Gazette Article - How To Properly Handle Trout!

Orvis Customer Reviews

I've been blessed over the last 5 years to get to teach and share my passion for fly fishing with clients, many of which have become repeat "offenders" who come back for continual punishment. I must admit that catching up with these beautiful people and getting to see them every year (sometimes multiple times in a year) and getting to build on what they've learned from previous trips has been an even bigger blessing, but I still enjoy teaching complete newcomers. And after sitting down and reading some of the amazing, detailed, and heartfelt reviews on the Orvis.com website, I began to feel an immense pride! It's important to me that you all know that I'm not just sharing these to toot my own horn. This is the accumulation of 5 years of hard work and dedication, and I can't thank my amazing clients enough for letting Orvis and everyone else know about their experience with me. Seriously, THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART! Side note: This list does not include the countless emails I've got, many of which are even more thankful and heartfelt than the reviews on Orvis's website, except the most recent email which I had to share because it was awesome. Kristen and I will try and update this annually for prosperity. Please feel free to visit Orvis and take a gander, or write a review on your guide trip with me yourself! If you're interested in doing a trip, visit the Anglers Covey website and request Jon Kleis to book your next fly fishing adventure! Without further ado, here is your glimpse into why I do this job, and how rewarding it's truly been, starting with the most recent email.



"Just wanted to say thanks to Jon Kleis for making our vacation to Colorado one that our family will never forget. His patience, confidence and competence as a guide at Anglers Covey made this experience so enjoyable for my son and daughter that we bought them a fly fishing kit so they could begin the sport themselves in Arkansas and Virginia. Anglers Covey is the only place I would recommend to my friends for fly fishing in the Colorado Springs area. And the store and the rest of the workers were all top notch and world class. It was worth the money to shop and fish with the workers at Anglers Covey!"




"I spent the last 3 days fishing with Jon Kleis on the So. Platte and had an absolute blast. This was the second year in a row for my 2 buddies and I to fish with him. Jon is so knowledgeable of the great sport of fly fishing. He is patient, encouraging, and simply makes fishing so much fun. Jon caters to his clients and helps each one to improve their skill. You cannot go wrong with Jon.”





"Our family booked a trip with Jon and Anthony in May and it was an amazing experience! We had a mixed group of fishermen with experience, some with sporadic experience and myself who had never gone fly fishing before. Jon and Anthony were able to expertly attend to all of us. Jon was particularly adept at helping along the newbie while ensuring that those with experience were also getting attention and enjoying themselves. His skills at providing instruction, interjecting humor, and adapting to situations as required (e.g., waiting out some falling hail) were impressive and made the entire trip run smoothly and enjoyably. And the incredibly delicious lunch and beautiful photos were an exceptional bonus to the trip! Everyone had such fun and we are looking forward to booking our next trip with Jon & Anthony!”




"Welcomed to Colorado Springs by a record torrent of spring rain, we were chased away from the gold medal waters touted by the area. Our guide Jon Kleis, none the less, took us as newbies to the sport for an experience of still water fishing on the north slope of Pikes peak. With Jon's incredible patience we got into fish having multiple takes and over ten fish to the net in our half day excursion. Would look forward to the river experience with this company and with Jon another season!”




"Went out with guide Jon Kleis in May. I'm a novice, my friend had never been fly fishing before. He was super knowledgeable and a great teacher. Both of use caught double digit fish, and had many more on the line. Was very accommodating to what we were looking for, put us on beautiful water that was easy for us to fish. Lunch was great too!! I learned so much, definitely a much better fly fisherman after this great experience.”




"Jon Kleis is an excellent guide.

My son and I started using Anglers Covey guide services in the summer of 2013. We used a couple of their guides before being hooked up with Jon Kleis in May of 2014. My son, my brother, and I have enjoyed several guided trips with Jon. We have learned much about Colorado fly fishing from him. He is an excellent teacher. I am also impressed by his clean language, calm demeanor, no yelling, superb family values, and lack of pets on fishing trips.

