Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Everybody and their brothers...

Weather was just too nice the other day not to get on the water. Drove up to the Big Thompson River and met a couple friends below the dam. Was sunny, but the wind was blowing like a SOB! Lot of cars in the parking area...think I counted two dozen at one time. On a Monday????

Fishing was slow. Best fly was a #22 Jujubee fished deep...trout laying low and not being very aggressive. Had to stay low...long winter shadows! Only a small bit of ice along the edges.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Man Bling!

If any of you are considering a gift of jewelry for the male fly fisher in your life...please take my advice. Don't do it! Get him a new ceramic bobbin for fly tying, a fancy fly box or just a bunch of hooks! Tiers always need more hooks.
Cuff links, tie clips and watchbands are masculine...but still pretty lame. Live crayfish, on the other hand, are always classy.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Last chance for local bass

String up your bass rods now before it is too late! In another month or so the local bass ponds will be too cold for good warm water fly fishing. But October afternoons are still a great time to get out and whack some bass!
You may not have the same great top water action you had this Summer...so think about heavy streamers on longer 2x and 3x leaders. Dark, reddish brown (crayfishy) streamers are in order. A couple of my favorite flies are "Geezus Lizard", "Belly Ache Minnow" and the "Mini-Sculpin".

Saturday, October 3, 2009

City Slicker

You can take the trout bum out of Junction, but you can't take the Junction out of the trout bum. Yuk, yuk, yuk. Anyway. Patrick Knackendoffel moved out to the Front Range a couple years ago from Grand Junction to go to school and guide for us. Patrick and I drove into downtown Denver the other day to scout for carp in the South Platte river...but got side tracked by big trout! You may be surprised at the quality of the fish in the middle of the city! If you live in or near Denver you ought to be involved, or at least aware of the efforts of the Denver chapter of Trout Unlimited. They are investing a lot of time and energy into that stretch of river.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

How To Salvage a Fishing Trip

The best laid fishing plans can go awry in a hurry...weather and stream flow are the usual offending suspects. The best way to deal with these is the be prepared with contingency plans. Be sure to take proper flies and rods for fish species other than what you had intended to target. But, more importantly, be EMOTIONALLY prepared to bail on the primary body of water, or fish species, if things have not worked out! I recently had to heed my own advice...

The plans began when TK Connor found some great online reports about wiper fishing just across the border in Nebraska. So, late Sunday night the two of us geared up for an extended "wild wiper chase"...which is usually slightly more futile than a wild goose chase. TK and I swung by a 24-hour Wal-Mart in McCook late at night to get our out-of-state fishing licences...the process took well over an hour and was painful to watch. I got the feeling computer technology was a fairly recent integration into the culture of McCook, Nebraska. So, it was quite late that night before we pulled up to the boat ramp at Red Willow Reservoir. TK slept in the bed of his truck and I claimed some flat real estate under the boat trailer. First light came surprisingly early...and we got the boat in the water before the sun was up. Our sole task was to learn the lake as fast as we could and figure out the wiper. And hope the cold front the night before hadn't put the fish in a funk. Ten hours of hard fishing later, we came to the forced realization that the hot wiper reports were definitely pre cold front...all we had to show for our efforts: two white bass, two largemouth bass and two small wiper (and I do mean small...like 4 or 5 inches!).
We spent another night on the ground and got back at it in the morning. A couple hours into the second day the conditions had not improved... So, now it was well past time to reconsider our options. We could throw in the towel and head back to Colorado with our rods and tails tucked bashfully between our legs...or diversify! Our heavy sink-tip wiper rigs got reeled in and stowed and out came our 6 weight carp rods! TK motored us over to some good looking flats exposed by the low water and we anchored the boat and jumped out into the knee deep water. For the next several hours we stalked and sight cast to 15 to 30 pound carp aggressively tailing in shallow water. They were wise, but not wise enough to resist a well-placed Backstabber carp fly! Every fish took us deep into our backing and we quickly forgot all the futile hours chasing the phantom wipers!
But then it all came together...in a back cove we stumbled into some large pods of shad. These shad were not swimming around content and relaxed like the ones we had been seeing for the last day and a half...they were spastic and scurrying for their lives! WIPER! TK and I raced back to the boat, pulled anchor, switched out fly rods and entered the fray! At long last we were into some wiper! Nothing huge, but the trip was a success...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Ultra selective back country cutthroat (Fly fishing for greenbacks in RMNP)

Yes...the caption is a joke. Some of the many joys of back country fly fishing are untouched streams, no other people and plentiful, naive trout. Maybe the most fun, but overlooked perk of a long hike into the bush is your wide open fly selection. I tied a few dozen of the most bazaar and/or ugly dry flies I have ever seen in preparation for our overnight trip into the Rocky Mountain National Park the other day. I caught so many cutthroat I lost count!

