Sunday, August 26, 2012

Hop(per) on The Carp Train

This morning, I had a long phone conversation with Howard. We talked Dream Stream, float fishing, and lots of other things. But something he said reminded me of an idea. Howard was talking about how he loved to throw hoppers at big browns on the Arkansas. Browns? Brown trout. But what else is brown? Carp! So this afternoon, I went out to my favorite spots with a question in my head. Was it possible to catch carp using dry techniques? Fishing hoppers on the skate, the twitch, the dead drift? Basically, was it possible to catch carp as if they were trout? From the second I pulled up to the pond, I knew I had picked the right day. You could see the rings and hear the "bloops" of carp feeding all around the pond. I tied on a Grand Hopper, hopped into position, and took a cast. My first three shots brought total rejection. My forth shot, however, fell short and landed literally 4 inches in front of the fish's face. But the fish didn't spook. He looked up, moved towards the surface, and slowly inhaled my fly. He turned, felt the hook, and shot away, snapping the 3x tippet as he went. I watched my last Grand Hopper swim away feeling pretty stupid. I re-rigged with a PMX, moved to a new area, and tried again. One fished came up and nosed my fly, then turned away. Next I had another slow eat, but my set was too early and I missed the fish. Finally, I moved to a nice sunny patch of water between two trees. After watching for a minute, I saw a big shadow moving along the bank. I cast out and in front of the fish, twitched it three times and let it sit. A giant golden head rose up, sucked in, and thrashed at the feel of sharp metal. Ten minutes later, I had the answer to my question:

Shown Here Displaying Jordan Shoes And Gucci's "Carp Selection"

Mug Shot

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Burglar Step By Step: Something Different

Rather than do a demo of the original Burglar, I thought I would do something a little different. So here is another cool streamer that need the same materials. I didn't add pictures for the first few steps, as they are pretty self explanatory.

Step One: Tie in the dumbbell eyes, making sure to leave some room for the dubbing head. Don't forget to use some head cement to keep the eyes really secure.

Step Two: tie in three or four pieces of marabou about an inch behind the eyes. Cover up all sides of the hook, so you can't see the straight part of the shank or your previous wraps. When you tie in the last piece of marabou, don't cut the tag end! You'll need it for the next step!

Step Three: Take that tag end of marabou that you (hopefully) didn't cut off, and wrap it up to the eyes. Don't make it to thick, or the wraps will slip over the dumbbell eyes. Also, secure the marabou with quite a few wraps of thread, otherwise the marabou will slip as soon as you cut the excess.

Step Four: Figure eight some dubbing around the eyes to cover up your thread. This step is pretty easy and self explanatory.

Step Five: Take a big piece of dubbing, pinch it in the center with one hand, and pull on each end with the other. Now tie in the dubbing at the center, push it back, and tie in the piece that is pointing forward. Do this on the bottom of the hook as well, and the result should look like this:

Congrats, just whip finish and you're done!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Tying The Burglar And The End Of The Contest

First off, I would like to congratulate Howard on winning the Fill a Box contest! And a huge thank you as well to Mark, Alton, and everyone who voted on the poll over the last week. Howard, shoot me an email of whether you would like the book or the flies for your prize. Nice Job!

Marabou has always been a favorite material of mine, since it moves so much in the water. It wiggles side to side, up and down, and most importantly, it breathes in the water. So while playing around with some marabou the other day, I created the Burglar. How did this big ole streamer get its name? Well, it hops up onto your tying desk and steals ALL of your marabou. So be prepared for a demo within the next couple days, and bring a full pack of the good stuff. In more detail, you'll need: Size 2 Bass Hook, Tan Marabou, Purple Ice Dub, and Stick on eyes. All that fancy 'bou let's the fly move between pictures one and two as you strip the fly. Until then, good luck out there!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Fill A Box Contest: Let The Voting Begin!

