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.

National Public Lands Day

The Black Canyon of the Gunnison, is as the kids say, amazeballs

Tomorrow, Saturday 22nd, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of National Public Lands Day! Every national park in America will be fee-free tomorrow. That includes the 13 national parks we have here in Colorado.

Get out and enjoy the national parks that our beautiful state has to offer. The Black Canyon of the Gunnison has some of the most breathtaking views you’ll ever see, in any state. The Florissant Fossil Beds are a hidden gem in our backyard that most people have never heard of. The Great Sand Dunes are a gosh darn geological wonder! Seriously, how’d they get like that?

Dan McKenzie, of Follow Your Detour, helping rebuild trails in Acadia National Park

National Public Lands Day is also a great opportunity to volunteer at any of our amazing national parks. Dan and Lindsay McKenzie (these are two of the best people you’ll ever meet and I highly encourage that you start following their blog), of Follow Your Detour, wrote a great article about their experience of volunteering at Acadia National Park at the last NPLD. It’s definitely worth a read if you’re interested in volunteering yourself.

But volunteering or not, National Public Lands Day is a chance for all of us to get out and enjoy our land. The ability to visit these beautiful creations is one small, but important reason, why we’re the greatest country on earth.



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.


High Mountain Lakes Fly Fishing

Summer is a fantastic time to fish rivers and creeks but it also is the perfect time to strap on a backpack and explore some high mountain lakes. Colorado has a vast number of high alpine lakes loaded with trout.

I was lucky enough to have a few days off last week so fellow guide Reid Eakins and myself hit the road in search of high mountain cutthroats. What we have found is that the more remote you get, the better the fishing will be;  with this in mind, we ventured South down to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The plan was to spend 3 days in the backcountry fishing. With our packs loaded with fishing gear and the backpacking essentials (whiskey, of course), we hit the trails.

The first day we hiked 4.5 miles to our first destination. We set up camp in the early evening and fished well into the evening hours. Fish were rising but it was a challenge to figure out what they were eating. Finally, after switching several flies, Reid started picking fish up on a thin mint fly; they took the fly on a very slow retrieve. The next day, we hiked up to another lake looking for bigger cutthroats. We found fish to be eating scuds just below the surface on a very fast retrieve. After a long day of fishing and hiking we relaxed at our campsite sipping whiskey and sharing fish stories.

Backpacking and fishing go great together; it is a great opportunity to get away from the hustle of city life and explore what the Colorado mountains have to offer.

Give your local creeks or rivers a break and explore some high mountain lakes!




Basin and Bend

Colorado’s hunting and angling community has a new shop to call home. Basin and Bend, located in Evergreen, has opened as a retail shop that not only provides the newest and best products but also has a direct focus on outdoor, environmental and wildlife conservation.

Basin and Bend works with environmentally friendly manufacturers and they themselves go above and beyond by donating 11% of their total revenue to conservation projects. Not only does Basin and Bend offer the finest hunting and angling gear, they also provide guided fly fishing trips on Bear Creek, Clear Creek, and the Deckers section of the South Platte river.

In a world where environmental degradation has become more of the norm rather than the exception, it’s refreshing to see a local business doing their part to give back to our country’s natural beauty.

Stop by the shop at 27985 Meadow Dr Suite 200, Evergreen, CO 80439 and help support local business and our own beautiful state.



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





Ultimate Rod Case Review

 So you are looking for a new way to carry your fly rods? Well the Ultimate Rod Case might be the perfect option. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a Ultimate Rod Case this Spring. In the past I have had a Titan Rod Vault and Denver Outfitters Rod Vault  but I was looking for something different. I came across the Ultimate Rod Case while surfing on Instagram. I consider myself a bit obsessed with fly fishing gear and I am always looking for the latest and greatest. What intrigued me about the Ultimate Rod Case is that it was made in Colorado and they offered a 4 and 8 rod option. This case also sits much lower on the roof than others and it can be mounted to just about any rack system. I did not like that my previous rod cases only held 3 rods. It always seemed like I would bring two rods fishing and so would my buddies. Because of this we always had to break one rod down. Not a big deal but not ideal.

Ultimate is located in Colorado Springs. I drove down to there and they installed my case for me while I waited. The customer service at Ultimate is top notch. Each installation is custom to each specific vehicle. They went above and beyond to make my buying experience as easy as possible. It is family owned company and they put a ton a pride into their work.

Having had the case now for 4 months and I could’t be happier with it. Everything works like it should and I really don’t have any complaints yet. I am constantly having people stop me and ask me about the case. As a guide I really like how it holds 4 rods and not just 3. It is a little over 10ft long so my 10ft rods fit perfectly.  They offer a few different models including a 9ft and 10ft model as well as a 4 and 8 rod holder. If you are not into fly fishing they offer a case that holds conventional spinning rods as well. Overall I would highly recommend this product. They are local and producing an amazing rod holder.

Check them out here!

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.


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.