Monday, September 7, 2009

She Loves Fly Fishing for Carp!

Sabrina Stratford goes out with Jay Zimmerman and top gun carp guide Patrick Knackendoffel in search of her first ever carp on a fly rod! She hooks a real hog on a 5wt using a Backstabber Carp Fly! Colorado carpin' at its best!
Read the full story on Sabrina's fly fishing blog!

Also watch the entire event in the latest instalment in the "Fly Fishing for Carp" series...be forewarned, there is some graphic Carp Porn in this one!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Flyfishing with the Bellyache Minnow Streamer

I have been raving about this fly for years now. They are one of the best and most diverse bait-fish streamers I have ever fished. They have proven their worth on big trout, bass, salmon...and just about every other species we can find to throw them to! Rob Kolanda just got back from the East Coast chasing blues and stripers (disguised as a family vacation) and fished these Bellyache Minnows almost exclusively.

Watch the fly tying video:

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Fly Fishing the Rocky Mountain National Park

September is the month I always find time to fish the Rocky Mountain National Park...all the headwater creeks are low and clear, the resident trout are hungry and eager to get fat before the looming winter. The Park is such a great place to spend a day or afternoon, but I always take a few days in the late summer/early fall to get a back country permit and hike into somewhere really cool and remote! I got some great footage for your entertainment! ENJOY!


Friday, August 28, 2009

The Browns are Angry!

Fall is almost here and the brown trout are already getting angry!The fish are getting ready for the fall spawn and in the coming months anglers will find brightly colored brown trout sitting in shallow riffles. One of the best ways to take advantage of this glorious situation is to strip streamers or dead drift leeches. One of our favorite ways to catch brown trout in the Yampa Valley is to throw the meat and potatoes set up: an attractor fly such as a brightly colored egg or san juan work trailed by a black or purple leech. Stop by the shop and pick up a few patterns for success this fall. If you tie flies the shop is stocked full of marabou and special dubbing materials for creating leeches. In particular, Shane Stalcup's sparkle leech dubbing makes a leech that is both flashy and produces good movement in the water.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Baby...get in ma belly!

You may have noticed a larger number of very young trout in some of the local creeks and rivers. This is a great thing to see! In turn, you have likely seen more trout on average a bit larger than you regularly see. These are glaring indicators of a healthy fishery and the benefits of a few good water years strung together. So, cross your fingerlings (yuk, yuk) and hope for lots of snow again this Winter!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Summer vacation is over...sorry!

Big frown. Summer is about over...time to go back to school. But don't get all clinical and start drinking the hard stuff just yet. I have always contended that mid August to mid October is the very best time to fish here in Colorado. All the high lakes are open, most of the river flows are low and the fish are gorging themselves on bugs more than ever! Also, now is the time to reap the benefits of the epic snow pack of last winter. Run off was very healthy...and that always means awesome fall fishing.

So, take time to get out and fish! You could have the best day of the year!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Big Dries on Boulder Creek!

One of our top guides, Patrick Knackendoffel has been running guide trips up Boulder Canyon almost every day this summer. He tells me the fishing is off the hook right now...all his clients are coming home happy and smelling a bit like trout. Pat says he is sometimes throwing big grasshoppers along the edges all day long! No need to switch up or try nymphs!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Browns and Bows on the Big Thompson

Fished the Big Thompson just below the dam at Estes Park on Monday. I usually spend most of my time down in the canyon (east on 34) mainly to avoid the crowds and rampant violations of stream etiquette. But I hadn't fished that stretch in awhile...so I pocketed my attitude, put on my best grin and jumped into the fray. And had constant action all day! The fishing was so good I decided to drive back up on Tuesday! The money fly was a #18 BTS Pale Morning Dun fished with one small piece of split shot about six inches above the fly.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Got Drakes?

