New Years Resolution

New Water Policy for 2017 !!!

Every single one of you who leave half empty water bottles in my boat or truck this year will be forced to finish it before we part ways.

Just kidding.

But there will no longer be bottled water served on my guided trips. This little drink toss game ( I toss you a bottled water and you toss half down and leave the rest) has to end. I just can't be part of the problem anymore and I hope all of you understand and if you don't here are some of the facts.

*Bottles used to package water take over 1,000 years to bio-degrade and if incinerated, they produce toxic fumes. It is estimated that over 80% of all single-use water bottles used in the U.S. simply become litter.

*Recycling is only feasible in limited circumstances because only PET bottles can be recycled. All other bottles are discarded. Only 1 out of 5 bottles are sent to the recycle bin

*U.S. landfills contain over 2 million tons of discarded water bottles alone

*It takes over 1.5 million barrels of oil to meet the demand of U.S. water bottle manufacturing

*It is estimated that 3 liters of water is used to package 1 liter of bottled water

*Bottled water is not safer than tap water. In fact, more than half of all bottled water comes from the tap.

*Bottled water can cost up to $8 per gallon, compared to fractions of a penny from your tap. That makes bottled water thousands of times more expensive than tap water.

* Tap water is tested more frequently than bottled water. In fact, in the United States, our drinking water is continuously monitored and treated according to federal standards. If local tap water is unsafe then water companies are obligated, under federal law, to notify the public.

As with anything else there are going to be a right and a left to this decision. Some people might think I am cutting costs and maybe messing with their health and to they I say.....

* Don't like my new water policy? You can bring your own along

* You people trust me with your lives every day I put you in that boat. I hope you can trust me to clean those re-usable bottles and provide quality drinking water.

* I like most of you. I love my family. The water for both comes from the same tap.

* Minturn tap water is simply delicious.

Lets all do a little more this year to save water and reduce our personal carbon footprint.

Carry On, just don't carry a bottled water.

Redfords Butt Crack

I have a serious problem.
I can't get Redford's Butt Crack off my mind.

I am guilty of not only thinking about it when I wake but I have been playing with it, poking at it and tweaking it and then working it hard all day in an attempt to wreck it. Something tasty comes to my attention and I have to have it, lots of it, like crack 😝

Redford's Butt Crack has me spinning out of control this Fall.

I just can't be on the outside looking in feeling like I am missing something hottt, so when I heard how much play Redford's Butt Crack was getting I had to figure out how to get a look at it and maybe start messing around with it before everybody hears about it.

Sorry cupcake, this is not about Robert Redford or his ass.
This is all about Duane Redford's Butt Crack Baetis and it's crushability during a BWO occurrence.

Duane Redford's Butt Crack Baetis with a Bobber twist....

Guide, Coach, Author and Good Friend Duane Redford is one of the fishiest dudes I have had the pleasure to trade lies with. His attention to detail makes him a next level player in a world where observation rules who wins consistently. D man and I have only been trading next level crap for a few years now but it is always quality poop worth trying on the river and at the vise.

"I don't know what I don't know about fly fishing yet" says Duane at most of his speaking engagements.
That speaks volumes when our club has so many self proclaimed experts. The guy continues to learn and I need that shit piled up around me so I get better too.

You can get all the stink too!
Duanes Blog, The Fly Fishers Playbook

Check out Duanes Books, The Flyfishers Playbook, First and second editions

Duanes speaking schedule is usually posted here on Fly Fishers Playbook facebook page.

This whole thing started with little bits of white foam and beads that started getting stuck to flies dropping off the vises of Redford, Fly Doctors Scott Thompson, Alex Forsberg and myself two summers ago. Trout see the color white extremely well but sometimes the bead was too much so we started tagging white foam to all sorts of nymphs with great success. 

Two bits of white has to better than one. D man 's abdomen and tail is like the picture. I am responsible for the  Hare's Ice Dubbing Grey, his is a touch different.

This things still under wraps per say. He's not giving up his crack to just anybody as it is currently under consideration by a major fly distributor but he thought it would be safe here since there is only four or five of you who read this pile of scat..  

