Thursday, December 26, 2013

Cabin Fever

‘Tis the Season…Fly Fishing Shows

After the holiday season, the time transition time into the New Year can mean different things to different people. Recovery from the food commas and a realization that the waders are going to fit a little tighter, reflections of the past year, or the excitement from time spent with family and friends. For some it is the reality that it is January. Unless you appreciate chasing fish around ice or tripping to a warm climate, there are still at least 2-3 more months of iced over water in our corner of the world…Not to dread or fear, fly fishing shows are here!

I am blessed to live in Colorado for a number of reasons relating to fly fishing. January signals the annual kick off to the Fly Fishing Show in Denver, Colorado. It signals the beginning of fly fishing shows and sportsmen’s exhibitions across the country.

Next to being on the water, I can think of another opportunity to be surrounded by like minded people sharing their passion for fly fishing and outdoor adventures!

The Fly Fishing Show is a weekend of experiencing all things fly fishing. Whether you stop by for a couple of hours or spend the entire weekend at the show you can count on something to satisfy your fly fishing interests. The $15 entrance fee opens the doors to new products and old, exhibitors offering everything from apparel to fly fishing trips to exotic locations, authors willing to sign your favorite copy of their books, and chances to cast a rod you have been drooling over. The fly tyer’s demonstrate the latest techniques and share their fly tying secrets. The seminars and professional instruction are worth the cost of admission alone. This year Cameron Mortenson of the Fiberglass Manifesto fame will be sharing the impact fiberglass is making on the fly fishing scene. You would have to be asleep to not enjoy some aspect of the show. The number of seminars that are offered would allow you to hang out majority of the day and take in fly fishing instruction all day. Did I mention that the entrance fee covers majority of the seminars!

Find a show that is close to you or one that you and your fishing buddies want to road trip to. An overview of the schedule is attached. Check out their respective websites for more information.

 The Fly Fishing Show:        
3-5                  Denver, CO
17-19              Marlborough, MA
24-26              Somerset, NJ
7-8                  Winston-Salem, NC
15-16              Lynwood, WA
21-23              Pleasanton, CA
1-2                  Lancaster, PA

Various Sportsman Shows and Exhibitions:
9-12                International Sportsmen’s Exhibition            Sacramento, CA
16-19              International Sportsmen’s Exhibition       Denver, CO
24-26              Western Canadian Fly Fishing Exh.        Calgary, AB
25                    Kentuckiana Fly Fishing Show                Louisville, KY

1                      Greater Cincinnati Fly Fishing Show      Fairfield, OH
20-23              International Sportsmen’s Exhibition       Phoenix, AZ
28-3/3             International Sportsmen’s Exhibition       Las Vegas, NV

8-9                  Midwest Fly Fishing Expo                         Warren, MI
13-16              International Sportsmen’s Exhibition       Salt Lake City, UT
21-23              Tom Helgeson’;s Great Waters Expo       Blaine, MN

 If you are not able to attend a show, stop back by and I will share my experience at the 13th Annual Denver Fly Fishing Show with JT and my other fishing buddies.

In Denver, the parking is FREE, and they only take cash for the entry fee. An ATM is available if you are like me and forget the cash!

Happy Nymphing!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Christmas Wish...

From the NOCO Nympher's Family to Yours, 

We Wish You and Your Family a Very Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to  my blog buddies and their families! 

Special Merry Christmas wishes and prayers go out to the men and women of the armed services and their families that find themselves apart this Christmas! Thank you for your sacrifices, be safe, and God speed on a quick and safe return home.

If you are reading this and do not celebrate Christmas, I hope that your day is full of all the warmth, happiness, and joy of the holiday season!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


To You and Your Families.

I hope it is a time of reflection and remembering those that have touched your lives.

I hope it is a time that reminds you off all that you are thankful for; the things you may have overlooked and neglected; and a time to share your thoughts and feelings of thanks with those that need to hear it!

A special thanks to all that have assisted with the flood recovery efforts in Colorado; all those that continue to serve our nation; and all those that spend their days serving others!

Thank you to all that take the time to visit and leave a comment or two!

God Bless, be safe, and reach out to someone that needs it!

Happy Nymphing!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Almont Part 4...The Taylor River

It was day four and the trip was coming to an end. Before the day was up, it would be time to head home and say good bye to the Gunnison Valley for the year. Eventually all trips come to an end; however, the same desire that calls us to the river for hours on end and longing for one more cast at the end of the day was the same desire that caused us to long for one more day!