It has been my privilege to have him instruct my wife early in her fly fishing career - she picked up her first fly rod in late June of last year. This May he introduced my daughter to the sport. Now we are a fly fishing family of 7 (me and my wife, our daughter and her husband, our son and his wife, and my brother). Waiting in the wings for Jon to teach him fly fishing is our 6 year old grandson.

Caught lots of fish during our three day trip. Experienced weather extreme from sleeting/hailing to rain to sunshine - all in the same day.

As our fly fishing family has grown, Jon has enlisted guide Anthony Surage to join us on our fly fishing adventures. He is a welcomed addition to our group.

We look forward to many more trips with Jon in the future”




"We had an amazing time out on the water today. Our guide, Jon Kleis was awesome! He was very knowledgable and extremely patient with us. We couldn't have asked for a better experience. We highly recommend Jon and hope to one day make it back for another trip. We'll cherish his awesome photographs of our trip forever! Thanks again Jon!”




"Excellent! I'm quite impressed with the staff. We were treated very well. The guide was very patient with us as well as demonstrating the best knowledge of fishing potential. Lunch was fantastic.”




"My Brother and I met in Colorado and had a ball! Our guide,Jon Kleis, was very knowledgeable and patient with us. We caught a lot of fish and truly enjoyed the experience.”







"I got my boyfriend a 1/2 day fly fishing guided trip from Angler's as a Christmas present. Let's just say this may have been the best present of all time.

Simply put - the trip was above and beyond what we expected. We were first time fly-fishers but we are adventurous people so we wanted a hands-on experience with the immediate opportunity to actually fish. We wanted to learn as we went and get help along the way. Well, we got exactly what we wanted.

Jon was our guide and I will forever recommend him to anyone doing any sort of fly fishing in Colorado. He was SO knowledgeable, he was SO instructional, he was SO fun, and we got to be in the water fishing the entire time. Literally, within 5 minutes of getting there we were in the water with poles in our hands. He let us learn as we went and helped us along the way. We netted 4 fish in just the few hours we were out there!! We technically caught 10 fish but a few of them got away. It was a pretty incredible

experience - one that I will recommend forever!

Thank you to both Angler's and Jon - the best fly fishing instructor of all time.”





"First I would like to say that Angler's Covey is a top notch business with professionals that are curtious and always helpful. Now to our trip with my wife. We booked a 4 hour walk and wade trip on 5/27 at the office. Steve at the office told us that our guide would contact us the next day to make arrangements for our trip. Our guide Jon Kleis contacted us and he went over the entire trip making sure of our experience and knowledge of fly fishing so he could tailor the trip and make it a learning and enjoyable experience. Jon met us at the store and fitted us with our gear and we were off on our journey. On the way there Jon was explaining where we were going and what to expect again until we arrived at our destination the South Platte River. Jon was teaching right from the start and he was so helpful but most of all patient. We are not the most experienced and Jon was the "Best" guide that we ever had and we had many. We learned so much from Jon in 4 hours than I learned in so many other trips. The other thing was we caught fish with the new technique's that we will be able to use going forward. Not only did Jon help us with fishing but he also was taking quality pictures while we were on the water in different senario's which we will be able to look at for years. If you want to catch fish but also have a guide that is passionate about his profession and will teach you technique's that you will take away then book a trip with Jon Kleis.”




"I met Jon Kleis a few years back at the Angler's Covey. I think it was at a fly tying night but can't remember for sure when I first met Jon. Sometimes you run into people and you instantly know you are on the same wavelength. Jon and I got along right off the bat. There are a few areas that we line up perfectly on. Fishing is an obvious first. Not just fishing in general but our thoughts on the sport like why we enjoy it, why we fish flies that catch fish, why we like to keep the BS to a minimum, etc, etc, etc. List just seems to go on and on.

