Renting Fly Boxes

I have two Winter Fly Selection boxes for my local waters completed and for sale through our fly shop, Colorado Angling Company. These boxes contain a mix of traditional favorites, originals, jigs as well as some high quality knock offs that all come in one of Umpqua's new LT Midge premium fly boxes .

#16 Buckskins and Lt. Jiglets

Knocking off or manipulating some of our favorite proven patterns really began with tweaking thread and dubbing colors to better represent the naturals in local H2O. I mean the commercially tied BWO Barr emerger will get you fish on the Eagle or Colorado, but one tied slimmer and in a darker, brown/ olive color will pick up 18.623% more fish. Sorcery such as soft hackles, beads, tubing and foam getting wrapped on  JuJu Baetis and Palms Special Emerger just helped an already perfect potion get way more potent.
I owe somebody royalties.
Its just fun to tinker as you acquire different skills at the vise and companies like Hareline keep giving us new stuff to experiment with. Try tying some Griffths Gnats or Renegades with some red or black dyed peacock instead of natural and jam a shuck on them. They suck.

Emerging Red Griffiths Gnat 

BH Soft hackle Roy Boy #20 

BH Chocolate Thunder #18

Buckskins have always been a good producer for me and I have always tied them the traditional way which is kind of a pain, so I never used them much. Then last year I came across buckskin colored tubing from Hareline and began jamming that on jig hooks with a black tungsten bead. Maybe it was because I had a bunch of them and fished them consistently, but this fly has become one of my top attractor  patterns, especially in 16 and 14's.

#22 Baetis beauties, they are in there

Woodcutters Baetis #22

Midgezilla and some red junk included

So as I was finishing up these boxes I was wondering..........would you rent one?

You have all your own stuff, you know what you are doing and you wander into a fly shop for some advice and flies. If this box, which is very specific to where you will be fishing and for the exact time of year was available; would you be tempted to rent instead of buy?

Rent Me


Tying Demo

Join the Colorado Angling Company crew at Village Bagel on Feburary 18th as well as March 4th for an evening of tying, great food and maybe an adult beverage. I will be tying a couple of our favorite jig patterns the first night. You are welcome to sit at the vise, watch, talk shit or just eat some awesome pizza and talk some fishing. $3 beer and slice special, give aways!      Come see us
6-8 Monday February 18th and March 4th

Private Water Special

I had a cancellation on Presidents weekend (Feb 15th-18th). In an effort to re book the weekend I am offering 1/2 day (1 or 2 ppl)  private water walk wade trips with no additional rod fee. Thats $150 off per angler and you get a chance to fish the Vail Rod and Gun property. This is a great deal for you local blokes that have always wanted to romp around on fabled ground with me. Email direct,

If you bang around Youtube check out some of Jack Dennis' old archive footage he has been transfering to digital. There is cool fishing and tying footage of some of the legends of our sport like Gowdy, Wulff, Lawson, Lafontaine and Dennis that I have really enjoyed having coffee with lately, check it out

Another Sentiment on Sediment

Check out this pretty cool video about Glen Canyon, give yourself 30 minutes of education and emotion this morning. There are so many lost treasures along this glorious jewel of a river that are gone forever that it can choke a fella up a bit. To slam that damn dam in there a politician had to convince society that "There was nothing up in those canyons" and that simply was not true.  There is some really cool, old footage from pre lake days which manages to show one of those spots before we flooded it.

Check out all the good going on at and donate some of your screen time to water. 

Purple Party

After months of bickering by all these red and blue folks, this green guy is glad everything is all white. The Eagle Valley has a very welcome early season blanket of cold, white, water and it has instantly raised every little creatures spirits. I hope it's not temporary.

