Sometimes I take pictures of odd places and weird stretches of river. It probably seems strange to some people. I have taken my share of “fish porn,” too, those pictures of beautiful rainbow and cutthroat trout happily held in outstretched arms. But lately I have turned my camera to the place rather than the fish.
After the damage from our recent hail storm in Colorado Springs, insurance adjusters swarmed to our town. A group of five chose a day of guided fly fishing during their visit.
It’s the Dog Days of summer – when temps rise, fish are getting picky, and fellow anglers are making those “end of summer” trips before Labor Day rolls in. August is also a great time to explore many late-summer options when it comes to your fly fishing adventure.
We are well into Summer and the fly fishing at Spinney Mountain reservoir has been outstanding!
One of the most important factors in a trout's environment is cold, clean water. Trout LOVE cold water and therefor thrive in places like Colorado. Even at our elevation, though, most of our streams, lakes, and rivers can be negatively affected by water temperature.
David Caraghar developed a motto when he first started fly fishing some 60 years ago: “I’m not leaving the river today until I figure it out.” The motto came about when he was fishing in Cheesman Canyon, a section of river that could “humble you more than any other stretch of the South Platte.” He'd stick around until he had hooked up with a fish, even just one, and figured out that day's challenge. Seems like he lives by that motto still today: looking for new challenges and always “figuring out” the best approaches as a guide and a fly fisherman.
Colorado has over 2000 lakes that sit above 10,000 feet above sea level. A good number of those are above timberline (12,000 feet). Summertime affords us the opportunity to explore these alpine gems.
So it is probably one of the most written about topics in fly fishing (other than “what’s hatching?”): etiquette on the river. Do a Google search on the phrase “fly fishing etiquette,” and you get 239,000 results (in 0.43 seconds, I might add). While it is difficult to all agree on or come from the same school of thought on what defines “proper etiquette,” there is one basic “rule” on which we all can agree: respect the other angler’s space.
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 going to change ... in a big way!
The Zika Virus has been in the news a lot lately because of its rapid spread and significant impact on the babies of pregnant women once infected, confirmed to be the cause of severe fetal brain abnormalities, and the fact that there is no vaccine. (The CDC notes that it also affects adults with different symptoms.) Like so many illnesses, it is spread by infected mosquitos. The good news is that this virus is not yet in Colorado. The bad news is that you could easily travel to an infected area on vacation. And right here in Colorado, other mosquito-borne illnesses, such as West Nile Virus, are prevalent.
Ah, 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.
Colorado-born Sharon Wright pretty much epitomizes the outdoor lifestyle you might expect from a native of this state. She owns and shows horses. She has hiked and backpacked through plenty of our mountains – often times toting her fly rod on the trips so she can fish high mountain lakes and streams. She has fly fished since being introduced to this adventure by her dad. Sharon now shares her passion with other women through classes offered at Angler’s Covey, guiding trips, and through Pikes Peak Women Anglers.
I try to be as observant as I can while on the water. Turning rocks to observe potential buffet items, peering around the dog-legs of the river for other anglers, even reminding myself to look up every now and then to catch glimpse of a soaring eagle or to perhaps be captivated by overhanging cliffs and pine-laden tree lines.
Despite my frequent reminding, I know I am missing things. The black bear tracks tell another story, and I don’t really want to know how many trophy fish I’ve probably waded past who were hiding on the edge of a seam. With so much going on around me – the fishing, the beauty of the land, the presence of other life – there inevitably will be details that go unnoticed.
Angler's Covey Guide Dave Herber sent in this story about a father's day surprise!
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 Sunday, June 26th.
Dave Herber and "Hopper" Juan Ramirez had a great trip on Friday with this family: a mom and dad, two teenage daughters and Dalton, the 11 year old son.
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.
Yesterday, Doug Lamborn voted YES to a bill that would turn over vast swaths of our country's National Forests...
Jamie Roth is no stranger to the fishing opportunities in our Pikes Peak region. He fished Cheesman Canyon with his father when he was in middle school. Back then, he fished it with spinners and a spinning rod and reel – some lessons learned from his dad who was a shore angler back on the East Coast. Then, one day, Jamie was on Gill Trail that leads into Cheesman Canyon and parallels the river. From that vantage point above the river, Jamie watched a fly fisherman’s steady rhythm while casting. “I had to try that.”
A couple of shoulder surgeries – three actually – over the last two years has changed Rick Murphy’s experiences out on the river, but it has not diminished his passion for fly fishing at all. How could it? He’s been at this for a long, long time. From commercial fly tyer, to saltwater fishing, to guiding our great fisheries in Colorado – Rick Murphy, one of Angler’s Covey sales staff, has pretty much done it all.
Pat Dorsey posted the following on his Facebook account about a fellow angler who fell and was injured last week in Cheesman Canyon. Please call the shop at 719-471-2984 if you have any information about the lost gear. Thank you.
As the weather begins to change to a consistently warmer temperature, the annual assault of melting snow ensues. And with melting snow comes something with which every fly fisherman is familiar: run-off.
Nine young men camped out in 11 Mile Canyon. The occasion: a bachelor party. They chose a guided fly fishing trip as the highlight of their gathering.
Part of the responsibilities of a fly shop is to promote the great adventure of fly fishing while working toward the conservation of local fisheries. To that end, Angler's Covey has, from the outset, embraced the conservation efforts to protect our local rivers, streams, lakes, and reservoirs. The clean up of the Dream Stream in October and this Sunday's clean up of the South Platte at Deckers are two grassroot efforts to conserve those popular fisheries.
Jamie Roth, one of the instructors for the upcoming Two-Part Streamer class, gets excited about the possibilities with streamer fishing. “This is a great technique for spring run off. You’re chucking big nasty flies for spring meat eaters.”
Orvis 101 Introduction to Fly Fishing
Introduction to entomology