Who knew that my 58th birthday would open the door to a new adventure? I’m not talking skydiving or swimming with the dolphins (I’m saving those for my 75th birthday). I’m talking Tenkara. I received the Iwana rod and headed up to a slim stretch of the South Platte with it. And to paraphrase Tenkara’s saying: it was me, a rod, a line, and a fly.
We asked some of our guides at Angler’s Covey for their top go-to flies for fishing our local tailwaters. In this blog, we focus on patterns for winter fly fishing. Jon Easdon gives us his top patterns for Cheesman Canyon. Scott Voyles and Robert Younghanz report in on their choice patterns. Finally, Greg Blessing and Dave Herber suggest patterns that are deadly on all tailwaters.
Meet Saul Martinez, retired Army infantryman and Purple Heart recipient and learn how fly fishing changed him forever. When the attacks on the United States occurred on September 11, 2001, Saul Martinez was a high school sophomore in Bloomington, California. As a young adult, Martinez carried a deep appreciation and strong sense of patriotism for the United States that naturally lead to a growing curiosity about the military. After the attacks on his country, it was no longer a question of if he was going to enlist; it was a matter of when.
We received word from Colorado Springs Utilities that they will be conducting some testing on their valve systems on the Arkansas River below Pueblo Dam on Monday, November 2 through Wednesday, November 4. Flows are expected to bounce from 60 cfs to over 1000 cfs during that time. That means it's not a good time to be in or even on the banks of the river! Play it safe and find another place to fish during this time and shortly thereafter.
Angler's Covey river cleanup day on the Dream Stream was a huge success today. We teamed up and cleaned up all of the trash from 11 Mile Reservoir to Spinney Reservoir. Overall, we packed two 40 gallon trash bags full of trash. See pictures here. Thanks to Justin Brenner for the idea!! Huge thanks to all that helped: Josh Heney Bob Taylor, John Houck Charles Huff, Caleb Heney, & Mike Amacher. See pics!
Fall in Colorado’s high country is an absolutely enchanting season. It is a time when the leaves are changing, the nights are cool, and the fishing is hot. October, in particular, is a very exciting time for fly anglers, as some of our fisheries offer the opportunity to find very large fish during their annual spawning runs. With the surge of large fish moving into certain rivers, however, comes an equal if not greater influx of fly guys from all over the world hunting that “fish of a lifetime.”
One of our commitments at Angler's Covey is the conservation and preservation of our fisheries. Over the years, that commitment has taken on different looks. From our involvement with the Cheyenne Mountain Chapter of Trout Unlimited to our message of conservation in our classes and on our guide trips, we work to protect the very thing that brings us pleasure, joy, and is at the heart of our adventure. And now, this Sunday, we are going to get our hands dirty with a clean-up trip to The Dream Stream.
The action right now is awesome. Maybe it is a combination of great temps -- it's October 12, but we're experiencing temperatures in the low 70's in the mountains (and the forecast looks the same for this week!) -- and the higher flows from earlier this summer, but for whatever reasons, the fishing right now couldn't be better.
With his arm up over the table at the restaurant, wrist at an angle as he pictures the drift, Zack Tokach, guide at Angler’s Covey, hook sets with his envisioned rod. As we talk, I get the impression that Zack is right there, on the river, reading the water, seeing the fish, as he explains the joys and challenges of fly fishing in general, and guiding, in particular. Zack is a student of the game, a life long learner of his craft.
While fishing the Arkansas River last week, I tried out the Simms Wading Staff. Although the flows were not particularly high, the rocky bottom of the Ark was slick and, characteristic of the river, had its unexpected holes and drop-offs. In short, I was glad I had the Wading Staff.
Headed up to see the fall colors this weekend – and I’m talking browns and rainbows! Absolutely gorgeous up around Salida on the Arkansas this weekend. The fishing was great – mid-morning through mid-afternoon. Fish are hungry and active as they are increasing their calories and proteing to prepare for winter. Admit it -- you want to be a fall fishing fanatic!
