Wednesday, July 29, 2009

CTU Turnes 40

CTU turns 40 this year and we are letting loose in Old Town Arvada! The theme for our Birthday Bash is Getting Over the Hump of our Buffalo Peaks Ranch Project - a 3-year effort to restore habitat on the Middle Fork of the South Platte River. 2 miles of degraded stream have been revitalized, but more work remains.

Come celebrate everything we've accomplished with Buffalo Peaks and over the last 40 years!

Don't miss out on all of the fun: door prizes, raffle, live music from Big Universe, nonstop dancing, cash bar and an all-around good time. We look forward to seeing you there!

Where: D Note music venue and restaurant
7519 Grandview Ave., Arvada, CO 80010

When: Friday, August 28th, 6:00 PM - 11:00 PM

How Much: $10.00 cover charge (proceeds benefit Colorado Trout Unlimited)

Advance Tickets: Go to and click on the fish wearing a party hat to purchase your ticket in advance.

What Else: Raffle and door prizes include: hats, t-shirts, posters, books, DVDs, reels, rods, jackets, vests, white water rafting trip for four and much, much more!

The money goes to helping your rivers and streams come by to meet new fisherman, and find new water.
~See you there!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

General Purpose Hi-Vis Mayfly Emerger

This general purpose emerger pattern has worked for me when there is no discernible hatch taking place.
When fishing this pattern apply fly floatant to the wing only. Use powder to dry the abdomen and thorax.

For the pattern recipe and tying instructions click on “LoJ’s Fly Tying & Bug Stuff” in the LINKS OF INTEREST Section. ~ LoJ

Sunset Tactics

Larry Ydens of Albuquerque NM found that skating a caddis at sunset in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison can entice big fish to the surface.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Time Well Spent---Arkansas River

Life provides many unique and different opportunities to spend time. We talk about spending time like it is something that can be kept and held, to be used at a later date in time. We all know this is not the case some days it seems like the hands on the clock don’t move and then time can move like the winds of Wyoming, fast and relentless. Then there is time on the river, and as fisherman we know what this feels like.

It took two days on the Arkansas River to rediscover how to measure the way time moves on the water. I went down fishing by myself and shared the drive with a good friend who was going to kayak the river. This meant that we had to set a time to meet, to shuttle to different sections of the river. I am the type who would not dare to wear a watch on the river, if I’m lucky, I seldom am, my cell phone stays in my pocket and I can check back into reality that way; but when wet wading all electronics get left behind in the car.

So, I found myself measuring what time it was by means of the river. I timed myself through the river; thirty minutes up this run, fifteen minutes of pocket water fishing, five browns and a rainbow later an hour had passed. Like clockwork at ten thirty the yellow sallies would start to pop off and the dry fly fishing exploded. That hatch ended and it was time to fish hoppers off the banks. I would work up the last run, and then make it back to the car by eleven thirty to get the shuttle to another spot.

As I climbed the hill back to the road I passed a group of kayakers heading down to the put in and asked if they had the time. The replied "three o'clock." I guess that it was an exceptional day on the water seeing as time stood still, or flew by, for me as I methodically worked through a hefty chunk of river. Without the presence of other people my time became endless and I just lived for the moment, the time when the healthy brown ate my hopper and gave fight, to the time when I pulled more browns out of one run than I could count, and then there was the time when my buddy ditched me because I missed the shuttle.

What a great time it was.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Green Drakes in the Roaring Fork Valley

Find out how and when in the August Front Range Anglers News Magazine

Carpface Has Arrived to Lay Down the Law

Carpface is from the streets, but he loves our local rivers. This terrible sight was found at a local reservoir that will remain unnamed. Carpface proclaims; Keep our waters clean, pack it in pack it out, and if you see any trash, pick it up. Carpface doesn't just follow the law, he is the law.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Great Hi-Vis Caddis Pattern

