EpicFly: 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010

interested in trying a little noodling? This will get you started.

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Beautiful fall weather and great fishing on the Arkansas

The first morning that truly felt like fall
The browns and rainbows on the Ark are feeding pretty aggressively throughout the day.  Some decent fish are moving in to areas that leave them some what visible.

Kokanee on the Gunnison

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I had to take William Wild out for a little canoe fishing on this beautiful fall afternoon.  He'll be tying on flies himself before to long.

The Man, The Myth, The Legend. Danny Quinto.

Fly-fishing for Ghosts
Danny T Quinto
    Fly-fishing for Mackinaw (Ghost fish, I call them) in Colorado doesn’t mean presenting small bugs on fine tippets. These are meat eaters and when you’re sitting at the vise you question the strength of 1/0 thread. I use to tie buggers and leeches until Mother Nature shoved reality down my throat.   
    My buddy Donnie Bluekamp and I fished Rudi Reservoir (a lot) and one late afternoon in June our idea of fly-fishing for Mackinaw was blown out of the water; at that moment I realized my 6 weight was puny. I even questioned the 8 weight.
     The storm began with a slight breeze, then a ripple on the surface of the water. Within seconds we were engulfed in gale forced wind. The rain came down in sheets, like a faucet opened full blast. I kept my gloved hand on the wide-open throttle and steered the Arkansas Traveler into the mouth of the downpour. The waves grew to white caps, hitting the front of the boat with such force it threw me off course. It took everything I had to keep the boat headed straight. Waves picked us up to their crests and slammed us down into the valleys, covering us with icy spray. The driving rain made the fifteen-horse boat motor sound off in the distance. I heard a faint whine as the propeller lifted in and out of the thrashing water. I kept the nose of the boat pointed right into the heart of this monster and as quickly as the squall came it went. I shut down the throttle, and let the boat drift in the calmest water we had all day, keeping the motor idling just in case. There was no longer any wind, but the rain fell so hard behind us it made a breeze of its own.
    We were halfway to the boat ramp when I slowed the boat to troll in an area known as Freeman Mesa. I knew there were fish that liked to feed there, some in the fifteen-to-twenty-pound class.  We watched the fish finder, but it lay silent. Then I caught movement in a small bay that made the point of the cove.
    “Hey, what do you make of that?” I asked Donnie.
    He squinted and tried to focus.  “That’s strange, what is it?”
    I turned the boat into the cove and slowly made my way toward the splashing in the water. Donnie lifted the binoculars and scanned the water. “It’s a baby muskrat headed for shore. Fast little bugger.”      
    I scooted the boat to within ten feet of the little guy and shut down the motor. We sat and watched the muskrat go like hell. Then the water boiled and the baby muskrat was gone.
    “Oh shit,” I said.
    The baby muskrat surfaced and fluttered toward the shore with all its might. All was quiet for about ten seconds, then the critter went airborne. The small muskrat’s body was so scrawny you could hear the rattle of its ribs as it twisted in the air. As soon as it hit the water, the glassy surface opened up again, this time with vengeance and the muskrat was gone. We stood motionless, floating in eight feet of calm water, scanning the surface trying to find the critter. Then a small wake caught my eye. It was a twenty-pound-plus ghost fish gliding just below the surface, cutting a thin line with its tallest dorsal fin bone like a periscope on a submarine.  
    I pointed at it and said. “Look man he’s headed right for us.”
Donnie and I watched the fish cruise right next to the boat. In its mouth the baby muskrat was still jerking, trying to free itself. The muskrat’s tiny black eyes helplessly stared at us from beneath the clear water. The ghostly shape faded into deeper water with its prey still shuddering, releasing the last of its air in a stream of tiny bubbles. For a time we sat in silence, then I realized the sun had dropped behind the mountain peaks and a chill had locked onto the lake. I started the motor and headed for the boat ramp. Donnie and I are fisherman, we rarely get surprised but we both sat in silent respect. Then a tear trickled from my eye, and another.    
   I realized that we had just witnessed nature at its best and worst, depending on how you saw it. I thought how fragile the balance was. Not eggshell, but the membrane inside fragile.

Danny was able to have this article published in a leading fly fishing magazine last month. Arkanglers has been lucky to have Danny and his vast experiences around the shop. Come by and see him at the Salida shop Thursday or Friday throughout the year.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Big Hole River was great last week. It was hard to put so many miles between me and this river.

