Tuesday, January 31, 2012

FRA's New Shop Earns Melton Construction CotY Award

Melton Construction is proud to announce we've won two CotY Awards!
What is a CotY Award

The Contractor of the Year (CotY) awards are given each year by the National Association of The Remodeling Industry to members who have demonstrated outstanding work through their remodeling projects.

Melton Construction is honored with awards for Regional Winner Entire House Remodel $250,000-$500,000 for a private, Boulder residence and Regional Winner Commercial Interior for Front Range Anglers on Pearl Street in Boulder.

Congratulations to Tom Cattany, Melton's in-house architect, for his hard work and dedication to excellence in design.

So if you have not stopped by the shop yet, to see all the great work that Melton has done. Please do!


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Roosters & Corvina

Mark Moller sent us these pics from Costa Rica....gee I wonder if he's having fun? I'm sure having a terrific time looking out the window at a grey winter day.


FEBRUARY  3rd, 2012
From 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
REI Boulder - 1789 28th Street

Thursday, January 26, 2012

CTU Rally in Denver - Save the Upper Colorado River

Today, January 26th 2012 Colorado Trout Unlimited got together for a rally outside of the EPA office in downtown Denver. Their objective was to raise awareness with the general public as well as show the EPA that people care. The issue is regarding the proposed Windy Gap Firming Project. If this project gets passed by the federal agencies including the EPA, Coloradans would see the mighty Colorado river flowing at 20% of the historic level. If flows go that low it puts the Upper Colorado in danger of loosing many of the major insect hatches that make this such an amazing fishery. Once the bugs disappear, so will the fish.

CTU President Sinjin Eberle leading the rally.

The message was clear. In order to save the mighty Colorado River and keep it healthy, wild, and stable, Colorado's Front Range can not pull more water out of Windy Gap Reservoir. There needs to be a balance between the growing needs of the metropolitan areas along the Front Range and the preservation of Colorado's natural resources. Pulling out more water from the headwaters of the Colorado is NOT solving anything for the growing demands. People need to understand that having green grass in the arid desert of the Front Range can no longer be a priory.

A few other points that were made by CTU's president Sinjin Eberle, were about what it takes to keep a river healthy. Flushing flows each spring are essential for the ecosystem survive for the rest of the year . Since the Upper Colorado is damn controlled, and most of the water in the reservoir is owned by the Front Range, a small bump in spring flows is hardly enough. The water needs to be ripping like we saw in 2011. Big flows make for great angling opportunities. It puts lots of food in the water, clears out critical spawning gravel, and increases bug life. All these things make for fatter, healthier fish.

Kirk Deeter of Field and Stream & Angling Trade expressing why the Colorado is a vital piece of what Colorado stands for.

A short video of the rally.

I can only hope that the Federal Government does not turn a blind eye to protecting the very namesake river of our great state. If we protect our headwaters the benefits can be felt down the entire length of the river system. Stay informed and get involved at Colorado Trout Unlimited.

Colorado pride.
Lets not have this flag stand for anything other preservation our wild places.

I hope the efforts of CTU and everyone who attended make a difference.


Free Tying Demo Saturday - Rob Kolanda

Rob nymphing on the Lower Blue River during the Americas Cup. - Photo: Russell Miller

Free Tying Demo - Competitive Flies that Catch

Team Fly Fishing USA's own Rob Kolanda will be tying this Saturday January 28th at Front Range Anglers in Boulder. Get there early (demo starts at 10Am) as Rob always draws a crowd for his informative tying demonstrations. This year Rob is part of the World Team and will be heading down to Slovenia to compete at the Worlds. He is as fishy as they come and has been thinking outside of the box to catch more fish for years now. A signature fly tier for Solitude flies, he also is the Rocky Mountain Rep for Hardy/Greys, Montana Fly, and Enrico Pulgulsi. Needless to say that Rob has more than a few tricks up his sleeve and is ready to share some of his proven competitive patterns that catch more than their fair share of fish.

Saturday Jan 28th at 10 Am
Front Range Anglers
2344 Pearl St
Boulder, CO 80303

See you all there!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Getting Ready for Carp

A few weeks ago I ran across a carp/bass fly named the Hammerhead from Lan Anderson out of Indianapolis. From what I understand the fly was originally developed for large Great Lakes carp.

The double bead-chain eyes add an attractive rattle and the Glow-in-the-Dark Flashabou helps the fish see this fly even in murky water.  In addition, this type of Flasabou has a muted tint.  I'm not a fan of adding flash to carp flies but this seemed like a good idea.  The Hamerhead can also be adjusted while fishing -  The rubber legs, the flash and even the extra eyes can be trimmed off as needed.

The original tie (featured in the video below) large - Mustad R74, Size 4 (that's a 4XL heavy streamer hook) with extra large eyes and a magnum rabbit-strip (1/4 inch) and .035 lead wire. 

I was intrigued by the fly and I wanted to tie a smaller and shorter version to use on our Front Range streams and lakes.

Recipe for the fly pictured above.

