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Colorado Fly Fishing Blog
You can subscribe to our blog and our posts will be delivered directly to your Outlook, Google Desktop or mobile phone Read our Latest Rants at http://blog.theflyfisher.com/
A new feature on our website is staff photo albums. On the bio page of each one of our staff members there is now a link to their personal photo gallery where they will be posting pictures of their clients, their fish and the interesting things they encounter on the water. We hope you enjoy.
Multiple Revenue Streams • Breaking into the Fly Fishing Industry
By Matthew Burkett
As a long time entrepreneur I know the value of multiple revenue streams, they are the braids that feed an ever changing cash flow model, which is the life blood of small business. Our current economic situation reminds me that as individuals and households cash flow is our life blood as well. We are all most protected where we have multiple revenue streams, something to help us fill up that six to eight month emergency fund all the experts are reminding us about. It just so happens that guiding is a great way to create a revenue stream, a networking opportunity and stress reliever all at the same time.
Many people refer to guiding as a dream job. As a guide, I can assure you that guiding is still a job. I am not sure if it is a dream, but I do know that the office is incredible, the work stays interesting and as long as you excel at meeting and working with new people there is always something new to learn. If there is a problem with this idea it is because it is difficult to break into the fly fishing business, especially in Denver, Colorado because there is a limited destination fishing travel clientele and relatively few available positions compared to those that want them. Most of the individuals who do break into the industry do it through guiding, some more from there to other opportunities others remain as guides well into their golden years. In Colorado there only a few individuals who make a living as a fly fishing guiding. Most Colorado guides are part time and for an avid angler there is a plethora of benefits.
For advanced and expert anglers there is an opportunity to find a spot on a guide roster somewhere in the state and for the most part this has always been the case. However, being a good angler does not make you a good guide. That is what the Apprenticeship Program at The Flyfisher Guide Service and Angling University is designed to do. Only a select few have the personality, angling ability, patience and gift of gab that it take to be a truly great guide. If you are one of those individuals we will teach you the rest and put you to work. Click here to read more about our Apprenticeship Program
Water Law, Property Law and Fly Fishing
By Matthew Burkett
Where has long been a buzz in the angling community, a desire to get to water that flows over private land. Water and the right to use it is big business in the rocky mountain west. All of the states in the region have attempted to clarify in court the rules written to protect the "rights" of owners and or the public at large, depending on the state in question. Utah, who property and water laws were based largely on those developed in Colorado under the appropriation doctrine is currently in just such a clarification period. Property owners own the ground beneath the water and the rocks that are in it, the water itself, however, is not "owned." Rather a right is held to perpetually use the water appropriated to an owner of a water right, therefore, water rights are a property right entitled to the constitutional protection afforded to property rights. Utah is battling over the public rights to access public water flowingÂ over private land. Many anglers in Utah have enjoyed access on private lands to public water for several decades. However, in July 2008, the Utah Supreme Court codified that right in the case decision of Conatser v Johnson.
"On July 18, 2008, the Utah Supreme Court ruled unanimously (5-0) that the public can walk on privately owned stream beds for recreational purposes. The Court held, “We hold that the scope of the easement provides the public the right to float, hunt, fish, and participate in all lawful activities that utilize the water. We further hold that the public has the right to touch privately owned beds of state waters in ways incidental to all recreational rights provided for in the easement, so long as they do so reasonably and cause no unnecessary injury to the landowner.” (Conatser v. Johnson, Utah 2008)." There are two major issues:
- The public’s rights to walk on privately owned stream beds for recreational purposes.
- Can they do this reasonably and cause no unnecessary injury to the landowner.
Defining the "cause no unnecessary injury" verbiage lead to HB 187 which attempted to re-privatize some of Utah access to public water flowing over private land because the land owners were able to prove unnecessary injury when fences and other property in the river corridor was damaged or destroyed. The bill was initially defeated 41 - 34. Then a modified HB 187 came up for reconsideration and failed 43-31 in March of this year.
It will be interesting to see how this "publicization of private lands" effects the overall quality of fishing in Utah. We know for a fact that in Colorado most of our best public fisheries are bordered by privately managed fisheries. The private management of certain sections of river have without question improved the fishing in the surrounding public areas and it has allow these sections of public water to remain high quality fisheries even with an extreme amount of pressure. If private boundaries are removed then property owners may loose the desire and financial incentives to improve and enhance the fisheries. This will undoubtably hurt the overall quality of fishing in any section of river now bordered by privately managed land. It will force us to rely on governmental agencies to manage our water even as the fishing pressure continues to increase.
