EpicFly: March 2010

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

An average bug sample on the upper Arkansas

Get Ready For Pike Season

It won't be long before the reservoirs are all open here in Colorado.  For the adventuresome angler that means shallow water Pike fishing.  With the numerous reservoirs that hold Pike in this state someone with a  little bit of knowledge can plan there trip depending on which Pike were spawning.  Spawning Pike are uninterested in feeding, for the most part.  The real excitement lies in the post spawn bite.  Pike, hungry from there past activities, lie in ambush in water shallow enough to sight fish for them.  Heart jolting takes on topwater flies become expected.  The kind of fishing you just don't forget about.

03/30 Float downstream of Salida

The lower flows we have had on the Arkansas have improved the amount of moss present on the river bottom.  This is great for the bug life but presents another challenge to the fly fisherman.  Especially in the morning, right now, we need to present flies in a manner that will allow the fish to see an obvious difference between the debris and our fly.  This can be achieved many ways.  A favorite of mine is to use a streamer or a bug with a little flash on it and give it some movement.  What you are imitating will dictate how you move it.  If you are fishing a baitfish imitation do your best to make it look like it's injured and scared out of its little fishy mind.  Some common sense and observation of the river life will go a long way.  You probably wouldn't want to fish a midge emerger in the same way you would a streamer.  But then again, there are no definates to this sport.

Monday, March 29, 2010

03/29 VB - TP Float

With the bright nights lately the brown trout in the Arkansas seem to feed sporadically during the day time. Today we saw some nice rainbows take nymphs.  I would have to say fishing spun deer hair streamers just below the surface proved more productive.  The fish didn't start to rise until the bwo's started to come off consistently around 2:30.

Sunday Float SB- RC

This time of the year you just can't try to rush the hatches.  Midges are still the main meal for a lot of the day as you fish above Salida.  Colder water comes out of the canyon and delay's some of the bug activity.  Still had a great time throwing dry dropper, streamers and a deer hair mouse.  All of these produced fish, although some more than others.

is someone watching me

Thursday, March 25, 2010

03/25/10 The Ark around Texas Creek

What a fantastic day out there.  You have to love it when the fish do what they are supposed to do and respond to imitations of bugs that are present.  BWO's and midges were heavy enough by mid afternoon that we were throwing dries to the occasional rising fish.  This is the start of the true fishing season on the Arkansas, in my opinion.  Fish are moving well throughout the day and the BWO's are hatching.

03/25/10 throwing mice to stocked rainbows

I have had some pretty unbelievable days fishing mice.  The common factors in most of the days I have had success fishing mice would be cloud cover, possible snow, and during the periods when not a lot of large bugs are coming off.  Today there was plenty of cloud cover, possible snow and all around crappy conditions, perfect.  I romped up to a favorite little spot that seems to always provide some kind of action on the mouse.  As I began to throw an 8 wt. loaded with a big mouse pattern rise forms started to appear.  That is kind of a contrast to what I new to do during a good hatch.  No sz 22 midge today.  One fish on the mouse is better than twenty fish on another midge.  Needless to say I did not land a single fish on the mouse.  A few little stocked rainbows had a go at it but couldn't quite get there little mouths open wide enough.  It is interesting how random the mouse can appear to work.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"Turd Rustlers" in Pueblo Reservoir

After bearing through another morning of single digit weather on the Dream Stream, I knew it was time to pull out the ole' lake boat and head out to the relatively warm waters in Pueblo Reservoir.  My Dad and I decided to really rough it and spend two days in fishing squaller.  After an evening of scenic boating we enjoyed some of the best "local" Italian food I have ever tasted.  To stick with the "Dirt Bag" theme of the trip we spent the rest of the evening happy with each others company and resting comfortably in our hotel room.  Clean and rested we headed to the Reservoir anticipating a day of carp fishing in 70 degree weather.

We found that with the Reservoir filled to the brim fishing most of the shallow water towards the inlet involved weaving through a forest of drown brush and timber.  In the calm of the morning currents had concentrated what must have been miles of bank side drift wood in to half acre piles through out the reservoir.  We made our way as far up the Arkansas River as any boat could possibly go and saw three Bald Eagles along the way.  When the water in the shallows warmed up to about 51 degrees the carp moved in where we could spot them.  Tight casts to spooky fish nosed up to huge brush piles became the order of the day.  After releasing one nice fish the wind picked up and we spent the rest of the day targeting Small Mouth in rocky coves.  It was a fantastic trip, even if we had to "rough it" for a night.

