Monday, May 11, 2009

Colorado Dreaming

As this will probably be my final post before I begin work in a few weeks, I thought it might be appropriate to reflect on things. When I was applying to schools back in 2004 I did not consider much in regards to fly fishing. The Summer before my freshman year I had the opportunity to volunteer at a Young Life camp near Winter Park, Colorado. It was there where my interest and eventual obsession with fly fishing began. I close friend of mine personally built my first rod which I was able to use on various beaver ponds every evening after work. Catching little brook trout on any dry fly they can snatch up is a great way to begin learning the sport.

After leaving the camp I drove around the state eventually ending up camping for a few days in my car in Eleven Mile Canyon on the famous South Platte River. I had no clue what I was doing and was quickly humbled by the selective fish. I managed to catch a few but no matter, I was hooked for life.

Attending college in a place like Oklahoma was a great time in my life and one I would never take back. My buddies and I developed a common interest in fly fishing and it was over the last 5 years where we tried to squeeze fishing in our schedule. First it began as less of a priority and has developed in to a main focus. With few trout streams in immediate vicinity of our location we have been forced to travel significantly to find fish.

First, it was rivers systems in New Mexico and then up to Colorado. We have even managed to scrap together some money to take several saltwater trips to Belize. From there I then began exploring the Norfork, White, then the Little Red, where everything changed. It may seem a little far for some but the 5 1/2 hour drive to fish in Arkansas is something I always anticipate. With the best brown trout waters in the world 1 state away, I can not complain.

Now I find myself a week from the end of my college career and eagerly anticipating the new experiences and opportunities that await for me in Colorado. I know that I have much to learn in the big scheme of things but that is something that excites me. The wonderful thing about fly fishing is that one can never really stop learning. There are so many avenues to pursue from fly tying, various destinations and species world-wide, to rod building, photography, teaching, and writing. Fly fishing is truly a complete sport and I still don't know how far it will take me. I know I have been blessed to meet many special people and experience many special moments all to the credit of the sport.

I know deep down inside that for now a "regular" job will ultimately be what I choose to pursue but I think that will only help to further motivate me to take full advantage of my opportunity that awaits. Never having the chance to show others the sport is hold so dear is exciting. I know each day will come with its challenges but with a deep breath and glance around; trouble in paradise is something I can deal with. I don't know how many people follow the blog with any regularity but I really would like to meet up and fish/enjoy life this Summer. Also, for those of you who may seek the things that go "bump" in the night I will be putting in a lot of time on the water when the sun goes down. Don't hesitate to contact me at or

This post may sound more like a journal but I have intended for it to possibly reach someone who has shared my common experiences with not being able to fish without making a trip out of it. Do not let vicinity stand in the way of your desire.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Streamer Fishing

The use of a streamer fly to fish for trout has been an area of fly fishing that has undergone radical change and giant leaps within the last few years. For those who don't know, streamers are a category of flies that often imitate bait fish, sculpin, crayfish, leaches, etc. The most basic and often effective streamer is arguably the wooley bugger but there are an endless variety of streamers in all shapes, colors, and sizes. Streamer fishing is a popular method, especially out West, because of several reasons.

1. There is no insect hatch to match.
2. It is less technical than fishing with a dry fly or nymph, which often requires a dead drift.
3. Brown trout love streamers.
4. When fish strike the fly it is usually very intense.
5. Last and most important; with the exception of a few tailwater areas your average size of fish caught goes up when using a streamer.

Streamer fishing has become my favorite style, as I indicated in a previous post. The style of streamer fishing I have adopted reflects that of the famed Kelly Galloup. He teaches a totally different approach to catching fish on streamers than had previously been known. I will not go in to much of the techniques because I don't want to expose the material found in his book and DVD, Modern Streamer Fishing for Trophy Trout. After reading and applying the methods he teaches I have increased the size of my fish hooked considerably.

The equipment used also varies greatly from the usual trout set-up. All of the stuff I use can be altered but I have found my method to work well. I have taken several saltwater trips with my Sage 8 weight rod so to save money and increase the versatility of my equipment I use that rod. It really throws the large flies well. I have a reel to match the rod equipped with the Rio Streamer Line in the 250 grain size. The large arbor reel picks up the line very fast and the sinking line gets the flies down fast and effectively. My leader is comprised of about 12 inches of 20 pound Maxima line and runs to about 18 inches of Maxima 12 pound line.

Pick up a copy of Kelly's book. It is full of information to change the way you fish. I have been using his style flies and equipment for a while and I am hooked. If you are like me and have reached a point where you are not concerned with the quantity of fish you catch but rather the quality, this may be for you. A word of caution: this style is not designed to catch every fish in the river. It is truly trophy hunting at its finest. You should not expect to shoot a trophy white-tail deer every time you step in to the field just as you should not expect to catch a 25 inch or greater brown trout every time you fish a river. The more time you spend doing it and learning the proper techniques will increase your chances of finding that those larger fish.