Saturday, March 28, 2015

Poudre River Report in Pictures… March 20, 2015

A picture is worth a thousand words... A great day on the Poudre River!

Poudre River Spring Pool

A frosty Tenkara morning

Sunrise peeking into the Poudre Canyon
Poudre River Brown

Early morning Poudre River Brown on a #16 zebra midge

Gin clear

Blessed to be able to share its beauty!

Tenkara Iwana Brown

Frosty morning on the Poudre River, Larimer County Colorado

The Pool

Caught and release to create a memory for another fly fisher


Poudre River Rainbow

Caught and released
JT's Poudre River Brown, Larimer County, Colorado

It was a fantastic day on the river!


Weather: Clear and sunny day with the reminder of winter in the shade
Water: Clear 40 degree water running at about 120cfs
Fly fisher hatch: low
Fish: bows and browns
Rig: Tenkara with double nymph rig
Nymphs: #16 ABU, #16 black Zebra Midge  and #12 Hares Ear
Time: 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Happy Nymphing!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Steelhead in Colorado

In three hours, I fished in Cuba for tarpon, permit and bone fish; chased rainbows in Patagonia, Argentina; caught steelhead on a spey rod on the Dean River in British Columbia; and chased Tarpon in the Florida Keys and chased the monster taimen in Mongolia! I could have chased some monster Carp; however, carp-chasers, I will enjoy your adventures and leave the carp to you!

All of my adventures were shared with great friends that accompanied me and hundreds of others that took a break from their lives to watch the 2015 Fly Fishing Film Tour that came to the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins, Colorado.
A huge shout out to St. Peter’s Fly Shop for providing the support to bring the tour to Northern Colorado and providing a wonderful break from the rocky mountain spring weather.

If you have never been, the evening starts with an opportunity to mingle with friends, meet new ones, and just absorb the energy of all the like minded fly fishers young and old, there to share the evening. After getting your favorite libation and picking up your Fly Fishing Film tour swag (free stuff), you settle back into your chair and watch some amazing footage of trips near and far that put you on the water with those that had the fortune of actually being there. The footage is spectacular and the camera angles with the invent of the go pro digital platform incorporates more of your senses and you become part of the experience. Intermission gets you out of your seat and more swag is thrown into the audience, raffles are cheered on. Thanks Fly Fishing Film Tour and St. Peter’s Fly Shop.

F3T Film Tour Fort Collins, CO Swag Raffle
The evening was a wonderful break from the hustle and bustle of life, the transition from winter to spring, and the temperatures. Everyone left the show with a new found energy and longing to get on the water.

If you have not attended a Fly Fishing Film Tour, find one and tight lines!

Happy Nymphing!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Poudre River Spanking! Ahhhhhh @#$%!...It Got Off!

It doesn't matter how long you have been fly fishing or your experience level, you can relate to this experience.
Poudre River, Colorado
JT and I started our day off in typical fashion, coffee and a breakfast burrito. We were heading to the Poudre to meet up with Mike, Mr., himself and another fishing partner, Dave. We should have known the day would be interesting because Mike and Dave were not able to make it and JT convinced me that instead of our normal breakfast burrito we should have a “naked” burrito minus potatoes for less carbs! In English, this means a burrito with all the steak and fixings in a paper bowl instead of a tortilla minus potatoes. Yeah… we will not be doing that again.

We were gearing up at the river by 10:00 am and were excited to get on a small stretch of the river that held nice trout, both browns and rainbows. Our excitement continued because we were hopeful that the overcast skies and rain would keep others in their homes or at work since the weekend was calling for 60’s and 70’s. Yeah… that didn't happen.

The smell of the outdoors during and after rain is difficult to describe; however, each of you have been there and instantly, you can close your eyes and all of your senses return to the moist air, earthy-sweet smell of the ground and vegetation and the electricity you felt after getting to the water’s edge for your first cast.

We grabbed our Tenkara rods and made it to the river’s edge. Along the way we discussed a lot of nothing. We anticipated the day; conditions, approaches and JT reminded me about the rattlesnake that was waiting for us last year warming itself on the same trail we were walking on. Yeah…that wasn't necessary.

The water was 40 degrees, gin clear and running at about 100cfs. We both took a little time to appreciate the conditions because soon Mother Nature would melt the snow pack and clean house. The rivers will take on different personalities to say the least. 

The stretch of water was 21 feet at its widest point, so JT and I fished together using “10 and Out”; ten casts or a fish and it was the other persons turn. We continued this until we were able to split the river and then fished opposing banks across from each other.

We fished our go to nymphs…ABU, black Zebra Midge, Copper John and Hare’s Ears in size #12 or #14 for the lead nymph and #16 for any trailing nymphs.

