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.
Scott Voyles was born and raised just up the pass from Angler’s Covey in Woodland Park. By the time he was eight years old, he was tying flies and learning the art of fly fishing from his dad who was “always chucking dries. He was obsessed with it.” Two powerful forces at work – nature and nurture – are at the heart of Scott’s passion for fly fishing.
Although we knew this wasn't going to be the ideal fishing trip, my daughter Rachel and I were both itching to wet our lines so we set out anyway. Beaver Creek is one of my favorite small streams - both the lower stretch near Penrose and the upper section out of Skaguay Reservoir. It is one of the most beautiful hikes and usually fishes well. After all of the rain and runoff, I was curious as to whether it was blown out, off color or in decent condition.
The south slope reservoirs on Pikes Peak opened up for the season last weekend. The opening of this area has been anticipated by everyone in the shop, and we were all excited to make the trip. On Father's Day, we assembled a crew of AC guides to head up to the peak. Its about an hour and a half drive form the shop to the gate. We arrived and checked in with the rangers at the gate.
While all the rain this spring has our gardens lush, our fire danger low and our rivers running abundantly, it’s also contributed to an increase in things that go bite in the night or day. Yup: mosquitos. Anecdotal evidence suggests that we not only have local beasties that are more abundant, but also a new and different variant whose bites are more painful and lead to more swelling. News reports suggest that the increased breeding opportunities are not necessarily going to lead to an increase in West Nile transmissions, but even without the disease factor, it pays to avoid the bites, in the first place.
Awhile back I asked my brother and sister what they remembered about fishing with our dad. Although my dad occasionally fly fished, we mainly fished with spinning rods and reels. Lessons from fishing are some sort of a universal learning, though, right? On this Father’s Day, here are some memories — and memories in the making — in recognition of fathers and fishing.
When it comes to stillwater fishing, most people fish subsurface, primarily nymphs, wooly buggers, streamers and slump busters. But did you know that during the summer months dry fly fishing can be the most productive fly fishing strategy? There’s nothing like a 22” rainbow “exploding” into the air as he attacks a #16 Elk Hair Caddis or #18 Griffith's Gnat! Although subsurface stillwater fly fishing is day-in and day-out the most productive type of fly fishing, stillwater dry fly fishing is often overlooked. This past month I’ve caught more fish on dry flies than nymphs and wooly buggers combined. As the water temperature has increased (62 degrees at Spinney last Sunday at 10:30 AM) the dry fly action has been excellent!
The Callibaetis hatches on our south park reservoirs are a thing of beauty. These hatches happen every year, and the stillwater fly fishermen eagerly await their arrival. I was up on Eleven Mile Reservoir last week, and we saw "columns" of this big mayfly over every rock outcropping along the lake. I knew then, it was just about to start. Yesterday on Spinney, I was pleasantly surprised to catch quite a few fish on Callibaetis.
Shopping for gifts for the fly fishing father can get a little tricky. Sometimes, dad is like a familiar stretch of your favorite tailwater – you just know him and the perfect gift, but at other times he can be as tough to read as a freestone river -- it’s difficult to know what he would like. Whether he is new to fly fishing or a seasoned trout bum, we can help you get your dad into some gear that helps him get into fish.
Introduction to Aquatic Entomology and Fly Selection
Fall stillwater class, shoreside
During the Summer