2014 Exposed

It was a fun year with fly rods, great friends, clients and the camera. Here are some of my favorite exposures from 2014.


Eagle River Cuttbow

I didn't take this one but I like it

Early summer honeyhole and a pretty Brown Trouts 

Lots of handsome here

Webbs lower Eagle beast

Just after this picture was taken my man Scott Thompson swam to re-catch this beast with his bare hands. Absolutely sure that the client had no idea how large a miracle happened before our eyes.It was a guiding moment I will never forget , everything but his face was wet for the rest of the day. 

There seems to be less and less grip and grins in my highlight reels nowadays. I'm proud to say my soul knows the wild fish and the magical places I guide are the true stars of my wonderful job. Not everyday is easy,or successful but I am thankful everyday for what I do, where I do it and especially the great guides I work around.

I have but one regret from a great year, it has weighed very heavy on me and this little blog. This spring I wrote a blog titled "Bought Fish" that wasn't public for very long.  It was something I felt very strongly about, still do, but I was forced to take it down or loose my job. I have thought long and hard about the subject since (how could I help not to, these fish come to my net almost daily now). Sam and Kit will always be first so I had to do something I didnt feel comfortable with for my paycheck. Did I sell out? Should I have pressed my right for free speech? Could I have ended up further ahead in the industry as the guy who got fired for hating stocked fish? I still have a copy in  the dark corners of this place waiting for the book deal. I even read it on occasion just to see if I might feel differently about things. I don't.

Have a GREAT NEW YEAR, go fish!

The Ice Berg Mend

There is a certain stretch of my favorite river that becomes un-fish able during the winter. High ridge lines, low sun and short days make this prime stretch hard, hard as ice. With the last of our extended fall weather quickly becoming a memory a few of the beards in my life and I decided to check things out. All day slush wasn't going to stop any of us after the effort it took to slip in there. It just took more split shot and an occasional mend around one of the many ice bergs in the drift. No big deal.

More winter footage

Good getting out one more time close to home. It's been great fishing with the video camera the last few weeks. The river has really given up some gold while the camera was running which is usually rare. The rest of the winter fishing and guiding is going to require a further drive as our night time temps become more seasonal.

 Fish continue to gorge on big and small midge in various colors but red, purple, gray and olive remain strong. Larger point flies like soft hackle hares ear, large caddis larva and stones are also working on these extended season fish.

Winter Fly Fishing Video

Little winter yum yum mix, enjoy the crappy music. Come fishing, booking 2015 now but this winter shit is not to be missed.

MIDGES, Tame-Trashy

Those first few snow storms and the drop in temperatures as usual have me poking around my boxes trying to figure out which hole to plug first. Since I am never months or even weeks ahead I tend to start with what I need now and that is the Midge. I really enjoy tying midges, they are small so I feel like I get a lot accomplished and despite their size there is really a lot of room for creativity once you get used to proportions.

I fish and guide mostly freestones and midges are the most abundant food during the winter months. Unlike Tailwaters where Midges can be the preferred morsel all season, freestone trout switch over to these tiny bugs out of necessity. I have found that when the cold temps first set in and the trout have begun to concentrate on midges I can get away with a larger and flashier pattern. Maybe its the fact there is less food a drift, maybe they are conditioned to try and beef up for winter or maybe they just got done spawning and need to re-charge. Either way making a pattern stand out this time of year doesn't hurt like it might in January.

Here's a video the weather forced out of me all about some options for your early season Midge junk.

Fly Tying fer real

One of the coolest ties I have laid eyes on. Next time I have a whole day to invest I may try and whip one up.
Loves me some Franken Fly

Think you run a bobber with this?

I also promised my most effective non bead guide fly of the year.

"Effing Lethal"

All season long, day in, day out, this is my go to filth. Not sure what they ate it for but I tied it in size 14-24 and fished it for BWO's, Sallies, PMD's and as a general attractor with great success. 

Fly Fishermen love BOOBS!

