Thursday, March 27, 2014

Back To the Future...

Well, they say it's kinda frightenin' how this younger generation swings
You know, it's more than just some new sensation
Well, the kid is into losin' sleep
And he don't come home for half the week
You know, it's more than just an aggravation

David Lee Roth 1980

  For any of us Elder folk out there, I’m sure a smile just appeared on your face. It’s kind of funny how every generation seems to think that the next generation will destroy the world and everything in it. I think the flyfishing community may just be the worst. I have written before about some of the arguments I have seen break out in the shop over the years. Many of the oldtimer flyfishermen think that only Bamboo and dry flies are flyfishing. My flygeneration seems to be more about nymph fishing. And I have watched Cat and other youth start grinning when talking of throwing streamers, and anyone with a brain knows that’s not real flyfishing. hehe. Well tonight I wanted to talk a little about the two young men that Cat got the opportunity to guide today.  We first met Max and Ajay a few months back when the conditions were less than what I like and even though they only hooked a few fish their total positive attitude never wavered a bit. Today they made their second trip to our little tailwater and the wind seemed to have it out for them. The original plan was for Wednesday and it was switched to Thursday because it looked as if the weather would be better. Well it wasn’t the first time we were wrong. They brought their mom down today and you could see how much they enjoyed helping her. Fishing was not easy at all today; we are still waiting for the BWO hatches to explode. Max landed the fish of the day a beautiful 18inch bow and Ajay hooked a few nice ones as well. It was almost comical toward the end of the day we were pushed for time due to a soccer practice and myself and the boys doing everything we could to get in just a few more casts. As we were walking back to the car and I was listening to the boys joyful fishing stories from today, I realized something. Regardless if they throw dries, nymphs or even God forbid streamers, the future of flyfishing is in good hands. Thank you Max and Ajay for making our jobs fun.

  As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Eddie Van Halen, and The Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading...


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Fish Goggles....

Now I know we have all heard the old song about beer goggles and the unfortunate circumstances that follow the wearing of them can be, but what I call fish goggles can only be a good thing. I still remember my initial brushes with Fish Goggles. Cat and I used to fish a ton up at Grape creek where we would get to the water about 8:00 in the morning and fish until 7:00 in the evening. Dry droppers to start the day but after about the first 40 or 50 fish we go straight dries. The evenings would be filled with laughter and stories and when we would lie down to sleep, the Fish Goggles would turn on. It seemed the second my eyes shut, rising fish would fill my head. The visions were so strong that most takes would cause my whole body to twitch. After a short while I would make myself get up, open my eyes, shake my head and try to remove the Fish Goggles. Well as time went on my fishing style has changed and the visions of my goggles have changed as well.

  The last few weeks I have noticed a strong return of my fish goggles. If you read much of our blog than you know how fond I am of sight fishing, lately, I have seen so many fish that as I lay down to sleep I am seeing what looks like fleets of fish everywhere. One particular vision seems to be the most prevalent. I had a client out last week and he was pretty good at getting his flies where we wanted them. We were tip toeing down the river when I spotted what looked to be an incredible fish on the other side of the river. The long rosy stripe gave me chills and the length had to be at least twenty inches. I could tell by where the fish was sitting and eating that this was not his first rodeo and a poor cast or drift would make us look like fools. We huddled and made a quick plan but the first cast fell three or four feet short. Luckily we did not spook the fish. The next cast made my whole body tense up, it was perfect. The flies moved down and I watched the bow move about three inches and open and close his mouth. My client set the hook and I watched the bow thrash his head back and forth three times before he turned and ran down river. The fish got about five feet and the whole rig shot back at us. We both shrieked with both joy and disgust but the vision was firmly planted in my brain. He caught many more fish that day but that image has been really hard to shake. When I was younger, the cure for sleeplessness was counting sheep. I can firmly attest to the fact that counting fish does not work. I guess it’s a great problem to have but as I am closing my eyes at night my Fish Goggles first make me drool at the runs full of shadows but the head shake of that one fish makes me twitch. My hope is that everyone that reads this blog gets to wear a championship pair of Fish Goggles.

