Guide 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.

SweetWater Guide Beer

SweetWater Brewing located in Atlanta Georgia has been brewing up something pretty cool. As a fellow fishing guide, I got excited when I saw “guide beer”. SweetWater came up with this light crisp lager made for guides and designed to help guides. 11% of all proceeds of this beer will go to help guides that can no longer guide anymore. It is fantastic seeing a brewery so dedicated to the sport of fishing and want to give back. So next time after a long day of fishing when you are at the liquor store look for a can of SweetWater Guide Beer.

Check them out here

Hiring Fly Fishing Guides for 2019 Season

Are you looking to get into the fly fishing industry for the first time? Are you a knowledgeable angler but lacking guide experience? Are you an experienced guide looking to join the Front Range’s best team? Do you have what it takes to deliver excellent fly fishing service and instruction?

We are hiring professional fly fishing guides, both new to the profession and seasoned veterans alike, to join our Denver based operation. For those new to guiding we offer top-notch training and for those that have been in the industry you’ll quickly realize what an opportunity this is.

Our philosophy aims to deliver the finest customer service, friendliest smile, and best fly fishing instruction that the Front Range has to offer. This is a fantastic opportunity to make great money, meet awesome clients, and guide on Colorado’s beautiful waters.

Please email me your resume and why you’d be a good fit. Make sure that you include a phone number and email address so I can contact you immediately. Tight lines!

Mike@theflyfisher.com

847-612-4961

How Many Species of Fish have you Caught on the Fly?

Anglers across the wold achieve to catch as many species of fish on the fly as they can. This video about Jeff Currier is something special. Imagine catching over 400 species of fish on the fly? How many have you caught? Whats on the top of your list?

Fly Fishing takes us to some amazing places. I know we get caught up in the fish we are chasing but sometimes its the journey not the destination.

 

MileHigh25 Fly Fishing Tournament


What a wekend! As I write this blog post I am still feeling a bit groggy from a exhausting but fun filled weekend. The MileHigh25 is a fly fishing tournament that focuses on catching 25 different species of fish in Colorado. Each team is made up of 2 anglers and has two days to catch as many species as possible. Day one is 6am to 8pm and day two is 6am to 3pm. Each team has to upload photos of each species to a app which is used to score the event. Most species wins but if there is a tiebreaker then it goes to points.. Here is a list of the 25 species:

  1. TIGER MUSKIE​ – 500 pts
  2. WIPER – 500 pts
  3. TIGER TROUT – 400 pts
  4. LAKE TROUT – 400 pts
  5. KOKANEE – 400 pt
  6. GRAYLING – 300 pts
  7. GRASS CARP – 300 pts
  8. SPLAKE – 300 pts
  9. CATFISH – 300 pts
  10. MIRROR CARP – 300 pts
  11. WHITEFISH – 200 pts
  12. NORTHERN PIKE – 200 pts
  13. COMMON CARP – 200 pts
  14. SMALLMOUTH BASS – 200 pts
  15. LARGEMOUTH BASS – 200 pts
  16. WALLEYE – 200 pts
  17. CRAPPIE – 100 pts
  18. PERCH – 50 pts
  19. SUCKER – 50 pts
  20. BLUEGILL – 50 pts
  21. SUNFISH – 50 pts
  22. BROOK TROUT – 50 pts
  23. CUTTHROAT TROUT – 50 pts
  24. RAINBOW TROUT – 50 pts
  25. BROWN TROUT – 50 pts

This was our second year doing the event. Last year we ended up with 11 species and learned a lot. Going into the event this year we had high hopes and had done more pre fishing. However we ended up with 13 species which put us in 8th place out of 53 teams. The winning team had a whopping 20 species. This year the species that gave us the hardest time were the crappie, sucker, and wiper. It is very frustrating when you target a fish that you catch all the time and can’t seem to find one. I highly recommend this competition to any fly angler on the front range. We nearly put 600 miles on the truck over the weekend and woke up at 3am both days. I’m exhausted but already thinking about next year. Check out the link below for more information about the event

MileHigh25

 

 

 

We’re Hiring Fly Fishing Guides!

Are you looking to get into the fly fishing industry for the first time? Are you a knowledgeable angler but lacking guide experience? Are you an experienced guide looking to join the Front Range’s best team? Do you have what it takes to deliver excellent fly fishing service and instruction?

We are hiring professional fly fishing guides, both new to the profession and seasoned veterans alike, to join our Denver based operation. For those new to guiding we offer top-notch training and for those that have been in the industry you’ll quickly realize what an opportunity this is.

Our philosophy aims to deliver the finest customer service, friendliest smile, and best fly fishing instruction that the Front Range has to offer. This is a fantastic opportunity to make great money, meet awesome clients, and guide on Colorado’s beautiful waters.

Please email me your resume and why you’d be a good fit. Make sure that you include a phone number and email address so I can contact you immediately. Tight lines!

Matty Valdez

(970) 412-8677

mattyv@theflyfisher.com

 

Fly Fishing the Denver South Platte

Denver Trout Unlimited (TU), Mayor Michael Hancock and Colorado Troutbums all teamed together to show off the Denver South Platte river and what a great fly fishing and kayaking destination this place can be.

