Fly Fishing Colorado Newsletter
Volume 5 • Issue 2 • February 2012
Welcome to the Flyfisher Guide Service Newsletter. As the top fly fishing guide service in Colorado, we seek to be your information hub with all items related to fly fishing. Whether you are looking for river conditions, informative articles from the industries top associates or a fun piece of literature, this monthly mailing will have it.
From the other side of the riverbank...
Over these past few months my passion for fly fishing and my desire to be a great fly angler has grown. What has not come full circle for me is the desire to fish regardless of the weather conditions. I have watched fly fishing videos where people are fishing while the snow is falling and it is so cold they can barely hold the fish they just managed to land after hours on the water in bitter cold conditions. I admire their tenacity and determination to fly fish in the winter. However, over the years my thick I-can-walk-10-miles-in-a-blizzard-without-a-coat Michigan skin has thinned and I cannot even go snowboarding without a ridiculous amount of layers. Though, I do want to have that determination to fish despite the forecast, but for now, I simply wish that winter would end and spring would begin.
Instead of getting out on the water, I have spent these winters months learning the craft of fly tying, expanding my skills in casting (in a parking lot) and diving into the ins-and-outs of fly fishing. I have booked trips for clients to fish the Front Range and viewed their trip pictures that depict an epic day of fly fishing. They all are having so much fun despite the fact that it is only 40-degrees outside and the fishing can be difficult. I look at the pictures and it makes me want to get out on the water.
I am thankful that winter has provided me with the opportunity to take classes, go to the International Sportmans Expo and the 2012 Fly Fishing Film Tour, as these experiences have all contributed to my desire to learn more about fly fishing. But now, I am ready to join you fellow fly anglers out on the water and put my skills to the test and start advancing my fly fishing knowledge as there is still so much more to learn.
I have big goals for the spring fishing season. I aspire to understand river conditions and flows and how these factors influence the way I cast and scan the water for fish. I want to learn about hatch conditions and entomology along the Front Range and lastly, I want to learn how to net and unhook a fish all on my own!
The idea of waiting for spring (which is still a couple months out) is daunting. I do not want wait any longer. Maybe I should just buck-up and cross to the other side of the riverbank…
Living the Dream
For me it all started quite simply. I was in college and was maniacal about fishing. Being young and poor I desperately wanted to get discounts on fishing gear and spend as much of my time on the water as possible. And so began my career as a fly fishing guide; one of the most rewarding, interesting and demanding ventures of my life. What started as a summer job has moved me around the state of Colorado and has filled my summers with countless days on the water in pursuit of fish and wild places. Along the way I have met some truly amazing and wonderful people. Sharing fly fishing with others has formed some of the best relationships of my life, allowed me to meet people from all over the world, and it has even put a roof over my head.
I cannot think of a job that is more unique than that of the fishing guide. From the start of spring to the end of fall, the fly fishing guide truly lives the dream. Every day a fishing guide experiences the serene world of fly fishing, unpredictable weather, wildlife and clients from all different walks of life. During the summer major life stressors for the fishing guide include, worrying whether or not the dry fly fishing will be good or if there is ice in the cooler, or will there still be enough light out to fish for a bit after this trip is over? The day to day challenges and adventures as a fishing guide surely beat time sitting in any office. Fishing vicariously through others keeps the guide going and as the summer progresses, so do the skills of the guide; he starts to learn where the big fish are hanging out, what riffles are holding the most fish mid-morning and where to be when the evening hatch takes place.
I for one feel privileged to label my occupation as that of a fishing guide. While I love fishing on my own, I would much rather spend the day meeting someone new and sharing with them my passion for rivers and the fish. I cannot think of a better place to get to know someone than standing in the streambed and casting a fly. Ideas and conversations seem to flow like the water and the beauty of fly fishing is that the basics really are quite easy and with a good and patient instructor anyone can catch a fish with a little practice.
We are on the verge of spring in Colorado. Hopefully we will get a few more good snow storms to feed our streams and rivers but before long the days will get longer and the sun will shine more, thawing out our watersheds. I for one cannot wait for another season and am looking forward to seeing you all on the water!
To read more articles from Tyler click here for our blog.
Nymph Rig Do's and Don'ts
There are many factors that play into presenting nymphs, but the most overlooked aspect has to do with properly setting up and adjusting the rig. The following is a list of common nymph rig mistakes, and suggested solutions.
Mistake #1: Using a 9 foot leader for the base of a nymphing rig.
Solution: Use 7 and ½ foot leaders or even 6 foot leaders depending on water levels.
Rationale: Using a 9 foot leader for the base of a nymph rig results in a nymph rig that it too long, causing it to be difficult to cast, and drift properly.
Mistake #2: Tying the lead fly, AKA point fly, straight onto the leader
Solution: Tie 12-18 inches of tippet onto the end of the leader before tying on the point fly.
Rationale: The tippet knot creates a “stop” in the leader that will keep split shot in place…just be sure to put the split shot above the knot!
Mistake #3: Using monofilament tippet.
Solution: Use fluorocarbon tippet.
Rationale: Fluorocarbon is more abrasion resistant, more importantly though, it is more transparent than mono in water due to something called refractive index. Light passes through fluorocarbon almost the same way as it passes through water. Fluorocarbon’s refractive index is 1.42, water is 1.33, and Nylon (mono) is 1.54.
Mistake #4: Using the same size tippet between all flies in a nymph rig.
Solution: You should always start with a heavy leader and then scale the tippet down as you get closer to the last fly. If you are fishing a 3 fly rig, consider the following rig construction: 2X-7’ mono leader, split shot, 12 inches of 2X fluoro tippet, point fly, 12 inches of 3X fluoro tippet, fly #2, 12 inches of 3 or 4X fluoro tippet, fly #3.
Rationale: Nymphing properly means that you will eventually snag the bottom. Using a tapered rig ensures fewer whole-rig break offs.
Mistake #5: Changing the fly first when not catching fish.
Solution: If you have to make adjustments, start by adjust the weight of the rig. If that doesn’t work, then adjust the depth…Still not catching? Then, and only then should you change your fly.
Rationale: Always, always, always adjust the rig before changing flies. The problem is most likely the depth and or weight, not the fly itself. Presentation is more important than fly selection, and when nymphing, weight and depth influence presentation. Nymph rigs should tick the bottom or produce strikes every 3-4 casts. When your drift to tick/strike ratio doesn’t match, adjust accordingly.
Local Anglers Perspective...
We want to hear from you! Send us anything you want to say (within reason) regarding fly fishing.
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