A couple of strands of  some crystal braid help to form the hair in the crack.
 I used rootbeer, Duane don't

I have even busted out the beads for this hot little piece of....

What? It helped it get DEEP.

This has started to go to far.

Seriously, give this little concept a try next time you are out parked on some picky BWO eaters and hopefully look for it in your favorite fly shop soon.

Carry On Perverts

The Politics of Fly Fishing

I don't travel to the big city of Denver very often, so when I do I use a guide. I have no problem admitting to giving up the drivers seat to my lady as soon as the land flattens and the traffic starts to resemble a Trico swarm. Kit loves the big city and doesn't mind driving once I am overwhelmed. Someone once said "Listen and let your guide work" or relax and let all the responsibility ride on the shoulders of someone who's comfortable with the surroundings. I try.
So after checking into our favorite down town hotel Thursday evening we looked for our first guide of the evening to take us to the Project Healing Waters auction. There outside the hotel sat six taxi cabs, all empty except one. My tortuous adventure would start as soon as I knocked on the window and politely asked if he was on duty.
After what seemed like 20 minutes "Ted" finally got the window rolled down so I could ask if he would take us to Mile High Station and the many beers we were going to partake in for an extremely good cause.
When he explained he "didn't know where that was" I thought he must be joking.
"What the hell is a rookie doing out here in the middle of downtown and how the hell did I get him? I thought.
I had a bad feeling my guide had no idea how to row and thought about changing boats but I felt like I might be violating some sort of cancellation policy so I stayed with my drift. This was his office after all so I started my ride with high confidence he would find the damn take out which we were told was only a short walk away. By the end of my ride I would be thoroughly convinced  I have eaten strips of bacon that were smarter than that cab driver.
The 1.5 miles took one professional gps unit, 2.5 human brains, two smart phones and 25 minutes to complete mostly due to the unexpected demonstration of  hate literally blocking the one safe route to my night of fun. Thousands of pissed off people with their political panties in a bunch with nothing better to do than get together and lick each others wounds forced us to make three more wrong turns and end up lost in an empty dark parking lot under the interstate. We would see riot gear before our night ended.
What were they trying to accomplish other than confuse Siri and my cabbie's already shaky sense of direction?  It's a free country and if you want to march around with a blow horn and a sign that's your right. Feel free to show your emotion and contempt in public even if it's pointless. Seems that's part of the American way thing we all have a right to.

It got me thinking how much time we as a society spend on hate and how once again real life mirrors fly fishing in my simple mind.
Fly Fisher People love to be hateful, political, demonstrative assholes as well. especially when someone else is doing or using or looking different than their parties beliefs.

I'm not sure exactly how our party lines are aligned but I know for a fact we have them.
Are the Republicans anti worm?
Do Democrats hate rafts?
Are Conservatives Dry Fly snobs?
Do the liberals fish junk one day and bugs another?
Pretty sure the Millennial's support Tenkara.

Our little club has some significant lines drawn in the sand and it often seems there is a bunch of hollering, finger pointing and lobbying going on justifying some small nuance of the art that just comes across as hateful noise.
There is Rod hate, Boat hate, Guide hate, Client hate, Fly Shop hate, Private Water hate, Bobber hate, Comp hate, Stocker hate (guilty) and my all time favorite, Fly hate, just to name a few.

"Trib Nuts"made beads a fly when they were lashed to the hook

You all know the fly hater; That dude who will never use a streamer, the misguided fool who doesn't fish eggs or worms and has no problem calling you a cheater for doing it that way. Get a sign, start a petition but trout eat smaller trout, eggs and worms, I approve this message.

My party cares not what color your squirm is.

Lets debate.
"I hate Squirmy" say some anglers.
"Why? You have a box of San Juan worms in your pack" say I.
The confused change of stance come back sounds like, "Yeah, well Squirmies fall apart"
In the right situation, in the right conditions, in the right color with the proper drift and a great angler on the stick the squirmy always out performs the San Juan. Serious, that's my vague, drawn out, non committal, political take on that matter.
Yes it falls apart. Save the hook and set aside 15 seconds to tie another when you get home. Helps to balance the budget.