These guys from www.onthefly.co.nz have done a great job with this "Once In A Blue Moon" film.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Multi Talented Stuart Andrews in his Taylor River Camo

To make "Taylor River Camo"
take one white pillow case and cut a head and arm holes
done "Taylor River Camo"

The Taylor River 03/17

When it comes to fishing the Taylor River I have seen grown men act like children the night before christmas.  The anticipation of what possibilities lie ahead can keep us up the night before.  Counting 15 pound rainbows swimming through my thoughts can be a contrasting sleep aid to the typical sheep that should be guiding my dreams.  When we push up the winding road following the river through Taylor Canyon the conversation is usually shifted to the conditions we face.  It is to cold, hot, sunny, cloudy, clear, muddy are all words I have said if the conditions would merit it. Today it was to sunny.  
This allowed us to easily spot 10-15 pound fish, which is no doubt an advantage.  But the extremely bright conditions forced us to use all manners of stealth we are aware of.  It was a day filled with everything you could expect to see on the Taylor this time of the year from the late morning midge hatch to the lost fish of the day stories.  I will be back soon with an arsenal of sz 26 purple midges that are not tied on brittle hooks.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Try Some Blue And Purple In Your Flies

Here is a great article about using the color blue more in your flies.


I have experimented a great deal with purple and blue flies over the last few years.  Everyone knows it works but very few anglers experiment with the colors blue, purple and red.  I will tell you from experience that these colors can work exceptionally well when worked in to traditional patterns.  Fish can see these colors even at depths that other colors will no longer be seen.  The bottom line is, if they can see your fly presented in the way the fish want (assuming the fish don't know you are there) then the odds are they will have a taste.  Here are a few blue and purple flies I regularly use.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I Can't Get Enough Of This River

The Arkansas River is defined with variety. Constantly changing situations always present themselves here. This can be a good and bad thing for the fly fisherman. The Arkansas demands you have an education in aquatic bug life one minute and will prove that trout have an IQ of 6 in the next. The fish are aggressive but, as you could expect the nature of all brown trout to be, they are also spooky. This give and take, in a sense can be good for us. Keeping the discouraged angler from giving up and occasionally bringing an over confident fisher down to the unpredictable reality we face on a river.
Every day has been better than the last, lately, here on the Arkansas. Stoneflies, midge pupa, caddis larvae, attractors and streamers worked very well today. Certain spots are still holding large groups of fish but it is nice to see some of those fish moving around to other areas a little more. I have seen a few pools below large riffles that are absolutely full of millions of migrating cased caddis. We are going to have a killer year for hatches on this river. The Ark as it should be, dry fly, dry fly, dry fly

Monday, March 8, 2010

It Is Time To Book a Trip To The Dream Stream!

If your are waiting for the big fish to be migrating out of Eleven Mile Reservoir and in to the Dream Stream of the South Platte than wait no more. For a little more than a week consistently more large rainbows have moved in to the shallow waters that make up the Dream Stream. The upper 3/4 of the river is holding a majority of resident fish but if you can find the right spot on the lower reaches it just might pay off in sore fore arms and heart pounding memories. This is no place for snobery. Sometimes an egg, I mean "glow bug" just plain works and for some reason rainbows just love chartruese.

Is There Still A Boat On My Trailer?

Fish on the Arkansas, around the Salida and Buena Vista areas, are starting to spread out, over the course of the day, enough to have me float fishing. The Johnson Village and Ruby Mountain boat ramps have put my truck through rallies worthy of Toyota commercials but that has just added to the adventure and memories. Browns and Rainbows, river wide, have been noticeably larger than last fall. Rainbows that, last summer, were barely worthy of a glance have taken on the darker camouflage of the river bottom and put on some size. This is a good era of the Arkansas River. I feel lucky to be able to watch a river, with a little outside help, become a world class fishery.
This is also the first season I have seen multiple sucker fish caught in the upper and lower Arkansas. What does that say about the River? That It is clean and has everything to support the growth of Big sucker munchn' brown trout. Float fishing the Arkansas at night, using an eight weight to throw a sucker fish pike fly to big daddy nocternal brown's will definately be something I try this season. An Arkansas River Bone Fish tournament just might be a real possibility one day if we all just keep on dreaming big. I have a goose turd fly tied just for that occasion.

Did I Just See Some BWO's?

Living along the Continental divide allows for some interesting weather patterns. Late winter and in to the spring, here in Chaffee County the days can be difficult to predict to put it mildly. If you are lucky you could spend one day of the weekend sight fishing on the Dream Stream of the South Platte under blue skies. The next day could be spent, rippin lip, float fishing the beautiful Arkansas River. Options are opening up, literally. The Hayden Meadows section of the Arkansas is thawing out and it won't be long before you see me heaving mouse patterns in to the under cut banks to big, hungry brown trout. Thank you God for beautiful transitions in our seasons. Warm weather and rain will be a welcomed pampering of my finger tips and rod guides