Occasionally, I come across a dry fly pattern that is truly impressive. Many different patterns catch fish, however, some are more functional than others. By functional I mean it sits correctly on the water, floats extremely well, has a good hook gap, and is durable. You may be wondering, "but does it catch fish?" If it does all of the above, then it should certainly catch fish. As a guide, I am immediately attracted to dry flies that are well visible and unsinkable. I am a believer in flies that can be fished hard without having to be be dried or constantly changed. This of course, maximizes fly time on the water. Kyle's HFH Caddis pattern blew away my expectations when I started fishing it near the end of last season. Not only did it support a size 16 tungsten dropper while drifting through a turbulent pool, but fish love it! Unlike a stimulator or elk hair caddis, Kyle's HFH Caddis sits low in the water giving it an very natural and unique look. This pattern has been producing very well in the last few weeks on Boulder Creek, the Big Thompson, and multiple waters in Rocky Mountain National Park. Rarely will I endorse a specific pattern, but a small, functional "fuss free" caddis dry fly has been a long time coming. A pattern of this quality has the ability to open up some tasty new options where some traditional patterns can fall short.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Lightning Round

One of the best things about being a fishaholic is that all the gifts you give somehow involve fishing or being on the water. This father’s day was no different for me; I gave my dad a weekend of camping and high county trout fishing. This weekend he redeemed his gift and we loaded up the car and drove up above Idaho Springs. From there we headed west out of the small town of Alice and up into the wilderness of Colorado.

After loading up backpacks we hiked the few miles up to Lake Caroline where the ice had just begun to break at 11,800 feet. Fishing the south east shore was a blast, it’s just too bad that the afternoon storms came early and proceeded to stick around the rest of the afternoon.

Running down steep rock gardens, snow fields, and even down a small feeder stream was all we could do to avoid the lightning that was striking surrounding ridges. There was a small enough window of perfect weather to do some fishing, talking and exploring around this beautiful little lake. That night the clouds broke as we sat under clear skies soaking in the heat of a bubbly hot tub, this was an attempt to jump start the internal heaters that froze after getting rained on for the better part of a day.

The next morning we set off to explore the Square Top Lakes above Georgetown off Guanella Pass. I had heard rumors of scud fed Greenbacks living there, that’s all it took to get my attention. The backdrop of Mt Evans made for a scenic hike as we headed up to 12,160 ft chasing after some Greenbacks. These were healthy, large, and very well educated fish that made for fun targets. And like clockwork around 1:30 the storms came in and put an end to what was a great weekend of spending some quality time with Dad. This is yet another reason why being a fishaholic is not a bad thing, but instead something that adds a mile marker on the trip of life.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Polly Rosborough Black Drake Swimmer Nymph

This is an adaptation of the late Ernest Herbert “Polly” Rosborough's Black Drake Swimmer Nymph/Emerger pattern. I tie this pattern in the following colors, black (as shown), olive and dark brown.
The black pattern in sizes 14 & 16 has been the most successful pattern for me.
Swimmer nymphs are best suited for ponds, lakes, and to the slower flows of spring creeks and tailwaters.

For the pattern recipe and tying instructions click on “LoJ’s Fly Tying & Bug Stuff” in the LINKS OF INTEREST Section.
~ LoJ


Below is a copy of the 2008 Colorado Trout Unlimited Report. I needed to run a test on this so what better place than the FRA Blog....Paul

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Second Coming

Front Range Anglers is proud to announce the latest and greatest addition to the fly fishing community and the world... our new website. Late this evening FRA is rolling out the red carpet, popping a few corks, and letting users get a glimpse of the new FRA website. Front Range now boasts new products, more products, a fresh stream report, maps to help you find new water, classes to improve skills, pretty much everything except our customers. So log on in the next few days and check out the new site, browse the catalog, check out photos, place an order and be a part of the festivities.

Don't forget to bring a towel!

Matt Sanderson displays a fine catch during our recent rip to the Yampa River in Steamboat Springs. This very picky towel decided to eat a size 4 Golden Stone fly. Towels are a rare bread, that can only be found in river's with heavy tube traffic. You never know what you will catch!

Coming Soon to this Site "Carpface"

He's a commentator we've tried to keep at arms length but he now has publishing privileges!

Bloom's Parachute Caddis

Here's a caddis pattern that is perfect choice for any of our regional streams. This video was produced by The Weekly Fly. Front Range Anglers has recently established a working relationship with this company. As such, watch for more special videos on this blog site and in our monthly electronic news magazine...enjoy

Monday, July 13, 2009

Dry Dropper Rigs Producing on BC

Today I fished the creek for a couple of hours today using Jay Zimmerman's Boulder Creek Caddis followed by a size 14 Bright Boy. 90% of the takes were on the nymph. Jay's fly is just one of those must have patterns if you like to fish dry/dropper rigs....tie it or buy it!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Fish & Fireworks on the Yampa River

