Saturday, August 29, 2009

Be Kind to Carpface's Fish

Carpface thinks that Fall is a wonderful time to get out and enjoy our rivers. Carpface also knows that trout can be very sensitive during this time of year.

Carpface proclaims: Always return fish to the water promptly. Always practice catch and release, especially with wild fish. No matter what the fishing regulations state, Carpface is the law.
If you are kind to the fish, then Carpface will be kind to you. Remember, nobody wants a wading boot to the face.
Carpface is always watching

Yaeger's 409 Attractor Fly Pattern

Coming into the skinny water season often requires a slight change in tactics. Action on big ugly dries and attractors that we are used to fishing in the middle of summer can sometimes slow. (Especially when your local fish have seen them a thousand times) We all know that fishing high floating, visible, and generally idiot proof dries is wonderful. However, low water conditions combined with exceptional clarity can make for difficult fishing. In the late summer and early fall, leaders get longer and flies get smaller. Yaeger's 409 attractor makes it so that you don't have to make to great of sacrifices. This pattern floats great and has a buggy look that is a little bit more subtle and natural than other attractor patterns. The Hi-Vis pink on the wing may seem a little outrageous in your fly box, but when its drifting through a riffle late in the evening, you'll be glad it's there.

We'll see you out there,
Patrick Knackendoffel
Front Range Anglers

Monday, August 24, 2009

Antero Special V1 (Crippled Callibaetis Emerger)

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

Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.
~Henry David Thoreau

Fishing is much more than fish. It is the great occasion when we may return to the fine simplicity of our forefathers.
~Herbert Hoover

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bow Your Heads

Carpface comments on the obituary of Benson.

When a brother falls we pour out a bit of Colt 45 and bow our heads for a moment of crack a beer and read on.

Benson, England’s best-loved fish, died on July 29th, aged about 25

PETERBOROUGH, in the English Midlands, is a red-brick town, best known as the midway point on the line between King’s Cross and York. But from the bottom of Kingfisher Lake, just outside it, urban toil seems far away. There, all is most delightful silt and slime. A push of your probing nose sends up puffs and clouds of fine mud through the water. A riff of bubbles rises, silvery, towards the surface. The green reeds quiver, and sunlight ripples down almost to the depths where you are lurking, plump and still.

Such was mostly the life, and such was the address, of Benson, England’s most famous fish. Her actual place of birth, as a wriggling, transparent fry prey to every frog, pike and heron, was never known. But at ten, when she was stocked in Kingfisher, she was already a bruiser. And there, among the willow-shaded banks, she grew. And grew. At her peak weight, in 2006, she was 64lb 2oz (29kg), and was almost circular, like a puffed-up plaice. Bigger carp have been seen in Thailand and in France; but she still amounted to a lot of gefilte fish.

In her glory days she reminded some of Marilyn Monroe, others of Raquel Welch. She was lither than either as she cruised through the water-weed, a lazy twist of gold. Her gleaming scales, said one fan, were as perfect as if they had been painted on. Some wag had named her after a small black hole in her dorsal fin which looked, to him, like a cigarette burn. It was as beautiful and distinctive as a mole on an 18th-century belle. Her lips were full, sultry or sulking, her expression unblinking; she seldom smiled. Yet the reeds held fond memories of her friend Hedges, her companion in slinky swimming until she, or he, was carried away in 1998 by the

waters of the River Nene.

Abandoned, she ate more. She devoured everything. Worms, plankton, crayfish, lily roots, disappeared down her toothed, capacious throat. She was a one-fish Hoover, motoring through the food-packed sludge and through rich layers of sedimentary smells. But she was offered daintier and more exotic fare. Cubes of cheese, scraps of luncheon meat, bread crusts, Peperami, dog biscuits and tutti-frutti balls all came down invitingly through the water. She sampled most of them.

Of course, she was not fool enough to think they came from heaven. Carp are cunning, a very fox of the river, as Izaak Walton said. She could see the lines, and at the end of them the trembling shadows of Bert, or Mike, or Stan, spending an idle Sunday away from the wife with a brolly and a can of beer. Often she continued to lurk, roiling the mud to conceal herself and basking in her own scaled beauty, as carp will. On hot days she would rise to the surface, glowing and tantalising, with a lily-leaf shading her like a parasol. She played hard-to-get, or the One That Got Away, nudging the line before drifting down towards the dark serene. But then, just for the hell of it, she would take the bait.

The first hookings hurt like hell, the whole weight of her body tearing her tongue like a razor blade. But over the years she got used to it, and her leathery mouth would seize the bait as a prize. Hauled to the limelight, she was admirably unphased. This was, after all, the homage beauty was owed. She would submit to the scales and then pose for the photographer, unmoving, holding her breath. She had her picture taken with Tony, owner of her lake, who confessed to the Wall Street Journal that he had “quite a rapport” with her; with Ray, who caught her at two in the morning, disturbing her beauty sleep; with Matt, of the shy smile and the woolly hat; with bearded Kyle, for whom she looked especially dark and pouting; and with Steve, who ungallan

tly told Peterborough Today that she felt like “a sack of potatoes” and was “available to everyone”. She was not, but at least 50 others held her, or gripped her, for a moment or so. Uncomplainingly, she nestled in their arms before she was lowered to her element again.