For those that do not know the Denver South Platte, also commonly referred to as the DSP, it is one helluva a fishery! Smallies, carp, brown and rainbow trout alike can all be caught within a 50  foot section of river on any given day here.

Mayor, meet a DSP rainbow.

But as you can imagine there are more than a few hurdles to deal with to turn the DSP into a world-class fishery that much of Colorado is known for. Namely: water pollution, high water temperatures, trash and refuse along the river banks, and so on.

But with sustained efforts from the Denver chapter of TU, private citizens, and enthusiastic anglers there has been a substantial restoration to the river.

There is still much work to be done but with the continued work of TU, city officials, and anglers across the metro area we may find the DSP to be one of Colorado’s fly fishing gems.

 

 

 

How The Kiwi’s Turned Angling into Hunting

By Robby Cribbs

Three years ago, I took a bucket list trip down to New Zealand’s South Island. I was really excited after watching countless videos on YouTube of people landing monstrous brown trout in gin clear water. And, from the looks of it, it seemed quite easy given the water clarity.
I booked a trip with a well-known guide out of Queenstown. On the day of our trip, we drove up to a large meadow below towering mountain peaks. The valley held a crystal clear river that flowed over a bed of beautiful green and maroon rocks. To top it off, there was no sign of civilization. The ground wasn’t scattered with garbage or tangled balls of monofilament. There wasn’t a defined trail to the fishing holes matted down by countless anglers. And, our vehicle was the ONLY one in the parking area. 
Upon seeing this, my confidence level was very high. You mean no human pressure! I was expecting a very easy and productive outing.
Little did I know, my chance of catching a trophy brown ended when I created that expectation. That day, my sole accomplishment was placing a perfect cast in a crystal clear pool that once harbored a large fish.
Like all of us anglers do after a humbling day on the river, I went to the bar and contemplated the countless reasons why the day was such a failure. It wasn’t for quite some time after this trip that I realized the true, simple reason of why I failed. I was overconfident and didn’t give the outing the respect it deserved.
To say New Zealand is a “technical” fishery is an over simplification of the word. Fly fishing in New Zealand is true trout angling at its purest form. It needs to be approached with humility, respect and patience. In fact, the first trout I hooked in New Zealand didn’t feel like trout fishing at all. I got the same feeling as shooting my first bull elk in the Gunnison high country. I didn’t kill an elk until my 6th elk hunting season for the SAME reasons I failed to catch a trout that day in New Zealand.
To the Kiwis, “sight fishing” is not just spotting big fish in clear water. If you simply walk up to a river and spot a fish, the fish saw you well before you noticed him. And, since it’s a truly wild fish, it’s not going to sit there looking at you like the fish do on a crowded tail water in Colorado. That fish will dart out of its holding water with blazing speed, headed straight for a place he knows you won’t find him. To top it off, you might not see another one for an hour.

To remedy this, one needs to be extremely patient. A trait we Americans tend to forget on occasion. Challenge yourself to slowly move up river, avoiding abrupt movement.

One technique I used to avoid spooking fish was to keep my profile hidden. For example, ducking below the horizon line or using trees and other foliage along the bank to hide my profile. This lets me get closer to fish while they’re still unaware of my presence.

Second, just because you’ve successfully spotted a fish, doesn’t mean it’s time to throw a hundred casts at it. I learned to step back and make a plan. Sit back and analyze the situation. Learn what it’s eating, where in the water column it’s feeding and how your cast will act in the current.

For example, let’s say he’s in the middle of the water column but not eating off the surface. At this point, I’ll tie on a dry dropper rig. I want a dry that floats well enough to support the nymph I’m using but not so big and gaudy that it will spook the fish. As for the dropper, I’m just as concerned about the fly being the appropriate weight as I am the correct pattern.

Here comes the hard part… The most likely time to spook that fish is while casting. . You want to stand in his blind spot, which is not directly behind the trout! Pick a spot you can stand and cast where you’re behind and to the side of the fish. That cast might be your only chance. Just like hunting an elk, make the first shot count.

The beautiful reward of the hunt!

If your cast doesn’t go as plan, stop and analyze again. If the fish stops feeding, I wait him out until he relaxes and feeds again. If I still can’t get him to eat, I might still get him to attack. As a last resort I’ll swing my flies by him or switch to a streamer to see if he’ll chase.

When this style of fishing pays off, the hook up is as exhilarating as you can imagine. And, it works just as well in Colorado as it does in the Southern Alps. I challenge everyone who reads this to treat your next fishing trip like a hunting trip and see what happens. You might just find the fish of a lifetime gently sipping mayflies off the surface. Slow down and treat that fish like a trophy elk. It might change your entire outlook on the sport.

Robby is a professional fly tier and fishing guide for Colorado Trout Fisher and The Flyfisher Guide Service. When not on the water you can find Robby and his family… wait a minute, you probably won’t. They’ll be somewhere off in the high-country enjoying everything Colorado has to offer!