Over the Fourth of July, we headed up to the Yampa River in Steamboat Springs, CO.
The water was a little high,but clear, and the bugs were out in abundance. There was a massive amount of Caddis, we did see some Yellow Sallies and some PMD's.
The river through town is beautiful, there is a wide variety of runs and pocket water. With the water being up a bit high, 710 CFS, wading is pretty difficult, I would recommend wearing studded wading boot's to help grip. Keep your eye on the CFS, I was watching the CFS pretty close, seeing it drop like a rock, then it was heading back up the day we got there. The water has come down in the last week, it is now 360CFS, a perfect flow. The most productive way we found fishing was hitting the bank with a Stimulator followed up with a Bloom's Para Caddis or a adult Yellow Sallie. Nymphing fishing was pretty good with a Golden stone nymph followed by a caddis or Yellow sallie nymph.

Anglers also have a good shot at getting into a grand slam of fish, we came close, the only fish we didn't get was a toothy critter.

The one down side to fishing in towns is the massive amount of tuber's that might hatch through out the day. To learn more about the tube at take a look at Jay's Hatch guide on Tubers.

South Boulder Creek Awarded Habitat Improvement Grant

The City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks Department has been awarded a $60,000 Habitat Improvement “Fishing is Fun Colorado” grant administered by the Colorado Division of Wildlife. The grant is part of an overall project pooling resources from Boulder OSPM, Denver Water, the Division of Wildlife, and Boulder Flycasters totaling nearly a $200,000 in restoration. A great deal of thanks is due for Don D’Amico and the OSMP staff that submitted the grant and who have helped design the entire project.

The primary objective of the project will be to improve in-stream aquatic habitat for native and sport fish that now have access to increased portions of the creek as a result of recently completed fish passage projects. Existing habitat is in poor condition and does not provide adequate cover, especially during the low-flow winter months.

The project is planned to be completed by 31 October 2010; here are some of the project objectives:

• Establishing stream channel geometry in balance with the current flow regime by narrowing over-width stream segments.

• Constructing natural in-stream habitat features that provide for the habitat needs of native and sport fish species. In-stream habitat structures will include boulder clusters with downstream, random boulder refuge habitat, woody debris, and the use of boulder deflectors to protect existing vegetation from further erosion.

• Stabilizing eroding banks.

• Planting native riparian vegetation to provide shade and overhead cover.

South Boulder Creek during low-flow conditions showing long, uniform riffle with low habitat

South Boulder Creek during low-flow conditions showing long, uniform riffle with low habitat

Please feel free to contact Larry Quilling, if you have any questions about the project or would like to help Boulder Flycasters organize our volunteer project to plant native riparian plants, assist with detailed boulder placement, assist with future fish surveys, seed the site, and perform post-project clean-up that is required for site restoration after construction.



Wednesday, July 8, 2009

3rd Annual Pro-Am Carp Slam

Denver TU will be putting on the Slam Saturday August 22. According to Tim Emery "This year we are hoping for great conditions and big numbers of fish. Veteran Colorado guides will be volunteering their time to act as Pros for the event. Amateurs will pay to play and a random draw will determine the teams and fishing beats. Pros will vie for the coveted Carp Cup and amateurs will be in the running for valuable prizes donated by sponsors. This is a fun event dedicated to bringing attention and funds to the metro Platte River restoration effort. Check out our new event site at for specific details of the contest. Register early for your spot. "

The Slam will be limited to 15 teams so register early. There will be lunch and a post awards party. Those of you who want to learn about catching Carp on a fly can have a front row seat for the action. Volunteers to oversee the event are needed. Please volunteer at the event site or call Mike Hobbs at 303.484.8417.

Front Range Anglers is a sponsor of this event. Rob Kolanda, winner of the 2008 competition, is pictured above.

South Boulder Creek Needs YOUR Help

Your input could make the difference for increased winter flows in South Boulder Creek.
Boulder Flycasters will be attending a July 8th Denver Water Commissioners meeting asking for their support of a Boulder proposal to add an environmental pool as part of their Gross Reservoir Expansion Project. We need your help to let the Denver Water Board know Boulder County supports their collaborative effort with Boulder and other cities in our county to provide this important environmental pool. The additional 5k acre feet of storage would be used to provide winter releases to the creek bringing the average daily winter flows to near 7cfs, the minimum flow recommended by the Division of Wildlife. For over fifty years, South Boulder Creek has had reaches of the stream completely dry all winter. To read more about the environmental pool concept, click on this link to read the letter drafted for the Denver Water Board.
Letter to Denver Water-06-09

How can you help?
Click on the following link and express your support of the project. We will carry all of the e-mail letters we receive to the Commissioners meeting July 8th.

