Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sharpen your Skills and the NFL

  Well, I am sure I will be ruffling a few feathers with this blog post but I wanted to talk about what seems to be the only really important news stories of the last few months, the NFL ref lockout. I find it humorous that most fans, including myself, over the years have complained over and over about how bad the reffing of the games are. Not just in football but in all sports. I have many times whined that I will never watch another game because the outcome is always determined by whoever the refs want to win. Any real Bronco fan will never forget the Dante Hall punt returns and the two “non-clips”. The Cutler drop, what a gift(but we will take it). How about the Brady rules (the tuck rule), was that rule made up on the spot? Being a Life time Husker fan, I still think about the 1982 Penn State game and the 1993 phantom clip and no fumble call against Florida State, cost us two National Championships. It has been a little humorous watching any sort of media the last few weeks, all I hear is how the Billion dollar business of the NFL won’t give the poor ref’s a retirement plan. It has been interesting that what we don’t hear is that one of the main sticking points of the negotiations has been the NFL wants there to be an accountability clause that replaces ref’s if they grade out poorly on consecutive weeks (Those Meanies).

  One of the great things about Fly fishing is the amount of immediate feedback we get while fishing, even when those mean fish are holding us accountable for our actions. Brandon had called yesterday and wanted me to fish a little in the afternoon. When your kids grow up and move out, you jump at every chance they allow you to hang out with them. I saw the river had dropped to 45 cfs and knew that the fish would be super difficult to deceive. Crystal clear water and very slow currents, any mistakes and the fish will let you know. I knew this was the case and started thinking of my plan of attack long before I even got to the river. A new 9 foot leader with an extra 5 foot of 5x fluoro carbon. A True Blood first then 6x fluoro to an RS2 and the same to a Ninja, the second two were treated with loon dust. I did not get to the water until 5:45 and Brandon didn’t make it til a little later. I could see right away there were BWO’s on the water and I got a little excited. I carefully crossed and moved into a casting spot, but before casting, I already picked a direction to fight the fish. Second drift through and he took it, I could feel immediately that he was in the 16 to 18 inch range and I began to steer him so not to break the 6x tippet. I seemed to do everything perfect while moving him into slower water, I started moving toward him to net him and DINK, he was off. I fished til dark and seemed to hook up every third cast or so until they shut off, about twenty minutes before total dark. I landed six and hooked twelve to fifteen, sooo much fun!

  I got home last night and started to write this blog and was thinking about how we have to constantly sharpen our fly fishing skills if we want to do well in this sport. With what this fishery has become, landing a pig takes the right rod and reel, the correct tippet, the right flies, perfect drifts, and the ability to battle that fish on its home turf. I know the replacement ref’s were a little out of there league but in their defense, it was pretty short notice and they did not get the time to polish off or sharpen their reffing skills. Put a beginner fly fisherman on this river or the Taylor and see how he does, now check back in a year, betcha he improves. I finished this blog this morning and have seen that the NFL and the regular refs seem to have an agreement in place, now we can go back to complaining about how bad the regular refs stink…

  Now, the most important thing I want our readers to get out of this blog is that it is now time to totally sharpen your fly fishing skills. These fish are really smart and have seen it all. If you are not doing well than maybe it is time to hire a guide to help you with your skills. If you are doing well than it is time to pat yourself on the back because you earned it (no cheap fish here). As always thanks for reading and get out and fish!!! Connell


