Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My Name is Caleb Van Wagner...see you on 2/16/2014

 "I am 30 years of age and hail from Craig, Colorado or Craig, America as it is affectionately known by the locals.  In this area one is always confronted by mother nature.  Drive in any direction and you'll be in some of the best fly fishing waters on earth.  You can hunt 20+ pound pike, ambush 4-pound smallmouth bass, or chase trophy trout on the same river - the Yampa River or Bear River as translated from the native designation. If it swims in this watershed I chase it.

At the FRA Saturday morning clinic I would like to briefly talk about piscivory.  Some data suggests that when a fish of any species becomes piscivorous (a fish eater) it rarely eats anything else.  The upper end of a trout’s predatory limit is one-fourth of their total body length though their preferred slot is one-third.  With this in mind think of a 30 inch fish, its upper limit would be a 10 inch fish.  More surprising would be thinking of a 15 inch fish and the upper limit of its predatory scale is 5 inches.  As trout fishermen we rarely think of fishing with offerings this big.  That’s why I want to focus on this upper range for these piscivorous predators.

I will be tying some of my foundation minnow patterns, along with other large food prey items.  With my KMA Minnow I want to introduce you to stacking materials.  I think stacking dubbing is a great way to familiarize ourselves to this art which the pinnacle is stacking deer hair.  We have all seen these beautiful deer hair flies but if you’re like me I had no idea where to start.  Only after a very good friend of mine and deer hair guru, Jason Goodale, showed me the nuance of deer hair did I feel comfortable enough to attempt to use this advanced tying technique. In my opinion this is the perfect missing link in the transition to deer hair.  Essentially, stacking material is stacking material; we are all a lot more familiar with dubbing than some with deer hair.  I will go into more detail on Saturday, hope to see you all there."... Caleb

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Learn to tie flies and take your game to the next level

Rob hitting it big in Slovenia for Fly Fishing Team USA!

Fly tying is inextricably linked to the evolution and history of fly fishing. While basic fly tying methods and techniques have not changed dramatically since its origin, there have been incredible changes to tools and materials, especially with synthetics, hook designs, and vises. 

Tying flies is not just an extension of fishing enjoyment; it inherently improves your ability to catch fish through the creation of food sources and knowledge of their behavior.  While you don’t have to tie flies to be a successful fishermen, you will never have the edge that accomplished fly tiers enjoy.

Rob Kolanda (see below for more about Rob) will be hosting a beginning class on February 10, 2013 for $69.95 and an intermediate session on February 24, 2013 for $79.95.  Both classes will be 3 hours in duration and limited to 6 students.  The shop will provide all necessary materials  to complete the sessions and can (if needed) provide the students with the necessary tools.

Why take such courses? “I can watch Internet videos, buy books and DVD’s, and go to Saturday morning clinics.” All true, but nothing speeds up your proficiency and knowledge faster than one-on-one help from a seasoned tyer.  As an additional incentive, Front Range Anglers is offering a 15% discount on any material or tools you purchase.  In effect, this will probably cover most of the instruction fees.

The rapid growth of fly tying is being driven by readily available digital/hardcopy information, specialty materials, and knowledgeable fly shop resources combined with fly fishermen who are pressing to move to the next stage.  Don’t miss this great opportunity!

About Rob Kolanda

Rob has been involved in the fly fishing industry for nearly 20 years, including time at a number of fly shops.  Aside from managing various segments of the retail business, he has been a signature fly tyer for several companies, and a key member of Fly Fishing Team USA. Throughout his years as a competitive fly fiersheman, Rob has collected five Gold, five Silvers and a Bronze medal with the US National Fly Fishing Team, was a winner of the America's Cup and a two time winner of the South Platte Carp Slam.