The Mop. I'm going to get some materials in a blond color and call it Trump next year

Recently there was quite a stir in the force regarding a particular fly created from a mop. People all up in arms, protesting like it was a bead head in the early eighties or something. Getting all political on it is again pointless. It was created at a vise by putting material on a bare hook with thread and then tied to some tippet attached to fly line and rod thus making it a fly. That shit is in the constitution of fly fishing somewhere. It's been voted on.

I am proud to be affiliated with the Egg Party

Carry On Haters
Breathe America

Fly Tying for BOB

Tying season is officially underway, so bring your bags of dead bird and some game and tie for BOB.

Joe, a vet who fishes with Project Healing Waters Denver......not BOB.

I will be hosting Underground Tying nights here in the Eagle River Valley (we might stray further) all winter long with the hopes of filling a fly box with filth from some of the best tyers I know. At the end I hope we can auction off the box of  Black Op Bugs at a swank Project Healing Waters event sometime next year.
We may even have a special guest or two.

Tie Big

Underground Tying Nights (because the first one will probably be held in my dark basement apartment) will be twice a month starting soon and will require an RSVP if you are tying. If you just want to watch and learn please feel free to come and soak up some dirty tricks. Bring a friend, your kid or your lady. Swapping is encouraged (Flies).
There is no theme. Just bring your twisted ideas and spin a dozen for a great cause as we share some stories and a legal beverage or two while we try and take the edge off the winter months.

Tie small

Locally we have some incredible talent on the vise and I know most of you well enough to know a bribe is probably necessary to get you to show up. Umpqua has been very good to me and I plan to hand out goodies weekly to the best fly of the night.


 I hope to get things rolling before the holidays and the venue will be different each week. We could be held up in a fire station, town hall, brew pub or some shed in Gypsum so stay tuned, maybe even look for an email from me about this crap.

Carry On

Fall BWO's

Years ago I started tying a bug I called the Crip Keeper, check out the video from 2013. I love fishing cripples during the PMD hatch as they are notorious for not being very successful at emerging. A stuck in the shuck imitation just under the surface has paid many a truck payment for me especially during a heavy hatch.
Since the Fall Baetis hatch is in full swing I figured I would tinker with the old pattern and make it look like a BWO that didn't quite make it. I have tied a few with a trailing shuck but the traditional abdomen and tails seem to work better. The wings are burnt swiss straw tied spinner style over some partridge to keep them out to the side which helps keep the profile. The wings can be a bit delicate and after a fish or two one or both of them become rather tattered or are pulled off with hemos. By putting the partridge under the wings you are left with a more traditional nymph profile once the wings wear out their welcome.

 The body of the fly is a stripped peacock herl from Natures Spirit that is dyed Blue Wing Olive. I coat the abdomen with UV Hydro. I coat the wing case with Fluorescing UV Clear for a touch of bling only the fish see.

This fly has been doing most of it's damage in the riffles. That could be because thats where all the fish are right now though. I have been running it number two in a three fly rig behind something heavier like a Walts Worm, Bareback Pats or a larger Caddis Larva through riffles that are no more than two feet deep with great success.

Showing off the new art work for the business. For now this is where the money from guiding will be funneled into with high hopes for a boat repair division in the near future

Check out the details for Belize 2017

That's all I got knuckleheads, go fish.

Carry On

I am retireing and thats OK

So a very successful 36th World Championship of Fly Fishing has come to an end here in the Eagle River Valley, it is time for me to retire from competitive fly fishing and my duties at the Sylvan Lake venue. The seriousness of watching knuckleheads compete for as many 20cm fish as humanly possible aside, it has been a fun ride with some fun people in a fun place.

