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.
The men of the Today Show go fly fishing and reflect on fatherhood. This is a great clip to demonstrate that fishing is not always about the fish, but more about the adventure along the way.
Cheesman Canyon is technical fishing even under more-or-less “normal” conditions. Increase the flows to 1100 cfs, stain the water the color of Lipton tea, and you have yourself some tough fishing conditions. Before we left the shop for the “Learn to Fish Cheesman Canyon” class, Guide and Instructor Jon Easdon said “We’ll have to think out of the box a little today.” And thinking out of the box paid off.
Fly fishing some of our many reservoirs in Colorado this June? Don’t leave home without some chironomid patterns in your fly box.
Stillwater fly fishing has some of the same qualities that attract us to fly fishing rivers and streams. Every day can be a very different experience. New challenges arise every time out. Conditions change with different seasons with their own demands on reading the water and having good technique. But stillwater fishing has its own spin on these qualities. Float tube fly fishing on Catamount or Spinney reservoirs can expand your opportunities and grow your fly fishing adventure.
Kenny Romero says he’s “an old school, stick with the basics” kind of guy. You know, the “old school” man whose eyes light up when he talks about his twin daughters and his wife. The “back to basics” kind of angler who knows that Hare’s Ear nymphs and Pheasant Tails still get the job done in many situations. He’s the kind of guide who knows that it’s about getting clients on fish, sure, but it’s about the experience, too, that people are looking for when they go on a guide trip.
Have you ever wanted to learn to fish Cheesman Canyon from a local expert?
Jon Easdon, one of our senior guides, will be teaching anglers the techniques and strategies for fishing Cheesman Canyon on Saturday, June 6th.