Crap is but a click away

I wasn't really surprised when I caught my son. I mean he is 11 years old, his body and mind are a wash with curiosity and he has seen me do it forever. But catching him messing with his squirmy for the first time kicked me directly into Dad mode.

"Where have you learned to do that?" I ask, terrified.

"I've been watching videos" admits Sam.

Reality had harshly grabbed me in the groin as I realized my boy was turning into a man way quicker than I had back in the day. Everything is easier now, the days of not so innocently finding the answers under a bed or in the back of a closet are a distant memory, crap is but a click away. A father must be on guard. Understanding basic genetics and heredity (plant corn get corn). I am prepared to have a boy who will compulsively pound on shit until both hands are bloody, so I must keep watch to make sure he is learning the right way. I don't want him to go blind or anything.

Thirty years ago the stimuli was in a thing called a VHS tape. You could also learn a lot from magazines and stuffy old men. My insatiable thirst to do it for hours led me on a search for guidance from true masters of the craft. I found myself stimulated in hot, cluttered lofts with dudes like George and Pete or with a group of older guys in Carl's basement. I was addicted, I needed more.
I wonder how much different my kid's journey in this click and learn society will be and who, or what. will be his greatest influence. I vividly remember watching a small hunchback with a bad toupee named Fran do shit that blew my mind and it changed me forever. I worry this video thing is too diluted with crap for a young person to know who to subscribe to when trying to learn the proper way.

Protect your kids! Teach them the right way.
Don't let them watch crappy fly tying videos.

Don't ever grow up buddy


Fishing is absolutely ape shit crazy good right now. Dry flies are a great option right now as the Midgezilla hatch is in full swing. Baetis nymphs are becoming a more consistent snack as well. Full blown bedlam is here and the weather and water conditions continue to feel like spring has sprung. Book a trip now

Carry on

Ugly Trout Flies

This fly, this dull and ugly attempt to mimic some sort of Midge-Caddis mutation is a tough one to sell. It is also hard to buy.

#16 Midgezilla
Pale Yellow or Cahill thread
4X Tippet Rib
Pale Yellow and Tan Rabbit Dubbing

For the next two months here on the Eagle, Colorado and Roaring Fork Rivers this bug, a size 16 or even larger, represents the most abundant goodie snack on the menu. There are so many "Midgezilla's" in the drift that our flies often return to hand covered in them.  But a really good imitation of this over sized Midge can be hard to find commercially. I get it; if I am buying flies for a shop, its a little too big for the Midge order and too small for the Caddis. It has zero bin appeal or enough bling to catch any fisherman who buys bugs and fly shops are in biz to sell, not collect flies.

If you tie, put this one on the list instead of a typical Zebra. If you are new to tying. this is a great pattern to get basics like dubbing, ribbing and thread control sharp. The natural is enormous and beyond plentiful so sometimes those fat lumpy creations you end up with when you are first starting out stand out in a crowd and get eaten.

The Stonefly on the right in the picture above has great bin appeal but the little Quill body Spider in the middle out fishes the Stone over and over. I love fishing and tying softhackles and wet flies. When tyed right, they are far from ugly but again they don't catch many fisherman. Traditional Spider patterns (like the one above) call for approx 18 barbs on the soft hackle wraps which makes for a sparse almost fragile looking bug. Trout love it but I think most of today's fisherman pass on it for a more heavily hackled fly and in my experience that is a mistake. Slim and sparse patterns simply work better.

I have 2 Winter Selection Boxes as well as a collection of individual flies for sale at the shop.
Each box contains 90 flies, including Jigs, Dries, Emergers, Tech Nymphs and Bead heads specifically for late winter use here in Colorado. Each box retails for $279 and comes in a new Umpqua Lt Midge box.


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.