After quite the delay, I am happy to announce that the voting for the winner of the Fill A Box Contest has begun! For those of you who don't remember, the idea of the contest was to tie a really cool box of flies and see who's box takes the cake. Well, now it is time for you to decide! Here are pictures of each  box to give you another look. For a more detailed look at each box, just search "Fill A Box Contest" at the top left. And to Howard, Alton, and Mark: Good luck! And feel free to vote for yourself or someone else (And don't feel bad, I would choose myself too).

Howard's Box, Side 1

Howard's Box, Side 2

Alton's Bass Box

Mark's Box, Side 1

Mark's Box, Side 2

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Blue And Gore Creek

When my friend gave me a call after my second day of Drivers Ed and asked if I had some time for a spare fishing trip, I actually wasn't sure. After moving a couple things around, checking with my mom, and other assorted boringness, I gave him the OK. So with the bags packed, we got a late (7:00 am) start up to the Blue. As usual, the fishing in the upper section was tough. Once we hit my favorite area, the fishing took a turn for the better. All in all I landed some fish, lost a couple more, and broke off once.

After awhile, we head out to our final destination. Wait, not the Blue? No, we were here to fish Gore Creek and its surrounding beaver ponds. We biked for a little while and found ourselves at a nice pond with some rising brookies. I started off with a Slump Buster, but quickly changed up to a yellow Adams. Sight casting to these fish was a great time, and it reminded me of Small Stream Reflections. Speaking of which, SSR is one of my favorite blogs. I wish I could tie flies half as good as what I see on there. If you don't already read it, hit the link and check it out.

The next day, we fished Gore Creek all the way through the Golf Course property. After catching a bunch of brookies, two browns, and a rainbow, I joked to my friend that we should try for a Grand Slam. Not even 30 minutes later, a nice Colorado Cutt found his way into my net. I admired his beauty, held him up for my friend, and let him go. Then I tried to drown myself for a good ten minutes because  I forgot to take a picture. Sorry guys.

Keep checking back in, there's going to be something really cool up within the next few days.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fill A Box Contest: Almost Over

With only a few days left until the  Fill A Box Contest entry final, I felt like I was forgetting something. Not just reminding everyone, but something really important. So Mark, I apologize that this took so long. Between fishing, fishing, and even some fishing, I completely forgot tot put your entry up. Finally, here it is! Find Mark over at Tie And Fly.

Not only did Mark fill a double sided box, but also a double slotted one. I have no idea how many flies this is, but I think it will be enough to last him awhile. I don't think I need to say much about the flies, other than the look like the quality of a 10 year old chinese girl (believe it or not, that is a compliment). Awesome box Mark, and good luck to everyone in the contest!

There is still time to put in your entry! Fill a box, shoot me the picture, and get in the race! June 30th is the deadline, so get to work.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fill A Box Contest, Mid Way Update

My inspiration for creating the Fill A Box Contest came from Howard and all of his posts about tying. With that said, I was happy to see that he did indeed put up an entry (as well as give me a shout out) within a few days of starting the contest. So when I saw an email from someone named Alton (who doesn't have a blog, I checked) with the subject "Fill A Box Contest," I was pretty excited. That's right folks, at this point, we at least have enough entries for a finals round. So to everyone else reading this post, did I miss your entry or not see your email? Are you working on your entry? Not quite started? Skipping this one? Feedback isn't required, I just thought I'd give you all some brain food. And before I can blab any longer, I'm going to put up a picture of Alton's Box:

Now, there are two things that I really like about this box. First, it's filled with bass bugs and poppers, which are some of my favorite warm water flies. Also, Alton hand made the box, and after the Duct Tape Kayak I like anything hand made. Not to mention the fact that it looks freakin' sick!

For all of you who didn't see his post, here is Howard's entry from Windknots And Tangled Lines:

First off, filing a double sided box is a true effort. By my count, Howard has over 100 flies in there! Also, I was with him when he picked up hopper bodies from the Hopper Juan, so it makes me happy to see that they turned out so well. 

That's all for today folks! Get working on those boxes so they're done before the contest is (June 30th)!

Friday, June 8, 2012

We Drove HOW MANY Hours?!?!

