fly fishing

2019 Summer Youth Camp Video features youth learning about rivers and fly fishing

Greenback and CTU volunteer, Emma Brown, put together a great feature about the 2019 CTU River Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp in Almont, CO. Check out the great video she filmed above!

The River Conservation and Fly Fishing Camp is a week long camp designed to educate 14 to 18 year old students on the importance of cold water conservation and provide hands-on fly fishing instruction. Approximately 20 students are selected each year based on their qualifications and a written essay on why they would like to attend the camp.

Camp classes include: Principles of Ecology, Hydrogeology, Aquatic Vertebrate and Invertebrate Sampling, Hydrology, Trout Behavior, Trout Stream Entomology, The Biology of Pollution, Acid Deposition, and Politics of Conservation and Human Effects on the Rocky Mountain.

In addition, the camp will include hands-on instruction on Fly Tying, Fly Casting, Stream-side Ethics, Angling Literature, Stream-side Botany, Wader Safety and Survival, and The Evolution of an
Angler. The campers will also participate in a watershed project to repair habitat in a nearby stream.

Win a float trip through the Gunnison Gorge for two!

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Would you like to win a two-day float on gold medal waters? One person will win a trip for two down the Gunnison Gorge with Black Canyon Anglers. The trip includes lodging and dinner the night prior to the launch. On the float all meals are taken care of, if rental equipment is needed, it will be provided. The trip will be valid until October 2019. Click the link below to learn more and purchase tickets.

1 entry is $10 and 3 entries is $25. You must be a Colorado resident to participate. Winner will be drawn April 27, 2019 at 8:00pm.

Would you like to make that a combo?

Streamers are a large type of fly that are often used to catch large trout and aggressive fish like pike or bass.    NPS Photo  / Forrest Czarnecki

Streamers are a large type of fly that are often used to catch large trout and aggressive fish like pike or bass.

NPS Photo / Forrest Czarnecki

Hopper, copper, dropper. Leave it to fly fishers to have easy to remember sayings about rigging up their line. Using a multi fly rig is just one way to mix up your setup and entice those hard to catch trout. The multi fly concept is not new as British flyfishers in the 1800s would strap on 10 flies at once! The trick is to master attaching your dropper line to the bend of the first fly’s hook and then you’re on your way to create all different kinds of combos. You might even catch two fish at once!

Below are just a few of possible fly combinations to help you get started:

Pro-tip: You can even tie your combos together before heading out to make switching out your rigs quick and easy.

Pink Hendrickson Parachute dry fly.  Wikipedia Commons .

Pink Hendrickson Parachute dry fly. Wikipedia Commons.

  • 2 Dry Flies - Commonly used for increasing chances of catching when you know which fly the fish are going for. You can even use this to try out two different flies to see which one the fish prefer and then adjust after. Your options are endless. This is also an opportunity to use a larger fly as your floater/indicator and your smaller fly for the strikes. Sometimes, the fish will go for both!

  • Hopper Dropper (A favorite late summer rig): This setup is exactly what the name describes, a grasshopper/large floating fly, and a trailing nymph dancing in the water below. This is definitely a way to increase your chances of a strike. The hopper acts as an indicator (or a huge meal for that desperate trout) and the nymph is the safer more appealing option that the fish will usually go for.

  • Dual Streamers (A Fall Classic): The fish are hungry and aggressive during the fall and this rig is sure to entice. You will want to “rope-up” and use heavier tippet to avoid breakage and land the fish quickly.

  • Two Nymphs: Help control your depth and try a two nymph rig. This follows a similar strategy with the dual dry flies.

  • A Streamer and a Nymph (A still water favorite): The larger streamer is most enticing to any fish and the small nymph floating by is a hard one to pass up. This is a less commonly used combo, but can yield some great results year round.

Resources & Learn More

How to tie and fish tandem rigs

Top 5 tandem rigs

Tie the hopper dropper

Fishing with Kids: 5 tips to keep them coming back

Courtesy of Trout Unlimited/Joshua Duplechain

Courtesy of Trout Unlimited/Joshua Duplechain

Learning a new activity when you are younger can go two ways: amazing or not so great. That probably is still true as an adult, but when taking a child fishing, having a great time or not can make all the difference. Obviously, every child is different, but if there was one thing to keep in mind? Stay excited and someone HAS to catch a fish.

1. Patience and Understanding

Courtesy of Trout Unlimited/Joshua Duplechain

Courtesy of Trout Unlimited/Joshua Duplechain

It goes without saying that most people respond well to learning a new skill if the teacher is patient in the process and understands that mistakes will happen. Having a chill attitude and rolling with the punches will ensure that everyone will have a good time! You might not get to fish much, but there will always be a chance to go out yourself another time. This outing is about the child.

