Saturday, July 24, 2010

Coming in the August Newsletter

There are a lot of fans who enjoy fishing this Colorado River headwaters stream but its days may be numbered. It's a shadow of its former self, but it still produces surprising results. Read about it in the August Newsletter.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Pale Morning Dun Pattern

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

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ike (the fishing Boxer) & Paul on the Fraser River

This river can be tough. There are not loads of fish in the public sections, but here and there where there is good holding water you will find some good size browns. Ike and I fished it today (7/21/2010) and we caught 3 over 16 along with a few smaller fish. I hooked one over 20 but lost him on a snag in the river. They were all taken on nymphs bumped along the bottom. A flashback pheasant tail was the best producer followed by a green caddis rockworm tied in a Czech nymph style. I used a three fly rig with a heavily weighted copper Copper John as the center fly. It was overcast with occasional showers but there was no surface action. I had to quit early as the river grew more and more discolored.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Action on the Encampment River

Last weekend Bruce Mardick and I fished North Gate on the North Platte and the Encampment River. Both were fun but the Encampment was in perfect shape. While fishing a particular run Bruce noticed a riser on the far bank...maybe 40 feet away. There were some small light yellow caddis flies on the water. Bruce put on a pattern he picked up at the North Park Anglers in Walden. It reminded me of the little yellow stone fly that Al Ritt ties (see the pic below). I sat down to watch and take a few pictures.

Here's Al's fly.

The wing on the fly Bruce used was deer hair and it didn't have a post but it did have a red butt of closed cell foam

Monday, July 12, 2010

The 2010 South Platte Pro-Carp Slam .... August 21 and 22, 2010.

Day one will be open to 15 amateur anglers who will be randomly paired with professional guides from shops throughout Colorado. Teams will randomly pick beats laid out on The South Platte River in Denver.

Cost for participation is $350 per angler and your fee includes a day of guided carp fishing on the South Platte, lunch/after-party, Carp Slam hat, T’Shirt and gear bag valued at over $50 and the opportunity to be Denver’s Carp Slam champion.

Day 1 awards party:

Awards party will be a celebration of the The Pro-Am. This event will feature the winners from the day of fishing, food, music, silent and live auction and special awards to John Fuller and a memorial to Charlie Meyers. Hotel room discounts for the night.

Day two will be open to 30 teams of 2. The format will be an open event. Fisherman will fish form 8:30 – 2:30 any where in the greater Denver area. (Rules will be produced) Fisherman will have a digital camera and placard noting date and time fish are caught. Cost for the open will be $300 per team. This is your chance to become the best Carp Fisherman in Colorado!

World Fishing Network will be filming this years Carp Slam.

There will be many details added to the Carp Slam this year. Keep checking for more details.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I Couldn't Help It!

Jay Zimmerman designed the Back Stabber over a year ago and its a great fly for lots of different fish. Last night while sitting at the fly tying bench I thought...can it be improved for bass fishing. This is SOP for fly tiers because they have to tweak every pattern they encounter.

Hummm....what if I added a two inch tail made out of soft suede (1/8" thin ultrasuede skin strip in black from Hairline). Whoa, this is a great idea! Maybe I could even rename the fly the improved Prentiss BS. Would Jay stand in my way for fame and fortune. Yea he would.

Anyway, the addition works pretty darn well.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Trout Survey from the US Fish & Wildlife Service

The US Wildlife Service recently published a Trout Fishing Survey which was part of its 2006 National Survey. Here are a few points of interest that caught my eye.

1. The 6.8 million trout anglers account for 27 percent of all freshwater anglers. By comparison, the most popular freshwater fish species is black bass with 10.0 million anglers (40 percent), followed by 7.5 million (30 percent) panfish anglers, and 7.0 million (28 percent) anglers fishing for both catfish and bullheads.

2. Examination of the average days per angler reveals that the more active anglers appear to be fishing for the more popular fish species. Black bass and panfish, the two most popular fishing species, make up over half of all freshwater fishing days. Trout anglers collectively fished for trout a total of 75 million days with an average of 11 days per angler.

3. Fishing continues to be a male dominated sport. Females make up a quarter (25 percent) of all freshwater anglers and even fewer trout anglers (21 percent).

