Thursday, February 24, 2011

Spring is on the way!

Try and not let the next few days get you down, the weather report is calling for "freezing drizzle" and I'm not sure exactly what that is, but it sure sounds terrible. But Spring is definitely around the corner, the birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and the ice is finally coming off our local streams and ponds! Today my roommate Willie and I took advantage of the sunshine and hit Boulder Creek for awhile. The creek has a fairly decent flow right now, about 15 cfs. The fish are pooled up this time of year, so concentrate your efforts in the deepest and slowest pools you can find. Also, with the lower water approaching the pools in a stealth position is a must. Stay low and never completely skyline yourself! We fished fairly hard to stick a few nice brown trout, our best luck was using a double nymph rig, with a size 12 rubber leg stonefly nymph down to a san juan worm.

Youth Participation is Essential

Kids 2

MARCH 2, 2011 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
The Spice of Life Events Center, 5706 Arapahoe, Boulder CO
(in the Flatirons Golf Course complex).

Tommy Lorden FF Education Demonstrations
Fly Tying Demos by Ron Donahue
Youth Tying led by CU Club
DOW Station & Fish Tank
Trout in the Classroom Students from Centaurus
CTU Youth Camp Alumni
Rocky Mountain Anglers Fishing Destinations
Front Range Anglers Equipment Demonstrations

Boulder Flycasters

Saturday Free Clinic ~ 2/26/2011


In addition to fishing, fly tying, managing youth programs for Colorado Trout Unlimited, helping with the CU Fly Fishing Club, building rods, and going to graduate school, Shawn Bratt has a day job.  He's a  Mechanical Engineer at Seagate Technology.

About five years ago Shawn became engaged in the fabrication of cane rods.  With he guidance of Mark Shamburg and Mike Lerdal his skill and knowledge has grown at a rapid pace.  At this point he has built a variety of cane rods from small stream trout rods to switch and spey rods for Steelhead

Shawn's talk will take us through the prepping process to finishing  More importantly he'll discuss how to get started. 

He'll have a variety of rods including some from Matt Schliske for you to try.  You'll see why bamboo has regained the popularity it lost to fiberglass in the 1950's.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Safari ~ Denver Style

Finally Boulder/Denver got a wave of warmer weather, and with cabin fever getting the best of me, Russ Miller and I decided to take a day of and go explore the South Platte in Denver. The weather was amazing, hot, partly cloudy, and no wind. We established that the main goal
for the day was to find a few urban trout.

We ended up some where south of Denver in the industrial district. After searching for a bit we found a spot that looked very promising. A nice run, lots of structure, and really good holding water was not enough to help us find fish here. Bail! Turning or back on "good looking" water we decided to grab some lunch at a very busy Chick-fil-a, and come up with a new plan of attack.

Deciding that closer to the damn below Chatfeild might be a little better for trout we continued to go further south. Finally we came across a area that had some amazing structure and what looked like good quality trout water. We beat up the water pretty good, and came a across a fat plump Rainbow that took a Red San Jaun worm.

Bam! This was in the first 10 minutes of fishing or so we thought we were set for the rest of the day. As we continued to work water trekking through the willows and whipping stretches of quality water, we only rolled one more fish before the sun went down.

All, in all it was a good day to go out and explore new water. That being said, I feel that this stretch holds the promise of good fishing and is worth going back to for another try.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

FREE PRESENTATION ... sponsored in part by Boulder Flycasters and Colorado Trout Unlimited

Another Day...

Although we hear things here at the shop on a daily basis regarding good or bad fishing, river conditions, etc, etc--it just doesn't feel legitimate unless we witness it for ourselves.

Enter me on South Boulder Creek on Monday. Word around the campfire was that flows were low and fishing was tough. "We'll see about that." I scoffed.

I pulled up to an empty parking lot below Gross Reservoir about 10:30am. Not sure if this was a good or bad sign. Midway through sliding into my waders, a Trustafarian driving a brand new Dodge pick-up pulled up blaring Led Zeppelin IV. He commenced to sitting there in his truck head-banging while I rigged up. I kept an eye on him--didn't feel like having anyone mess with me this particular morning. I was already not in the best of moods due to the sharp, howling wind gusts shooting through me. As I started piecing my rod together, "Stairway To Heaven" came on and was promptly turned to a volume louder than anything else in Boulder County. Windows started rattling. The bass--surely provided by a check from his daddy, along with the truck--made my chest hurt. I'm not that old (yet), and I can appreciate cranking the stereo when a good tune comes on. But this pissed me off for three reasons. 1) I'm in the middle of freaking nowhere--where people and cars are fairly scarce. The last thing I want is someone sharing my chosen spot with me in an obnoxious manner. 2) His timing was terrible. If someone is at the same trailhead as you, rigging up to go fishing, chances are that person is going fishing in order to escape people, noise, and other daily irritations. No birds chirping, no water trickling, just "Stairway To Heaven". 3) "Stairway To Heaven"?? I dig Zeppelin, but "Stairway" sucks.