  I wrote most of this blog earlier this week and got a chance to experience someone else’s Fish Goggles over the weekend. I was with Cat at the shop when Angel and Katrina came in. They had just gotten off the water where they had had an okay morning. They were telling us a little about the morning when Katrina’s eyes began to light up. She went on to tell us about a fish she had hooked up at Deckers a few days before. As she began telling the story her smile filled the room and she began to get fidgety. She went on to talk about the take, then the run, and then the fish exploding out of the water that she said reminded her of the old carnival games. I couldn’t help but laugh and knew those visions would not leave her mind anytime soon.

  Cat and I got to fish today and had an incredible time. My Fish Goggle story came midday when I saw a really nice fish feeding just above the first bend. Cat was talking to Tyler up on the bank and behind some bushes when the take occurred. The mouth headed straight up and he began to thrash the top of the river. I called for Cat and they got around the bushes just in time to see me throwing one of my quickie tantrums when the fish popped off. Tonight when I sleep it won’t just be the Goggles but also the sound of him bashing the water with his enormous face. Oh well, I will still sleep with a huge smile on my face tonight. Fishing was pretty good most of the day and the fish were on RS2’s, SOL’s, Ninjas and a few on the J-bomb. Don’t know how much time we will have left before the river explodes so enjoy while you can. As Always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Katrina’s near bow, and The Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading……..

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A Flyfishing Perspective.....

  A blog about flyfishing perspective; if you have been a follower of this blog for very long at all, you will have noticed how my attitude on this river has really changed over the last three weeks or so. January and February I’m sure can get a little tiring reading my complaints about the “poor” fishing conditions. As the river has seemed to waken over the last few weeks, I am trying very hard to keep the “Very Good” conditions in the proper perspective. I remember several years back when every time I felt like I had a good day I would tell everyone I know how “EASY” the fishing is at that time and they needed to get there now. I got to fish a little Friday evening with Brandon and a little with Cat and Sunday’s client and fishing seemed “pretty good”. So here is where proper perspective is required.

  Saturday I was in the shop for a little while and the phone rang and the person on the other end was asking questions on the water conditions. I told him that the flows were good and fishing should be “good”.  He paused a second and then told me that the conditions were “bad” because the last time down he got skunked. Cat was telling me that one of our friends had been out and also really struggled.  One of the greatest benefits of being a guide is seeing firsthand how difficult this addiction really can be. There seems to be so many steps to landing these super smart fish and it seems one mistake can screw it all up. First you need the proper flies, and then you need to set up your rig correctly. Next you need to find the fish and then put a pinpoint accurate cast in front of the fishes face. If you have made it that far and the fish takes your flies then you have to navigate the fish around the rocks, trees, and sometimes even around your idiot guide. If you have made it that far then all you have to do is correctly net your fish, hold the fish so the fish looks huge in the pic and finally get the fish back in the water safely.(exhale). Cat has it almost all down; we are still trying to get her to hold the fish so they look as big as they really are.

  Okay I guess that isn’t very smart since I just gave away all my secrets to landing fish. As you can see there is more to it than just going to the river and it being easy, so I will now try to give our readers a positive spin on the river. If you have been in the shop over the last three weeks and have bought flies than you have made a great first step, and for that I want you to take your right hand and stretch it across your body and pat your back once. If you have been on the river and have been able to spot feeding fish (not spawners), then I need you to reach out your right hand, stretch it across your body and pat yourself on the back twice. If you have been able to find the feeding fish and get your flies in front of them, fool them into eating and work them around the rocks, then I want you to stretch out your right arm and pat yourself on the back several times. If you have gotten the fish into your net, taken a quality pic and released the fish safely then I want you to stand up and take a few bows, because you have earned it. (Please don’t do the last step if you are driving in your car and reading this at the same time). Now if you are struggling with a few of these I will throw in a shameless self promotion and say that this might be a great time to hire, Cat, Cody, or myself sometime and hopefully we can help your perspective on this river be as rosy as ours. As always, Cat, Connell, Winston, and The Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading……..

