Gazette Article - How To Properly Handle Trout!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Fishing Reports are Like Buttholes 12-18-2016

It's been a while since we've updated the old blog, so I figured the best way to jump back in this is to update you guys and gals with a fishing report! Of course, all fishing reports should be taken as they are and with a grain of salt. Not all experiences are the same, and conditions change on the drop of a dime, so it's in that spirit that we've decided to change the name of our fishing reports to the above titled - because fishing reports truly are like buttholes. Not to be confused with buttonholes, which is what the autocorrect on my computer wants to change buttholes too.

This report is going to, mostly, be about my recent experience in Elevenmile Canyon, but I'll include the flows to the other popular tailwaters, along with a little bit of advice on how I'd approach some of them. Starting with the flows...

Cheesman Canyon/Deckers - has come up to 103 cubic feet per second
Elevenmile Canyon - has dropped from around 90 cfs to 78 cfs
The Dream Stream - 56 cfs

The Arkansas below Pueblo Reservoir - 77 cfs


I was in Elevenmile Canyon a couple days ago with some clients and we experienced the craziest weather. I fully expected it to be one of those types of days where you're breaking ice off of your guides every 3-4 drifts, but as we left the Springs it changed from a balmy 17 degrees to 50 degrees! You read this right. A 30 degree rise in temperature as we were driving up the mountain at nine in the morning...

As we drove through the canyon we saw maybe three cars near the top. Otherwise, we had the entire place to ourselves, so we started right below the dam and there were fish rising to midges everywhere. The dry fly bite killed from 10 a.m. until almost noon. My clients landed five fish and "long distance released" a few more. Then it seemed like the windchill dropped a few degrees, the wind changed direction, and fishing turned to shit.

We fished all of my winter time confidence flies, but it didn't seem to matter. Fish were cuddled together at the bottom without a single sign of feeding behavior. We fished for two more hours and got one more fish to our feet, and that's how the day ended.

My advice? This day my clients experienced a weird one in the sense that things were all backwards. Normally, you wouldn't want to get up there too early because it takes a while for the sun to warm things up to get the midge hatch and the fish going (usually around 11-noon). On our trip I was getting the impression that we should have been there as the sun was rising. Also, you can pretty consistently catch fish on small red or black midges, and small baetis emergers, but the barometric pressure changing with this recent snow storm moving in shut our fish down. If you're paying attention you can almost feel the shift as well as the fish do when that weather blows in, and at that point you might as well find a rock to nap on, or call it a day and find the nearest coffee shop for the drive home.

Rigging for all of our tailwaters is simple - bring plenty of 6x fluorocarbon tippet, down size your weights and indicators to prevent spooking fish. Have one rod rigged with tandem small nymphs, and the other rigged with your favorite wintertime dry fly. I typically have either a size 24 Parachute Adams, or a size 24 Matt's Midge. If you're fishing the Pueblo tailwater have a few bwo specific patterns in sizes 22-24 because you can experience a great blue wing hatch even during the coldest part of January down there.

If you're fishing Deckers, have a good scud pattern, or Pat's Rubberlegs as the lead fly on your tandem nymph rig, with either a small RS-2, or small red or black midge as your dropper. A popular baetis nymph to bring is a size 18-20 Stalcup's Baetis.

In Cheesman Canyon at it's current flow really stick to deep pockets and structure. Fish will be living at the bottom of the deepest runs and pools, or directly in front of rocks. Be prepared to lose the indicator all together and move your split shot further up your leader. Set on every silly little twitch! It's rare that Cheesman fish, especially, will hit with any type of aggression and hold onto the fly for any amount of time during winter, so you have to be opportunistic with your sets and really pay attention to any signs of feeding - mouths opening or bright flashes.

And that's all we have for you! Please feel free to leave a comment and update us and the readers if you have anything more to add, or shoot an email to jonkleisflyfishing@yahoo.com, and I'll be sure to pass info along as I receive it. Tight lines!   