Send a note to the President
Join us at the meeting! You can show your support to the Board during “Comments from the Public” which will be scheduled at the beginning of the meeting at 9:15 a.m. The meeting is held in the third floor Board Room1600 West 12th Avenue, Denver, CO Click here for directions. Contact Larry Quilling if you would like to car pool to the meeting.

Please forward Boulder FlyCasters your short lettersof support or plan to attend the meeting. The future of South Boulder Creek depends on your responses.

Fish Mission: Poor Man's Black Canyon

Before its confluence with Middle Boulder Creek, North Boulder Creek carves its way through rugged Dream Canyon. The canyon itself is a popular climbing area and is consequentially equipped with anchor bolts. As with any steep canyon, the fastest way to the bottom is straight down. That is exactly the route fellow guide Tyler Bowman and I chose. After a 130 foot rappel, we were rewarded with perfect pools filled with hungry brook trout. We fished big dry flies exclusively, and nearly every good drift produced a fish.

There is walk in access to Dream Canyon, but if you have the gear, why not rappel? Doing so allowed us to access more remote parts of the canyon. So if your tired of the same old same old, grab some hoppers and the hiking boots and head out on an adventure.
A typical Dream Canyon Brookie

Tight Lines,
Patrick Knackendoffel & Tyler Bowman
Front Range Anglers

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Great "Spider" Pattern From Steve Johnson

This is a very productive spider pattern from Steve Johnson aka "Mr. Wet Fly."
The beauty of this fly is it is a generic fly pattern and an easy tie plus it catches fish.
Give it a try!
This is an old English Pattern, per Steve Johnson
For the pattern recipe and tying instructions click on “LoJ’s Fly Tying & Bug Stuff” in the LINKS OF INTEREST Section. ~ LoJ

Special BFC Project

Ken Iwamasa (click here for some background info on Ken) has initiated an exciting new project for the Boulder Flycasters. His intention is to create a comprehensive map of the Boulder Watershed designed specifically for fishermen and other outdoor enthusiasts. Moreover, it will have a historical component that will identify how the watershed has evolved over the last 150 years.

If you would like to be involved in any aspect of this project such as collecting current data, content recommendations, interviews, etc. please contact Ken by clicking on the link below.

If you decide to become involved you are certainly going to learn more about the fishing opportunities that surround Boulder. In addition, you will be helping the chapter and the community.

Send and email to Ken Iwamasa

Streamer Fishing Front Range Creeks

Frequently when I am fishing with friends or clients, I will make the recommendation to throw a streamer. All to often, I get the response, "I don't have any of those", or "I've never done that". When these words are uttered by friends, they are promptly throat punched. This situation with clients is, of course, handled more diplomatically. Nonetheless, every angler worth his weight in split-shot should have a well stocked streamer box, and at the very least a handful of little back leeches. The water in our local creeks and rivers is finally coming down and fish can get aggressive under these conditions. If you were living on crackers and peanuts all winter, you would pounce on a T-bone steak too. Streamer fishing can be incredible throughout the summer, and these techniques can also save a tough day on the water. Next time you're in the shop, peruse the "other" side of the fly bin. Tying on a big, meaty streamer can make you look at your local water with an entirely different perspective.

Tight Lines,
Patrick Knackendoffel
Front Range Anglers

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Death of a Legend-Photo Essay

Memories, this boat caught me tons of fish got me to remote places and I loved it. It took me down the Colorado, the Green, San Juan, Platte and too many other creeks and lakes to list. When the winds picked up on the lakes of South Park the canoe beat back the waves as I continued to fish, even during the darkest nights the boat knew its way around probing the darkest and best spots. I miss the canoe, never before had I invested so much into what most considered a dying boat, but she was my boat. She was my escape, fish finder, powerhouse, playhouse and workhorse boat. All these things beat into one large piece of aluminum. I left her dead on the shore of the water, ripped in half, useless like horse with no legs. Unable to remove the vessel, my only hope is that some one finds her, patches the holes and continues to use her, because she has entered a new phase in her life, a better phase.
Note: A fund has been taken up for a new boat to continue the legend.