Gazette Article - How To Properly Handle Trout!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Check Out These Photos!

We recently had an amazing family fishing trip to the Taylor River Tailwater and got some great photos of the trip.  We didn't get to fish as much as we wanted do to road construction and traffic but the time we spent on our little vaca was a nice reprieve from the daily grind.  Check out the photos!

Kristen holding her Taylor fish!

Up close and personal with my cutthroat

Another macro of the cutt

This park in Gunnison across from our hotel
had this amazing wood carving! Photo by

Taylor reversoir seen through the eyes of Kristen

Wildflowers by Kristen

Photo I took of the hummingbird "hatch"

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Kleis's Fly Of The Week - Barr's Damsel Nymph

Damsels are a great bug for stillwater anglers to imitate during the dog days of summer.  Many anglers new to the sport have inadvertently imitated the nymph stage of the Damsel with an olive leech pattern or Wooly Bugger.  All this under the assumption that the fish were taking their flies as a baitfish of some sort, and in some cases that would be a safe bet.

Fish are also taking those olive leech patterns as Damsel nymphs.  Damsels have paddle shaped tails, and resemble a small baitfish or fry in both color and profile.  They are also readily available to trout in nutrient rich ponds and lakes that have plenty of vegetation.  

John Barr is a famous Colorado tyer that has created a number of productive fly patterns including the Copper John so it shouldn't surprise anyone that his stillwater bugs catch fish as well.  His Damsel Nymph is a very clever representation of the insect that everyone should have in their boxes.  Fish it under an indicator as part of a two fly system, or by itself with short strip retrieves.

Barr's Damsel



Thursday, July 26, 2012

Helios 2 Fly Rod Is Coming!

I have been getting excited for some new gear.  One fly rod in particular that has already peaked a lot of anglers interest is the Helios 2.  Here is a short video from Orvis.  Can't wait to cast one!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Coolest Video Of A Fish Jumping You Will Ever See!

Clearly this is not Colorado related but if this video of a Mako shark doesn't get you so excited that you immediately go out and fish the rain puddle in your backyard then you have issues holmes!  Check it out!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Christmas In July Mini Bouface

Click to enlarge

Was getting nutty behind the vice and took a photo of my work.  I figured Id share it with you guys thinking it might inspire someone.  Hope everybody is getting ample opportunities to play outside and harass some fish!


Hook: TMC 2488
Bead: Lucent Christmas Red Tungsten
Tail: Olive Pine Squirrel
Rib: Medium Red Wire
Collar: Olive Marabou
"Thorax": Olive Marabou 

Kleis's Fly Of The Week - Murphy's Bubble-Back Midge

Rick Murphy's Bubble-Back Midge is a Rainy's pattern, and has been a local favorite for years.  It is produced in black, olive, and gray and can be taken as a midge pupa or an emerging baetis.  Try fishing the black color on the South Platte or Arkansas tailwaters during the Trico hatch, and of course during the winter when midges are the main staple.  The gray and olive Bubble-Backs are both great spring time colors when Baetis are emerging. The beauty of this pattern is that midges are on a trout's menu year around so it's a safe bet to fish this as a dropper behind whatever dominant hatch you are imitating and you will catch fish.   It is only available through Rainy's in size 22 so if you want to tye them up in a different size I have included a how to video done with the creator himself.  Give these a spin and I promise you won't be disappointed.     

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Spinney Mountain Wild Kingdom

I had another interesting experience with wild animals on yesterdays guide trip.  I was working with Lew Romett on the finer points of casting and site fishing on the Dream Stream when we heard a loud noise that sounded similar to birds in our back yard when they are being eaten by a cat.  We were fishing by the barns when the terrible yelping started, and even though you could tell it was coming from a distance the cries of this animal were so loud it sounded like it was right next to us.

As we were trying to locate where the noise was coming from we saw an antelope being chased down the side of Spinney Mountain by the biggest Coyote I have ever seen.  The screaming noise we were hearing was the sound of a full size antelope crying for help before it became a wild dogs next meal.  The Coyote tackled it right at the edge of a steep drop off.  Lew described the scene best, "That just looked like a scene out of the Wild Kingdom t.v. show!"

Lew holding a nice Dream Stream Cutbow

Lew and I were fishing on the Mountain side of the river when it happened and my camera was on the opposite bank.  Combine that with the fact that everything transpired so quickly and there was no way we were getting photos of the event.  I did climb up the bank and walk towards the animals to get a closer look and the moment the Coyote saw me he popped up and took off.

Unable to see either the Coyote or the Antelope at this point I got back into the water thinking that maybe I saved the Antelope's life by scaring off the predator, but the moment I got back in the water the Antelope took off running and the Coyote came out of nowhere and tackled it again.  This time behind a hill where we couldn't see.  Let me reiterate that this dog was big enough that we questioned whether or not it was a wolf.