Poudre River Rainbow
We found browns and rainbows in a variety of places. Fish were holding in areas you would expect to find them. Behind and in front of any structure that gave them relief from the current yet brought food their way; seams of changing current with a piece of structure; any back eddy; foam lines; and don’t forget anything that sticks out into the water that brakes the normal flow of that section along the bank. Don’t walk past shallow water without casting to it during season transitions. The depths the fish were holding were varied to include fish rising in pools that Mike and Dave would have drooled over. Yeah…they were not there.

Poudre River Brown
We moved up along the river fishing, catching and using that self created non-verbal language fly fishers use when they are on the river and can’t hear and using the radios would take away from the reason we were there. Yeah...we have small two way radios.

JT was working the front side of this Volkswagen sized rock. The river came down a riffle, slammed into the front side of the rock and over time obviously built a fish resort under and around the front and sides of the rock. The river flowed around the side JT was standing on and created a large pool behind the rock where I was. JT hooks up and I can tell immediately by his rod position and flex, facial expression and movement down into the pool he was into a big fish. Appreciate that fact that on a Tenkara with a big fish there are a few seconds when the pucker factor is high until a give and take relationship is established by you and the fish. Yeah…not this time.

JT and the fish mutually agree to get around the rock and to the back side of the rock. From my vantage point the negotiation was going well. Nice pressure, rod angle and movement into the calm water. And then it happened. This fish had had enough of the hanging out with JT, shot under the rock and SNAP! The 5x tippet was no match for the rainbow that appeared to me to be in excess of 22”. And then the experience… I hear, “Aaaaaahhhhh F#$%!”, ”Holy S#$%!” and the fishing gods leave JT standing there where we have all been, wishing for that fish one more time! You could feel the initial high and see and hear the after low. That wonderful roller coaster of fly fishing emotion that is extremely intense but then comes to a abrupt end. You are left with no closure and an intense desire to do it again! I could see JT inside his head thinking of all the possibilities; the would haves, could haves, and should haves.  If only…one more time! Yeah…not this time.

The self talk changed to appreciation of the experience and the satisfaction of knowing that he was there to experience and enjoy something that would have gone unnoticed had he not been there. The fish did not get to be it’s size by not being skilled! JT got the wind back in his sail; yet, you could tell he was haunted by the one that got away all day!

We finished the day when it was evident we were going to be combat fishing this stretch of water if we stayed longer. We left the water at 4:00 pm.

Tips from the Trip:

Fish all water during season transitions: The rivers begin to get larger and fish start to move during season transitions so fish water that you may normally pass up.
Practice catch and release: I know that fish was caught before; however, someone else gave us the opportunity to enjoy the one that got away and leave a lasting memory for us!
Tenkara is not for big fish: Yeah…right.
Wade safe: The river banks and beds are changing. B Safe!

Happy Nymphing!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Spring Is Around the Corner…

Poudre River Canyon

 Sunday and the Sun Is Out...!

Called up JT and by 11:00am we were loading up the truck heading to the Poudre River with hopes of dodging the fly fisher hatch, spending some time in the sun and spending some time on the river pre-runoff.

No wind, clear skies and 50 degree weather had us anxious to get to the river. We lucked out! We dodged the fly fisher hatch, rather surprising actually, because we were getting outside rain, snow or shine and figured everyone else would be on the same page.

Poudre River Gin

The canyon is transitioning from the holds of winter to the mud season of pre-spring to the future transformation of spring. 

The floating ice signaled the changing of the seasons. 

The water is gin clear and we know that it will be a torrent soon. 38 degrees still makes the feet numb and the fish feel as if they were taken out of the refrigerator. Not cold enough to keep us out of the water.

JT and I fished a double nymph rig on our Tenkara rods and were introduced to Poudre River Brown’s using #16 ABU's, #18 black Zebra Midges and #14 Copper John's. The leader was 13-14 feet long before the lead nymph and then another 8 inches before the next nymph. Bead heads helped get the nymphs down to the noses of fish holding in deeper water. JT used a Cutthroat nymph leader and I used a 10 1/2 tapered 5X Umpqua trout leader.

Tenkara USA 11ft Iwana

Tips from the Trip:

Enjoy the moment: Enjoy the drive, the time with your fishing buddy and be present in the moment. The places we fish tell different stories every time we visit, if we just take the time to listen.
JT's Poudre River Brown
Layers: Layers for warmth and you never know when you might go swimming and need to change or go home… Another story for another time.

Don’t be that fly fisher: As excited as we were to get on the water…stop and check the water. Make sure there are no other fly fishers on the water or moving into the water. Don’t be classless and jump into water a fly fisher is working. Smile, share some stories and swap some flies. The fishing gods will reward you.

Change what you think you know: During season transitions, look for fish in all the water not the water that typically holds fish for ya.
Fish Pond's Thermometer...38 degrees

Happy Nymphing!