He turned his truck off halfway through the hippie-ballad and got out. He started walking towards me and I quickly made up my mind that I would not greet, nor treat him in a polite manner. Shop etiquette and tolerating idiots was not in my job description today. He was already the bad guy for breaking the rules of consideration. He came closer--I continued to ignore.

"Hey" he said, as he headed for the trail.

"Hey" I replied. Guess I showed him.

As I descended the steep hill and approached the water, I noticed that one of the river rumors was true: that flows were low. Incredibly low. Like, 6 cfs. Another fact about this particular stretch of creek that "they" failed to mention was the amount of ice. Tons of ice--still. Sooo, two strikes and I haven't even made a cast yet.

I choose one of maybe three "deep" runs. "Deep" is in quotations because it was not deep--just deep in relation to the tiny trickle that was the remainder of the non-frozen creek. Nothing. So I move upstream, past the "No Trespassing" signs to try and spot a few. I came across a nice hole with two visible trout moving around in it. One was about 8 inches, the other around 15--and bright red. So I decided to break the law. I targeted these two fish for about 40 minutes, being sure to incorporate stealth and a variety of patterns. Neither seemed to work. Finally they disappeared in a flash, as to say, "God, quit throwing that fake bug at me!"

My conscious started weighing on me, so I walked back down to the legal water. Getting my hands slapped would just add insult to injury at this point.

I hit the only other runs of open water, while a couple weirdos glared at me. One, being my Zep buddy from the parking lot. After snapping off both flies on a sharp sheet of shelf ice, I proclaimed, "This sucks" and walked back to my car, content with being skunked.

Until further notice, avoid South Boulder Creek up high unless you feel like acid-tripping to Zep's worst song in your 2011 Dodge Ram that your dad bought you. Stick with Boulder Creek through town. Reports have been decent and in retrospect I should have gone there. But now I know for myself.

Just a sidebar of advice: After experiencing a lack-luster day on a close-by creek, I suggest hitting the Rocky Flats Lounge on 93. After a few PBRs on pull, you'll forget about trout giving you the finger, stupid rich kids who apparently don't have jobs, your own prejudging towards college-aged folk driving new cars, and the fact that February on the Front Range generally sucks.

See you on Boulder Creek.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

2/19/2011 Clinic ~ Colorado's Most Aggressive Game Fish.


Front Range Anglers is pleased to announce that TK Conner will be giving our clinic on February 19, 2011.  TK has been associated with the shop for a number of years working as a guide and as a sales represenative while attending the University of Colorado where he graduated with a degree in Marketing.  Today he still works as a guide and instructor at the shop when he is not busy as the Director of Administration & Marketing for the Galvis Group in Boulder.

TK has spend hundreds of hours contemplating, developing flies. working on fishing strategies for Wipers.  He even bought a special flats boat just to go after them....we've now entered the realm of true addiction!

What's so special about Wipers....aren't they just like any other fish?  What fuels TK's passion and what has he learned over the past 5 years about one of Colorado's toughest sportfish?

Don't miss this opportunity to lean about one of the most exciting fishing opportunities in Colorado.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Go West For Fish.

As early as the middle of last week, the Front Range witnessed temps in the negatives. A very, very hard freeze. Then, just to tease us, 64 degrees on Sunday. A 64 degree day in mid-February--especially in the midst of all the foul weather we've had--makes for a no-brainer when going fishing. Trick is, where is there actual running water without six inches of ice covering it? Good question.

Well, I can tell you where not to go. Don't waste your time on South Boulder in Eldo or anywhere below. Too damn much ice from last week. I didn't drive up below Gross, but I'm assuming there's a little fishable water up there. If anyone's been there in the last few days, please chime in.

Don't wrestle with Clear Creek. The canyon, obviously, is frozen. And although you might find an opening here and there (like most any other frozen, Front Range creek), there's a pretty thick shell of ice covering the majority of the water through Golden.