2. Excitement is Contagious

We feed off of each other's excitement, and kids do the same! If you are excited for them to catch a fish or learn how to cast, then that energy can help keep them going even when the struggles of fishing are real! It's easy to become disappointed when someone isn't as receptive to one of your favorite pastimes. When all else fails, snacks help!

3. Perfection is not the goal

We are not perfect, so there is no reason to expect that of a kid. We all mess up. Someone might get hooked (barbless hooks help with this), the line will get tangled, the knots will not hold, snags will happen, and fish might never bite. Sometimes the best thing about fishing is sharing the stories of never catching a fish, and the funny things that happened along the way. Laughing or shrugging off the mishaps makes coming back, much more likely. 

4. Increase Your Chances for Success

Creative Commons. 

Creative Commons. 

One of the best ways to make the experience a great one is to use kid-friendly equipment. A full setup on the fly rod might be too much at once for beginners, so using a closed spin cast rod or simpler setups (possibly Tenkara) which are much less intimidating. Yes, this might also include using scented bait or fishing in well-stocked ponds, but fishing with kids is about getting them excited and hopefully want to learn the more advanced stuff later on. Also, if you're right there next to them and you just happen to hook a fish, it's a great opportunity to pass off the rod for them to reel it in.

With kids, the simpler the better. Check out this great write up about teaching kids how to fly fish with kid-friendly Tenkara setups. Who knows, you might even end up liking it too!

CPW Getting Started Fishing Gear (Spincast)

101 Places to take a Kid Fishing In Colorado

5. Take a Break

If there is one thing that anglers and fly fishers are, that is persistent. "One more cast, one more fly combo, one more location" is the drive for many to keep going till the sun goes down. Kids might not share that same enthusiasm from the get go and even though we would all like to at least catch a fish, it's easier to leave before the frustration sets in. There’s always next time!

There are so many great resources out there with ideas and tips on getting young ones outside and on the water. We've listed a few below. Feel free to leave a comment on your best tips and tricks to keep beginners coming back for more! 

Other great reads

Fishing Tips From a Parent - with age groups

Introducing Kids to Flyfishing

 

 

Behind the Fin with Josh Anaya

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Join us "Behind the Fin" with Josh Anaya, Secretary, Frostbite Fishoff Chair, Communications, and Webmaster for the Southern Greenbacks Trout Unlimited Chapter

How long have you been a member?

I've been a member for almost two years. My first meeting was our chapter's election meeting, and we still had a couple of board positions open -- one of them being chairman of our annual fundraiser, the Frostbite Fish-Off. I thought it sounded fun and interesting, and I had some similar previous experience in cyberspace, and figured I'd try it out "in real life". By the end of the year, I also absorbed the positions of Secretary, and Communications/Web Guy.


Why did you become a member and what chapter are you involved with?

Curiosity, mostly. In January 2017, I joined both Trout Unlimited, and Fly Fishers International. A friend at one of my local fly shops suggested I check out TU, and see if it was something I'd be interested in. I was (and still am) pretty new to fly fishing, and it seemed like a great way to immerse myself in the community, and accelerate the learning process. Our chapter is the Southern Colorado Greenbacks, Chapter 509. We have members from Custer, Fremont, and Pueblo Counties. 

What made you want to become involved with TU?

Again, curiosity, but I also have some legitimate concerns over the future of the Stream Protection Rule under the current administration, and where the planet in general is headed environmentally. I thought I'd see what TU was all about, and see what I could contribute to the organization.


What is your favorite activity or project that you have done with TU?

I'd have to say it was the Frostbite Fish-Off -- our chapter's annual fundraiser. This year we had fifteen teams of two anglers each competing for some great prizes, with a party and raffle afterward. All in all, we had about seventy people involved. I've signed on to be the chairman of the event for at least another year, but I'm also working on getting a Trout in the Classroom project going at my son's middle school for the 2018-2019 school year. 

Our chapter also has a lot of cross-pollination with our local Fly Fishers International chapter (shout out to the Pueblo Tailwater Renegades!), and we've had river cleanups, and planted willows along the Arkansas River with Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The Renegades also host a Thursday evening "Bluegill Bash" at the ponds next to the Arkansas Tailwater, and that's been pretty fun, too.

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What is your favorite activity or project that you have done with TU?

I'd have to say it was the Frostbite Fish-Off -- our chapter's annual fundraiser. This year we had fifteen teams of two anglers each competing for some great prizes, with a party and raffle afterward. All in all, we had about seventy people involved. I've signed on to be the chairman of the event for at least another year, but I'm also working on getting a Trout in the Classroom project going at my son's middle school for the 2018-2019 school year. 

Our chapter also has a lot of cross-pollination with our local Fly Fishers International chapter (shout out to the Pueblo Tailwater Renegades!), and we've had river cleanups, and planted willows along the Arkansas River with Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The Renegades also host a Thursday evening "Bluegill Bash" at the ponds next to the Arkansas Tailwater, and that's been pretty fun, too.
 