Fly Fishing Gear and Tackle Reports
By Flyfisher Staff
We continue to improve and expand on our gear and tackle reports. As of this issue we have more than than five years of reporting on more than twenty different products from high end rods and waders to indicators and dry fly floatant. There are not the standard reviews you read in the magazines or on the manufacturers websites. We report in at least five different phases of product use from the unveiling of a new product at the Fly Fishing Retailer Show, when many of the products are still prototypes not quite ready for consumer production, to the end of a season or longer, whatever it takes us to get a minimum of 120 uses. We continue to update reports through the life of the product highlighting and modifications or upgrades made to the product until it is discontinued by the manufacturer at which point we remove it from our reports. Our ratings are based on a five point scale, five being best.
We can plainly stay that manufacturers are not always in love with our reports. Some go so far to say that their products are not designed for "guide wear and tear." I say what better way to give our clients the real scoop when it comes to comfort, performance, durability and the ability to help us catch fish? Click here for our current Flyfisher Gear and Tackle Reviews.
- Preseason preview
- First impressions (first couple wears)
- Sixty days in or 30 uses
- 120 days in or 90 uses
- End of the season with 120 plus uses (if they make it that far)
Fly Fishing Stimulus • Savings for Online Booking • Discounts
Watching stimulus after stimulus speed through congress our friendly neighborhood guide service and fishing school though you might need a chance to get away. Here is a way to save enough money to fill your tank and get in a little R&R fishing in the process. Sometimes we all can use a little stimulus . Save $50 when booking a trip online for the 2009 season. Stimulate yourself now using PROMO CODE: NEWS2009 this promo will expire 12/2009.
Fly Fishing Outlook • Spring Forecast • 2009 Runoff
By Flyfisher Staff
Although we have had an extremely warm and dry winter here in Denver. Colorado's high country snow pack is still well above 100%. That means we will have plenty of water for our summer fishing. The gradual and early warm up also promises a manageable runoff that will begin in the new couple week and gradually increase through the month of June. This is great new for spring anglers as fish should be active and on the feed.
What’s Hot Right Now? • What will be hot?
- Neighborhood Lakes/ Ponds • The ice is off and the spring carp bit is on, sun and water clarity
equal success; as the water warms the bass and wipers will start to get aggressive
- Blue River below Dillon• The flow is everything, then the water is above 50 CFS the fishing has been good and it continues to improve as the water increases | Look for Mysis Shrimp after spiking flows
- Dream Stream • There are lots of fish moving and feeding in the 4+ pound range | Eggs & Midges
- South Platte Downtown • This is a great time to catch Carp, the water is clear and the fish are feeding aggressively | Pink Worms & streamers where the hook point rides point up (Colorado Carp Crab)
- South Platte above Chatfield • Snow over the last week has raised the flows | Eggs and Golden Stones
- Big Thompson below Lake Estes • Steady flows about 23 CFS should increase with the snow | Red Midge
- North Platte Gray Reef • The annual flush is March 30-April 3, 2009 | Large Red Annelids, Eggs, Leaches
- Spinney Mountain Reservoir • Opened March 27, 2009 |
Eggs, Scuds, Chironomids
- Arkansas above Salida • Fishing well on warm days |
Stoneflies, Princes, Red Midges
Our fishing reports include water conditions including clarity, runoff levels water temperature and flow levels that are updated up to four time each day when the gages are active. Hatch conditions filed from our guides and anglers who are on the river almost every day from March 1 through the end of October are included with the most productive fly patterns of the day. Click here for our Fishing Reports.
Private Water • Current Rating • March & April Forecast
- Lincoln Hills • Frozen • Pactouls Lake is begin to ice off | Two or three weeks from open water
- Boulder River Ranch • Frozen • Ponds and back channels
opening up | Come on warm weather
- Williams Ranch • Good • The water is up and down and the fish are feeding | Red Midge Larva
- Blue Heron Farm • Excellent • Fish in the 4+ pound range almost every trip
| Black Fly Larva
- Bartles Lake • Frozen • The ice should break in late May at 10,000+ feet | Should open in June
- Perfect Drift • Poor • Muddy water and over 800 CFS
make this a pass | Crystal Lake is fishable
- Boxwood Gulch/Long Meadow • Good • It was a good winter on the NF | Micro Black Stonefly
- North Fork Ranch/The Meadows • Great • No ice and steady flows | Micro Black Stonefly
Public Water • Current Rating • March & April Forecast
- South Boulder • Good • The water is very low look for fish podded up | Midges, Beatis and Caddis
- St. Vrain • Good • Good flows, lots of open water | Red Midge Larva
- Bear Creek • Good • Early afternoon for the best bit | Prince Nymph
- Clear Creek • Good • Plenty of open water from Idaho Springs down | Copper Johns
- Downtown South Platte • Excellent • Sun and clarity equal success | Pink Worm
- Waterton Canyon South Platte • Good • The spawning run is beginning we need water | Caddis
- Cheesman Canyon & Deckers South Platte • Fair • Flows is everything | Look for 100+ CFS
- Dream Stream South Platte • Great • Lots of fish in the 2-4 pound category | Eggs and Midges