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.
The early season ice-off action for hungry rainbows from the shore at Spinney Mountain Reservoir was good, but nothing compared to the action now! As the water temperature has risen and bug activity has increased, the stillwater fishing success at Spinney has really taken off. High flows due to run-off? Stillwater fly fishing gives anglers a great opportunity to hook into some great fish!
Flows are up and will be rising more in the next few weeks. What’s an angler to do? Saturday, at the Covey’s Learn to Fly Fish Day, I was able to talk with a couple of guides about what fly patterns are their go-to flies and what they do with them in the higher, faster flows. One word: Stoneflies.
Justin Brenner was supposed to be born in a hospital in Englewood, Colorado. His mother, along with Mother Nature, had different plans. Because of a snowstorm that prevented his mom and dad to get back to Denver, Justin was born in Alma, Colorado. No wonder that he has Colorado mountains in his blood.
Ten years ago Steve Gossage joined the ranks at Angler's Covey and soon became my right hand man. His strength was something I could lean on with the stress of running a small business...
Other than building up your knowledge base, deepening your understanding of bug life, and dramatically increasing your productivity on the river (i.e. catch more fish), why would you even consider taking a class on aquatic entomology and fly selection? The Bug Guy, Robert Younghanz, offers a few good reasons.
These boots are made for wading! I broke in my new Simms RiverTek™ 2 Boa® wading boots last week on the Arkansas River during a great caddis hatch. The boots feel great -- they're lightweight, the StreamTread™ is "grippy" enough, and the Boa cable system makes for an efficient and secure fit.
If you’re literally waiting for Mother’s Day to fish the Mother’s Day caddis hatch on the Arkansas River, you should go ahead and make other plans. Make those brunch reservations to spend time with the woman that brought you into this world. My point? Do not wait! The hatch is happening now – as in, right now. Go!
Michael McMillan brings two main qualities to work every day as a new member of the Angler’s Covey staff: passion for the outdoors and enthusiasm to help others enjoy their experiences in all of what Colorado has to offer.
Have you been paying attention?
There seems to be a subtle push from political leaders to possibly gain the largest land grab in history. Are you prepared, as fly fishing anglers, to pay rod fees to land owners to have access to our local streams, rivers, and lakes?
Cody Ensanian and his wife, Jackie, decided to travel to Colorado for their honeymoon in June 2014. They chose Colorado Springs as a base camp, so to speak, for hiking, camping, and fly fishing adventures. Who knew that by September they would be making Colorado Springs their home and, a few short months later, Cody would be one of the new staff members at Angler’s Covey and Pikes Peak Outfitters?
That's right, folks! Spinney officially opens this Friday! Do you feel a scratchy throat coming on? A cough and sneeze and the need for a "sick day"? If you've never been to opening day at Spinney, then this is your year! These fish haven't seen a fly or lure since November and are hungry and eager! It can be a busy time with many fellow fishermen, but the payoff is rewarding and the camaraderie can be fun.
Women's Introduction to fly tying
July 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th
During the Summer