As the seasons change, new fishing opportunities arise calling for shifts in fly selection, rods, reels, tactics and clothing. Fall is here and winter isn’t far behind.
At the end of this month, the Land and Water Conservation Fund is set to expire unless reauthorized by Congress. Established in 1964 through a bipartisan act of Congress, the fund uses royalties paid by energy companies drilling for oil and gas on the Outer Continental Shelf to conserve important natural resources and expand access to public land. The money comes from
It's that time of year again, the colors are a-changing... And I'm not talking about the leaves. I'm talking about big, toothy, brown trout. It's spawning season when the males take on a pumpkin orange that sometimes makes them sitting ducks for anglers and the females get ready to lay their eggs in shallow water. Tread lightly!
Fishing Stillwater reservoirs like Spinney Mountain can be very rewarding and very challenging during late summer and early fall. The fall transition season is the time of year that can challenge even the most seasoned fly fisher. Like any river or stillwater, the more successful fly fishers are the ones that can quickly adapt to the changes in and on the water. A big part of the success equation at Spinney is access to where the fish are. Fly fishers with float tubes/pontoon boats and motor boats have greater access to locate weed beds where the big fish spend a large part of their day looking for an easy meal. I highly recommend using the appropriate water craft to make you mobile and accessible to where the fish are. Fish can be had from the shore, but your success will increase greatly on watercraft!
The Denver Post, which serves the most “outdoorsy” consumer market in the United States, if not the entire world… Has decided to can its outdoors column.
With the unusually high flows of the spring and most of the summer, it is in my estimation that this fall season will be one for the books. This autumn season should be phenomenal statewide and present some of the best fishing of the year. I challenge all of you to think outside the box and check out one of many different areas to fish this fall season. We have a lot of water in this state and most of it will be completely empty of people and full of fish.
Here are my Top 10 Things to Consider When Fly Fishing Small Streams:
1) Hike, then fish - In my observation, few anglers will hike one mile to go fishing. My estimate is over 80% of anglers will not hike a mile and less than 5% of anglers will hike three miles. What this means to the experienced small stream angler is the farther you get from the trailhead the more eager the fish will be.
It's that time of the year that all fly fishermen and women look forward to, the time when we squint our eyes and frantically throw size 26 dry flies to rising trout. Trico’s (pronounced TREE-co, often mis pronounced TRY-co) are a small mayfly prevalent from about mid July to late September. Tricos are small, ranging from 3-7 millimeters in length. They become a staple on most every cold river in the west. On the South Platte they turn into the preferred meal of trout. These hatches can be so intense that their swarms look like smoke above the river. Because of the density of these hatches, they tend to lure all of the trout to feed on the top column of the river.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined. In addition, one in five Americans—potentially you or a fishing buddy—will develop skin cancer over the course of a lifetime. Of course the best defense in battling the sun is prevention. The intensity of the sun is also enhanced being in or near the water. Sun protection on the river is imperative!
Of all the different disciplines of fly fishing, Backcountry Angling delivers the broadest form of adventure on a budget. Adventurers who travel the world come to Colorado to experience the wilderness and beauty we have just out our back door.
Another company picnic? Wrinkled hot dogs. Over-cooked burgers. Volleyball over a sagging net. Sand in your flip flops. How about a little something different? Why not book a company fly fishing trip with our Orvis-endorsed guides? Late summer and early fall offer great fly fishing opportunities in Colorado, and our guides create the right atmosphere for corporate teams that work together to now play together. Check out this group from GE Johnson.
Dave Herber, an Angler’s Covey guide for the past eight years or so, has had a connection with the shop for over 20 years. In fact, as a professional in the photography business in 1990, he was hired by the owner, David Leinweber, to do some marketing photographs for the shop. He wasn’t even a fly fisher yet, but that was soon to become a part of this guy’s life in a big way!
Flows are coming down and we’ll be out chasing some hungry trout in our local rivers before long. While fishing from the banks provides a lot of opportunity, many of us will don our waders, or slip on our wading socks for some wet wading on the hot summer days, and venture out into the river. Practice these tips for safe wading in our beautiful waters.