All original material posted to this website is under ©copyright and belongs to Jon Kleis. Original material includes: photos, videos, and written content. This excludes linked material such as links to paid works written by Jon Kleis and sold to a reputable licensed publisher, or links to other websites for the purpose of sharing information and cross-promotion. Please be respectful and ask for permission before using any content. Currently no individual or entity is granted permission to borrow content from this site. If permission were given, please give credit to the author/artist (Jon Kleis). Thank you for following Colorado Fly Fishing Magazine! We hope to continue to share many more fishing reports, gear reviews, photos, videos, and original articles -- all exclusively found here!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Fly Fishing Photography 101 Class On March 30th and April 20th

My whole life I've lived by several mottos. The first is to treat people the way you expect to get treated. Second, If you're going to pursue your passions, pursue them passionately. My family, fishing, and photography have been my pursuits over the years, and on March 30th and April 20th I hope to share that passion with anyone interested in learning how to shoot a camera to capture moments such as the ones shown below. We'll discuss the fundamentals for beginners -including framing your shot, lighting, camera settings, editing photos, and the list goes on. Also, some of you aspiring video shooters might not be surprised how much of these fundamentals apply toward shooting film ;)  If you're in the Colorado Springs/Pueblo/Denver Area, and your interested in having a fun night of learning with me (Jon Kleis), then follow this link to view more details and sign up! Hope to see you there! The class starts at 6 pm at Anglers Covey Fly Shop.












All original material posted to this website is under ©copyright and belongs to Jon Kleis. Original material includes: photos, videos, and written content. This excludes linked material such as links to paid works written by Jon Kleis and sold to a reputable licensed publisher, or links to other websites for the purpose of sharing information and cross-promotion. Please be respectful and ask for permission before using any content. Currently no individual or entity is granted permission to borrow content from this site. If permission were given, please give credit to the author/artist (Jon Kleis). Thank you for following Colorado Fly Fishing Magazine! We hope to continue to share many more fishing reports, gear reviews, photos, videos, and original articles -- all exclusively found here!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Simms G4X Stockingfoot Guide Exclusive Black Waders - Initial Impressions Review

It's rare that I've felt inspired enough by a product to sit down and write a review... Writing reviews takes time, and time is money, so if I'm not getting paid fair for my efforts I'm not going to waste my time unless it's to share something that I'm excited about, or that helps our followers and the fly fishing community - such as sharing free fishing reports, fly patterns, or techniques. Also, those of you who know me probably know how much I enjoy being with my little family, and anything that takes away from that better provide me with a way to pay the bills.


That being said, a few months ago I was presented with an opportunity from Simms to try out a guide exclusive edition of their G4 chest wader at a great price, and after some consideration I decided to take the plunge and give them another chance. I bought my first pair of Simms waders a little over 7 years ago, and after years and years of wearing cheap Cabelas brand waders, the version of G3 Guide Pant Simms was making at the time was a massive upgrade. That upgrade came at an upgraded price, but you get what you pay for.


My gripes with the Simms waders at the time were 2 things - one they've addressed, and one they haven't. The first thing I didn't appreciate about Simms waders was that it was like pulling teeth to get my size 13 ski-boot of a foot in and out of them, especially after they got wet. The area around the gravel guards was so tight that at the young age of 27 I still needed an assist from a fishing buddy to get out of my waders. When you spend over 200 days a year on the water it gets more than a little obnoxious to need a crowbar to get out of your waders every time.


The second complaint is the neoprene gravel guards that they put on them. It's not that Simms uses a poor quality neoprene, because they don't. It has more to do with the fact that neoprene in general falls apart anywhere it gets wet and there's friction from movement such as walking. Every pair of stockingfoot waders I've EVER owned has fallen apart at the neoprene booty before anywhere else. And, in the case of Simms, the gravel guard falls apart, as well. Between those gravel guards, and the pain and agony of trying to get out of my waders, I switched to the Orvis Silver Sonic Convertible chest waders.