With nothing to do for a couple days, it seemed like a good time for a little overnighter. So after a few hours of getting ready, we hopped in the car and started the grueling 5 hour drive that takes us to the Taylor River. And I apologize in advance for all the blurry pictures, but it's tough to hold a camera steady when you're ass deep in fast water!

Have you ever had something so well planned out, so prepared, that it just doesn't work out? Well day one went kind of like that. Don't get me wrong, we caught a couple fish. The only issue was that we were at the Taylor searching for that elusive 10 pound rainbow. And they just didn't seem to be around. I spent the day catching nice browns in the 16-20 inch range, but didn't even see a fish you could call a Taylor River Hawg. Was day one a bust? No, it just wasn't quite what I was looking for. Not that it wasn't fun, just not what I expected.

Day two brought us fishing on the lower Taylor and Gunnison Rivers. It was a big change of pace from the previous day, with much more active fish. More active meaning they would eat a size 2 Golden Stone on the skate. Now, if you've never had the chance to fish a good stonefly hatch, put it on the list. You cast  up onto the bank, twitch it and skate it into the water, and let it get hammered by that 17 inch rainbow who's been waiting all day for the next big meal.

Day three took us on another long drive (4 hours) across the Kebler Pass and into the town of Basalt. For this last full day, we were going to hit the Frying Pan from top to bottom. Starting at the infamous Toilet Bowl, we worked our way through the Flats, Bend Pool, and weaved around private water all the way to Basalt.

Day four brought a 4:30am wake up and a quick morning of fishing at the upper Pan, and finished off with brekfast burritos and yet another 4 and a half hour drive home. Awesome trip!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Gone For Awhile

I'll be gone until this weekend, out on a trip. Until then, have a good week and wish me luck at landing a big one.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fill A Box Contest!

Its been awhile, but it's finally time to have another contest! For all you fly tiers out there, this is a great contest to practice on. Get going on some of your favorite flies, and fill up a box with sweet patterns. Once you're finished, post a picture of it on your blog or shoot me an email. We'll put up a poll and let the crazy internet people decide who tied the coolest box. And the winner? His (or her) choice of a dozen flies for whatever you fish for, or "Tight Lines; Ten Years of the Yale Anglers' Journal". So what are you waiting for? Start tying some flies!

Since some people take longer than others to tie, you can enter your box anytime before June 30th. After that, we'll start the voting. Please title your entry as something along the lines of "Fill A Box Contest Entry". The winner will need to email their address for shipping.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

End of School Fish-A-Thon; Day Three

After another great day at the shop helping customers, I just had to push my luck. Had to work every drop of awesome into my day. Also, had to test out a new reel. As I pulled up to the spot, things were looking good. My first four casts yielded follows or strikes. After that, not much action. I moved over, saw a BIG shadow, and sent a yummy little morsel his way. Boy, did he pounce on that fly hard. And after quite a battle, and the first 20 yards of my backing touching water, I managed to land the fish.

Now, seeing your backing sounds like fun. Let me tell you, it is scary as well. Any fish that is taking you over 100 feet away is not your Average Joe. If the fish makes a turn at 100+ feet away, it can put a belly in your line. That belly is slack line, so the fish has wiggle room to escape with. All I'm trying to say is, next time you see that White Dacron, keep tight on whatever is out on the business end of your line. Good luck out there!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Big Week

Wow, what a past couple weeks. First up on the list was to finish off school. I had a few big tests and projects, but managed to end well and keeps my grades up. Graduation day came quickly, and after an hour of getting talked about by teachers, we were let out. Naturally, the first thing I did was string up a rod. Along with my rod, I grabbed a black bag containing my new camera. Man, nothing makes you feel like a photographer than a new, big, heavy camera. But as many of you know, I've been hoping for a nice camera for awhile now, and my Dad let me buy his from him. My day on the water went a little like this: 85% fish, 15% me and 0% camera. I got nine eats from carp, hooked 3, landed one, and took pictures of none. Today, I headed back out around 4:30 (after working at the shop all day). Today went much better for me and the camera! Take a look, and be sure to check out the cool looking mirror carp.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Walk Softly, And Carry A Big Net

What You Feel Like With An Undersized Net

Now, those little nets you see people carrying in LL Bean magazines are great... for getting stuck on trees and throwing away. So once you're ready to man (or woman) up and buy a real net, go for it. Let me elaborate.