 Pics are from Friday evening Sunday's trip and a Sunday evening fish.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Joke Time....

  Hey all, thanks for checking in. I will be starting this blog with a joke that I heard last week from one of my clients. I need to warn our readers that this joke is definitely in the pg-13 range so if you are under 13 you need to move on to the fishing report. When I heard the joke it actually took me just a second (I like to think it was because of my intense concentration on guiding) but it seems since I heard it, every time I think of it, it gets funnier and funnier.

 A doctor is walking near a nurses station and a nurse jumps up and says “ hey doc, I need you to sign this form” the doctor reaches into his pocket and pulls out a thermometer, he scratches his head and says ” darn, some A-hole has my pen”.

   If you ever wonder about my sense of humor that joke should tell you everything you need to know. Now on to the fishing; If you have been to the river over the last week and a half than you should have been able to see that the river has come alive. Guide trips last week and Cat’s and my day out on Sunday have been very productive on the hookup side of fishing, the landing we have found to be a little more difficult. We are seeing tons of spawning fish and in addition, the feeding lanes seem to be filling with fish. Now I will say this, I am not always sure what is going on with the fish.  Some seemingly perfect casts to feeding fish produce squat and then the next cast *Boom*. Cat was working on a fish held up in Peek-a-boo and just as she was getting frustrated, the eleventh drift went by and the fish moved a foot and drilled her fly. Maybe after enough perfect casts the fish think it is an actual hatch going on. Fish were on Ninjas, J-bombs, SOL’s, and a few on the True Blood.

  We have another week of low flows and after the 15th our river will be at the mercy of whoever is buying water downstream. With the amount of snow in the mountains we may get blown out earlier this year. If you have been considering booking a guide trip than try to get it booked this week.  The pics are from the last couple guide trips and mine and Cat’s day out on Sunday. As always, thanks for reading from Connell, Cat, Winston, the Joker, and The Drift Fly shop……

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The "Dream Stream".....

  Dream: Webster’s describes the word as something notable for its beauty, excellence, or enjoyable quality. With that definition in mind I sometimes have to scratch my head that the South Platte has that name. I have made the trip many times over the years and the dream state that I normally fall into seem to be more of the “Elm Street” variety. Cat and I decided last week that we needed to make a trip up there this year and it seemed to us that the universe was in cahoots. I can’t tell you how many times over the last week I turned on the radio to hear Aerosmith blasting “Dream On”, or the Cars singing “who’s going to pay attention when you dream”, and we even heard  Eurhythmics singing “Sweet dreams are made of these”. The Fish gods wanted us on the Dream Stream.

  The day started like most trips over the years, Cat and I scoured the river and it seemed that the drop in flows over the weekend had poisoned the river, the river seemed dead and everyone that walked by dropped their heads and said it was a real slow day. We finally got into one run and hooked six fish but only got two superdinks to the net(no net was actually required). I began to “Daydream” of my Ark and wanted to know why the fish gods had forsaken me, and then I hooked a gorgeous 15 inch bow. I was a little more excited at this point and then Cat and I stumbled upon a run that seemed to be full of fish. We hooked several and got three beauties to the net. Cat had one pig on, that had her Radian doubled over but the fish was better than her. The clouds and the wind rolled in and seemed to tell us that our day was done.

  So what will we be dreaming of when we sleep tonight?  I’m sure we will be dreaming of the fish that made it to the net, then we may dream of “walkers or biters”, and then back to the fish that ended up in the net. Maybe me playing a little backup guitar to Aerosmith and then it most certainly will circle back to the river and the fish that kicked our tails. Okay, I get the Dream Stream name, we will sleep and dream with smiles this evening. Beauty, excellence, enjoyable quality, works for me...