The Silver Sonic waders were effortless to get in and out of, and the gravel guards are made out of a durable nylon shell. The Silver Sonics are, however, still far from perfect. The neoprene they use for the booty feels thinner and cheaper than the Simms brand, and is less form fitting to my foot. Both pairs of Silver Sonic waders I own are so baggy in the foot that they bunched up at my toes and made wearing wading boots an uncomfortable experience no matter how I put the boots on. Also, both pairs seemed to have a very small leek in the right foot the first day I had them on the water. After talking to a bunch of people who own Silver Sonics, I found out that I wasn't they only person with those complaints. Leaks aren't a huge deal because both Simms and Orvis stand behind their products with excellent warranties, so I stuck with Orvis for the last 4 and a half seasons, and still plan on owning a pair of Orvis for several reasons, one of which I'll discuss in this post.


While Simms still has those neoprene gravel guards, they've addressed the area around the ankles, and they're now substantially easier to get in and out of. To be sure that It wasn't because I have a guide exclusive version of the G4's, I asked around and it appears that they've addressed it with all of their new G4 waders, so YAY! Simms are made with such extreme care, and with such quality materials that it's evident the moment you try them on, and when I noticed they had addressed the tightness around the ankle, it didn't take much to instantly get excited about them again! So why still own a pair of Orvis waders?


Because the same qualities that make Simms the best wader on the market, sometimes, works against them. Simms makes their high-end guide waders with multiple layers of Gore-Tex - a material so bomb proof it feels like you're putting on a suit of armor every time you go fishing. Having a suit of armor on is fantastic if you're walking through the willows, where an occasional stick or thorn bush comes out of nowhere and tries to put a hole in your shin, but what if you want to wear your waders rather than pack them into a place where you have to hike such as Cheesman Canyon? It's late June, and the weather is warm enough to where you don't want to hike a long distance in armor, but the water itself is cold enough you know you'll be glad you brought something to protect you. The lighter and less durable Orvis waders still come in handy for just showing up in your gear, and hiking to the fishing spot without losing 10 lbs in water weight...


Addressing the black color of the new waders, I've got a few comments and questions from anglers about how hot they'll be... And, honestly, those comments and concerns are unwarranted. I've just been reminding people that the water coming from the bottom of those dams is frigid cold, and I'm still standing in the water most of the time. Considering that I've been guiding and fishing the South Platte in February and March, I've actually really appreciated having a slightly warmer wader. However, they are just SLIGHTLY warmer, and by the time July rolls around, i'll go back to wet wading in 80-90 degree heat, so I'm not worried about getting hot. And as an added bonus, the black color, aesthetically, looks a lot sharper than any wader I've ever owned.


Again, Simms hasn't paid me to write this review, so why do it, especially when I said that I'll probably still own a pair of Orvis waders? Because I immensely respect any company that tries to improve on an existing great product. Simms already sold what was considered the best wader on the market, and they haven't rested on their laurels. The fact that their higher-end waders are still made here in the States demands respect, also. If I had to rate the G4 wader out of 10, I'd give it a 9.5, giving them a little room for improvement, which we know they're always striving for.

Thanks for following our page! We plan to keep you posted and let you know if there's any new developments, either positive or negative, worth talking about. Tight lines!





Just a reminder... All original material posted to this website is under ©copyright and belongs to Jon Kleis. Original material includes: photos, videos, and written content. This excludes linked material such as links to paid works written by Jon Kleis and sold to a reputable licensed publisher, or links to other websites for the purpose of sharing information and cross-promotion. Please be respectful and ask for permission before using any content. Currently no individual or entity is granted permission to borrow content from this site. If permission were given, please give credit to the author/artist (Jon Kleis). Thank you for following Colorado Fly Fishing Magazine! We hope to continue to share many more fishing reports, gear reviews, photos, videos, and original articles -- all exclusively found here!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Got Cabin Fever? Check Out This Fantastic Video From Shire Life Boys - Fly Fishing the Gunnison Gorge

Back Country Fly Fishing the Gunnison Gorge from Shire Life Boys on Vimeo.