Weeee! We're in the season of big mayflies! You may be noticing some of these beauties on your favorite river...they are Green Drakes. Two great imitations are the Hair Wing Green Drake and the 20-Incher nymph.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Frying Pan River

Drove to Basalt early Monday morning and fished the Frying Pan for two days. Spent most of my time lower down in the canyon...away from all the other fishermen. River was at 200cfs (perfect) but tricky wading down where I was.
Had steady PMD hatches and massive spinner falls!Fished all day on Tuesday with a two-fly rig...#16 Melon Quill and a #16 PMD Cripple. Took good trout at will. Also saw Crainflies, caddis, midges and yes...some Green Drakes.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Topwater Frogs for Colorado Bass

Water temperatures will continue to warm up throughout the summer. Early mornings and late evenings can be fantastic opportunities to find largemouth bass eager to crush frog poppers in your local bass water. If watching aggressive fish swallow an amphibian imitation on the end of your leader does not sound fun to you, then I recommend you seek help immediately.
Fishing a topwater frog is not unlike fishing a dry fly. Accuracy, precision, and a well finessed retrieve will produce fish. The satisfying gurgle that a crisply stripped popper makes as it moves through the water causes many anglers to over-strip frogs and other topwater flies. I must admit, I have often been guilty of such behavior. Avoiding this common mistake requires a discipline that I often lack. However, it is important to remember that a fly rod presentation can allow for a much more realistic presentation. When I truly have my frog face on, and take the time to make good presentations, I am rewarded frequently. My ritual is as follows: First, I make a cast close to a bank, structure, weed line, moss patch, etc. By close, I feel that the cast should make you nervous about getting stuck in the weeds. Fish dangerously!
The frog will land with a satisfying splat! Let the rings settle until everything is perfectly still again. A short twitch will give it some life and may seal the deal right there. If no interest has been raised, make along strip that slides the frog under the surface so that the frog will reappear a few feet a way. Sliding the frog creates a realistic "swimming" look. Hopefully, this will have gotten the attention of nearby bass. Often, after a sharp twitch, a bass will rush up to the frog only to stop inches shy and stare at it for the rest of eternity. It is now time to employ whatever brand of voodoo magic you have in your bag. I personally prefer a micro-twitch while standing on one leg and holding my breath.

Experimenting with different types of retrieves and presentations is important. When everything comes together perfectly, topwater bass fishing can be an incredible fishing experience. Lip that fish, show him off to your dog or jealous fishing buddy, and then quickly release. High fives and fist pumps are acceptable. Its ok, you know you want to.

Patrick Knackendoffel

(Photo) Bass eye view of a frog popper.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Best flies for high country lakes, Colorado

Most of the high country lakes here in Colorado are clear of ice and the fishing has been outstanding, as usual! Our high elevation waters are absolutely brimming with aquatic bug life...this makes up for the rather short fish growing season. The trout are usually more than eager to eat, but I certainly have some GO TO flies in my box when I am heading for the high ground.

I have chosen three of my favorite high country flies... The Pandemic Callibaetis in either #16 or #14, available at most Colorado fly shops. The Moody Damsel #16 and, for the fly tiers, the DLS Leech available only from your own fly tying desk! Use a TMC 777sp #10 hook, thread on a 5/32" pearl white bead, use dark olive arctic fox fur for the tail and build a dubbing loop using dirty olive Sparkle Leech dubbing for the body. Wrap the dubbing loop up 2/3rds of the hook shank and whip finish, then slide the bead down over the knot. Then build a separate dubbing loop (a short one) to finish the front end of the fly. Use a dubbing brush to comb back the long dubbing fibers.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Best Flies for Carp

Carp will take all manner of flies depending on the availability of food sources. At times dry flies imitating mayflies or midges or terrestrials are the ticket. Other times it's subsurface patterns including streamers, nymphs and crustaceans (crayfish, scuds, snails etc). Day-in and day-out the last category is the most consistent producer. Why? Carp are opportunistic feeders and won't pass up an easy meal when feeding on the bottom.