I've been brushing up on some western water history with Marc Reisner's Cadillac Desert and I'm realizing how blinding this new snow can be. When powder comes from the sky in Colorado during the winter, huge blizzard or not, we tend to view it as money and report higher earnings than we really have. Mr. Reisner does an incredible job of showing how, politicians, municipalities, big ag and a little town called Los Angeles did pretty much the same thing around the turn of the last century; They got ahead of themselves. We North Americans, all of us, have a terrible history with how we manage water and I can't help but feel we are about to go down a familiar path when it comes to politics and a very unstable environment. This new Climate change report that the government gave us for dessert over Thanksgiving covers everything we humanoids have succeeded in boogering up, but around here water is gold. Until both parties, the red one and the blue one, get together and make a purple party that is interested in Mother Earths best interests's first, well then it's going to be sooner than later when waters thicker than blood, like it was in the 1930's.
I'm afraid.

Mean while the change in the weather has thinned out the crowd on the river and the fishing has been great. Midge and egg type flies are producing for us on The Eagle and the streamer bite from the boats is still solid. Fly tying season is here.

The winter box needed a little push of something bigger than a #22 Midge this morning so I threw some #6 Golden Bareback Pats together.


Check out this filthy little  tying video .....tricky.

You Jig Frenchie?

You Jig? I know you Jig, everybody's doing it, but are you doing it with high quality materials and cutting edge techniques? Or are you just a basic Ice Dub Frenchie kind of dude?

This crazy little jig thing pictured below, caught at least 3 fish the other morning between 8 and 11; by noon I knew I could no longer keep it a secret. A Fella just knows when the web needs to know, you know? I am sitting on a pile of original work that can occasionally fool a real dumb trout and I am making a more conscience effort to share. Quality Hooks, Beads and Materials determine how well a fly works and this little cutting edge gem is no different.
You need to pack your fly boxes with these quick like. It's clearly the next big thing in fly tying. Trust me, I write a blog.

Not sure what to call it other than Great.

It's all about the materials.
HOOK: TMC403BLJ  #16
BEAD: 2.912mm Whitefish scented Tungsten (48% variety)
THREAD: GSP 4 (Four strands of GSP because bulky flies blow) dyed to match naturals.
TAIL: Stuffing from an old brown hockey goalie pad (circa 1980)
RIB: Magnetized wire from a garage door remote.
ACCENT FLASH: Stale poptart sprinkle chenille
THORAX: Premium underfur from a central Canadian virgin Mink
LEGS: Select Yourma'sass hair, good thick ones.

Enjoy Fall, Book a trip
Strip More Streamers

Carry On

Thursday Fly Swap

If your fly boxes look like the leprechaun’s have been pillaging them for several months, you are not alone and it’s time to put it all back together.

Fly Tying season is here and Colorado Angling Company is going FULL SWAP

FLY swap: A bunch of “genius” tyers with nothing better (because maybe it's raining for the first time in 60 days) to do than sit with each other and produce bits of magic. The perfect little pile is then criticized, scrutinized and laughed at a little before being evenly distributed among the worthy.

Fly Swap number 1 is Thursday October 4th. Yep that’s tomorrow. Crazy shit just happens at a moments notice.

Time: Evening is a good bet but if the weather is crap it might be morning but the afternoon could make sense.

Location: You find out when you RSVP. Email if you want in:

Bobber is helping with a 4 boat float for Project Healing Waters this weekend on the lower Colorado so if anyone has any secret filth they are willing to craft and donate that might be cool for a fellas conscience.

Don’t be scared.

Feeling Low

I had some lunch with a long time fishing guide buddy a few weeks back and almost choked up my carne asada when he proclaimed everything's better now that water temps are cooling off on the Eagle. That is pretty gullible considering there are about 15 other reasons telling an intelligent steward of the water to stay away. Personally, I feel like some grounds keeper on a Monday morning after a huge 4 day tournament; my perfect course has been trampled and abused. Looking at the Eagle in this condition is sickening and it has me feeling low too.

The Eagle is cooling off, but it is lower than it has ever been. I was prepared to list bunches of scientific data on the impacts of low water on wild trout.........  you can google it, there is a ton of reading material. The long and the short of it is every step we take in that river right now is screwing shit up.

Low flows mean less space. Less space for fish to spread out. Less space for bugs. Less places to spawn. Less places to hide. Less places to fish.

That could be the river telling us to fish less.

