Spring Special

I just got back from my first trip to Vegas where everything is special. I was inspired.

$300 half day Float on THE Eagle River

The definition of a special : better, greater, or otherwise different from what is usual.

Pre season or pre run off floats are a gamble. You are rolling the dice with Mom Nature and a freestone river, so forecasting when the bedlam starts (now if you are skinny) and how long it lasts is tough. All I know is when my home river comes out of her winter slumber, you want to be in a boat with a box of rabbit to bang the bank with.

There are rules.....
#1: THE Eagle River only. Half day only.
#2: No Nymphing. We will be fishing Streamers and Dries only. Leave those indicators home
#3: You must bring at least one fly, the rest are on me.
#4: We reserve the right to cancel due to low water or full on raging mud at no cost.


Because of the small rafts and a exclusive takeout above the public one (which is still locked) you will not be bothered by many other boats.
All of this fun is based on water clarity, flows and maybe how fat you are.
The river mother passed down her knowledge to the elders who have handed the bumpy path down to a very few. The path is worth it, especially if you like to chuck the meat.

"distinguished by some unusual quality"

How about some of these beast's have not seen a fly in 4 or 5 moons and there are only a few of us able to even put boats in the water and it's.........

33% OFF

Normal price is $450 and the rest of the benefits are there for the elite class deal shopper to find as well. You see a crazy thing happens in the late winter around a ski resort with crap snow......they run specials!!! There are some killer lodging and food deals right now.

This is a limited time offer.
Call or Email me soon.

Fishing for a date?

When I started wading around in rivers, it took me two years to finally catch a trout with a fly rod. It took me 40 years to find a great woman. The time I spent on both made the journey all the sweeter and that's something people over look when they are sort of living in a cyber world. I mean a person can spend 15 minutes on this machine and have the information it took me 5 years to figure out; that's fishing and dating. It's just easier to stick your neck out without getting your head chopped off in today's system for both.

Want to find your perfect match? The search is a quick click away and custom to all your wishes Worry not if you don't have enough energy drinks in the fridge to tear yourself from the Xbox on a Friday night, you can simply turn your computer on and see lots of pretty (hopefully) faces with the same interests as you. For example, if you love finger painting on nude beaches while you wait for a Rooster fish to cast to and choke on, all you have to do is search it and you could conceivably find an unlimited supply of similar freaks to get to know. Fishy, Freaky, Smart or not its out there for you to find.

This all started when I heard a friend of ours finally found this months dream guy who happens to be an Asian fellow she met on Farmers Only. Not sure if he is a farmer, but she lives downtown.
Can't make this junk up.

I seriously had no idea there was a site specific to farmers and rancher folk finding dates. Apparently I missed all the commercials, never knew.

Porn, Kink and Swingers aside, was there really a site for everyone?
I went digging and blew my tiny little brain up.

You a Trekkie? Well beam on up Scottie and explore your own strange new world, you have lots of company. Cat lovers and Horse lovers have their own special places to find a soul mate making it easier for all the cat lady and jockey types to search without being seen. Some humans are wired to feel love through the heart, some the brain and some the stomach; so Vegans and even the Gluten Free crowd get a corner in the modern dating world. Inmates, Clowns, Vampires and Gamers all have a way to stay weird together and keep a very unique gene pool going strong as well.

And just so you believe it exists, here's the Link for details on how to become a "first mate" for a Sea Captain.

You can look up "Fat Bastards" on your own time.

Anybody can find a place where they can browse, poke and swipe people with the same interests but Fly Fisher people. I couldn't find one of those sites.

My extensive research revealed a couple of half hearted attempts at starting a fly fishing only type dating site a few years back but it only seemed to last long enough for the web master to find love, I mean someone to fish with. Of course there are a few successful stories of leaky waders, graphite and love working together to create some fly fishing power couple and there are countless examples of beautiful relationships that include spending time with each other on the water with a fly rod. I won't drop names, you know who you are.