Hello readers, we had to share this very well shot and edited video of some beautiful Gunni country and trout! Thank you again, Hank, for sending us an email and giving us permission to share this work of art. And sorry for taking so long to get the post up!






All original material posted to this website is under ©copyright and belongs to Jon Kleis. Original material includes: photos, videos, and written content. This excludes linked material such as links to paid works written by Jon Kleis and sold to a reputable licensed publisher, or links to other websites for the purpose of sharing information and cross-promotion. Please be respectful and ask for permission before using any content. Currently no individual or entity is granted permission to borrow content from this site. If permission were given, please give credit to the author/artist (Jon Kleis). Thank you for following Colorado Fly Fishing Magazine! We hope to continue to share many more fishing reports, gear reviews, photos, videos, and original articles -- all exclusively found here!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Flow Report - South Platte River and Arkansas 12-6-15

We want to apologize for neglecting the site! The last couple months have been pretty hectic, but we're going to double down and try and include new content and start back up with the fishing reports.

Cheesman Canyon/Deckers - 164 c.f.s.

Dream Stream - 71.6 c.f.s.

Elevenmile Canyon - 61.6 c.f.s.

Arkansas River Below Pueblo Res - 92 c.f.s.

Arkansas River near Wellsville - 558 c.f.s.

Arkansas River Canon City - 601 c.f.s.

Arkansas River Salida - 496 c.f.s.

Our advice is to equip yourself to hike into Cheesman Canyon, and bring plenty of 6x-7x fluoro tippet along with a box of midges and small dark bodied baetis nymphs sizes 22-26. Stick to the wintering holes - deep dark bottom pools. And, if you see fish rising, don't shy away from tying on really tiny Griffith's Gnats, Parachute Adams, or Matt's Midge.

Pueblo has been fishing good, but has been busy, so try your luck on the weekdays or come with the mindset that you're going to have company. Come armed to the teeth with bwos. Also, rumor has it that you can catch large quantities of smaller trout on streamers.











All original material posted to this website is under ©copyright and belongs to Jon Kleis. Original material includes: photos, videos, and written content. This excludes linked material such as links to paid works written by Jon Kleis and sold to a reputable licensed publisher, or links to other websites for the purpose of sharing information and cross-promotion. Please be respectful and ask for permission before using any content. Currently no individual or entity is granted permission to borrow content from this site. If permission were given, please give credit to the author/artist (Jon Kleis). Thank you for following Colorado Fly Fishing Magazine! We hope to continue to share many more fishing reports, gear reviews, photos, videos, and original articles -- all exclusively found here!

Christmas Gift Idea For Fly Tyers

Fellow trout-bums and CFFM readers, follow the link for Christmas gift ideas for the fly tyer in your life!








All original material posted to this website is under ©copyright and belongs to Jon Kleis. Original material includes: photos, videos, and written content. This excludes linked material such as links to paid works written by Jon Kleis and sold to a reputable licensed publisher, or links to other websites for the purpose of sharing information and cross-promotion. Please be respectful and ask for permission before using any content. Currently no individual or entity is granted permission to borrow content from this site. If permission were given, please give credit to the author/artist (Jon Kleis). Thank you for following Colorado Fly Fishing Magazine! We hope to continue to share many more fishing reports, gear reviews, photos, videos, and original articles -- all exclusively found here!

Friday, September 18, 2015

On The Fly - Fluoro vs Traditional Mono

Follow the link to learn more!





All original material posted to this website is under ©copyright and belongs to Jon Kleis. Original material includes: photos, videos, and written content. This excludes linked material such as links to paid works written by Jon Kleis and sold to a reputable licensed publisher, or links to other websites for the purpose of sharing information and cross-promotion. Please be respectful and ask for permission before using any content. Currently, no individual or entity is granted permission to borrow content from this site. If permission were given, please give credit to the author/artist (Jon Kleis). Thank you for following Colorado Fly Fishing Magazine! We hope to continue to share many more fishing reports, gear reviews, photos, videos, and original articles -- all exclusively found here!

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