No seriously, I'm not just trying to mess with my SEO by using a buzz word like #boobs. It's no big stretch to say fly fishermen love boobs. I do and happen to live with an incredible pair that thank god are healthy.
We all have been touched in some way by breast cancer,

So here's the challenge to all the big, strong, manly, bearded, boat rowin, non sensitive fishing guides out there.....wear a pink hat this month.

Miss you Dee

Send me your best picture fishing this month with a pink hat on and win a dozen of my by best flies.

My boys aint scared

My Summer All Star Team

Fly Fishing is hard work and I would like to recognize parts of my club for their hard work and willingness to give themselves up for the greater good of the team.

Beadheads are a very big part of my game especially from a boat when fishing dry dropper and 5/64th tungsten has been my bead of choice for a long time. While black beads have long dominated my orders, 2014 has officially been the year of the Whitehead.

Don't be scared

They aint

Big time producer in #18-24, gray, olive & black

Knocked off just about everybody (Silvey) with some new fun stuff from Hareline. Check this wiggle dub out when you get a chance

Flies are getting more expensive everyday, so it pays to tie now more than ever. Being a mad scientist and taking some liberties with tradition and leaving the manual on the shelf can pay off, just think outside the box and be brave.

How many flies are you finding in your local shops with white beads?
What color do fish see the best? hint, hint

Sally? BWO? PMD? not sure it mattered 

Burned a lot of swiss straw wings this summer

Never to far from a purple sharpie

I messed around with this shit real hard this summer, some of you in the know, know, what I know now......Team Zit is here to stay.

Next week I'll roll out my non beadhead team and it's heavy on the softhackles again.

Fall Fun with Fly Rods

Can't believe August has been whittled away so quickly.
 Sam starts 1st grade Thursday


   TROUT RUN I....not your normal poker run.  SEPTEMBER 14th-18th

Join myself and 2 world class fishing guides/chefs, Anthony Mazza and Billy McMillan for a motorcycle ride to remember. With fly rods, and big trout and freaking ridiculous food.
We rumble away from Minturn Anglers Sunday the 14th for a 6 hour ride north through some gorgeous Colorado scenery before arriving at Savery Creek Lodge (one of my favs).
Everyone will have a day and a half to enjoy incredible fishing, food and the comfortable surroundings of your own private valley in the hills of Wyoming.

Day 3 will find us all back in the saddle for another great ride to another private lodge near Meeker Colorado for another day and  half of fun with fly rods and food.

Day 5, September 18th ride back to Minturn.

Price per angler $2995 all inclusive

This one is limited to 12 guests. I'm working on a "rider price" for the ladies that would love the ride but may not want to fish.

Rental price available.


I will be in the Alcova Wyoming area for one full week of guiding in October and November. If you have never been, you owe it to yourself, this place is loaded with fish. Fresh road kill meals with Rudy, tying dirty junk with Theo in small hotel rooms, dark bars filled with smoke and all the wind you can handle.....did I mention this place is loaded with fish?

 Check with me for availability, this is super affordable and someplace you will want to go again.

  NY MIGRATORY MADNESS: November 10th-14th and November 17th-21st

Heading back to my roots on the heels of last years exploratory trip. This one is selling fast and for good reason. Two days of NY combat style wade fishing for giant Brown Trout fresh from Lake Ontario. A upland game hunt and 2 days Float fishing the Salmon River for Steelhead round off this once in a lifetime experience right in my old back yard. Somebody might even meet my mother.....just sayin.

Each week is limited to 4 anglers

NY trip details

If any of this fun stuff gives you a grin get in touch with me.

Chef Mazza, or "T" as we know him has a great trip planned back to South America for one of the coolest fish on the planet, Dorado. Check out the details and tell him you heard about it here. This one is on my bucket list, especially when Anthony is in charge of food. 

Mr Shaw's Fish of the Year Canidate

Every year I try and make a few people happy by recognizing their catch as a fish of the year candidate. I am around a couple of fish during the year so there usually has to be more to the story than just the grip and grin, blah, blah, blah look at what I caught crap.

