Cut me some slack (line)


The crowds of people on this 16 mile stretch of river is officially out of control on Saturdays and Sundays. There were so many people up there last Saturday I am sure I saw a spike in the USGS graph.

We have been trying to ruin this river for 200 years now and this is just a different type of abuse. While an excessive amount of people on the water does not impact the river as severely as the amount of water we draw from her it does damage the experience people expect especially when they are paying good money. I have always tried to avoid this section during the summer weekends but on occasion I am forced up there by someones request.

For those of you who book through outfitters please listen to thier advice. Guides are in the business of catching fish but they also have to fill other expectations and those expectations simply can not be met on this stretch of river anymore during busy summer weekends.

I don't want to show my age here but the music is killing me. There are so many rafts blaring thier music it sounds like some new hybrid genre cross between country and reggae. Its just loud and annoying noise. The place not only sounds like a concert it smells like one too.
Pot is legal in Colorado and we are allowed to participate on private property. Your boat does not qualify. I started thinking my people were just not understanding me last Saturday when I realized they were both high as kites from the second hand smoke cloud.
Boat after boat of intoxicated ding bats passed me and the only creature on board in a life jacket was the strong swimming, stone sober Labrador Retriever. I saw a keg in a boat that had a life jacket on.

Is that odd to anyone but me?

Having to limbo under one of the two slack lines in the hot tub canyon during a 20 boat traffic jam was my last straw. It is against the law to string anything across a river in Colorado.

So who is responsible for policing this shit?
We all need to make sure our brother boaters are safe but I am way to skinny to be a police man. Raft companies and outfitters that pay for permits to be there are not the problem but they are often the easiest to monitor and scrutinize. Ultimately it is the BLM Kremmling office that is in charge of this section and I am pissed off at the fact they are no where to be found on busy days. I understand its a government agency and there is a budget but this just is not working when they are not. There are just responsible guides and fishermen there during the week so why not take one of those days off and put like 10 people there on the weekends.

Please understand there is no reason to avoid this wonderful stretch entirely. If you have to use it on the weekend try fishing late afternoon- dark once the riff raff has retired to the trees for the evening.

If you give a hoot write a letter to the Kremmling BLM office demanding they start to actually manage this section responsibly. There are people breaking the law.

Kremmling Field Office
Stephanie Odell

Field Manager
2103 E. Park Ave.
P.O. Box 68
Kremmling, CO 80459
Phone: 970-724-3000
Fax: 970-724-3066

Carry On (somewhere else on the weekends)

Tips for the PRO Fly Fisherman

My favorite guide on mother earth is a beautiful old man by the name of Sam Dawson and one of these days I will find the right words to tell you about him in full. He is the toughest SOB I have ever spent the day with.  I think of him and getting back in that boat on Permit Alley every single day even though I know the beat down is coming.

I hire fishing guides not babysitters.

The first time Sammy shut the engine down and opened his mouth is something I think about every morning I meet up with clients.

"You Pro's?" he asked the G and I, but it sounded more like "You Dicks?" to us.

We could have easily said yes, after all, we are paid to play with fly rods. We said No because we have heard so many of you tell us how good you are and how much you fish only to watch you proceed to suck. Neither of us were interested in being that guy so we strapped on our bullet proof vests, opened our ears and shut down the ego. We humbly tried our best to listen and ended up learning about so much more than catching Permit. We learned how to let the guide do his job in his own style, and frankly, Sammy's style is a lot like his philosophy on surviving women and catching fish; "You got to harden your heart and soften your dick".

If you read this crap on a regular basis you know I don't write a lot of "How to Stuff".  I have always figured there were guys that have more experience than I do taking care of that. But after a few days of guiding knuckleheads, and since that conversation with say it like it is Sam, I realize the demographic in our sport that needs the most help is not the beginners. It's the ever growing number of you PROS with hard dicks and soft hearts.

In honor of Sammy Dawson I give you my JULY PRO TIP.