We all know there aren't suppose to be wolves in Colorado but I have had enough experiences in the wild to know that anything is possible and there is a lot of wilderness in our beautiful state.  We couldn't see any other dogs in the pursuit which lead me to believe that this was a huge lone Coyote making a big kill from a great position on the side of a mountain.  Either way it was an amazing sight and something that I hadn't seen in real life up to this point to add to my list.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Happy Clients From The Last Few Days 7-19-12

Hey everyone even though its July and its been a hot dry summer there is still plenty of fantastic fishing to be had on both the South Platte and the Arkansas rivers.  Here is the photographic evidence from the last couple of days to prove it!

Jack with a nice Arkansas Rainbow landed on a Trico Mayfly

Kathy and Conner posing a nice bow landed by Conner

Kathy with her first brown and only her second fish on a fly rod!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Little Baby Float Tube

Hey everyone I wanted to share with you guys this short video of our cute baby Bree reading a book from my float tube at the Sangre De Cristo Hospice Fishing Derby.

Monday, July 16, 2012

North Catamount Fishing Report 7-16-2012

I have been getting reports that bugs are hatching and the fish are biting on North Cat.  A good starting place is off the rocks near the far side of the dam.  Callibaetis are coming off in the morning and fish are feeding so aggressive during the hatch that anglers are catching fish with dry fly imitations.  Go armed with larger Parachute Adams (14-16) for the topwater bite, and Bead Head Hare's Ear Nymphs and Pheasant Tails Nymphs both in that 14-16 size range.

As the morning progresses it wouldn't hurt to have a olive and black Bead Head Mini Leech set up on another rod.  All of these patterns and everything else you could possibly need to catch fish in relative solitude up on the "Peak" are available at Anglers Covey located at the edge of town right on the highway.  If you stop in along the way from six to eight a.m. you will get an additional twenty percent off flies.

Tight Lines! 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Kleis's Fly Of The Week - The South Platte Brassie

The South Platte Brassie is another older pattern that has been my go to midge imitation for the tailwaters along the South Platte river drainage.  There are very few times of the year when you can't catch fish on the Brassie when fished as a dropper behind a Caddis or Baetis imitation.  It has enough weight on its own to be fished as a dropper behind your favorite attractor pattern as well.  Good sizes to have available in your box range from size 18-24.        

Saturday, July 14, 2012

South Platte Is Flowing

Despite the total lack of precipitation this year the South Platte river from as far up as Cheesman is running over 200 c.f.s.  This is great news for the fish and the rest of us!  Hatches include Trico's, Caddis, and PMDs.  The bite dies off insanely quick starting around one p.m. and then doesn't pick back up until the last hour before the sun goes down.

Good patterns to have are: Trico Viz-a-duns size 22-24, black RS-2's, Black Beauties 20-24,  South Platte Brassies size 22-24, BH Pheasant Tail nymphs size 16-20,  Olive Sparkle Pupa size 16-18, Elk Hair Caddis size 16-18, and Amy's Ants in olive or red.  The water in the lower stretch of 11Mile Canyon is off color from Springer Gulch down because of runoff from the Springer fire so I don't advise harassing those fish until it clears up.  However the upper stretch is fishing fantastic in the morning so set your alarms!   The Dream Stream is fishing good in the morning with the same bugs. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Arkansas Tailwater Beaver Slap

I recently did a trip on the Arkansas river below Pueblo reservoir with a client who shall not be named for lack of getting permission. It was a quintessential day for that stretch of river which is why I have grown to love this tailwater, and also why I wanted to share with you our adventure.  Our day included: Tricos, Caddis, and yes beavers.

Our starting point for the day was the area just above the Valco Ponds.  When we get there Tricos mixed with Caddis are just exploding off the water.  And even though we were catching fish while using my size 24 Trico special which was meant for the South Platte; the Tricos that were hatching on the Arkansas that morning were huge.  Have you ever seen a size 16 Trico?  Me neither until that day, and if you're like me and you have mostly fished the South Platte and you're thinking, "Kleis there is no such thing as a size 16 Trico", then let me assure you that I took a close look at these bugs and they were Tricos.  Check one item off the list of abnormal things we witnessed that day.

Four or five fat healthy trout later the Tricos were done coming off so we went back to our heavy nymph rig in an attempt to dredge for bigger fish that tend to stay hunkered down even during the most epic hatch.  While working our way up stream we stopped to look back and noticed that there was a massive beaver sitting on the opposite bank where we had started.  This was the first time I have ever seen a beaver in the wild despite being a Colorado native who has literally lived on the water.   Coincidentally before spotting the beaver my client and I had a conversation about just how clean or not the water actually was that we were fishing in.  The conversation ended with well it's clean enough to support a healthy bug and fish population so that was good enough for us...

When we first spotted the beaver I thought it was a giant rat by the way it sat hunched until its tail flopped out of the water.  When I say giant that's exactly what I mean because mr. beaver probably weighed somewhere between 40-60 lbs!  I'm sure my client was thinking "hmm size 16 Tricos and beavers the size of German Shepherds.  Maybe there is something in the water?".  Of course the conversation for the next ten minutes was about that beast of a beaver that took a dive before I could get it's picture.

