Daily Doubles

"For good days there are no words, for everything else there are stories"
Not so sure who said this but I am sure he was a fly fisherman.

Now a days there is digital photography

The ultimate thrill for any guide is having two rods bent at the same time. Getting the elusive picture without killing things takes it to a different level.

#1, Feb 19, 2016

#2, Feb 19, 2016

#3, Feb 19, 2016

I have been involved with multiple doubles on trips before but I have never successfully captured all of them on film. Getting them both in the bag is one thing, having everybody balance a pissed off fish while smiling is another. If the stars are going to align you want it to be with a father and his son. These guys crushed it, great job Sam and Ron.

Here's a few of my favorites from the past few years.

The Knights

Pearls, Private and Redford

Pretty stupid morning 

No fake grins here

These things don't just happen, an immense amount of proper cosmic energy is required to pull this kind of trickery off. Cameras, Sun angle, nets, moving water, expensive fly rods, scared fish and skiddish city folk with cold hands all have to be perfectly choreographed for the glory shot to be got.
Good Luck and may the force be with you.

Come double up while the weather is acting like April.

Carry On


I recently completed one of my continuing education courses required to keep my pro status. This months certification was in Slush and it's effect on Trout behavior or Slushology.

The definition of Slush according to Webster's Dictionary :partially melted snow or ice

Urban slang dictionary definition of slush : a promiscuous female, who is easy to bed.A woman who is a mixture of a slut and a lush

A Winter Fly Fisherman's definition: a daily pain in the ass

The trick with slush is forecasting the end of the daily hatch. The slush hatch is very thick early in the day, sometimes dense enough to give your flies a boat ride instead of a scuba. The last thing you want to be doing in this situation is waiting stream-side while the fish are keyed in on Midge slurpees.
The basic formula for leaving the comfort of the igloo goes like this;You are looking for lows in the teens. Anything colder, especially for an extended period of time may leave you at the vise. High teens as a low usually means the slush will be gone between 11-12 in the morning as long as the high temps reach 30 or better. Sounds simple but it can trip a dude on a non adjustable summer schedule. We are constantly explaining why we DON"T want to pick you up at 6 am during the winter. Sleep in people, enjoy your vacation, the river is not ready for you, it's slushy out there.

Waiting for the slush to burn off after dragging the boat through the snow to the point of no return can be painful

I don't have one of those World Class Tailwaters in my back yard, Mother Nature runs the flow show around here. There is a daily ebb and flow almost like a high tide and a low tide which in turn effects water temperature and slush. In the summer months it's not uncommon to see a 8-10 degree fluctuation in the water temps and when daytime air temps get warmer you want to be fishing water temps as they fall. Winter water temps and flows bounce around too, just not as much. A water temperature change of 3 degrees is about all you get during winter but it makes a difference. During the winter a smart angler is there when the water is the warmest.

Don't let warm air temps fool you into thinking the water is warming up also. When some tease of a weather pattern slides in and tricks everyone into thinking spring has sprung, the water temps are actually dropping. Warming water rises and bangs against the bank ice cooling the water temps instead of raising them. If you start to change your tactics assuming the fish are as comfortable as you are before the water is ready, you may be in for a long day.

Embrace the pace of winter fishing.

Being Retro can get you on the Jumbo-tron

The snow tends to pile up here in the little village of Minturn Colorado, so do the flies below the jaws of life. Winter is my time to actually feel like I am getting ahead on reloading all those blank spaces in my fly boxes so you people have stuff to lose. I begin with my immediate needs then blast through the basic necessities until my boredom gene is prompted to step out on a limb and try something new. Since everything's been done, new for me is often old so it's almost always a traditional technique I haven't mastered or rarely employ. This winter's merit badge looks somewhat like Winged Wet Flies.

Nailing wings to patterns that sink is nothing new, you just rarely see it anymore. I love to fish drown spinner flies with a tungsten bead head which is nothing more than a modern age wet fly. I have always believed one of the reasons they "get ate" is the profile, flash and movement a set of spent wings bring to the subsurface game. It's funny how we put so much emphasis on dry fly wings and fish can't see them but we often leave details like wings off our subsurface bugs where fish get a 360 degree view.
Ever notice how good that Adams dry fly works when its drowned?
The best way to get noticed and maybe on the jumbo-tron after all is to stand out in the crowd and Retro is all the rage now a days. Make room for some tradition in your lockers lads, tie some wet flies.

Some insects spend time under water with a visible wing. whether it's prior to it's emergence, crippled or drown, egg laying or spent and most fishermen that tie don't bother to bang a wing on subsurface patterns.

Egg Laying BWO?

Diving Caddis?

Crippled PMD? next to some Red Quill Emergers?

Google wet flies and check out the whats, wheres and whys on some really cool patterns and then throw tradition to the wind if you want. Equip your favorite soft hackle or nymph with wings of Poly, Swiss Straw, No Fray, Web Wing, CDC, Mallard Flank, Hackle tips, Burnt wings or the very traditional married Duck Wing technique.

Burnt Hen Hackle and Partridge

CDC on a subsurface fly is basically doing what married duck did for our foretyers. Some of these modern materials are better suited to whipping up a wet fly quickly but I still think Duck looks the best and learning the "old" ways was fun.

This junk usually sits and patiently waits for warmer days. It's fun to find stuff like this months later and relive the eternal hope that goes with winter tying.

Snow piled up on your boat too? 
Tie some flies, day dream.

Carry On