I found myself responsible for breakfast on our last day. I was up at 5:00am making my version of high altitude pancakes and I tried something new as a side. Not out of creativity; rather, out of the need to get rid of brats that we had not eaten during the trip. I split a bunch of beer soaked brats, fried them in a pan and they provided the protein to go with the pancakes. Gotta admit, I will be making them again on future trips.

After breakfast, we started packing and loading up. We were all excited to get on the river, and the excitement was obvious. We looked like an ant hill that had been kicked over by a big wading boot. When all was said and done, finished our final walk through, checked out, stopped by the fly shop, and we were heading for the Taylor River. The plan was to fish the Taylor River most of the day and then head home.

We took CO 135 from Almont to Jack’s Cabin Road. You might remember that we had to take Jack’s Cabin Road because Taylor Canyon Rd (CR 742) was closed to any vehicle or pedestrian travel as they completed road construction. Taylor Canyon Rd runs along the Taylor River and excites the senses. 

The morning sun was just peeking over the surrounding ridges. The fields and hill sides were lush and green. As we drove into the canyon that the Taylor River called home, the cool crisp morning air smelled of moist pines. The whistles of chickadees and the barks of the Stellar jays welcomed us to the Taylor.

We found two separate pull outs and geared up. 
Knowing that it was the last morning in the Gunnison Valley, I took extra time to gear up. I noticed that the air anywhere I plan on fly fishing is lighter, fresher, and electrifying for the soul more so than anywhere else I find myself. I filled my lungs, stretched, grabbed my St Croix admired the canyon walls as I walked to the river.

The river was flowing at approximately 280cfs, the water was clear and a balmy 60 degrees. Combined with the clear and sunny skies it promised to be another amazing day on the river.

I found a stretch that was a mix of steep and gentle grades, pocket water, pools, and some sections that not only had structure in the water but also afforded the trout overhead cover from over hanging quaking aspen trees.

I fish very slowly. I seldom move through water fast, even water that needs to be moved through fast. I worked the banks, and any water that looked fishy. This included any water that was darker than its surroundings and any water that had its current changed by a piece of structure regardless of how big or small.

I fished a hare’s ear, ABU, and a zebra midge, in that order. I attached one fly to the next from the bend of the hook with 8 inches of 5x tippet material. 

 I made short upstream casts and made sure to keep the entire leader off of the water. 

I hooked into my first Taylor River rainbow holding tight to the bottom of a deep hole covered by a large River Birch.

Based on the conversations on the radio, the fellas were having luck in the pockets of water they chose to fish. An occasional “raft hatch” would occur; however, the fish didn’t seem to mind. For the most part, we had the section of river we were fishing to our selves.

The remainder of the day was spent fishing any flat water, pools, protrusions from the bank, and any rocks breaking the flow of the river or creating current breaks below the surface.  

Make sure you fish all sides of the rocks. Don’t forget to let the nymph come up to the front of the rock before they break to one side or the other. The cushion of water in front of the rock will hold the nymphs in the cushion. The leader needs to be tight and more often than not, a trout will subtly take the nymph. Of course, you will have your share of snags so make sure you are ready to part with a few flies or can get to them to free them.

One more cast lead to one more cast which lead to one more cast before we finally headed home around 3:00pm. We took the beautiful drive up Taylor Canyon Rd, past Taylor Reservoir, to CR 209 up to the summit of Cottonwood Pass, a mere 12,126 feet in elevation. 

CR 209 winds up to Cottonwood Pass in the shadows of 14’ers such as Mt. Princeton, elevation 14,197 and Mt. Yale, elevation 14,194. It is nestled between North and South Sheep Mountain and gains elevation and switches back on itself until the summit is reached. The summit of Cottonwood Pass is breath taking.

When we hit the outskirts of Denver, the reality that the trip was over hit me. The end of a trip inevitably becomes a time to reflect on the trip and memories of time spent with friends; yet there are mixed feelings of satisfaction of a memorable trip yet the disappointment felt by the trip coming to an end. The overwhelming excitement was present to see the family; yet the desire and longing for the next trip already came to life. I found myself wondering if there was another place that we could fish one more time before we got home.

We made it back home without incident, and the excitement has already begun to building for Almont 2014!

Tips of the Trip…

Value every opportunity you get to spend time outdoors and enjoy the beauty that is fly fishing.

Slow down and appreciate the sights, sounds, smells and sensations created from standing in a river.

Share your experience, your time, and knowledge with others.

Value every moment spent with family and friends.

Take time to breath and connect with the spiritual aspect of being outdoors.

JT and I decided to fish Rocky Mountain National Park the next day and round out the week with a trip to the Poudre River. Little did we know it would be our last trip for a while because a flash flood was in the region’s future.

Ill share our days in the park and on the Poudre prior to the floods…Stop back by

Happy Nymphing!