We finally got our chance to go fishing this past Sunday at Spinney Mountain Reservoir. It took all of 5 minutes to get the first take which I got caught sleeping on. Jon had us rigged up at a perfect depth so that our trailing fly was just barely catching some underwater vegetation every now and then. That really kept us on our toes (after the first miss :-)) because ticking the bottom and some of the takes we got were identical. Fly selection was not as I expected which was good. We fished a two fly nymph rig and fish were biting on both flies. We were using...... ah, gotcha on that one..... Sorry but for that juicy tidbit you'll have to hit Jon up! Ben and I both caught fish and we even had doubles. I can't ever remember getting a picture of two fish in the net. What a blast! We were just getting settled in when the wind showed up.

I starting casting and mending against the wind like a mad man to keep my flies in the water. That is where our Guide made all the difference. Jon stepped in and showed me how to work with the wind and waves and not against them. Totally counter intuitive for a guy who has spent years keeping his line mended on rivers. I was basically getting a drift on a lake! Totally opened my eyes to stillwater possibilities.

The wind really picked things up. We had the right rig, flies, and technique and we really started to hit them. The takes in the morning were pretty subtle but when you have two foot white caps and a trout grabs your fly, your indicator goes under! This was unbelievably fun. It felt like hooking up on the swing at the end of a river drift. Every cast was ripe with anticipation and for good reason. We spent the rest of the morning into the early afternoon landing one fatty after another. It was a mixed bag of hens and bucks. All of the boys had kypes. It was really fun fighting and landing fish in waves. I can imagine that surf fishing feels a lot like what we were doing in the middle of Colorado! I can't even describe what it's like to see a trout fight waves on it's way back out to "sea" after the release. Unreal... Great trip and I whole heartedly recommend Jon Kleis to beginners and advanced fly fishers alike!”





"Most local streams were very low, so I was looking for an alternative to share with a friend visiting from Taiwan. I booked through Angler's Covey in Colorado Springs, my favorite store anywhere. Period. Guide Jon Kleis suggested Kokanee fishing on the S. Platte. My friend got the first fish - his first salmon, and it was pretty much constant action until the South Park wind picked up and we went to have lunch. We both received expert instruction. although I have fished fly fished for 35 years, there is always something to learn, and Jon Kleis was an expert instructor. Even if you fish 40+ days per year as I do, a good guide can teach you to be a better fisherman!”







"My husband and I are novices at fly-fishing. Jon is a great teacher in entomology and technique. And - he is a skilled photographer! We learned much to take with us on our own. We look forward to keeping up with him on his blog and newspaper articles. Best of luck to you Jon! Thanks!”




"Jon Kleis gave my 13 year old son and I a fantastic morning of fly fishing. Jon was patient and clear with instructions and he kept it all fun and enjoyable. We learned a lot about fly fishing and we have some beautiful pictures of rainbows we caught as memories for a long time.”





"Jon Kleis provided us with an awesome morning of flyfishing guidance on the South Platte at Eleven Mile Canyon! Great sense of humor and a lot of patience, exceptional instruction, and a pleasure to fish with! Had my 79 year old father in law and my 20 year old son casting nicely in no time at all....lots of great education on technique and safe handling of the fish...highly recommend Jon!”





"This was our second trip with guide Jon Kleis. Jon suggested still water fishing at Spinney this go around. My dad, son and myself could'nt be happier. These were some of the biggest fish we all had ever caught. The average fish was 20" and had a few 22"+. The only thing I missed on this trip was Jon's guacamole.”





"My Son and I guided with Jon Kleis. This was a refresher for me and first time for my son. Jon was great, he got me rolling and really helped my sone with techniques. He not only got us on some great fish but taught us alot about the how and why. I will definatley book another trip with Jon. He makes a pretty mean Guacamole to.”