Just a few days before that, I tried my luck up in Evergreen on Bear Creek. There was a good half-mile or so of fishable water below the dam before it turned to ice and a blanket of snow. Still, not a ton of water and super clear. Plus, the cracking of the shelf-ice below your feet is sure to spook the few cold trout that are in there. I managed to pluck just one little guy out of there--a handsome little brown. And I mean little. But at least I can call it a successful day, right? Especially since one can reward oneself with a cold Pabst at the Little Bear Saloon after fishing.

Customer's are reporting good, but limited fishing on the Big T below the dam. Also, the Vrain is fishing decent up the canyon towards the big dam. Boulder Creek is hit-or-miss. Ice and lethargic fish continue to make it tough.

But with the temps rising throughout the week--upper 50s to mid-60s--plenty of ice will be melting away and making for more options come next weekend.

My advice: Make the drive up I-70 to the Blue, Eagle, Roaring Fork, or Pan. Until we get more consistent warmer temps, we're just going to have to deal with the ice.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Mark Rayman's Clinic on Feb 12

Here are the set of flies Mark Rayman tied. Basically, Mark gave us a great presentation on how to prepare and use craft fur in a wide range of warmwater and saltwater patterns. Watch for the March Newsletter which is going to have a feature article on this material.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Tying Demo - Fat Caddis

Andrew Grillos shared his Fad Caddis during one of our Saturday morning tying demos. If you have not been to one yet this year, come on out and participate in the fun. Click here for the calendar of events.

"This is one of my go to caddis patterns for New Zealand, Argentina, and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. If you can fool fish in those places you can fish this with confidence across the country." ~Andrew Grillos.

Bonefish Report - Gouadeloupe end of january 2011

We just got word back from one of our customers Bertrand Noel about his recent trip down to Guadeloupe. The weather was very cooperative which made for great bonefishing. FRA set him up with a new Sage rod, new line, and the Simms Flats Pack. He reported back that the setup was flawless and the bimini that we tied held, even after countless fish.

Happy about the new set-up and being in an exotic destination.

Thanks for sharing another success story with the staff at FRA. We like to see customers getting out and using their equipment, because we cant be out on the water everyday, but love to see pictures and hear stories.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tying Demo - Frenchie

See what happened at the shop two weeks ago when Rob Kolanda came in and showed off a few of his comp patterns for triggering strikes on neutral fish.

Check out who is coming next and dont miss out on an opportunity to learn something new.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Saturday Clinic ~ Mark Rayman


Front Range Anglers is pleased to announce that Mark Rayman will be giving our clinic on Saturday, February 12, 2011.  Mark has spent better than 40 years fishing for just about anything that swims.  He’s been a guide, instructor, youth program coordinator, and active member of the St Vrain TU Chapter.

In particular, he’s an avid bass, carp, and wiper fisherman who frequents many of the local lakes and ponds.  There is a tremendous interest in the "where to go" and "how to fish" for many warm water fish, and here is the guy that can get you moving in the right direction. 

Over the years he has developed a number very unique patterns for these fish.  This is a must see clinic for anglers interested in finding and catching trophy sized fish in local waters.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cold Weather = Tying Bliss

Boulder has been having some of its coldest weather that we have had in quite a while, this morning was a whopping -10 F. Wait let me back up. Last weekend Boulder was sitting pretty, 65 sunny, the shop was hoping and fish were rising. Every angler on the Front Range was going fishing somewhere and had more fishing on the brain.

So for it to snap into these cold temps was quite a blow. So where do anglers direct the need to be on the water, maybe a fish porn, but most likely they take it out on themselves, behind their vise. This morning Jon and I were comparing little bugs over coffee that came into being during the coldest day of the year so far.

Here are the results.

These little fellas use the TMC 2499SP-BL (right) and the New Dohiku Grub hooks (left). A thin coat of Loon UV Knot Sense and bada bing.

Then it was time to get ready for the San Juan trip at the end of February, so did the same fly in a sz 24. Fish like it and its a super fast tie.

The beatis are getting ready and so should I. So back to the new hooks. They are a joy to tie on, slide right into fishes mouths and the hooks have unique shapes.

A nice Rainbow caught below Gross on our 65 day. Note the fly, all fish that day fell for that guy. A quick plug for the new Grays 10' 2wt that I just got, one of the best nymphing rods, period.

What have all of you been up to? Send over photos of the latest and greatest and well share them here for all to see.