Any fish that is small enough to fit in a cute little net really doesn't need a net. But when you do catch a big fish, that little net on your back probably won't be sufficient. I remember trying to net a fish for a guy out on the Dream Stream last Fall. He wanted me to use his net, so I reluctantly picked up the tiny piece of wood that I would call a twig. As I tried to net his fish, I realized that it wasn't really going to work. The fish's girth was pretty big, and wasn't going to fit inside the 6 inch wide net. We caught the fish, using my bigger net.

So next time you are about to buy that new Wachter "Stream" 7 by 12 inch net, spend the extra 40 bucks and grab a "C&R Magnum Boat" 23 by 15 inch net instead. When you hook that fish of a lifetime and lose it because you don't have that extra reach and bigger bag, you won't be able to console yourself by saying, "At least I saved 40 bucks on my net".

My Nets. Use 32 Inch Bat For Comparison

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Enrico Puglisi Flies, Step By Step

Enrico Puglisi Flies

As promised, here is a step-by-step on tying flies with Enrico Puglisi flies. I decided to do something a little more complicated for the demo, but feel free (I recommend) to use only one or two colors at first. Good luck!

Step 1: Get your hook set up on the vise, and start a thread base about halfway down the hook shank. If you go to far back, you may end up with too much material and too beefy of a fly. Setup Tip- it will help to have a waste basket below you so you can sweep away any excess materials.

Step 2: Cut a 5 inch strand of your top color, containing about 20 individual fibers. tie in the clump at the halfway point, so one end points back and the others points towards the eye of the hook. Next, pull the front half of the fibers over and tie them down. This technique will use less material and create a taller shape.

Step 3: Tie in your next color the same way, but make sure this clump is closer to the side of the hook shank (rather than on top). Rather than tying the front half of your materials on the same side, pull them around the hook and tie them on the other side. This will create a more even color pattern. Continue moving forward and tying clumps in until you have: A-Created the color pattern you were looking for, and B-You hit the eye of the hook (or close to it).

Step 4: Whip finish the fly and cut the thread. Take the fly out of the vise and grab some scissors, because this is the step that will make or break your fly. Once you're all set, take the fly and fluff it as much as you can. This is what the fish will see when the fly swims through the water. Take your scissors, and start from the back by cutting at angles until it looks like,well, a fish. The real trick here is not to cut too much. If you do, you end up with a ball of fibers that doesn't have much action and looks too small in the water. If you messed up, you're back at step one; if you're still here, let's move on to the next step.

Step 5: If you have a small  cautery /welding tool hidden in the garage, now would be the time to grab it. What you're trying to do here is create a small hole in the fibers where you want the eyes to be. Once you've got that done, use some epoxy to glue in some eyes. Voila! The finished fly... well, maybe.

Step 6: This last step is totally optional. If you want your fly to have lines, spots, or any special markings, just take a sharpie and add them in. This seems like a small step, but it can be the difference between a good looking fly and a great looking fly.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Time is Almost Up!

There are just a few spots left for the last Sylvan Dale trip of this Spring! The date is set for June 2nd, and the fishing should be great. Late spring is the one of best times of year to fish for big post-spawn rainbows and throw dries in the cooler parts of the day. If you are a streamer guy, this will be one of the best trips of your season. The takes are hard, sudden, and super aggressive. The biggest fish in there eat the biggest streamers, so pick up a few (or tie your own) and swim them deep. Whether your passion is dries, nymph rigs, streamers, float tubes, or even bass, you're almost sure to have a great time at this trip. So call Rocky Mountain Anglers soon, and reserve your spot before they're all gone!