The years leading up to the Championships were the best. Back when things were a little less serious. Back when I got the many kids that were involved all cracked up on skittles and lollies only to backfire on me by doubling the rowing they expected me to do. The adults were free to rummage through the boat for the bottle of whiskey they knew I had somewhere as I spied on other boats with binoculars for stripping cadence and fish counts. We had ace competitors fall out of the boat, more than once, right at shore in front of all their peers. That was more than OK. We had volunteers who had no idea how to even row a boat, let alone be able to figure out that god damn drogue thing and that was OK. More than one competitor had to row the boat back to the dock at the end of a session partly so they could count their score and partly out of polite chivalry for the poor old lady rowing the boat for the last 3 hours. Back in the day every van driver was an off duty raft guide just in case I was short a rower, which I almost always was. We had late night camp fire shenanigans that involved a lot of whiskey, great food, machetes, BB Guns, M 80's and discussions about hookers and Vegas that my son took home to my ex wife and that's just the stuff I remember.

For all the fun we had we realized just how serious some competitors took this shit, even before it was for the the World Championships and yes it was rather baffling to those of us that fly fish for different reasons. That's OK too.

I am proud to say this years Championship was rather drama free with the only act of terrorism coming from the chap who left a dead fish in boat 11 every morning as some sort of sign. Touche (that's French) my friend, well played, made me smile. Making it half way through the 36th World Fly Fishing championships and still not being assaulted or harassed by somebody who cared too much was a major accomplishment. Shit, last year during the Youth Worlds I had to deal with coaches, managers AND parents in my face every session. Some of them were there everyday working me over like their kid's life depended on it. So this year when the irate, crazy Irish woman who I later found out was actually Canadian finally searched out my bright orange jacket and official badge I thought I was prepared for it, I was sober after all. She was stout enough to take me, her hair was wild and black and styled after one of Marge Simpsons sisters. Her eyes burned right through me and the metal picnic table I was sitting on as she voiced her displeasure with some public dooda in a canoe for getting to close to some guy she must of had money on.

"They don't understand" was my the polite response.

"It's Public mum" was me justifying it.

"Who fucking makes it more interesting anyhow" was the truth that leaked from me after she had gone back to her Labatts Blue.

It made me realize I may never get this competitive fly fishing stuff and I am OK with that. No one has a gun to my head telling me I have to. America may never get it, and that's OK. It's OK to not be as passionate about something as your neighbor is and it's OK for your neighbor to be too passionate about things also. I realize it was the people who made this event fun and having as much fun as possible everyday is my score sheet.

My friend John Knight wandered into a fly shop where I was behind the counter 8 years ago and laid most of his plan for this international competitive fly fishing poop out for me.

"This sounds really stupid" I responded.

"OK, your my boy, I guess I'll help" said my friendly side

After all these years I still don't understand any of it and I realized that yet again in the final hours of my commitment to this stuff.

Sylvan Lake tried to say goodbye in the most beautiful of ways. She had all her fish rise and say good bye for the last hour of the last session and not one of those "pros" changed to a dry fly rig. There were 24 competitors on that lake and I am sure that the Tournament was over for at least 20 of them but not one chose to fish for their soul. I didn't understand, but that's OK.

Like every other guy who retires I am saying its the people I will miss the most, To the many competitors who I have become friends with over the years; To the many volunteers and officials who gave their time and service for something different and to the Knight family I say lets go fish for the love of it, without a scoring tube, every September until we can't.

THAT I understand.

Carry On

August Caddis Hatch

Lots of stuff going on as the season wraps up.

How was your August Caddis hatch?
Not sure about your watershed but around here the October Caddis shows up in August and this year the numbers were great. While most activity happens after dark there have been plenty of large Caddis fluttering about and when you flip a few rocks in the right place you can see why. The bottom of every rock is covered with communities of larva in their stone and snot houses. The larva is a creamy yellow- bright yellow and some as large as size 8. The pupa has an orange- reddish tan thorax and the adult can be a tan- burnt orange body about a size 10-12. The fish really key on the larva deep and this has been my anchor for the last few weeks when I had to take the dry fly off.

Size 8 Diiachi 1150

The first of many story boards for Bobbers Boat Works is done. Hopefully I will be sniffing paint fumes (all water base this time ) soon. More to come.

How about some blue digi camo on that old boat? 

Trout Bum of the week! Thanks Phil Monahan, thanks Orvis.
Now call and book your trip!!
Check it out, Little love from Orvis

Carry On