This years first fish of the year candidate is being held by my buddy Webb

This gorgeous rainbow was the last to hand on a very tough day of streamer fishing; we could see the truck. You see 16 year old Webb there is a streamer junkie, a committed one, and on this fabulous June day his dedication against the odds payed off. We bumped around Webbs father and brother while they played a few on bobber rigs from Chef Mazza's boat. Still the lad refused to break. Three hours in we had 1 fish to the boat. In the last 40 minutes he landed 7, like a man, a streamer man.

What makes this particular fish and story so special is the bug this trout assaulted. We pulled various combinations of streamers that day but Cha Ching bent the stick best. So Webb and I were slightly bummed out when some bastard rock or tree in the depths took our last one; Or so we thought. After digging around in the dark corners of my gear I came across a gift from my friend Mark Shaw......6 perfect size 6 Cha Chings. 

Well Mr Mark Shaw, thank you very much! Your fly caught that 21" toad for that young man.
By the way I need a few more.

PS Mark Shaw beat Brain Cancer and wasn't sure tying a fly was ever going to be an option.


"A Fly Fishing Guide is not a REAL Guide if he doesn't tie flies"
That is a direct quote from a rant this winter by a very veteran guide whom I respect very much.

 I cant completely agree with that statement as I know lots of great guides who do not tie much or at all. But with today's Fly Shop economics, pro guide person might end up REAL poor if he or she has to buy flies every morning. Bugs are getting very expensive, even on a guide discount, so I try and tie between 8 and 12 flies for each trip. Most of it happens at 5  in the morning, before the bustle gets up.

The worm hatch is finally starting to move downstream, opening the window around here for Mr and Mrs Caddis; my vise seems pleased to be sophisticated again. Here's a look at whats falling off the tool in the morning for trips. Most of them are used that day, almost all of them are knock offs or loose interpretations of someone else's original genius using what crap I had.

Darin pupa

Daren Puppa

Silvey's Caddis Pupa knock off, swiss straw wing buds instead of starling.

THE Eagle is about to go off. Get in touch for details on the next three weeks of double dry fly mania!!!


You down with O.P.P ?
Yeah you know me.......

Sometimes you just want to strip, twitch or tickle someone else's property, you know work it real hard and see what she can take. It takes a special bond for a dude to offer up his new baby for a test drive for the low low price of letting him know how she performed. After all its expensive keeping all that bling, beads and fur around, Naughty by Nature S#*t  you know.

You down with O.P.P?

Feel me flow now?......doubt it.

Spent the day fishing Other Peoples Patterns. Now your down with O.P.P

Sat around the shop with the boys the other night in our first fly swap of the season, Mr Caddis being the theme. Thats "Full Swap" for those of you with your mind still in the gutter, for you fly tyers it means you get some of your boys best stash.

It was a blast running someone else's spin on things at the end of a working leader for the day.
Mad genius like Thompson, G, Fors and Fred Rodgers ends up looking nothing like the dribble I see in today's fly catalogs believe you me. So as I wait patiently for float season and enjoy my own personal ground hog day on the legendary waters of Camp Hale at least I am entertained by the O.P.P

More on the twisted mind of Mr Scott Thompson

Next week we are on to MILF's (moths I'd like to fish)

Current Events

Lot goes on during run off..except blogging

2 full weeks of rowing certifications and the dry side of all our boats stayed that way!!

Great shot by one of our new guides, to bad its got my old worn out ass in the background.

Le Squirm went to the Reef and the legend continues to grow.

Got the tour of our property on Savery Creek in Wyoming, much more to come on this gem.


She has risen

What? No meat on Fridays?
Here are a few photo highlights of PRO week 1



meat you can't buy in a store

It's been a very good start to the PRO season for the Ghost and I, flows jumped up enough to start bumping rubber into rocks and the Magnum Rabbit has been turned loose.

First Run Tony

Great timing Mr C

Josh Miller went "Brooklyn" on them

A Brown Trout from under a bridge where I never seem to hook up.

"They" will eat a streamer. This one wanted it dead drifted

Happy Easter everybody, enjoy the spring colors and beasts eating meat from little green boats on Colorado's  best freestone........$389 till the mud flows, limited time, limited seating....unlimited fun for streamer junkies.