I'm not part of a live for fishing couple, nor do I need to be, While fly fishing is obviously a huge part of our relationship, fishing together is not, which is great for not mixing up my peace and quiet time with non paid, part time guide work. Fly fishing with a full time night woman was always too complicated for me and whatever girl, especially when the tone in the boat didn't match her genetically coded lack of tolerance for the teach talk coming from her man. Kitty's great, she could care less about fishing for trout in her own world class back yard unless it is 95 degrees out. Trout even hate that.  She loves her salt water fishing though, especially if the boat captain is a little old man, she loves little old people. There's a site for that.

I found a site or two about gear fishing and one's that had fishing categories, but no where did I find a legit place for the fly fishers of the world to find their dream hole date.😁

Our sport is complicated so I could see a Fly Fishing specific dating service being really helpful.

Membership levels could run between dry fly only, dabblers, competitive, posers and true hardcore live in a van shit allowing everyone to find a match without to much tangling.

You a nymph looking for a stud fly fisherman?
Do you think there is chance you could be that unicorn? A stud and a fly fisherman?
I wish I could say we had a site for you.

Imagine being a Sage girl and you just happen to swipe by a profile of a 5th year guide with an excellent beard who owns his own boat but........he uses Orvis rods. There is no doubt in my mind, one of the most popular categories will be for industry reps and their groupies. I mean what better grab for a lady with the addiction to get good gear than to date a rep, the king of swag. Way better than a 1st year guide with a pro form.

Swinging flies with two handers has become extremely fashionable for women over the last few years and here is the perfect opportunity for these fine ladies to browse the countless dirty nymphing, one handed, hot holers, completely on the down low.

Explain to your boys that you have been getting the beat down by a stripper you met on a new dating site and watch their eyes light up. They don't need to know it has to do with streamers.

Dreams are going to come true. Flowers will bloom here. Finally a dude can finish a long day of wailing on 2 fish and come home to a chat room full of women who really know how to get it deep and handle a stiff rod. Looking for a person who spends more jingle on dead birds and hooks than groceries? You should be able to find everything you are looking for in a life partner dedicated to filling fly boxes on "Fling with a Fly Fisherman".

And Ladies, once the profile pictures of twenty or thirty desperate beards go live, you will finally be able to see that we all shop in the same place, wear baseball hats to bed, sunglasses inside and have really bad tan lines.Your willingness to look past things like these as well as the roommates, dogs, tobacco, booze, and lack of funds shows your commitment to whacking fish. You qualify for one month free.

It's a great idea, but much like my brilliant idea of double stuffing a poptart; I will most likely not see this through. Someone should. Easy mail box money for a crafty web type with tons of time to burn on Friday nights.

Spring has sprung, feels like love in the air.
That's what I got.
Book a trip.

Carry On

Winter Light

I like to hunt with my camera as much as a rod and winter is a great time of year to take advantage of all that great reflected light. At last the days are getting longer and brighter here at 8000 feet making it more appealing to be near all that cold water with a camera or a fly rod. Winter is also a great time to day dream while the fly boxes fill back up. I like to take pictures of that kind of crap too.

Here's some of the poop that's been falling from the jaws of life.

Still dig the jig, especially a size #18

Bead head Pheasant Tails in a variety of flavors

Not sure how many RS2's have fallen out of the jaws


During the summer months the golden hour of photography and the golden hour of fishing cooperate nicely. Winter Trout feed primarily mid day but luckily the low sun angle can provide good light even at lunch. 

I swear they only come that color on THE Eagle River

Mouth full of Pat

THE Eagle River and THE Rainbow Warrior

Not the best composition and the light is all wrong but I never get the fish in the air shots. 

I have been lashing white beads to bugs since I read about how trout see and what color they see the best. Trout see whites and pale yellows best in all lights and depths.
Hot spots are hot. Who says it cant be white.
Mayflies and Stoneflies go through a molting process where they basically out grow their shuck. When they need more room they wriggle out very pale white until they harden and darken up in their new clothes. I'm not sure if bugs do a lot of molting in the winter but white nymphs definitely produce when its cold.
White beads are not just for Snow cones and you can fish them other places than stillwater. Just saying.