These men had a knowledgeable air about them. They might have been a secret society, meeting at odd hours in hidden nooks around the lake. Each had his spot for anoracked meditation. When they spoke, it was of wagglers and clips, spods and backbiters, size 14s and number 8 elastic. Dates and weights were bandied about, an arcane code. For a while, Benson imbibed the philosophy of a gaudier and more complex sphere, heard the tinny music of their radios and stared into the dazzle of the day. There was much that she herself might have imparted, of the mystery of reflected and inverted things. But her anglers needed to get home to the football and their tea.

The fatal nut

Greed probably undid her in the end. She was said to have taken a bait of uncooked tiger nuts, which swelled inside her until she floated upwards. Telltale empty paper bags were found on the bank of the river. Or she may have been pregnant, with 300,000 eggs causing complications, or stressed after so much catching and releasing, those constant brushes with extinction. On the line between life and death, at Kingfisher Lake, she breathed the fatal air and did not sink again. And there she lay, like Wisdom drawn up from the deep: as golden, and as quiet.

Who is Carpface and did he commit this crime upon humanity?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cross Eye Trigger Minnow

This pattern has proven highly successful for me in the fall.

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

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Carpface proclaims

Carpface proclaims; Always leave the river as you found it. That goes for you filthy hippies.
Carpace finds hippie towers all over Boulder Creek. Its called Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics, look it up in the Boulder County Library. That's the building below the roof you're squatting on. Listen up hippies, Carpface doesn't want his trout stream looking like a jam band concert parking lot. Carpface embraces all fish lovers, but not all Phish lovers.

Remember, keep your river clean and your attitude dirty.

RX for Picky Carp

On Saturday I stopped in at the shop to pick up some Yak Hair (absolutely great stuff..if you tie for saltwater its a must have item and we have it in every shade) and noticed a fly pattern Rob Kolanda was tying. I leaned over and picked it .... he commented "it couldn't get much simpler than this. I've been using this quite a bit and its a solid producer." I told him I really liked the profile of the fly and made a mental note to tie some. This morning I tied 1/2 dozen and headed out around 10:30 am or so. Here's the result.
VSCF Recipe (Rob's is probably pretty close to this...I didn't ask)

Hook: TMC #3761 size 8
Weight: Lead wrap 3/4 of shank
Thread: Brown UTC 140
Legs/Antenna: Montana Fly centipede legs speckled brown small. Note 4 @ the tail & 2 in the center
Body: Crawdub from Wapsi. I like to mix several colors together - Orange (10%) , Mud Brown (20%), and Rusty Brown (70%). Apply in a split thread dubbing loop, pick it out and shape with scissors.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

South Park Tricos: The most frustrating fun you can have in a morning!

Imagine if you will: A calm morning on the banks of the Dream Stream, the only thing between you and a nice rising brown is millions of the real living competitors drifting the same feeding lane as your artificial. The fish begins feeding in a consistent cycle, taking only enough time to swallow the mouthful of dead mayflies before resetting her intentions on getting more -and for the next couple of hours there will be more, a lot more.

You gently pick off one of the hundred or so carcases on your waders and set it on the lid of your fly box. Your size 20 imitation (that you swore caught fish years before) strangely looks like some sort of aberration compared to the deceased. #22 no, # we're getting close, but there is no denying the #26 you tied "just in case" is just right. You carefully tie it to the end of your 7x tippet, extend a little line out of the tip of your favorite 3 weight and then just sit, wait and watch. The fish rises again, you notice some companions have decided to join the buffet line a little further downstream, they're not as big, you refocus to the spot where the LARGE head appeared, still feeding -all is well. Believing you have her timing down, you decide to cast short of her to see if your anticipated lead is correct. Two practice shots and you decide its time to come out of the bullpen in earnest, this one's for all the marbles, you've played it out a dozen times the past 20 minutes, there's no chance for failure.

You pull out another 10 feet of line and begin false casting -once, twice, time to lay it down. Purposely stopping the forward cast a little early the leader stacks up in a series of lazy bends a few feet upstream of a fish that has already grown a couple of inches in the short time you've known her. You hold back the fly line for just a half a second: this hesitation allows the leader to straighten out just slightly, now the fly is leading the rest of the assembly towards the target. You've lost track of your bug, but no matter- you KNOW where they fly is. The large head slowly, purposely lifts up out through the surface film. Experience has taught you to wait until she closes her mouth and begins to descend before getting tight on the hook-set. Suddenly the music is interrupted as the large fish spins around aware of your intentions, she has felt the leader, she missed your fly. The fish below her you snubbed just 10 minutes ago are also aware and leave the pool an ugly shade of flat calm -minus the diminishing wake left by a fishes version of the middle finger.