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fools In The Rain

  I don’t know if it is because I have spent the last twenty years living in the desert but when I look at the forecast and it says we could be looking at a few days of rain, I get a little excited and “Rain Songs” start rattling around in that open space just below my hat. I had been watching the weather forecast all week and found myself trying to help out Mother Nature with a little “Rain Dance “of my own. This morning when I was walking my dogs there was a cool light “Misty Mountain Hop” coming down and I got so excited that when I got home I told Cat that whatever her plans were for the day, they needed to change because we were heading to the river this afternoon. On the way to the river the mist turned into a steady “November Rain” and we started singing “Here Comes the Rain”. We got to the river at about 4:30 and were delighted to see we were the only “Fools In the Rain” and had the river to ourselves. Cat has always had a thing for the smell of rain, where as for me I think it is the sound it makes hitting the trees, the water, and even the pitter patter it makes on my rain shell.  I think we may have skipped half way to the water. The fish seemed equally excited with the rain and although I could not see any great hatches, the fish still seemed to be very active. The True Blood, RS2 and the Ninja were all taking fish on a regular basis. We didn’t land any piggies today but the thirteen to sixteen inchers we were tangling with I think were all related to Barry Bonds (post roids). The fish seemed to be spread out throughout the entire river. We were picking them up in shallow riffles, deep runs and the biggest fish we could see were slurping bugs off the top, in about a foot of dead quiet water. The “Purple Rain” started to taper off and “ We Could See Clearly Now the Rain Had Gone”. The rain had completely stopped by about 6:00 and a few other fishermen began showing up. We ran into Fabian and Rick.  Fabian just hooked a pig as we walked up and we watched with sadness as it flipped him the fin and broke him off.  Then at about dark he landed this eighteen incher, the pic did not turn out too well though because of the lack of light. Cat and I fished our way back to the car and stayed a little later than we had planned. I am not a night fisherman but I can certainly see the allure after listening to the surface activity after it was completely dark.

  Well we got home and I checked out the forecast for tomorrow and it looks as if the two days of rain has now been squeezed into just today(sad face), hopefully we get a little more because “ I Love a Rainy Night” and we could sure use a little more. It looks as if the fish have made it through another summer and fall should see some tremendous fishing action. The trees should start changing soon and make the upper Ark one of the most scenic places on earth to Fall dry fly fish.  As always, thanks for reading and putting up with my nonsense, You have no idea how many songs sing about rain, and we hope your days on the water are always pleasant. Connell and Cat


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Observations from the Ark, September 2nd

  I had a couple of friends come into town to fish today and I found the river to be a little tough and the river was very crowded. The flows dropped from 140cfs on Wednesday to 78cfs today and it seemed to move the fish into the entire river with no real order. When the river was a little higher, I was able to focus on the riffle runs. We did not get to the river til about 10:30a.m. and the sun was already beating down on us. Clarity was excellent so I had to move back to 5 and 6x fluoro. I started in some rock clusters but could only see a few fish resting and not really moving around feeding. I next moved into some shallow, quick riffles and found a few feeding fish but every hookup seemed to spook the other fish in the area. I last tried a few of the intermediate depth runs with good oxygenation and found a good first cast would produce takes. I thought over the last month that some of the soft jaw problems were going away but had a lot of hookups and quick battles followed by the “dink”, and a few choice noises of disgust. Most of my fish were hooked after moving into an area and making a good first cast.  I did see one angler in behind a weir that had good depth and good oxygen levels and he seemed to be hooking up in the same area for a while.

  My tips for the week if the water levels stay the same are to take your time and spot the fish, get into a good casting spot and make your first cast count. Fluorocarbon in 5 and 6x are a must because of the clarity. Best flies were still the blood midge, Ninja, RS2’s and your favorite PMD pattern; I was using a FOD that I tie in PMD colors.

  Now for the adventurists out there night fishing has produced some excellent fish over the last month. Dan and Josh, who I teased several months back in a separate blog, made themselves, The Drift and our river very proud this evening. I have not heard the exact measurements yet but this Brown was landed by Dan and is one of the two biggest I have ever seen landed here in Pueblo. Congrats Dan and Josh!!!!!!

 Now I also want to point out that Dan and Josh stopped into The Drift this afternoon and Cat helped them pick out flies for this evening. I can't guarantee these types of results for everyone that listens to Cat but she is not there just for her good looks....I'm just saying.....