  As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Steven Tyler and The Drift Fly Shop would like to thank you for reading…Tight Lines..

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Final Season....

  Hello all and thanks for checking in to the greatest flyfishing blog I have written today. A few months back I had written a blog about my “fall from grace” addiction to the Breaking Bad series on Netflix. I had watched what I thought was the whole series with Hank figuring it out while sitting on the toilet. At the time, it seemed like an incredible ending for an incredible series, but shortly after, I began to feel the need to know more. Three or four weeks had gone by and one evening my son Brandon called me  and frantically started telling me that there was more to the series and that it would be posted to Netflix later in February. It was like telling a junkie that he would need to wait a week for his next fix. My brother-in-law called me the next day and told me that he couldn’t believe that I had watched the whole series in a week and a half and that it took him and my sister a month to watch it. Then he dropped the bomb, telling me that they had purchased it from Amazon and that I was more than welcome to watch it on their account. I raced home that afternoon and tried to get it to work on my 55 inch Samsung but some sort of setting prevented me from watching…Total sad face.. The next day I began trying to find a different way to watch it, I couldn’t wait the three weeks. I was playing on my 15inch computer screen and was able to get it to work. The final half of the season lasted a night and a half with my face plastered up next to my tiny screen. It wasn’t the incredible high from the 55 but it was just enough of a fix. Last Thursday I saw the final episode ended up on Netflix and Cat, Brandon and I watched in two evenings, 55inches of high def and a surround system felt like heaven opening up and pouring on our laps…Ahhhhhhhhhhh….

  As most of our reader know, January and early February has always been a time for me to rest my aging joints and get ready for the fish to come alive. This February seemed to drag on forever. I would go out and just look for fish but they just seemed to be hung over from their winter slumber. Finally last Sunday on a guide trip, we spotted a good number of very nice fish moving into staging areas and a few fish actually moving into feeding lanes. The water temps over the last week had begun to move into the 44 and 45 degree range during the day and the fish really began to respond. I had been fiending for this moment since Christmas, for when I can see the fish move into feeding lanes, my heart starts to thump in my chest, my senses begin to sharpen and my hands begin to sweat. My brain moves into attack mode and I lose consciousness of anything else going around me. A quick focus, an accurate cast and the warmth begins shooting through veins as I watch the fish grab my flies…Ahhhhhhhhh…..

 The last week felt like watching a few Breaking episodes on the 15 and then watching a few on the Samsung. It seems that most of the day the fish are a little slow to move and then for an hour or two they come alive. The quick fix and then the Ahhhhhhh. Unfortunately, I know that the series is completely over, but the feeding frenzy of the fish is just beginning.

  I need to make a quick apology to some of our newer readers. Cat had a customer in the shop over the weekend that was upset because he had spent a lot of time on the internet trying to research the J-bomb fly. The fly was one that I had come with last year and I have had really good success with it off and on over the last year. I had written a few blog posts on it and didn’t really think about the people that began reading since the original posts. The name and a little about the flies can be found in these two links, make sure they are read in order.
Part 1.

The fly has been so productive for me that I haven’t wanted to sell them in mass in order to protect my exclusivity. I have heard that a prior client is now teaching how to tie one of my older patterns but that he has changed the name. I’m not sure if I am flattered or my feelings are hurt but I am a little nervous about putting the pattern on the internet. Friday the 7th will be open tying at the shop from 6 to 8p.m. and anyone interest can learn the bug there. As with all my patterns, they are very simple to tie. If you are not able to make the Friday night open tying the you can pm me on Facebook and I can get you a pic and instructions. If you are not a tier, get with Alex and he should be able to work a deal with you to get you some. As always thanks for reading, Connell, Cat, Winston, Jesse Pinkman, and The Drift Fly Shop….

   A few from Thursday;

 Ran into Jeremy today and he was on fire, every time I looked up he was fighting another fish. You da man today Jeremy. Here are a few from me today.

  See ya......