For the Four Millionth time..........If the boat is moving and you are lucky enough to be in the front please cast to the future, not to what's "past" you by. There is a great benefit to occupying the front of a trout craft. Simply put, if your flies get to the fish before they see the boat or your buddy, you have a better chance of jumping unsuspecting fish. Most of you pros spend way to much time trying to hit the bank to make your dick hard instead of looking and casting on an angle that lets you anticipate. Every time you aim across from yourself or back on an upstream angle from a moving boat, you lose the advantage and start to crowd the angler in the back of the boat. Just because you have the ability to cast to the bank doesn't mean that's where the guide wants you. I mean if you were wade fishing over there on the bank you would be trying to throw the flies where my boat is, right? Find a good drift on a good angle and stop trying to impress me when you are actually boring me.

Check back next month when my Pro Tip will be about not beating your guide to the shop.

Aunt Sallie has been hot!

Carry On

Tuesday Night Two Fly

JULY 11th, 7-10pm



(2-3 per boat, share rowing duties)



Yeti stole my boat.

It has been a long couple of weeks, scrambling to put my raft back together after her unfortunate theft or ghost ride and ultimate scuttling. The whole team came together to have the old girl put back together by opening day of dry fly mania on THE Eagle river, amid an incredible amount of speculation as to what actually went down in the wee hours of June 10th. Being slammed with late June clients luckily made for days too busy to launch a full scale search for the dick head responsible for such an act.

With my boat (recovered the rubber) finally on the trailer being used to feed the family again I resigned myself to the fact that it was going to be hard for the local po po to find the perps so I tried to put the whole thing behind me.

But after finishing up a float late last week I received a little gift from the gods which ultimately led me to some answers. There on the dash of my new truck payment was an old school pager flashing a number at me with the code 411. The computer generated message would lead me to a midnight meeting with "Winston Orvis Simms" and the answers I had been seeking.

"Mr Simms" explained he was a high ranking official from the American Shuttle Drivers Association and they knew just about everything going on in the world of fly fishing by having access to vehicles for so long. He told me that my boat had an elaborate tracking system secretly installed several years back by PETA after I purchased a huge amount of Beaver dubbing from a fella suspected of selling patented fly patterns under new names on the black market. Anyways, they had recovered the Float Recorder Data from the black box deep within the rowers seat and this incredibly brave dude was risking his sweet shuttle gig by giving me the goods. I traded him 14 dozen "Lu Lu Beatis" and the left over "2 Bit Prostitutes" and we called it even.

The data revealed that somewhere in the middle of the night the raft was uncovered by something with a very strong stench of ass. Something or someone very large then effortlessly moved the raft with one very large and hairy hand. The black box recorded the DB sliding the left oar into the right oar lock which can over ride ones ability to successfully maneuver my boat. This move set off an on board alarm that automatically identifies the rowers certifications with the Bureau of River Log Legitimacy. The black box showed she ran a diagnostics check based on the size of the rower and it came back with 2 possibilities, Paul Zimmerman or Yeti. It would appear she thought it was the big Zim taking her for a gorgeous late night cruise through Tressel Rapid at first. She seemed happy to be on an adventure but not yet sensing the worst was about to happen. When the systems double checked the size of the rowers calves and realized they were to small and hairy to be Zim's she started to panic. I spent over 10,000 miles in that old raft without having to hit the panic button. I am truly sorry I wasn't with her when it finally happened. It seems she became an impossible bitch to handle with those oars on the wrong side and she purposely veered into 2 rail road bridges in an attempt get Yeti out of her.  She kept her path wide of the take out at Climbing Rock when she spied Bigfoot and a leprechaun waiting next to an empty trailer she figured was for her. The last bit of the recording show the old girl staying right at the entrance of the I-70 rapid and ultimately taking the hairy beast out on that low hanging dead tree but at her own expense. The data goes dark after she went upside down.

So mystery solved. Yeti is a non rowing, boat stealing dick bag and my boat took him out.