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I know you won’t tell me your top spot, so what is your second favorite fishing spot or favorite fishing story?

My second favorite fishing spot would be pretty much anywhere in the World of Warcraft. I've been playing on and off for about twelve years now -- mostly to keep in touch with friends (big /cheer to my friends in the Bloodbath & Beyond guild). I haven't had the time to do all the cool end-game stuff for quite a few years, but every once in a while I'll log in, play for a night or two, and sneak in some fishing. That's actually where I got my start fishing -- I've always been a video gamer, and have played online games for about 20 years, and many of the bigger online games have fishing systems built into them. Two years ago, though, I had fished all there was to fish in Warcraft, and I was looking at about four months before the newest version would be out. I'd always see people fishing along the Arkansas whenever I'd ride that route, and one day I thought, "A lot of my gamer buddies like fishing in real life. I'mma learn2fish." I found a class at one of my local fly shops that was actually happening that weekend, and I jumped right in. 


What does being a part of TU mean to you?

After only a year or so, I'm still defining what I want that to be. I'll help with TU's mission where I can, and when I can. I'd like to be more active at the State level, but I'm still figuring out what kind of impact I can have at the local level, especially with working with local businesses and government entities.


Beyond being an awesome angler, what else do you do in your spare time or for work?

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I wouldn't exactly call myself an awesome angler...yet. Professionally, though, I'm a software developer, but I have a lot of other things going on the side. My evenings are usually spent playing games with my kids, or helping them with their homework. Once everybody's asleep, I'm usually working on some art project or another, whether it's digital like 3d modeling, or something more traditional like painting and sculpting. I picked up fish carving after this year's Western Rendezvous after I stumbled across Bill Rottman's artwork in a shop, and then met him a month later at the Annual Woodcarving & Woodworking Show in Colorado Springs, hosted by the Pikes Peak Whittlers. I'm also working on a couple independent video game projects. 

I tie, too! The shop I learned to fly fish at -- The Drift Fly Shop in Pueblo -- has classes on tying, and I jumped into that, too. I love the art, and I was just awarded my bronze level award in fly tying from Fly Fishers International. Next on my project list are to complete the silver and gold levels of the award.

A Hatch to Brag About

It is said that the Western Green Drake (Drunella grandis) hatch in Colorado can provide some world class angling.  It just so happens that Colorado's Roaring Fork and Frying Pan are where you can experience some of the longest periods for the hatch in the country. Fish of all sizes move out from the deeper water to rise up and snag this large mayfly. But what makes this hatch so sought after by flyfishers? It's all about the insect. Trout seem to be drawn to it, no matter what the stage: nymph, emerger, dun, or spinner. The most common stages to catch a higher number of fish occurs in either the emergence stage, the spinner stage, or fishing crippled dun patterns. Some say that the most exciting part about the drake hatch is how fast and explosive it is, as most flyfishers tap out too early.

QUICK FACTS ON THE HATCH

  • Insects: Western Green Drake
  • Color: Dark Olive
  • Dates: Jun 1 – Aug 1
  • Emergence: Cloudy, 1-4 pm
  • Size: 8-12 
  • Spinner Fall: Evening

"[The hatch] process usually takes about a day, beginning in the late morning or early afternoon and ending throughout the evening and early the next morning. In order to be fully prepared for the green drake hatch, anglers should have an arsenal of patterns that covers the entire hatch process and includes green drake nymphs, emergers, cripples, duns, and spinners. " Read More on Vail Valley Anglers blog.

Fly fishing the Green Drake hatch on the Frying Pan river near Basalt, CO Fly Fishing Colorado Playlist: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8705D5C42BF2705F&feature=plcp

UPDATE FROM FLYFISHEROUTFITTERS.NET

7/1/2018–  Spring on the pan can create some great memories. excellent conditions right now. Look for some good dry fly action on the lower river in the afternoons. The Green Drakes and PMD’s are hatching!

 

RESOURCES

Colorado Hatch Charts

Western Green Drake Biology & Tips

Green Drakes of Aspen, CO

RSC Outing at Ouray Ranch

Last weekend Colorado Trout Unlimited River Stewardship Council members were treated to a sweet day of fishing at Ouray Ranch, near Granby, Colorado. Located on the banks of the Colorado River just below Grand Lake, the Ranch generously allowed Colorado TU to socialize with and appreciate some donors and luminaries who contribute to our efforts in preserving Colorado's rivers. Oh, and do some fishing too!

The morning started out fairly cold and overcast, but after a stimulating roundtable discussion about the health of the Colorado and Fraser Rivers, and the current state of negotiations, the skies started to clear and people were ready to get out on the water.

As the skies cleared, the temps warmed up and the dry-flies were working!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you to all the great people who came out for this day on the water - your support is certainly appreciated - Colorado TU could not do what we do without you!

Thank you!