Thread:  Lagartun X-Strong Thread 95 - Black or Brown
Hook: Dai-Riki #730 Size 6 or any heavy 2X long heavy nymph hook
Eyes:  Bead chain eyes in a color to suit the tyer - size medium
Tail:  4 strands of white plus three strands of orange glow-in-the-dark Flashabou with 4 root beer colored crazy legs.
Weight: Lead .20 or .25 wire pushed up against the bead chain and secured with thread and superglue
Body: Crawfish orange rabbit strip palmered up the shank to the eyes. Ian recommends a regular rabbit strip opposed to crosscut.  The reason is the body will flare out and pulsate more.  I've tried both and I'm not convinced it makes that big a difference.  But I've yet to try the ultimate test - fishing the two approaches.
Head: black thread coated with Loon UV clear finish.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Regal Vise....Back in Stock

I've been tying on a Regal Vise for over 25 years and I have no desire to change.  Why?  Let me list the reasons…….

1.  The unique design of the head/jaws consistently hold the hook in place better than any competitive vises I have ever tried.  The setup allows for immediate change in hook sizes or hook orientation (28 to 3/0) with no special adjustments.

2.  The head is setup on a swivel that allow it to rotate 360 degrees and to pivot 220 degrees.  Far more adjustable than almost any product out there.  In my opinion most rotary vices can come close!

3.  You can start out with the basic model like the standard with a clamp ($165) and continuously modify it by adding new heads, stems, and bases.  How is this possible?  All the components are completely interchangeable.  Let's look at heads.  You can add a Big Game Jaw (sizes 22 to 5/0), Midge Jaw (sizes 32 to 6), Stainless Steel Jaw (sizes 32 to 2) or the Traditional Jaw ( sizes 22 to 1/0).  If that's not enough you could go to a full center spin rotary with a Revolution Head.  Try to find another product with this flexibility?

4.  You can easily add accessories for tube flies, a bobbin holder, and traveling.

5.  The Bronze Pocket Base with 5 cutouts for holding hooks and beads is great.  Its super heavy and which provides a solid foundation for your Regal.  Pick up this base and then pickup a competor's product.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fly Tying #10 ......Must Have Tools

Can You do without these tools?  Yes, but why be miserable when relief is available.

1.  Dubbing Spinner w/ 3 attachments.  If you use a lot of dubbing loops this makes it super easy....$15.00

2.  Our newest hackle pliers from Bob Jorgensen.  Controlling extremely small and fragile hackles is a breeze with these new pliers....$16.00

3.  Loop Clamps are used to separate 2 different materials in a split thread dubbing loop or when creating extra long dubbing loops.....$7.00

4.  MP Dubbing Needle which is the ultimate tool for splitting flat thread in smaller sizes to create dubbing loops. Eliminates major flustration when trying to use a standard bodkin to accomplish the same task.....$14.00

5.  Extra long whip finisher.  This tool is incredibly handy when tying off materials near the back of larger flies.  Sure you can do it by hand but this offers a far neater and faster result.....$5.00

6.  Swiss ring pliers are the absolute best tool for handling wire wraps since the serrated jaws firmly grasp any diameter wire....$2.50

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cheeseman Canyon Fishing Report - January 2012

Venturing down into Cheeseman Canyon in the middle of January can be a very rewarding experience, but it can also be one of the most trying places to catch fish in the dead of winter. Many anglers come into the shop looking for ways to catch more fish in the canyon this time of year. Here are a few tips that I use for these short winter days.

Ben McGee working his way into some of the goods in the canyon.

1. Adjust your standards. I would consider a day where you get 10 fish in the net to be a great day on the water, especially on this tailwater. Most people will take 2-6 fish on average. This is not the middle of summer where 20 fish days are more common. So enjoy each fish during the day.

2. Kill your Drift. The canyon is a place where a dead drift will mean the difference between a refusal and a take. If you don't have a good drift the fish wont even look at your flies. Often times they will slide out of the way to hide out in deeper water, spooked by a bad presentation. Instead of bombing long casts into a run and mending like crazy, wade in deeper and dissect the run with short accurate, drag free drifts. I guarentee this will be a big help.

This brown took a size 22 red juju midge on a dead drift.

3. Flies. This time of year people get crazy about fishing the smallest flies in their box. A size twenty midge, as the attractor, down to a 26 on 6x and 7x. This is a recipe for heartbreak and tough to rig with cold hands. My typical rig is 5x down to my first attractor fly, usually a size 16 Tungsten Serveryor or Prince Nymph, to a size 20 midge on 6x. Give them a meal that is worth eating. Its also nice to land bigger fish on a larger hook, stack the odds in your favor.

4. Sight your Prey. The low flows of winter offer up shallow gin clear water. If you move slow enough you will see fish sitting in their lie waiting for food. Take advantage of knowing where the fish are holding and make the appropriate cast. Then guide your flies into their feeding lane. This techniques requires you to be very stealthy and get close to your target fish. It just so happens to be one of the most exciting ways to fish as well.

Textbook high-sticking. Line off the water and guiding flies into the feeding zone.