4. About half of all trout anglers (49 percent) are between the ages of 35 to 54 years old. Comparing trout anglers to the U.S. population reveals that trout anglers are younger than the general population. The number of trout anglers 25 to 44 years old decreased from 49 percent of all trout anglers in 2001 to 41 percent in 2006.

5. Spending by freshwater anglers totaled $24.6 billion while trout anglers spent $4.8 billion. Dividing these expenditure totals by the number of freshwater and trout anglers results in averages of $982 and $712 respectively.

6. The spending by trout anglers rippled through the U.S. economy generating $13.6 billion in economic output and supported over 100 thousand jobs.

7. The number of freshwater and trout anglers 16 years and older in the U.S. has decreased. The number of trout anglers has decreased from around 9 million anglers in 1996 to 6.8 million in 2006.

8. As for freshwater anglers, their numbers have declined from 29 million anglers in 1996 to 25 million in 2006. Between 2001 and 2006 participation declined by 3 million freshwater anglers. What’s causing this trend? Some explanations include demographic changes in the U.S., difficulties with access, and personal time constraints as factors.

Read the complete report

Monday, July 5, 2010

14-year-Old Catches 51-Pound Grass Carp!

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. - A 14-year-old boy from Golden has earned a place in Colorado's record books after catching the heaviest fish in state history.

Cody Moreland landed the 51-pound grass carp while fishing at Prospect Park Lake in Jefferson County on June 4, the Colorado Division of Wildlife said.

Moreland says he was initially targeting bass at the tiny lake, but changed tactics after seeing large carp within casting distance.

Moreland cast his line toward the feeding carp and started retrieving the minnow-like lure. Within seconds, the monster fish grabbed the lure and then charged in the opposite direction.

"This was my first cast of the day but I could tell right away that this was a huge fish," said Moreland. "I had to make sure my drag was set just right to keep from losing it."

Moreland battled the gigantic fish for 25 minutes as a large crowd of spectators gathered to watch. Cody's grandfather was also there.

"Everyone was in awe when I finally landed the fish," said Moreland. "Even my grandfather was shocked. He just kept saying, 'Wow, that is the biggest fish I've ever seen.'"

The carp measured 42 inches in length, 28 inches in girth and weighed exactly 51 pounds.

In addition to breaking the state record for grass carp, Moreland's catch is the heaviest fish ever recorded in Colorado, surpassing a 50.35-pound lake trout caught by Donald Walker at Blue Mesa Reservoir in 2007, DOW said.

"This carp is the heaviest fish that we have ever entered into our record books," said Paul Winkle, Colorado Division of Wildlife fisheries biologist. "Grass carp can grow to enormous sizes, so it's not surprising that this species has now taken the top spot in this category."

The Denver Post

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Independance Day 2010 .... JB Bruning

One of the most rewarding aspects of being a fly fishing guide is the amazing diversity of the people I meet. My life comes together with theirs for just a day or two, but some of them truly become friends. The time spent together on the rivers or lakes is very special time…work is forgotten, worries fade away and the focus is on fishing and the surroundings where trout live.

I’ve had the honor and pleasure of guiding many active
military folks and even more veterans. From a three-star Pentagon general to a 20 year-old Army Ranger sniper headed overseas for his first tour in Iraq the week after we fished together…a Navy husband and wife, both helicopter pilots, who were headed back for their second tour and the first woman to graduate from the Army Airborne jump school who was upset because the Army stationed her in a recruiting center and another Navy couple on their honeymoon who, when I asked the woman what she did in the Navy, told me with pride, “I drive the ships”. Regardless of what we may think about the current wars, these are all very special people.

I met, Army Ranger, Major Jesse Stewart last month and we fished together for two days. It was Jesse’s first vacation in nine years and his first trout caught on a fly in ten years. Jesse wanted to use the fly rod that his dad had given him many years ago, the same rod that he had learned to fly fish with on the streams near his home in northern Washington.

