Friday, February 25, 2011

Golden Stonefly lesson

Stonefly is the common name for the order Plecoptera.

The sizes of these insects range from 6 mm to 50 mm in length (excluding antennae and tail filaments) Golden Stoneflies usually don’t exceed 38 mm.

Stoneflies are usually identifiable by their two tail filaments, paired claws on each of the six thoracic leg, and two distinctive wing pads on their second and third thoracic appendages

    • Stage one: an egg
    • Stage two:  2-3 years in a nymphal stage, this stage usually has 10-20 instar stages. 
      • At end of nymphal stage the nymph will crawl out of water on rocks wood, banks or abutments to molt into a winged adult. The final molt takes 5-10 minutes.
    • Stage three: Adult stage,  They then move to stream side vegetation to wait for the exoskeleton to harden. Adult live 1-4 weeks. As adults they are sexually mature. and will seek a mate
      • After the female has a clutch of fertilized eggs, she will oviposite them in the water , but dipping her abdomen into the current.

underbelly of a golden stone

Here a stonefly molts on a stream-side rock

Some Good Patterns to use to mimic golden stoneflies:

Nymphs: Pat's Rubberlegs, Hare's Ears, Prince Nymphs, 20-inchers, Barr's Tungstone,...

Adults: Stimulators, Madam X, Sofa Pillows, Amy's Ant, ...

Referenced Material

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Dream Stream and Frying Pan weekend

Dream Stream (43 cfs)

The Dream Stream is starting to have some lake-fish trickle in...

This 5 lb buck took a size 22 red mojo midge

With the influx of both lake-fish and the "Hofer" rainbow stock a good amount of trout occupy the deeper pools and slots below the bridge. To tell the difference between the lake pre-spawn fish and the "Hofer" stockers look for a color differenc: the lake-fish are more brightly colored, and the Hofers are bright silver.  Neither of the sets of fish are very picky right now, but the lake-fish definitely get spooked quickly.

The bright colors make these fish easier to spot

Frying Pan River (102 cfs)

The frying Pan river was very crowded, but thank god everyone likes to bobber fish the toilet bowl, leaving the faster deeper slots less-pressured. The flows were bumped recently and I expected a high level of mysis shrimp to be adrift, and that mysis fishing would be the was not the key.

Instead the only producing fly of the day was a size 26 Top Secret midge

Brightly colored 5lb rainbow was sitting in a deep slot on the edge of the current

The trick to hooking these fish was all presentation, a bad cast was punished with the larger fish disappearing across the deeper fast current

Top secret midge secure in the lower jaw of this 'bow

The rewards of sight fishing

I'm not positive, but I think the fish above has eluded me on two previous trips to the pan. He sits on the edge of the fast water in the deep riffle right below the toilet bowl before it opens into the flats. I was lucky enough to hook him the previous trip but he broke my entire rig off in his first head-shake. I had spooked him a couple times this morning, and while wading around in the fast current waste deep (trying to get a feel for feeding lanes), I spooked him again, and saw him move 3 feet down and 4 feet to my left. I could pick out only a little brighter hue to the water he was in. So I stayed motionless in the current for five minutes and then prepared to cast less than a rod length away. The only real option was to high-stick over him and hope he takes it well enough, because an indicator wasn't an option for this spooky fish. After about 4 casts, he took the size 26 fly and broke into a fit of head-shakes. After a hard fought battle, where near the end he tried to take me up into the toilet bowl, he was to the net!

7lb (very fat) 'bow on #26 Top Secret

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Time for a walk

Charlie Meyers SWA (45.2 cfs)

A wily old South Platte veteran said this to me last week, "Its about the time to go on a long walk, and you might just find one..." Well I didn't find the one but I did find some nice lake fish

Saw the red gill plate of this fish in the bottom of a pool at the tailout of a riffle

The fish took the pink flexi-floss worm

This Snake River Cutthroat was easily seen in the bottom of the run by its overall reddish coloration

Peacock head buckskin

This fly is a standby spring run fish catcher for Angler's Covey guide Steve Gossage. He fishes it in a 22 until the fish are really running, and then he drops to a size 18 or 20

Hook: Tiemco 101
Thread: Black 8/0 UNI
Tail: Brown hackel fibers
Body: Buckskin, Chamois, or Buckskin colored microtubing
Thorax: Dubbed in black superfine, or just black thread
Bead: Xtra small Blue Peacock Bead

experimentation with pearl beads 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Deckers again!

Deckers (152 cfs) 2.12.11

(Western Green Drake or Flav (little drake))

This is the first Drunella (grandis, doddsii, or flavilinea) nymph I have picked up from the Deckers area. He was clinging to a stick: reinforcing the practicality of using a larger mayfly nymph as an attractor even during the winter.

This female 'bow was the prize of the day (6 lbs.)

Most of the fish taken were on pat's rubberlegs or modified pat's rubberlegs, and many of the takes were very aggressive.

a second serving for this guy

This is a trout I lost earlier in the day. Luckily he took the Pat's rubberlegs again two hours later. It shows that many times trout won't get taste averted away from certain flies.

The trout were cooperative at Deckers, but the crowds are increasing as well. Time to start looking for trophy migratory trout somewhere else...

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Jaime with a Deckers' toad

Saturday February 5th, 

We made the quick trip to Deckers (150 cfs) following the coldest week of the year so far, and the fish were cooperative. 

Large stonefly attractors (Pat's Rubberlegs, Prince Nymphs,...) were working well, and the assortment of the typical size 22-26 midges (any of Pat Dorsey's collection, and the BH Brassie).

In the "Aquarium"

There were an abundance of 18-22 inch fish in one specific run. A good "dead swing" (Landon Mayer technique) using no indicator was by far the most successful drift. 

I believe for pressured fish, taking off the indicator has many advantages:

1) Many fish are conditioned to indicators and won't feed if they see one repeatedly.

2) Indicators suspend the flies vertically in the water column with the fly's profile head up and tail down, if you remove the indicator the flies have a more horizontal orientation and give the fish a different look.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

SPOOL HOLDERS! (an update from a friend in California)

It is February 1st and the weather is below zero here in the front range of Colorado, therefore I have no fishing to report on.

However, a good friend and fisherman Ben C. created a post for me.  His Caribou antler spool holders are unbelievable... and his freshly tied JUMBO John makes me day dream about fall browns.

-Charlie L.

"I sat there and forgot and forgot, until what remained was the river that went by and I who watched it.  On the river the heat mirages danced with each other and then they danced through each other.  Eventually the watcher joined hands with the river, then there was only one of us.  I believe it was the river."
-Norman Maclean (A River Runs Through It)

I don't think anglers spend enough time on the water doing anything other than fishing.  That's not the point of being on the water.  It takes force to abandon fishing and define the river in a different way.
Just my bit of Philosophy.
Charlie is sidelined for awhile, seeing as how he's trying to learn a year's worth of Biochemistry in 7 weeks.  I, on the other hand, have more time than I'd like and not enough stuff to fill it.
A few updates from my fishing world follow:

(36-spool holder)
While in Alaska last summer I collected and cut some Caribou antlers.  I’ve just now completed what I intended: spool holders.  I have three of them and not a great supply of antlers.  Here are the others.

(48-spool holder)

(60-spool holder)
These are the three that I’ve made.  I would love to be able to sell them but can’t put out that quantity.  If you have any great access to antlers hook me up.
In actual fishing news, I’m recently in Southern California and looking to get on the water.  Wet wading in February sounds too good.  If anyone has any friend east of LA, I’d love a contact.  Otherwise I’m biding my time and tying flies until May.
Wish fish,