The best flies are sparse, simply tied and usually about 1 inch to 1 3/4 inches long. Most are weighted, but only slightly (they need to sink, but land in the water quietly). Use lighter weight flies when sight casting to carp on shallow flats in lakes and reservoirs; one weighing from .2 grams up to .5 grams. In deep water off rip-rap or in creeks and rivers with moving water use a slightly heavier fly; something weighing from .8 grams to even a full gram.

Many excellent patterns are tied so that the hook point rides up to minimize snags and facilitate hookups. The most affective colors are black, dark olive, brown or rusty brown. The productivity of these patterns is not in painstaking detail, but in the liveliness, or animation. Simply stated, these flies work because they trigger a feeding response. Above all other things, confidence is key! This is true for both fly choice and technique. Only if you have confidence in your fly will you be persistent, and you have to be persistent. Put your fly in front of as many fish as you can. In a typical day of carp fishing you will cast to many uninterested fish. This may not mean that you are doing something terribly wrong…it means carp are a challenge.

Favorite Stillwater flies are the “Backstabber Carp Fly”, “Carp Slider”, “Clouser Swimming Nymph” and the “Half-Back Nymph” Top flies for rivers are the “Belly Crawl” and “Near “Nuff Crayfish”.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Prime Rib on 2x

Many fishermen claim that Fall is the season for throwing the big, gaudy streamers (and it certainly is) but even now I will always carry a few heavy leech and sculpin imitations. Often, I will move up a river working a dry, or dry/dropper and then turn around and fish a streamer down stream through a particularly juicy stretch. This trick can trigger a strike from some of the fish you missed with the dry or nymph, but also lure out some of the larger resident fish (you know, the one that lives deep under the undercut and only comes out at night...or if an irresistible slab of prime rib limps past!) Be sure to switch to a very stout leader. The strike will not be subtle! My favorite fly is the black Mini-Sculpin...it is good and heavy and is tied with a ton of rabbit. Looks ever so sexy moving through the water.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Warmwater Action!

The warm water fly fishing is getting going again! If you haven't been bitten by the bug yet...don't be squeamish, give it a try! There are few better ways to work off the winter kinks than to pop down to the nearest pond or city park and have a go at the inhabitants (no...not the kids and afternoon dog-walkers). I always have a rod in the truck now that we have a few hours of daylight left after work. The last trip out was great! I landed several catfish and a nice two-pound bass in a lake behind one of our local high schools! There were a couple kids taking pot shots at me with a home made potato gun...but I proved to be a hard target...and they were slow to reload. Amateurs...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Best Fly To Use For Carp (Zimmerman's Backstabber)

The evolution of carp flies has been a slow process. We have seen a couple carp specific patterns launched into the commercial market several years ago...and they have remained there, filling the one or two designated "carp" bins of local fly shops. This has usually been enough to appease the majority of fishermen. But now, with the rapid gain in popularity, there has been a serious scramble for reliable and super productive carp flies. I have seen (and fished) many great flies tied by local carpers that would fit the bill...and some of these patterns are FINALLY becoming available commercially. My not-so-humble contribution to this new insurgence of carp flies is the Backstabber. I take a couple hundred fish every year on the leech version alone. I tie mine on a #6 Gamakatsu SL45 with 1/8 inch black Dazl-Eyes tied onto the top of the hook shank to counterbalance the fly...this forces it to ride hook up. I use SLF Hellgramite dubbing on the body, two tufts of black marabou as the wing and dark olive (or brown) soft hackle tied in at the front.
I use this carp fly almost exclusively...with much success! The Backstabber is commercially available in four different flavors: Black Leech, Rust, Wine and Grey Minnow. I prefer to use the darker colors (black and wine) when the water is high and muddy. Most of the carp fishing we do on still water is sight fishing. Not only do you have to see the fish in the water, but you need to see the fly! Later in the summer, once the water levels begin to drop in our local reservoirs, the carp will often act more like temperate bass (wiper, striper) and corral small shad in back coves. This is when a Grey Minnow Backstabber can be deadly! The Rust version is a great crayfish imitation and I use it when the water clears up slightly, or in creeks and rivers.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fly Fishing for Catfish

Catfish are the forgotten game fish amongst us die-hard fly fishers. I have fond childhood memories of my dad taking me down to the boat basin back in Huron, Ohio to catch bullhead and channel cats...my job was to have plenty of worms dug from the garden before he got home from work.
I still catch a few every year. Often accidentally while I am carp or bass fishing. The flies that work the best for me have usually been a #6 Leech Backstabber or a black or natural Mini-Sculpin.

