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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Conditional Mindset

A conditional mindset develops not only less fishing, but also fairly lame excuses to not get on the water. Tailwater fisheries, however, can be extremely temperamental creatures. All I can say about flow fluctuations is that they exist, and we can't control them. Low flows does not mean fishing ceases to exist, only that productivity decreases. Yesterday I enjoyed a beautiful day on the water with one of my homies! Even though flows on the Platte neared non-existence we sought out some prime spots and produced some beautiful, and fresh Cutts and Cuttbows. I can say the same for Freestones like the Arkansas. Low flows, and cold weather might not be the most prime of conditions; however, I still find myself producing some great numbers, and great trips! We need to understand that we live in a state where mother nature, and the State Water Board could care less about what our conditional preferences are. We have a a few beautiful days in March left, so get out and enjoy our early spring fisheries.

Picture: Shea Gunkel holding a beautiful Cuttbow from the Dream Stream (3/23/10)
Check out Mr. Gunkel's Blog @

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Slab

The Arkansas tends to be one of the best stonefly rivers I have yet to encounter. If one likes to heavy nymph, it can be expected to be a very productive stream 12 months out of the year. Pattern variations tend to be the key to success, however, as I have yet to find a single pattern that produces year around. This season, I have taken an in depth entomological dive into the specimens of our river, in hopes to attain a single prime pattern. I have derived, however, that due to our vast fluctuations in water temperatures, as well as the natural life cycle of aquatics; it is not possible to narrow a single color variation. Some of the best patterns are and always will be the more traditional patterns; i.e. 20 Incher, Prince, Hares Ear, etc. Over the past 6 months however I have been testing a new pattern I coin The Slab. Breaking down every great stonefly I have ever fished, I come to one conclusion; they are never to heavy. The fact is, for the majority of their life, these bugs crawl on the river bottom! So, in this light I figure a 5/32 Tungsten Bead, and a wrap of .035 lead shouldn't be overkill, right? Moving forward I incorporated a simple body, and abdomen. However, thinking about every great Arkansas R. pattern I ever fished I incorporated enough light reflection and iridescence as humanly possible. The Arkansas is an attractor river, so why not throw something in the stonefly category that's going to catch an eye or two. And not to put that period of entomological work to waste, I incorporated the most common coloration seen throughout my specimens; ending up overall, much darker than expected. The hardest part of a perfect aquatic match is in the thorax; leading to a 3 dub blended concoction........
Overall, I have been extremely pleased with the on the water action of The Slab so far. It seems to be a very effective pattern on all of the freestones of this Region; e.i. Roaring Fork, Arkansas, Rio Grande.........
If interested, give us a call for an in depth recipe!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Spring Fishing in Western CO

Just want to drop a quick note to all of our readers about friends and fellow guides on the Taylor and Gunnison Rivers in Western Colorado. Good friend and owner of Gunnison River Guides, Joel Aslanian, along with partner in crime Jason Booth have built quite a reputation on these two world class trout streams! We have been working with Joel and Jason for the past few years, and are very stoked for the cooperative guiding future ahead of us.........
In the spring time both the Catch and Release Tailwater, and the Gunnison River (pre-runoff) are simply incredible fisheries. Please give us a call if you are interested in a trip to either of these areas, as the next few months offer some of the best fishing of the season!


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Baetis Blowout

Blustery skies mixed with sleet and snow around noon yesterday proved to be the perfect formula. What seems to be the usual deep nymph rig was cut within seconds and switched to a magnificent floating fly I believe referred to as a dry fly (see its been so long since Ive tied one on, I forgot the name). More specifically a 22 Lowrider Baetis seemed to do the trick. A couple really nice browns to the net by clients I might add. To make a long story short, Blue Wing action is here on the lower Arkansas; and it makes me so happy, I think I may shed a tear!!! Current conditions are sunny, but if a cloud enters a 10 mile radius of the shop you better believe I'm hitting the water, and so should you! Get on the Water! Spring fishing is here!

P.S. Baetis rule my Universe!


Monday, March 08, 2010

Spring is Budding

Every year, just when we think there is no hope for winter to ever come to a close, we see hints of revival. This past week here in Southern Colorado, we received some very gracious 50 to 60 degree weather, introducing a new look to both of our tremendous spring fisheries. The Arkansas took a crucial turn towards spring with the start of the stone fly molt in the lower stretches of the river. In the 3 days this past week spent on trips, the Arkansas showed me several different looks, however all producing great numbers of fish.......If you are a heavy Nymph fisherman, get to the river with a good selection of stones and clean up! Fifty minutes north we have a spring fishery second to none, in which has also overcome a transformation in the past week or so. With increased flows and warmer temperatures, the South Platte Below Spinney has really come into its own over the past week. Fair numbers of pre-spawn fish have began to stage in the lower section of the river. Numbers will only increase within the weeks to come, offering shots at some beautiful and sometimes major fatty fish! Every year however, it is righteous to take time to explain some ethical premises by which we as sportsmen must live by in the Spring and Fall. Spending 3 to 4 guide days a week on the South Platte during the spawning runs allows me a lot of time to watch fisherman. It is an inherent instinct for a fisherman to target a large fish in the open. However, please take the time when sighting one of these fish, to survey the area in which the fish is holding to make sure it is not a spawning bed (Redd). The characteristics of Redd will include abnormally clean/ bright gravel, between 3-5 feet in diameter, with most likely 2 or more fish holding on it. These fish are actively spawning, so please allow them a no-hook policy! However, the next month or so will offer some great shots at some ten plus pound class fish, so clear a day to go experience this great stream! Keep in mind, that we have guides out every day, so please feel free to call us for up to date reports or for guided adventures. Especially on our technical tail waters it is a major leg up to hire a guide to teach you how to sight and present to these big fish, so please give us a call today! All in all, we are excited here in Southern Colorado, as spring has officially sprung. Temperature gauges are rising, trees are budding, and our rivers are beginning their transformations into our beloved fly fishing playgrounds!

Get Out, Fish Hard, and keep your head above water!