That's when the beaver showed up right next to the rocks we were fishing by, and then suddenly swam toward us with every intention of scaring the holy crap out of two powerless fisherman who were knee deep in fast moving water and standing on slippery rocks.  Again the sheer size of the thing was awe-inspiring, and when you combine that with it's incredible speed you have a couple of scared anglers crapping their waders!  Only we weren't wearing waders because it's 100 degrees in Pueblo so we would have just been shitting in the river.  How's that for clean water?  I guess it's ok because the fish do it right?

Anyway so we have a nuclear armed beaver submarine barreling down on us when it stopped at my feet and slapped the water so hard with it's tail that I got splashed in the face!  Dare I say that brings a whole new meaning to getting beaver slapped?  I think so...  The huge rodent must have sensed we were talking about it and was trying to scare us off.  It didn't work.  But the beast did succeed in getting me to think about how much it would suck to be a beaver trying to make a home on the Arkansas tailwater.

Work is still being done on Pueblo dam, and farmer's needs for water changes daily.  When you combine those two things you get flows that fluctuate from 45 cubic feet per second to upwards of 500 c.f.s. in an instant.  This recently happened on a corporate trip and me and this lady's husband had to literally carry her across the river because the current was so strong and the water came up that quick.

Logs, tree trunks, and all sorts of debris came cruising down river, and at the time we were just happy we didn't go for a swim.  We weren't thinking that the debris could have been part of some poor beavers home.  Moral to the story?  Im not sure there is one...  I guess it would be that we as conservation minded anglers need to have more sympathy for giant angry beavers?


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sweet Carp Short

Was cruising the web and I came across this short video that definitely shows some of the frustration and excitement that is carp fishing.  Check it out!

GOLDFISH from Detonation Studios on Vimeo.

Kleis's Fly Of The Week - The Peacock Caddis

The Peacock Caddis is an oldie but goodie that is a great imitation of many of the darker bodied Caddis that hatch in our local waters.  Try this fly in tandem with smaller hard to see Trico imitations in 11 Mile Canyon, or by itself during the afternoon/evening Caddis hatch anywhere on the South Platte.  Small stream anglers should have a baker's dozen of each size in their box.  The Peacock Caddis is also a great generic dry fly for fishing stillwater.  Caddis in general are extremely overlooked as a viable food source for trout in our ponds, lakes, and reservoirs.  Good local places to try the Peacock when fish are on top are: Rosemont Reservoir, Crystal, South Catamount, North Catamount, Quail Lake, and Pikeview Reservoir.     

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Highway 24 Opens Today!

Just got word from a reliable source that highway 24 is suppose to open today at 1 p.m.  Keep your fingers crossed folks!  Stay safe out there, and for the love of god bring sandwiches and not open flame grills this July 4!  Just kidding I know my readers have better sense then that!

Tight Lines!

Arkansas Tailwater Fishing Report July 1st 2012

The Arkansas river below Pueblo Reservoir is fishing insanely good right now!  This is a real blessing considering many of you Springs residents are chomping at the bit to get back on the South Platte but can't yet because of road closers.  The last week I have seen Caddis, Baetis, Midges, and big fish eating them.  Good patterns to carry are: Beadhead Hare's Ears size 16-20, Beadhead Pheasant Tails size 16-20, Olive Sparkle Pupa size 16-18, Mercury RS-2's size 18-22, and Barr's Emergers size 18-22.  All these fished under an indicator with a good amount of weight above your flies.

Caddis have been coming off around 10, and the Baetis around 12:30.  Two days ago we had a little rain and cloud cover in the afternoon, and the Baetis hatch exploded off the water.  The fish couldn't resist a size 22 RS-2!  Bring your 4x and 5x tippet because these big trout aren't leader shy and they pull hard.   

Flows of been pretty consistently around 250 cubic feet per second, and this stretch of river fishes fantastic anywhere between 200-500 c.f.s.  This morning when I checked the flows were at 383.  They are still doing work on the dam which means it could be a steady 250 c.f.s. in the morning, and then without warning it could jump up to 400 c.f.s. or more in a matter of seconds in the afternoon. 

Trust me you don't want to be caught out in the middle of the river standing on those slick rocks when that happens.  I recently had to carry one of my clients across with her husband when they bumped the flows on us.  She literally couldn't get her feet down to wade because the current was so strong. Find a spot that you know is holding fish where you can also watch for rising water along the bank.  

Also I've had a few people shake their had at me when I tell them where I have been guiding and fishing since highway 24 closed.  Yes it is extremely hot in Pueblo...  If you put on your wet wading shoes and shorts, put on sunscreen, and wear light and protective clothing it is actually very comfortable!  The water coming out of pueblo dam is coming from the bottom of the reservoir so it's nice and cold and feels great to wade in.  Leave the waders at home, and prepare for the heat just like you would prepare for the cold only in reverse.  I promise you won't regret it if you take a trip down south.  The bugs are hatching and the fish are big!

Tight Lines! 

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