Well? Any takers?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tying With Enrico Puglisi Fibers

Tomorrow or the next day I'm hoping to do a little demo on how to tie Enrico Puglisi style flies. I've just learned how to tie these myself, so they look nowhere near as good as his do, but they're still nice. On a quick test today at a nearby pond, I managed to land four bass in around an hour on these flies. For a place that doesn't have too many fish in it, I consider that pretty good. Whether you have never tied these before, just want a refresher, or are coming to make you feel better about your own flies by watching mine, it should be a cool experiment. Here's what you'll need (it's a pretty short list):

  • Enrico Puglisi Fibers (I use EP 3D Silky Fibers). These are available at most fly shops, including Rocky Mountain Anglers for those of you who live near Boulder.
  • Your favorite bass or saltwater hook, and just size it depending on what you're fishing for.
  • Stick-On or Epoxy Eyes, sized to match the overall size you're hoping for the fly to be. 
  • Obviously, all your tools and your vise. Oh, and if you are or live with a doctor, try to find a cauterizing pen. It can help to keep the eyes in place. 
The last instruction I have is this: these flies are expensive. These are high quality materials, so they get pricy. Just fish these things on some heavy tippet (I like 0x Seaguar Fluorocarbon).

Disclaimer: I am not paid or compensated in any way by Enrico Puglisi for doing this demo. Merely, I am using his amazing materials to create some cool creations and hopefully teach a few tricks. Also, acknowledge that Enrico is much better at tying these flies than me, and that anything I do incorrectly is just a mistake, not me contradicting his tricks. So far, everything I've learned from his website has made my flies better. I urge you to watch his videos and take whatever tips you can from them to put into your own tying.

One Of My Creations

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Frying Pan Fiasco

Friday, 2:00 p.m.: We've finished packing, and now it's time to head out. This ride will take us four hours away, to the Frying Pan river in Basalt. I have a couple rods, lots of weight, and tons of flies, along with some other stuff.

8:00 p.m.: After dinner and a few bathroom breaks, we're at the infamous Toilet Bowl. To my great surprise, I'm the only one there. The weather is freezing, the wind is howling, and I have the headache to end all headaches. However, I'm on a mission. I need to catch a fish before the night is over. Luckily, my quest doesn't take long, because I catch a nice brown on my tenth cast. I keep fishing, catch a few more small(er) fish, and head to the Green Drake hotel.

Saturday Morning: I wake up bright and early at 4:30 am. getting my gear on takes about five minutes, and then we head out. When we arrive 15 minutes later, my early start seems to have paid off. I hop in the river with my glow in the dark Thingamabobber, and try to catch some pigs. I catch a few, but decide not to take pictures because the temps are in the single digits. at around nine o'clock, I meet Pete and Cale. Cale is out with his father, picking up trash along the river. Upon talking to him some more, I learn that Cale is quite the celebrity, and has been recognized by all sorts of people for his trash clean-up work. Nice work buddy, keep it up. Oh, and did I mention Cale is only like 9?!

Weird Expression

Saturday Afternoon: Next, I meet Phillip. He is one year older than me, and equally into fly fishing (something very hard to find these days). We get to talking, and spend the rest of the day hammering fish together. It's also a big help to have someone net your fish, and he was great at aiding me when I had a big fish. Here are a few photos from our adventure:

Phillip and I Double Up

"Average" Bow

Saturday Night: I get a text from Phillip while I am at dinner saying that he convinced his mom to let him stay the night, and that he will see me again tomorrow. Far those of you who are a little old for texting, it's like the new version of the Pony Express. For those of you who are a little old for the Pony Express, it's like the new version of dropping a cave painting off your velociraptor into your neighbor's cave. I hop back in the car after dinner and head back up, ready to take another shot at night fishing the Pan.

The fishing is the best I've seen it so far, and I hammer six big rainbows on my first seven casts. I fish until it's pitch black, then wade back across the river. I manage to survive that trip, but fall in two times and get soaked to the bone.

Sunday Morning: I get up around the same time, get dressed in my now wet waders, and head back to the Pan for on last day of fishing. It isn't long after the light comes up that I see Phillip pull in, and not long after that we both start catching fish. We call it quits around noon, promising to hand out again soon and get back on the water. Check out some more photos and a very short video below:

Some Sort Of Disease??

Nice Brown

The Pan