Low flows can change the water's dissolved oxygen and PH levels which affects vegetation and the overall composition of the river bed. This can greatly influence movement, feeding, habitat and reproduction of aquatic insects and in many cases, changing the biodiversity of the river. Low water combined with abnormally high levels of  vegetation can hurt the population of certain insects and help the population of others, like predators. Either way expect less in the way of epic hatches next year, even if we do have a great water year there will be less bugs.

Low flows concentrate fish and rob them of safe hiding places which makes it much easier for their natural predators and snaggers to easily thin out the crowd. They also compete for limited food differently when they are all stacked up.

Brown trout are getting ready to spawn and they have less space to do it. Less space equals less success which obviously means less trouts. Low water has definitely effected the diet of fish that are about to reproduce and science shows a well fed Brown trout contains more eggs.  Less space during the spawn also makes it very easy for the uneducated to tread on fresh Redds' which again means less trouts.

We are getting to the point here on the Eagle where it probably should be closed. I'm not sure how that actually happens, but I know there are a bunch of local fishermen ready to sit in the bushes with paint ball guns and pick off pricks who don't get it.

There are other places to go.........

Big Zim with a fish from "somewhere else"

I even got lucky "somewhere else"

Carry On............somewhere else.


Fish put our flies in their mouth and spit it out in around one millionth of a second; maybe faster. You have to pay attention if you want to dance with trout and I see most of you Futzing instead of fishing.

Futzing is anything one does with a fly rod in hand that is not fishing.

Practice casting is a form of Futzing but a very productive one that most everyone should try before meeting your guide.

Tangles count as Futzing.

Futzed up

Time with a beer can in hand is Futzing but its often necessary to help enhance an anglers focus; or not.

The form of Futzing most notorious in the fly fishing game is the hand check. This is with out a doubt the number one reason people miss fish. They are looking down checking in on what their hands are doing instead of paying attention to the smart end of that wand they are holding. It is rarely the fly rod that complicates a good day of fishing; it is very commonly a persons own hands ruining their chances. Hands people have spent every day of their life with decide to go completely dumb and fight with each other instead of cooperate and fly fish, I see it a lot, from beginner to expert. I have a fool proof way of curing all this non sense with a quarter but you have to pay for a trip to see how that works.

Ever hear the guide 3 boats down scream set loud enough to scare you? Trust me, he doesn't want to holler. He doesn't even want to talk by this time of year, but doing two other peoples jobs while trying to do your own job and row a boat can raise a persons volume now and then. Sometimes the guide has to scare someone's rod up if their head is down. Part of the game if you aren't going to pay attention.

Lets say you are standing in front of a nice gentle glide that is giving you an easy twenty second drift. Most people Futz through at least half of that just struggling with line management. That means if you are on a four hour trip with some non listener you are really only getting two hours to get it done. If the non listener is also a non learner, you can cut that two hours down to around thirty minutes of fishing time. I'll do the numbers for you; if you pay for a four hour walk wade trip for yourself,  and fish all 240 minutes perfectly it costs just over a buck a minute. If you spend the day hand checking and Futzing and get one of those thirty minute fishing days, its going to cost you more like twelve bucks a minute.

"Be a good listener today" says my guide friend Chef Anthony Mazza

Don't Futz, Fish

This warm, low water, drought year cut into my urge to publicize, analyze, or scrutinize anything fly fishing on social media. I normally apologize for my lack of attention to this blog and it's six loyal readers this time of year anyways as things are always busy, but this year was a real bitch. Thanks to everybody who changed trip times, went early, skipped the grip and grins and showed great respect for our resource, the trout and most important, the river.

An evening swing with big Golden Stones on a recent overnight trip

While the conditions on the Eagle continue to get scarier by the day the Colorado is holding strong, Thank you to whoever is keeping these fish alive with a good flow of cold water. It has been a productive year fishing and guiding despite the weather and water conditions. Its been early to rise and afternoons off most of the season but it has been a blast as usual.

You know there have to be a few pictures...


Next time we discuss the leprechaun and the rattlesnake that live in my boat.

Bring on cooler temperatures, La Nina, College Football and the Fall Streamer season!!!

Carry On