You reel up the slack line, take a deep breath and smile, as experience has also taught you another beautiful fish is sipping around the next bend.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Self Discovery -- Rocky Mountain National Park

As fishermen we are naturally a techy breed, we fish the best gear to help get the largest fish in the river. The more years that pass, the more we invest in equipment; rods, flies, and all the gizmos and gadgets that fly fishing has to offer. We turn our nose up to small rivers knowing that they won’t hold the biggest and the baddest fish. Some even take time off during these summer months to hold out for the fall run of massive lake run browns, despite all the amazing hatches the pop all summer long.

Now is the time to take advantage of the summer weather and leave behind all the gear and hype, and just fish. It’s easy to forget just how much fun it can be to get out and explore a river with a single dry fly. Try and resist the temptation to add a dropper because these fish are eager to take offerings up top. Leave behind your clunky waders and upgrade to pair of swim trunks and wading sandals. Take a hike; enjoy the feel and temperature of the water, look around at how the streams and glaciers cut the beautiful valley, and enjoy the rich colors of the wild fish that call the river home.
Rocky Mountain National Park is in perfect condition and awaits your arrival. This is the way to spend a day rediscovering why you started fishing in the first place. Grab a light rod, your small dry box, and a snack; then you can start to connect with the amazing resource that Boulder has in its backyard.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Here is some free eye candy for all you carp heads out there. Bird you missed your chance to catch a "real" legend. We should see carp like this out of the south platte in Denver during the Pro/Am Carp slam. Well maybe in a few more years the platte will grow fish like this, we all can hope.


This morning on Marshall Cutchin's MidCurrent Newsletter I saw a notice that Steve Rajeff set a new world record for single-handed casts - 243-feet Twenty years ago he posted the previous record of 236 feet. This is way beyond comprehension.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Boulder Creek Caddis -- Fly Tying Demo

Hot Flies

In an effort to keep your fly box fresh and loaded with the best patterns around FRA has this to offer; Jay Zimmerman's own Boulder Creek Caddis.

Jay speaks on his pattern,"This fly was developed to be used as a great lead fly in a dry dropper rig, it is super easy to see and rides low in the water to attract more fish...the benefit of the curved hook means that this fly hangs droppers just right so that the most subtle strike can be detected."

Material List:

Hook--Tiemco 200R size 16
Thread -- Lagartun 95D X-Strong Black
Hackel -- Size 16 Lt Dun Saddle Hackel
Wings -- Natures Sprit Cow Elk Hair Dun Color
Body -- D Rib Medium Lt. Golden Stone
Indicator -- McFly Foam Clown Colors for different situations
Head -- Black Super Fine dubbing

Tied on a Peak Vise

Buy the material package and receive a 10% discount on the list.

Keep em fresh and riding high. See this pattern and more on the FRA website under Fly Tying.

Monday, August 3, 2009

New CO State Record Catfish

AURORA, Colo.--When it comes to angling, records are meant to be broken. No one appreciates this more than Aurora resident Mike Stone, who caught a 35-pound channel catfish while fishing at Aurora Reservoir on July 26, setting a new Colorado state record.

Stone, who fishes Aurora Reservoir with unwavering devotion, said he never set out to break any records on what he thought was just another typical morning at his favorite fishing hole.

"I've been coming out to Aurora Reservoir pretty much every weekend, rain or shine, since 2003," said Stone. "That morning I planned on fishing for trout and walleye but never expected to catch a catfish, much less anything of that size."

At 6:30 a.m., Stone loaded up his fishing gear and departed to a familiar location near the dam. Equipped with a Shakespeare "Ugly Stick" rod and 6-pound test line, he used an unconventional presentation to attract the large fish.

"I was using a sinker and a floating jig head tipped with a nightcrawler," said Stone. "I tied the floating jig to a leader 6 feet below the sinker, which allows the bait to float just off the bottom of the lake."

The unorthodox combination proved irresistible, and the mammoth fish took the bait almost immediately.

"I had just cast my line into the water and started to pour a cup of coffee when I saw the tip of my fishing rod move and jerk," Stone said.

He then grabbed his rod, set the hook and carefully played and finessed the large fish to prevent breaking the lightweight, 6-pound line. Stone landed his prize catch after a 15-minute tussle.

Park rangers and Division of Wildlife officers arrived later to take photos and to weigh the fish on a state-certified scale.

Stone's catfish measured 37-inches in length and weighed 35.22 pounds--nearly 2 pounds heavier than the previous record of 33-pounds, 8-ounces, caught in 1994 by John McKeever at Hertha Reservoir in Larimer County.

Stone hopes to have his record fish mounted in the near future.

"It looks like this fish and I are going to be joined at the hip, at least as long as the record holds," he said. "I'll be happy if my record lasts anywhere near as long as the previous one."

Stone credits his wife for providing added motivation in his early morning angling pursuits.

"I really need to thank my wife Lisa for kicking my butt out of bed so early every weekend," Stone said. "She sends me out fishing so she can sleep in."

We need to keep hitting our favorite spots with fly rod in hand, a little breakfast and get out early to per sure some great fishing close to home. Take a look at the Boulder County warm water map to find a lake close to you.