"Casting lessons on Saturday for my girlfriend & I ... I have fly fished a few years but know I still have lots to learn, my girlfriend had cast a fly rod once. Steve was a fantastic instructor. He helped me refine several weaknesses in my technique & gave Michelle a solid foundation to build on when we took our quided trip the next day. Jon Kleis was our guide for an excursion up Eleven Mile Canyon on Sunday. On a somewhat windy, but otherwise gorgeous day, Jon shared his enthusiasm and knowledge freely, showed great patience with both of us and, frankly, worked his butt off to assure us of an enjoyable experience. And the icing on the cake, despite challenging conditions Jon got us both into fish & Michelle was able, after a couple of missed hook-sets & breaking off a very decent fish, Jon guided her to her first "fish in the net on a fly rod!" a beautiful sixteen plus inch rainbow. You only catch that first first fish once, and I truly believe Jon was as happy as Michelle & I!”





"We had a great day fishing with Jon Kleis. He was AWESOME. Not only did he put me in position to catch a ton of fish, he was very patient with both my wife and son who are novice fly fisherman. We had a terrific day in Eleven Mile Canyon, the scenery was amazing, and the fishing even better.”





"Although I have never had much desire to fish (being the cigar smoking boat driver I am), I am definitely hooked on fly fishing, and I owe it all to Jon. As a wedding gift/bachelor party for my son, I hired Jon for a full day of teaching me how to fly fish and advancing my son's level of skill. He put us on great fish all day, even during the 'blizzard' that almost killed us! I can't wait to take another trip, and I think he will be hearing from my son in the near future. Thanks again for making our trip most memorable.”







"Jon was my guide and was awesome. I have never been fly fishing before but in to time he had me catching trout like Brad Pitt, although he instructed me on the proper casting and hook setting techniques. I'm glad I did the trip and look forward to fly fishing in the future.”







"Despite adverse flow conditions, had an outstanding day with Jon Kleis. I am an avid saltwater fly fishermen and my intent was to learn the technical aspects for river fly fishing. I got exactly what I asked for and more.

Guide, folks at the fly shop, etc. were excellent.”





"Fished in the afternoon with Jon Kleis. I have been lucky enough to fish all over the world with every type of guide out there and Jon ranks at the top. It is clear Jon is great at what he does because he loves what he does. His laid back approach, patience, and knowledge of the fly fishing will give you an unforgettable trip.”




"Jon Kleis and I had tried to link up for a trip for some time. Jon planned a full day trip to the Arkansas. This was an awesome trip with many hooks on large fish in the 15-16 inch range. Had one hook up on a 20 inch spectacular Trout. Jon help me improve my casting skills and expanded my knowledge of fly selection. Jon's location selection spot on. Looking forward to another trip! Great lunch provided by Jon.”







On The Fly - Tips For Buying a New Fly Rod

This months On The Fly column is out, and it's a quick write-up about qualities in a fly rod that I look for when making a purchase. Here's the link!


On The Fly - Tackling The Spinney Wind

Here's a few tips for anyone interested in taking on Spinney this season! This sounds like the silliest thing on planet earth to say to a fly fisher, but the wind is good... Follow this link to learn more!

Opening Week at Spinney Reservoir - 2015

Compared to previous years, this Spinney opening was slow. And, for a place so associated with wind and waves, it was more than a little ironic that our first 3 days on the water had almost perfect weather. And by perfect weather, I mean weather that's great for watching sunrises, not for fishing, but who's complaining?

Every morning it was slow but consistent until the afternoon wind showed up, and then fishing got better. A week later, at the peak of the good weather, we had the best afternoon of fishing yet. The wind was up around that magic 15-20 m.p.h. mark, and the waves were just tall enough to occasionally have a white cap. The best part about that day was the fact that we got to bring grandpa along for his birthday, and he landed the 3 largest trout he has ever caught. Dad is the man who got me into the sport of fishing, but he didn't take the plunge and turn to the dark side when I did 16 years ago. Instead, he's chosen to stick to his lure fishing roots, and he bounces back and forth between casting a fly and bubble, or a spinner or spoon.

This time he was throwing solid white tube jigs that the guys at Colorado Tackle Pro turned me onto for Spinney. Just wanted to give a special shout out to Chris and Travis at C.T.P. for that! Dad managed 3 trout to the net that were 20" or bigger along with countless others, and finished the day with the fattest 22" female rainbow I've seen in a while. This thing was all belly and shoulders! It was a blessing to see how happy he was to fish with his family.

