The Ramblings of a Fly Fisherman

Boulder Creek 8/29/2010

Alyssa and I visited Boulder Creek today. It is my first trip to this river and honestly, I wish I had taken the time to fish there much sooner than today. While the trout are not very large (8 to 13 inches), they are plentiful and willing to attack larger patterns with a vengeance. I was fishing a Charlie Boy Hopper and a Flashback Pheasant Tail, both of which I spun up just a few days ago. I would say that the fish split their attention equally among those flies today making the strikes both fun and unexpected. In general, this area is all about pocket water fishing. The casting can be a bit technical, but if you are willing to risk the heavier cover, you will find some hungry trout hanging around the pools just next to downfall and larger boulders. While I did fish with my 5WT 9FT, I would actually recommend a 3WT 8FT or shorter as this will lower your risk of entanglement with the various cover that lines the river bank.

Fly Fishing Boulder Creek

The Charlie Boy Hopper

Tonight, I attempted the Charlie Boy Hopper… This is another great terrestrial pattern that works very well this time of year. Created by Charlie Craven, this hopper pattern is foam-based and is fairly easy to tie. In fact, this image that I am providing is only my second attempt at the pattern… I have been using this particular pattern since I started fly fishing and I have seen success in nearly every river that I have visited.

The Charlie Boy Hopper

The Prince Nymph

I am still working my way through Charlie Craven’s book and have finally made it to the Prince Nymph. I have not used this fly a lot myself, but I hear from other fly fisherman that this pattern is just as much of a “go to” as the Pheasant Tail. Created by Doug Prince, this fly is known for being highly effective in both lakes and rivers, especially those areas that have reasonable stone fly populations. After reading about this pattern, I intend to start utilizing it in areas like 11 Mile Canyon.

The Prince Nymph

The Flashback Macaw Tail Nymph

Well, I have been working on my tying skills for the last month or so, and honestly, I think I am starting to really get the hang of it! Tying flies is somewhere between art and fishing. Alyssa says that it is actually crafting for guys… I can’t really say that she is wrong here. For the last week, I have been perfecting the pheasant tail nymph. This particular fly is a powerhouse and works on most rivers year round and can be fished below the surface or in the foam. It is one of my “go to” flies when the trout aren’t feeding as vigorously as I would like.

Today, I decided to take things a step further and create my own spin on this great pattern. I present the Flashback Macaw Tail Nymph. Same basic pattern as the classic, but utilizing a bit of bling and the tail feathers from a friend’s pet. I will try this fly out soon and report on its effectiveness.

The Flashback Macaw Tail Nymph
Classic Pheasant Tail Nymph

Fly Fishing the Blue - 8/7/2010

Not a whole lot to tell on this trip. I have fished the Blue River a number of times, and while I have heard plenty of stories about pulling out some nice fish, I have still been unable confirm those accounts. Many of my trips there have been riddled with high water conditions or just a plain lack of luck regardless of the flies, areas, or techniques attempted. It certainly is a challenging area to master! We did catch a few, mostly smaller browns running nymphing rigs, however; all was not lost. Matt and I managed to catch a few absentee fishing Green Mountain Reservoir and on the last day of the trip, we stopped by a pond just outside of Silverthorne and managed to snag some larger rainbows on spinners. Either way, we had a great time!

Visiting Chinn's Lake

I had the opportunity to visit a new area near Idaho Springs recently. Chinn’s Lake is tucked away just north of Idaho Springs and is a picturesque spot for great fly fishing and camping. Trust me here; you WILL need a 4X4 to frequent the area as nearly half of the trail that you will follow after exiting Fall River Road is riddled with large rocks and tight turns. Despite the difficulty traversing the mountains, the lake houses a lot of great trout fishing opportunities. Connor, Matt and I arrived near 6:30pm and fished until dark noting only limited surface activity. However, with a little patience and the right fly selection, this area can be a great producer. We were exclusively using a flying wood ant pattern, but due to the insect activity here, a mosquito pattern will work as well. Camping is free, but can prove to be a bit limited on the weekends.

Chinn's Lake

My Flying Wood Ant Pattern

Knot of the Month - The Duncan Loop

Part of the success of fly fishing deals directly with the action that an angler can give to the fly that is being presented. While many of us use various knots to attach our flies, often we migrate toward a favorite and use that one for nearly everything. I have discovered that there are considerations to be made as you attempt to fish particular patterns. This month’s knot addresses streamers. Streamers need to flow naturally and appear unrestricted as they swim through a pool. A great knot to use to further that action is a Duncan Loop.  Link to Video