Jesse is currently the youngest Major in the Army…he has served three tours in Iraq and lead humanitarian service in New Orleans after Katrina. Three years ago, Jesse took eighteen pieces of shrapnel from a suicide bomber that killed one of his soldiers standing beside him. He showed me the scars…with humor, he pointed out that they had done a better job patching up his head wounds than the wounds on his arm and side. For his bravery and sacrifice, Jesse was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor, Purple Heart and Meritorious Service medals, among many others. This is a very special young man.

It didn’t take Jesse very long to catch his first trout and I could almost see the tension and stress melt away as we worked our way up the river. Jesse is an intensely focused person who is used to doing things he was kind of upset when he missed a strike, but there weren’t too many missed strikes! On our second day together, I “put the hammer down” and took Jesse to places I like to fish…gnarly wading, tough water, lots of gymnastics and bigger fish. He was up to it.

Now, Jesse is back in training and will probably be sent to Afghanistan. But to honor the twenty-two soldierswho lost their lives, out of the three hundred soldiers from Jesse’s unit during the Iraq “surge”, Taskforce 300 (modern day Spartans), he will run a series of races across the United States, Iraq and Afghanistan. These races will include several short to mid-distance races (including a 10-mile race in Iraq and the Afghanistan Marathon in October), an Ultra Marathon, and will culminate with the Ford Iron Man (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run). Upon completion, he will have totaled over 322 miles. 300 miles for “Task Force 300” and an additional mile for each man killed in action. When the 322 miles are completed, he will continue to run ultra-endurance events to maintain the legacy of the “American Spartan 300”. The donations and other profits from this endeavor will go to establish scholarship foundations for each of the children left behind without a father from Task Force 300. For the men who died who did not have children, a one-time monetary gift will be given to the families (next of kin) for use at their discretion.

Jesse called me the day after our time together and told me that he had slept two full nights, for the first time in eight years, without a sleeping pill. He was still glowing from the joy of being back on the water and catching fish…this meant more to me than any gratuity ever will. Oh yeah, a few days after our trips, Jesse decided to run up Pikes Peak with a full pack…his only comment was, “ I didn’t realize how cold it was going to be up there!”

This is a very special young man.

I know that this is supposed to be a fly fishing newsletter…but, Happy Independence Day!

Rocky Mountain High

Video fishing reports and stories from our friend Hayden Mellsop
Few things are more quintessential to the Colorado fly fishing experience than a remote alpine meadow, a meandering stream, and a dry fly. Take a look through a copy of the Colorado Gazetteer or similar publication, and there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of small streams and high lakes just waiting for an angler with a back pack, a fly rod, and the willingness to expend a little time and energy.

We live in an age of the drive thru, drive up and drive in. In the name of convenience, we have allowed ourselves to become sedentary to the point where for some the thought of walking to the mail box, or on anything other than pavement, is an anathema. Consequently, many anglers seldom stray out of sight of their vehicle or the highway. Personally, I think this is great – it leaves plenty of space for those willing to burn a few calories. We are social creatures, after all, so for many fishermen, the presence of others close by can seem comforting. There is a sense of security in numbers, plus the reassurance that if there are others in the same spot casting a line out, then I must be fishing in a likely place also.

So it is fun to be able to step outside of your comfort zone every now and then, leave the crowd and the truck behind, and experience the call of a place that at least has the impression of being wild and remote. Encountering fresh bear poop on the trail serves as a reminder that we are not always top of the food chain. The sight if a fox, scampering through the sage brush, the cry of a red tail hawk as it surfs the thermals, remind an interloper such as myself that I am a guest only in someone else’s domain. This is the time of the year the wild flowers are starting to bloom, the meadows cloaked in a veritable rainbow of different hues.Of all the different types of trout I fish for, the ones that inhabit these high alpine streams, lakes and beaver ponds are the ones I admire the most. A short growing season, limited food source and long, harsh winters are testament to their resilience. Their ability to conceal themselves from predation never ceases to amaze me, materializing from the rocky stream bed or under cut bank to quickly snatch a passing morsel and dissolving, phantom like, back into their surroundings. Their very presence is witness to the universal push of all living things to survive and procreate.

Late spring and early summer, with the larger rivers swollen and high, is the perfect time to escape to the high country for a little solitude, and with it the opportunity to gain a wider appreciation of the world we live in, and the creatures we share it with.