It would be easy for me to intensify my hate for nasty people after this mess but the outpouring of love and help has been overwhelming.

Big thanks to my Colorado Angling Company Family, My Rock Kitty, my Mom, Brian Culp, Kevin Duncan, Shawn House, Traci Greenwood, Chrissy Mitchell, Jean and Alan Blumenstock, Toni Leasure, David Truscott, and the 100+ people who shared my situation on Facebook and the numerous awesome people who offered boats, money and support.

Huge thanks to Vail Mountain Rescue who spent the day risking their lives in high water. Thank god nobody was hurt during that super fun event.

Enormous thanks to John Packer of Fly Fishing Outfitters for giving me a frame to replace the one that is now part of the river. This was beyond generous and proof that Ol Packman is a Vail Valley treasure. Thanks.

And finally thank you most of all Big Zim. Without your help and friendship this would not have been put back together as quickly as it was. Forever buds big fella,

Can't keep a good boat down. 
FU Yeti. 

Carry On

Shop at the Gap

Lets get right to the point

The Manual states that when fishing higher, stained and even muddy water conditions it is a good idea to over size one's Junk. The prophecy according to some ancient with a beard and a vest says it's prudent to use larger rods, leaders, tippets and flies if you are fishing the high waters of spring. If you tie flies, run off is an opportunity to whip bugs together that match water conditions, not necessarily a hatch. So seeing as the trout aren't seeing so good, a crafty fisherman starts fishing larger patterns on heavy gauge hooks with a gigantic hook gap.

Gap is where its at

Two and Three fly nymph rigs commonly are put together with the larger fly first and the smaller flies trailing it.

Ever notice that deep breathe your guide takes when he see's that the fish is hooked on the first fly?

That's because he knows your critter is attached to the biggest hook in the set and probably with 3x or better. Add a good gap and that guide is probably thinking about whats for dinner instead of frantically assisting you in your little trout tussle.

Try tying your favorite attractor nymph on a hook different than the recipe calls for; something with some holding power. This Bareback Pats is one of many I tie during run off on a size 2 Intruder hook. Notice the amount of space between the hook point and the wraps of .030 Lead Free Wire.
Lots of room for meat.


BBP Spicy Pickle on a pig sticker hook

Everything about run off is bigger, including the current. Having a solid wire hook with a significant gap can up an anglers odds at landing good fish in a pushy river. Shop at the Gap during run off you won't regret it.

Big shout out to Ed Nicholson, founder of Project Healing Waters for his well deserved honor of being One of PEOPLE'S Magazines Heroes Among Us

Congrats Ed

The battles over water are not just a western thing.

The Delaware River is in a big time struggle to stay world class and if man takes anymore of this fabled water it may be history we are making, bad history. The first time I ever took up space in a drift boat was on this river. I saw how much there was to this sport as I was humbled by 2 magnificent fishermen during a spinner fall in the Junction Pool. It is a time and a place I will never forget.
Read up and speak up for this special river..

The Battle over Water on the Upper Delaware River

What is your guide serving for lunch or dinner? More on this important part of a Fly Fishing trip in my next bit of nonsense.

Great adventures should include great food.

Carry On

Trib Nutz

To peg or not to peg.

Truth be told I don't peg much with clients, most of you are to slow and end up foul hooking stuff. The truth hurts I's some of the truth I am finally coming to terms with.

We called it Trib Nutz and it became the dirtiest thing I have ever done to fly fishing.

Filth, Shame and a pinch of pride

The Blue flavor is delicious

We bounced "Boehiem Balls" throughout my homeland

No bead regulation water Brown Trout

Video coming soon

Stupid War Pig 

We sat down at headquarters and shot a few tying videos this week, one of which is about Trib Nuts. I had not tied them in 3 years and have only used them sporadically out of fear of someone catching me with it on my leader. After I whipped out a few on camera during a great bullshit session with Jmac and Chef we decided to run it through our home water. I feel dirty still.

Carry On

Spring Special

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

$350 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.........

30% 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.

" 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.