Friday, December 31, 2010

Craziest Fly Shop Questions of 2010!

#1 "What fly should I put the floatant on? The dry fly or the leech?"

#2 "Why is it so important that waders be waterproof?"
#3 "My line is winding onto my reel very loosely...when I tighten my drag it seems to help. Do you have any other suggestions?"
#4 "It looks like all you have are looped leaders. I don't like looped leaders. Do you have any without loops?"
#5 "Do you have pants that go over my pants won't get wet?" We have waders. "No, I already have some of those."
#6 "I applied a small amount of super glue to the end of my fly line to seal a crack...has this changed the weight of my fly line?"

See Craziest Of 2009!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Colorado Greenback Cutthroat Trout (A Fisherman's Guide)

When this book came out many of my friends (who spend a lot of time fishing the high lakes) were pissed off. They were upset because many of their favorite cutthroat lakes and the hiking routes were mentioned. This told me one thing: I needed a copy! And, now...that I do own a copy, I am a bit nervous about it. My favorite lakes are mentioned, too. But, here is the final is a great book. And every fly fisherman who lives in Colorado and hasn't had hip replacement surgery yet... should own this book. It is as close to a "must have" book as you are gonna find. Perfect bound book, only $19.95 new...full of information and notes. All the good, pertinent stuff for those of us who have fallen in love with the Colorado high country. There is something about being above treeline...makes my blood thicken and my heart race! And, to get back to my friends...and their hurt feelings. This book does not "hot spot" anything. It outlines every spot here in the state of Colorado were we can find our only native trout. A magnificently beautiful fish. Stunning. The book does not give any one particular lake more attention than any other. As I sit here indoors in December...staring at the front cover, I already have two or three overnight trips planned for next summer. Damn! Can't wait!

Colorado Greenback Cutthroat Trout (A Fisherman's Guide). Jim Rubingh & Richard Fritz. Frank Amato Publications, Inc. Buy A Copy Amazon.Com Or, better yet, stop into your local fly shop and get yerself a copy!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bunch of Old Crap

Mementoes. Keepsakes. Call them what you want. Call them all just a bunch of old crap. But they are artifacts from past lives. We don’t think about them until we stumble onto them…unexpectedly. Then the old stories swarm out of the subconscious like ground hornets from under a lawn mower. They come out of nowhere…a spectacle, snapping the unsuspecting operator out of a droning monotony. And sometimes they sting your ass. I had an entire armload of my past lives dropped into my lap recently. My sister was in town for a visit and had left me some old things she had dug up at our parents’ house. I have not been back that way in years…so was more than mildly interested to see what sort of childhood relics my sis had unearthed. Some old journals, fly boxes and photo albums. Very cool. Being a complete geek about flies, I had to dig into some of the boxes. They could have been some of Dads’ old lures…maybe one of my early fly boxes abandoned at home when I left for the Army. What I found (tucked into an ancient hard plastic Heddon box) was not what I had prepared for…not just an old box of moth-eaten Muddler Minnows. Inside were the very first flies I had ever tied. For real. The very first. Rusty bait holder hooks rescued from the bottom drawer of my dads’ tackle box when I was about 12 years old. I remember attempting to secure the hooks into the arm of a piece of living room furniture. Lashing chunks of raccoon fur to the hook shanks…having not a clue about dubbing or dubbing loops. And doing my best to tie on wings using some turkey feathers Dad had laying around. I am sure I took my creations down for my mother to see. She probably raved and over-complemented them…and asked me to set the table.

Then I opened one of the photo albums and came face-to-face with another of my past lives. Gone were the fond, bare-foot memories of my childhood…plate of freshly made sandwiches and orange juice for lunch…making adventure plans for the endless afternoon. Take off your good shoes if you are going to play near the pond again! Pow. Fast forward straight into the Army. Condensed spaghetti MRE’s for breakfast. Miserable sleepless nights. Living out of a rucksack as though it were an 80 pound studio apartment you are forced to carry on your back. Those memories. The ground hornets that will sting your ass.

View More Old Army Photos

Friday, December 10, 2010

Gift Ideas for the Fly Fisher

Friends always ask me (knowing I work out of a fly shop) if I was crazy busy on Black Friday. Not particularly. Just the usual. It is more the big box outlets and electronics stores who have customers stampeding through the double front doors at 4am the day after Thanksgiving. Trampling the elderly. Throwing elbows like Shaq under the net. Not necessarily fly shops, though. The holiday shoppers out there with a flyfisherman on their gift list usually wait until the last week to hit up the fly shop. In most cases waiting for the last minute is not a problem…the guys at the local shop can line you up with what you need. Every fly shop in the country has set aside the typical gift ideas at a few different price points. Rocky Mountain Anglers, for example, has a few things perfect for beginners—a 4wt rod and reel combo ($140) a waist pack fully loaded with nippers, floatant, hemostats and water bottles ($80) or an intro to fly fishing book ($22). Those on the list who want to get into fly fishing, or who have just recently gotten hooked, can be the easiest to shop for…and the most fun. There is a ton of gear and trinkets that they need, if they know it yet, or not. But, it is the seasoned fly fisher that you know that can be the most difficult. They are opinionated and fussy. Particular…they will try to say. Whatever. With these guys, the best avenue is usually just a gift card. But, if you want to add a little something on the side “in the stocking” so-to-speak…stick with the essentials. Everyone goes through leader and tippet. Be safe and get 9ft 5x leaders and only spools of 5x tippet. A bottle of dry fly floatant is also a safe bet. And flies are, too. Stick with dry flies (some dudes only fish dries, all dudes sometimes fish dries) in the most common sizes…#16 and #14. There…that was painful and boring to write, but I did it…

Call the shop (303-447-2400) or stop in!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A.K. Best Fly Tying Demo!

A.K. Best will be making an appearance at Rocky Mountain Anglers this Saturday! He will be in the fly shop tying flies and telling stories from 11:00 ‘till 1:00 on December 11th. You most likely have been fishing one of A.K.’s quill-bodied dry flies for years…or read stories about he and John Gierach fly fishing our local Colorado trout streams. Supposedly he has a brand new hopper pattern that he is going to unleash into the word as well. Should be interesting. I don’t know what is on the menu for our complementary RMA lunch, but it will be hard to beat the breakfast casserole from last Saturday! We will have good food for sure, chili and maybe some cinnamon rolls too. Always have the coffee on, as well…but most of you already knew that. If you have never been into Rocky Mountain Anglers, it is on the corner of 19th and Arapaho in Boulder (just west of McGuckins). See you guys there!

A.K will have some of his books for sale at the shop, as well. Or, be sure to bring copies that you may already have in your collection...we will make him sign them for ya!