Molting Mayfly?

Size #18 John Barr Bend from Umpqua

Pale Yellow Rabbit, dark wing case and black bead

The Roaring Fork has been better than bacon.

For those of you lucky enough to be heading my way in the next few weeks call or email soon. The prime months of March and April are starting to book up. This is especially useful for my front range friends as the weather can change quickly and turn things on or off. Despite the warm days our snow pack in the Colorado River Basin is above 150% so run off could be a doozie if it comes all at once.The weather as of late has included above average temperatures and they are supposed to continue which could give us a nice bump of water to float on earlier than usual. The short fishing report, wade or float is A+. Seriously, get here and get your fish on in between powder days these are every guides favorite days of the year for a reason. 

Carry On

Trout are slightly smarter than stone

I have been trying to learn from people for almost 50 years now and there are certain experiences and conversations that I will never forget. The majority of those conversations came from one man usually during a cup of coffee, very early in the day before the chaos woke, in my "special" place.

The way I remember it, most of the meaningful bombs of wisdom he dropped were in late summer/ early fall when the Northeast humidity loosened its grip and let the early morning, relaxing breeze blow cool. My summers back then were busier than my summers of late (if you can believe that). It always seemed like the first real breath I took after any insanity was on that back deck over looking a ravine of 100 year old Oak trees. It was a place and a time with a person that helped me relax and gain perspective on the complications of my 20's and early 30's. He explained how one day all this serious, end of the world as we know it shit would be side splitting hilarious to look back on.
 God was he right.

I was a handful, so there was a lot of advice for me to choose to believe in or not. Like the quick and easy internet learning path of today. I always listened. I didn't always learn.

One glorious morning with the conversation centered around my financially challenged, non-college educated, yet entrepreneurial business sense; he explained something that has stayed with me to this day.

"Robert.........you just need to be smarter than your product"

I was a mason at the time and you might think it would be an easy chore to be smarter than rock, right? Wrong. I had to learn it was not rock at all, but stone before I could make it work for me and not against me. As I stopped fighting it and found out things about how it lived, I found ways to trick the stone into doing what I needed it to. I began to master it and found joy in the time it took to learn even when it felt like hard labor.

With the help of many masters I would go on to out smart wood, tile, and renovating old homes as well - which brings us to fish.

While I will not claim to have mastered the trade of fly fishing, I can say I have learned how to not get the beat down as often. I have listened to many fish masters, some wise and some not; in my long search for THE answer to out smarting fish (my product) with feathers. But; it wasn't until I actually started understanding the proper path to out smarting something with the brain the size of a pea was to put less thought into it; that I would find the secret ways to trick trout into doing what I wanted.

I seriously ask a lot of questions.

Trout are only slightly smarter than stone but none the less I struggled for a long, long time in our battle of wits. So after nearly 30 years of paying my dues, as well as really close attention, I now realize they are pretty predictable creatures and the days I over think things, usually are the forgettable ones. Dumb things down, use your pea sized brain, start thinking like a trout and the answers will come but, you have to find joy in the process of chipping at this giant stone we call fly fishing first; for the knowledge to find you.

In today's day and age, patiently learning one million tricky little things without a reset button is not a comfortable or common way of going about things. The countless dirty tricks required to fool stupid trout can't be learned quickly or on this computer machine. Going home after a suck show and beating your head against a wall wondering about the what's, why's and where's is not going to bring you closer to the light either. Time and experience will learn you that ultimately its the power and mood of mother river that decides who wins and when. No one can out smart that so stop trying to over think it and get some sleep.  

I promise when you look back at the struggle you will find it side splitting hilarious how easy it really was.

Happy Birthday month KMB, I miss you. RIP 

Carry On

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