The Ramblings of a Fly Fisherman

The High Plains Drifters

I discovered this fly fishing club through the FFF yesterday. So far, I really like what the represent and they appear to be very focused on fellowship and education. I spoke with Bob Appenzeller who creates their newsletter and is in charge of memberships. For those out there that are interested in getting to know the local fly fishing scene, I recommend taking a look at what these guys have to offer.

High Plains Drifters Website

The Federation of Fly Fishers

I just joined the Federation of Fly Fishers .  This is a great resource for all types of fly fishing information ranging from guides, videos, reading materials, and local clubs.  As a member, you can even coordinate with other FFF clubs as you travel around the country looking for great fishing destinations.

The Art of Catch and Release

I have seen so many fisherman out there that believe that "catch and release" is nothing more than removing the hook from the mouth of the fish and tossing it back into the river. I believe that there are several other factors to consider in order to safeguard the health of the fish and ultimately the sport itself.

1. Consider using a rubber-based net.  I really like these as they allow great control of the fish while not removing the natural slime-coat which acts as a protective layer preventing disease and infection.  Standard mesh nets or gloves remove this protective layer and also create challenges when attempting to remove your flies from the material.

2. Return the fish back to the water quickly.  We all want to get pictures of our catch, but be quick about it.  Trout can be quite sensitive when taken out of the water for 3 minutes or more increasing the risk of harming the fish.

3. Don't "toss" the fish.  I know that it sounds simple, but many fail to follow through on this idea.  Place the fish in a calmer section of the river and slowly release it.  This will allow the catch to regain control and swim away at it's leisure.

4. Use barbless hooks.  This can be a more challenging method of fishing as it will test your line control skill, but barbless hooks are easier to remove causing less tissue damage to the fish.  It's something to consider if you want to take that extra step toward conservation.

Understanding Conditions

We are just beginning to warm up here in Colorado. Streams are starting to flow and the ice is beginning to disappear. Some would assume that trout fishing is slow due to the inactivity on the surface and the frigid temperatures of the water. However, understanding presentation and adapting to the conditions can prove to be successful.

First, dry fly fishing is limited to the later afternoon hours, but can show promise if you keep a watchful eye on the small hatches in your area. Nymph fishing would provide better results, but in some areas, streams are covered in algae deposits and fallen brush making this technique frustrating as it will force you to clean your flies every few casts. I find that using a dry-dropper configuration works best during this period. Match the hatch and use a sub-surface fly that mimics the juvenile of your dry. I was on the Big Thompson this weekend and fished areas from the Alluvial Fan to about 5 miles south of Lake Estes. This technique worked well.

Click Here for a drawing of the "dry-dropper" configuration

The Beginning

I have been fly fishing for a number of years in Colorado. That experience has really changed my perspective on fishing and is one of the primary reasons that I live here. At first, I found the sport a bit frustrating due to the mechanics of casting and the art associated with fly presentation. These challenges made fishing success a bit limited. Only through trial and error have I managed to become a successful fly fisherman. I have created this blog in order to share experiences, advice, tips, and any other information that may prove to be useful for those that wish to enjoy this sport.