5. Target quality holding water. While fishing in the canyon I pass a lot of anglers who fish what I consider "summer water". The riffles, heads of runs, and faster water. I'm not saying that fish do not hold there in the winter, but the vast majority of fish are going to be in the deeper slower water. Winter lairs where they don't have to work too hard to stay in position and feed.

FRA Guide, Wallace found this rainbow sitting at the top of a slow deep pocket.

These are a few tips that will help you make the most of your winter fishing experience in Cheeseman Canyon. The upcoming winter months can be some of the best times of the year. Put in your time and you will see some of the largest fish in the river come to hand.

Good Luck,


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fly Tying wtih Enrico Pulgulsi - Baitfish Fly for Roosterfish

Time well spent at the Vise with friends.

During a quiet Sunday morning at the Fly Fishing Show I had the pleasure to share a few minutes with Enrico Pulgulsi (epflies.com) and Jeff DeBrown of the Reel Baja. They were chatting about what the perfect baitfish pattern would be to catch Roosterfish off the beach in Baja. It was not long before Enrico started pulling out various colors of fibers as well as a few of his new Tarantula Dubbing Brushes and had a hook in the vise. In about fifteen minutes Jeff and I agreed that this fly was ready to be tied on a loop and cast into the surf.

This is a guy that gives it to you straight, nothing fishes like EP Fibers.

It was great to watch Enrico work his fibers just right. I have seen very few tiers pay as much attention to every thread wrap and positioning of each fibers as he did. Needless to say the fly turned out perfect and Jeff was confident that it would convert a follow into a take from the temperamental roosters down in the Baja.

FRA has the EP Fibers on Sale save 20%!

If you have never spent time tying with EP Fibers, pick up a few colors and try them out. You will notice how easy they are to tie with, but more importantly they give flies amazing movement in the water without soaking up too much water. Its easy to start using these fibers in everything from Baitfish, to small trout flies. The EP Fibers are a very versatile material that pays for themselves on the water. If your not a tier, we have a great selection of small trout streamers and big baitfish for toothy critters here in the shop.

Stop by and get yours today!


Monday, January 16, 2012

Fresh Snow in Boulder - Time to Cast a few Rods!

Well its snowing again in Boulder and instead of hunkering down and tying up a few flies it seemed like a far better idea to cast a few 9 foot 5wts. The Sage ONE, the Hardy Zenith, and the GLoomis NRX made the cut for one of our customers. The jury is still out on which rod is going to be "the one", but the big flakes did not seem to effect his casting.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Winter Tip - Don't Overplay Trout

This winter has been unique in the fact that the temperatures along the Front Range have not gotten too cold yet. This means that a lot of anglers have been hitting out local creeks and rivers. While the air temps may be in the low fifties the water temps are in the low forties, which is considerably colder. The amount of dissolved oxygen in many of your favorite spots is fairly low. Meaning....

That overplaying a fish, or snapping a few extra pics could kill the very trophy that you were proud to catch. Get the fish in quickly, fish barbless, and take extra care of our resources along the Front Range, both big and small.

Get out and have some fun!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Surface Film Part Deux - Fine Art Fly Fishing Photography

The Greenbacks of Trout Unlimited are excited to announce the 2nd Surface Film event showcasing top professional fly-fishing photography across the country at the Anthology Fine Art gallery (635 Santa Fe Drive Denver, CO 80204) on Thursday February 2nd, 2012. Similar to last year’s event, framed prints will be available through a silent auction to benefit Trout Unlimited.

This will be an exclusive preview event, and the gallery will be open to the public February 3rd and through the month of February.

New this year, the show attendees will vote for ‘best-in-show’ honors. The winning photographer will receive the National Trout Unlimited Professional Photo of the Year, a cash prize, and will be prominently featured in a future issue of Trout Magazine. In addition, a second place finisher will also receive a cash prize.

Please join us on February 2nd, 2012 from 7pm to 11pm to enjoy our industry's best photography work, as well as live music and drinks.

This is a free event. All ages are welcome to attend.

With over 250 attendees last year, we're expecting more this year, so please RSVP at the following link to guarantee admission:

For more information, please visit http://thegreenbacks.org/ or http://anthologyfineart.com/

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Thanks for a Great Show

FRA disciples Paul and Peter helping people find some great deals in our aisle.

I wanted to personally thank all of our customers who came out and saw FRA down at the Fly Fishing Show in Denver last weekend. We had a great turnout and really enjoyed catching up with everyone and sharing some of our great deals with our customers. I hope all of you took advantage of the great programs and demonstrations that the Fly Fishing Show offers. Without the support of you all and our vendors it would not be nearly the success we have every year.


We would love to get some feedback on what you thought of the show overall? It would be equally insightful to know so if you attend both the shows? Post your comments below.

Jon after just scoring 2100 points in the finals.

As a side note, during the Wright McGill casting competition three FRA staffers (Jon, Bill, Russ) made the finals and our own Jon Speigal took third place overall. Nice work gents.

See you all next year at the mart.

On Deck this Saturday at 10:00 AM

Learn how to use this extremely versatile material to create a variety of great patterns for Colorado and elsewhere.