Here is the put in at the Troutfitters shop in Wise River Mt.  

The Big Hole River, Wise River MT

Two pretty different sections on the Big Hole
The Whitefish Warrior and Stingray with a slab of trout butter

Wow, those two fish sure tasted good.  Yea right.  How about some riverside BBQ Pork.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Upper Arkansas

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Some people go to the bar after work.
Grow big pretty little Cut'!  It's nice to see cutthroat and rainbows coming back in the Ark.
This is a look up at Pin Ball rapid earliear today.  The water is still high enough to make a clean run through the canyon even with the drop in flows.  The lower water seemed to expose some pretty nice fish.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

These days there are some nice fish looking for hopper, type flies.  I find my self saying things like "holly crap, did you see that fish eat" more and more.  Fish fry type streamers are still catching quite a few fish but is seems like a lot of the larger Brown trout are looking for something on top.  BWO's are starting to move around already,  could be a killer fall.

Monday, August 16, 2010

God bless whoever invented flies like the Chernobyl Ant.  Big stupid flies that, in many ways, reflect our American attitude.  I would even go as far to say that chosing one of these flies might feel a little like driving a Hummer for the first time.  Sure it might feel a little over the top, and bright red might be a little flashy, but come on its American.
This is Fly issue 24

Monday, August 2, 2010

Is that a Pats Rubber Leg in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Here, on the Arkansas we are getting daily afternoon rain storms, creeks blowing out and water coming up.    It is a welcomed change from the low clear water we had.  The trick has been to find stretches where the clarity is ok  and then forget everything you know about the perfect dead drift.  Yellow Stone flies are hatching enough to get the fish looking out for them again and there is nothing delicate about how they ride on or beneath the surface.  Jiggle and twitch baby.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Comparadun...  damn good fly.  Need I say more.
There are so many good stretches on the Arkansas River.
This is one of the many beautiful stretches of browns canyon.  Every once and a while you catch a fish and get to land it with an audience like this one.

Monday, July 5, 2010

There is as much life in the waters around Colorado, right now, as there will be all season.  Still and moving waters are showing hatches that are significant and diverse.  Here is a Dragon fly that was buzzing my legs during a damsel hatch that happened early afternoon today.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Big dries and big Browns on the Gunnison

Oh the sweet smell of love in the air

Monday, June 7, 2010

June in the Gunnison Gorge

Looking Towards Margarita Vill

This is looking up stream from the T-Dyke campsite

The first few Salmon flies of the season

Warm water falls on the Smith Fork

This rock was covered with Stonefly Clusters

Sunday, May 30, 2010

To the un trained ear it might of sounded like ga ga ge ge but I new exactly what he was saying.  "Dad, what is the legal age to drive a boat in Colorado"?
figuring out how to give it some gas

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Maybe they are preparing for high water rowing

Well, it's getting to be that time of the fishing season to find alternatives to the river for that tight line fix.  Antero Res.  just might be the dealer for you.  Stomach samplings have shown everything from leeches and suckers to chironamids, damsels and scuds.  This place has a lot of fish and everything all of those trout need to grow big quick.

Ignore the respectable Brown Trout displayed just like the finest silk tie would be presented by a salesman to a potential buyer and pay attention to the beautiful late spring conditions.  Dare I say it was calm.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Arkansas end of May and who would have thought it would still be low and clear.

The Ark is still fishing extremely well.  Flows have been low and the fish are chowing down on caddis and bwo's.  Most days are seeing a early bwo hatch and a late caddis hatch with great nymphing all day and an early and late period of dry fly fishing.

Antero Reservoir

I am starting a show for fish called The Biggest Loser.  Based on the human reality tv series The Biggest Loser will take obese fish like these and throw them in a gym for six months so that we, as viewers, can laugh and cry as tubby finds his way to new healthier beginning.  Antero Reservoir will supply the talent.

Here in the Arkansas Valley the creeks and Beaver ponds are open and provide an opportunity to challenge any skill level.  There might be something spiritual about casting to willing fish in the small, pristine waters of a high mountain creek.

Night Fishing For Brown Trout

Fishing big black streamers late in the evening has been moving some nice brown trout.  I say moving because if you have seen me fish a streamer on the river or creeks here than it tends to be a visual reaction for the hook set and with the lack of light to see that can be damn hard at times.  I guess a good faithful strip retrieve works too.