Watch Fly Fishing for Catfish video:

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Fishing Story...

I would like to think of myself as the Anthony Bourdain of fly fishing...but that hasn't worked out the way it was supposed to. Guess I wound up being more the Walter Mitty of the industry (go ahead and google that Jon). So, I preface this story about an odd encounter with a gerbil while fishing in the hopes it won't brand me as the "Richard Gere of Fly Fishing". How is that for a hook!

So...on my day off I swung by the fly shop to see what the guys were up to. Russell Miller was hanging out (should have been working) and said he had a rod in the truck and an hour to kill. Long winded intro, but we wound up driving back to the lake near the shop. Russ took a small bass right off on one of my Backstabber flies, then we decided to walk the trail to the back side of the lake in search of a carp. And it was on the trail when what appeared to be an albino field mouse came scampering down the trail toward us. I remember thinking, "yup, about to get my ass bitten!" but just had to try to catch it! Snatched it up by the scruff of the neck and to my surprise it didn't try to maul me... Turned out to be a tame gerbil! I kept the little rodent in my shirt pocket for the rest of the fishing trip.

I tried unsuccessfully to gift the little guy to some kids in the park, but the attending nannies wanted nothing to do with me or the gerbil. Then I remembered three young friends of mine who would absolutely love to provide a new home for a wayward, whiskered vagabond! (Abby, Tess and Jim Leuchten)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Fishing Steamboat Springs During Runoff

If you find yourself in Steamboat, Colorado in the month of June...be prepared for heavy runoff! But, all is not lost. There are many great opportunities for the fly angler, just not the Yampa River in town (the main source of income for fly fishing guides in the area). I was in town this week and the flows were over 3000 cfs!
There is a nice tailwater stretch below Stagecoach reservoir with big rainbows and the headwaters of the Yampa (commonly referred to as the "Bear"). We also fished Stillwater Res for cutthroat and 'bows as well as Pearl and Crosho Lakes for Colorado Cutts and good-sized Arctic Grayling!
Call Bucking Rainbow fly shop in downtown Steamboat for up-to-date reports as well as their top notch guide service: 1-888-810-8747 or check out their web site:

Sunday, June 7, 2009

New potential state record!

The current Colorado record channel catfish is 33 1/2 pounds...but that may soon be topped! Check out this monster taken on a fly from a local pond. It may be just a tad short of the record, but maybe next year!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Casting Streamers During Runoff

Fished Boulder Creek the other day. Water was high and a tad off color, but I had a few new streamers Rob Kolanda had tied for me. They are small, super sexy and VERY heavy...just what I needed for fast, deep water! I landed over two dozen good Boulder Creek brown trout in no time! Stop in to the shop and have him show you how to tie this fly...he calls it the "Belly Ache Minnow".
Buy these flies online

Monday, June 1, 2009

Flyfishing for Texas Redfish on the Cheap

Scratching the saltwater itch can be more expensive than a gambling addiction, especially when you live in Colorado. For many landlocked flyfisherman, the $3000 price tag of a guided week of flats fishing might as well be a million. However, determined to get our saltwater fix, fellow Front Range Anglers Guide, Tyler Bowman and I set our sights on the redfish along Texas' Gulf Coast. With a budget not allowing for the conveniences of a boat, guide, or rental car, we strategically located ourselves in Aransas Pass, Texas. Fueled by peanut butter sandwiches and armed with 8 weights, we found expansive flats within walking distance of our $50 per night motel. We quickly discovered also that a thumb and a smile can easily get you a few miles down the road from a friendly local on their way to work. Every new flat provided shots at tailing and cruising redfish, along with an occasional speckled sea trout hookup.

