiving holiday out in the Puget Sound area of Washington State. When you think of the Pacific North West you think of salmon and steelhead.  Weeks priors to my trip I spent hours online researching where I could go catch some salmon and steelhead.  What I discovered is that almost every river in the the Puget Sounds area is either closed to salmon and steelhead or has a short limited season. It is horrible to think that this fishery has taken a horrible decline because of over fishing.  I think every fishery around the country to should consider what has happened to the PNW fisheries. We need to take care of our fisheries and practice safe catch and release so our future generations can enjoy what we have. Here is a little video about what has happened on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.

Musky on the Fly

Chasing muskies on the fly is something truly special. Many strive to catch the fish of 10,000 casts but not too many succeed. It is not for the faint of heart. As it involves casting huge flies all day with 10wt fly rods. Your fingers will be raw from stripping your line and your shoulders will be screaming from casting all day. But when that musky follows your fly up to the boat and eats it, thats what its all about. All the handwork and patients comes together and the lucky angler is rewarded with a fish of a lifetime. Check out the video below for some insight fishing for muskies.

The Fly Fishing Film Tour Is Coming

Good news for all of those fish porn lovers out there– F3T is coming to Colorado!

2018’s show will include six different films ranging from fly fishing in Dubai to stalking the African Tiger fish in Tanzania, to escaping the drug trade in Honduras (as seen in the trailer above) with a fly rod in hand.

Being a Colorado boy who grew up fishing the South Platte and small mountain streams the F3T opened my eyes to the world of possibilities of fly fishing. If there is one thing I’ve learned from watching all of these films; it’s that if there are fish in water then you can get after them with a fly rod!

The tour will stop by Colorado Springs on Feb. 3rd, Silverthorne on Feb. 9th, and then in Evergreen on Feb. 15th. Tickets can be bought here: https://flyfilmtour.com/buy-tickets/

Tight lines, folks!

 

Colorado’s Greenback Cutthroat

In an effort to reintroduce Colorado’s only native trout– the Greenback Cutthroat– back into the wild, more than 50 volunteers from Trout Unlimited in conjunction with Colorado Park’s & Wildlife, hauled these wild beauties into high mountain streams to be released.

So many times the news can be sad and depressing so it’s good to watch videos like the one above and walk away with a smile on the face.

Tight lines, folks!

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.

Handle Fish With Respectfullsizeoutput_1a
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