Speaking of fishing with family... Bree stuck to her routine of wanting to cast, kissing the occasional fish for good luck, and throwing rocks and playing with sticks. Dad finally got to see how committed and good Kristen can be at fly fishing. She was her usual self, matching me fish for fish, and showing a natural talent for the sport that many women seem to have.

We also made a new friend, Tim Ryan. Tim was a ton of fun to fish with! Mr. Tim cracked jokes with us, which is a constant when we're fishing, and he fit right in with our little group. He was also humble enough to take any advice I would give him, and as a result landed some nice fish. This is what fishing is all about - having fun, not taking things too seriously, sharing helpful information, and creating memories. We just wanted to thank him for his kind words of encouragement about our fishing family. Tim, we look forward to hearing about your trips with your grandson!

Here's the photos from the week! Thank you to everyone who reads and supports our little site - to all of my clients for supporting our family and simultaneously supporting my fishing habit, to Anglers Covey for continuing to give me opportunities to teach, and to Kristen for being the most supportive and loving lady on planet earth!

Tim playing a nice fish!

Again...
Tim holding up a chunky bow.
Kristen with a fish on.
Again.
One fish.
Two fish.
Red fish.
Blue fish.
Great shot Kristen got of me in the heat of battle!
Again.
Again again.
Bree with her grandpa.
A special moment with father and son holding up a double. And look at that tub of a rainbow he's holding!

Correction for the Blue River Report Posted 2-19-15

Hey trout bums, a reader pointed out a mistake I made regarding the Epoxy Mysis Recommendation. In the article I said it was Craven's Epoxy Mysis and the correct tier is Will Sands. I knew that. Just had a bonehead moment that was probably related to dealing with an attention demanding daughter, and it probably won't be the last time that happens. Just wanted to apologize for the mistake, and correct it for anyone looking for that pattern.

Here's the link to the old article, in case any of you are curious about fishing the Blue, which is still fishing great!

On the Fly: Fish are Biting in Summit County!

Ginormous Huge Paco Troutosaurus Rex!

If you follow any of the social media sites, odds are pretty good that many of you have already seen this giant 15 pound brown caught by Matt McCannel, and there's no denying that it's definitely worth another look! In fact, if you have the time and money to take a guide trip with Matt on the Uncompahgre River (where this fish was caught), and you're not calling him up right now, there's something wrong with you! It's an amazing tailwater fishery, and Rigs fly shop in Ridgeway Colorado is where you should stop and get all your flies and info before you tackle it.

Kristen and I went to the Uncompahgre a.k.a. "Paco" last fall as part of our tailwater tour to collect photos and information for our book, and I'm ashamed to say it was the first time either one of us had fished it, but it won't be the last. As first timers we still landed our share of browns and rainbows, and Kristen even lost a brown at the net that was somewhere between 8-10 pounds. We made the mistake of checking out Rigs fly shop at the end of our day there, or I'm sure Matt would have put us on some Paco specific flies, and we would have had an even better time.

What makes Matt's brown so special is that, like anyone who walked in the fly shop in the last four months and talked to Matt, he told me about this monster fish he's been chasing. FOUR PLUS MONTHS! Now that's perseverance! Seriously, great work!

Matt has been kind enough to send us photos, and he has also been very helpful in sending us information about Paco for the book, which will be featured. For now, here's another look at his fish, and his fly he used to catch it that is only available at Rigs. He calls the streamer the Hot Head Paco Mini Leech.

Matt with this 15 lb blue cheeked beauty!
Matt's Hot Head Paco Mini Leech #10

Follow this link to learn more about Rigs and schedule a guide trip!

For up to date fishing reports and more photos like this, follow this link and like Rigs on Facebook!

On the Fly - Blue River Fishing Report

Saw a few more reports today, and the rumor has it that fishing is still great. Get out there and play in the snow!

Link to Outtherecolorado report!
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