Tyler Bowman with a beautiful Texas Red

If you go: The beauty of salt water flats fishing is that the gear is pretty simple. A good fast action rod in the 7-8 weight range, a pair of wading boots or old sneakers, a few leaders, and a handful of flies is all you need. Here is a short list of effective gear:

Rods: A 9' 8 weight with a fast action will is an ideal rod for smaller reds.

Reels: Any reel with a half decent drag system and at least a 125 yards of 20 pound backing will do.

Flies: The Texas coast is filled with abundant populations of crabs and shrimp. Any fly that imitates these creatures will produce fish if carefully presented. Also, red fish feed heavily on mullet, and in several instances we found reds cruising with groups of these fish, so smaller bait fish imitations are good to have on hand. On the sand flats shrimp patterns without weed guards worked well. However, we quickly learned that many of the grass flats in Texas require a weedless fly. Simply put, sometimes a double weed guard was not enough to keep our flies free of grass. The more weedless your fly, the better. We threw all of our flies on 9-10' leaders tapered down to 0-2x fluorocarbon tippet.

Every minute on a flat is educational. For every hookup, we had to put quite a few miles on the old chevro -legs. Wind, spooked fish, and bad casts are more the rule than the exception.
Hiring a local professional guide is always worth every penny, but if you're low on pennies, your next experinece on a pristine saltwater flat may only require a plane ticket, a cheap hotel, and a short swim...

Tight Lines,
Patrick Knackendoffel and Tyler Bowman

Friday, May 22, 2009

Adams & Leech

Yeah, sure...sounds like a law firm advertising on daytime television. "Were you in an automobile accident over a decade ago and are now experiencing slight lower back pain? Call us!"

But seriously. Try this rig on for size...an Adams dry fly with a small, sparse leech pattern dropped off the back end. Use about 12 to 14 inches of 5x tippet tied to the bend of your dry. This allows you to double your Time On Target (to use a military term) during each drift. Cast quartering up stream and let the rig drift past you the same way you would with any dry/dropper. Only with this one keep the flies in the water once they reach the end of their natural drift. When the dry fly starts to drag against the current the leech will come to life! Be sure to use a leech pattern with little to no weight. This prevents the sinking of a small dry fly. If you feel you want the leech to sink a bit quicker, try applying Henery's Sinket, or some other type of fly wetting agent. The leech patterns I tie for this application are about as simple as a fly can get...just use one small tuft of black marabou. Tie it in at the rear of the hook shank to form the tail, leaving an extra long marabou butt section, which you wrap up the hook shank and tie off behind the eye of the hook. Fast and easy!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Fly Fishing in Cedaredge, Colorado

Larry Jurgens, Dick Orr and myself were graciously invited down to Cedaredge, Colorado to stay and fish for a few days on Fred Ferganchick's ranch. Fred owns and operates several ranches in the area...a beautiful spread right at the base of the Grand Mesa National Forest. He does turkey hunts, elk hunts as well as fly fishing. We had a great time down there and if you watch the movie I made for him and think it looks like a fun time...give him a call, or check out his website.
Hecoma Game Ranch, ph# 970-856-3693 web: http://www.hecomaonline.com/index.html
Watch a video and learn more about the ranch:

Friday, May 15, 2009

Have You Seen The Light?

Fly fishing for carp is rapidly gaining popularity...across the country. Sight casting to large, wary fish on the flats...without leaving your home town! Carp are the hardest fighting and by far the most intelligent freshwater fish. If you think you are a master fly angler...a god on the spring creeks....a wizard on the tailwaters...carp will put you in your place. Don't be a sally! Put your ego to the test. Give it a try. We have some top notch carp flies for sale...if you think you're ready!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Fly Fishing off the Rocks

All the local Front Range reservoirs are really beginning to warm up. Once their water temperatures get into the low to mid 60's (They are right about 62-63 degrees as of two days ago) the crappie and smallmouth bass (as well as some young carp!) will begin to get active and take flies aggressively. You often find them in large numbers, pushing and corralling minnows and other young baitfish up against the rocks and rip-rap of man-made dams.

I have never understood why more fly fishermen don't take advantage of this great local fishing resource. I usually only have conventional gear/spin fishers as company when I go.
This has with a ton of local warm water lakes and resevoirs. Take a 6 weight (but a 5 will work) and a handfull of Bellyache Minnow streamers!