Gazette Article - How To Properly Handle Trout!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Politics and Flyfishing - Casting My Vote

One More Cast

Democrats or republicans I care not.
Missing from the ballot is human compassion.  
Missing from the ballot is a sense of real purpose. 
I vote for one more cast!

 If a comet comes will you care about war?
Will you care about who's God is greater?
Or would you treasure every second left and head to a trout stream with your family?
I hear there are mountains with moving water in Afghanistan.
I vote for one more cast!

This isn't about who to cast your vote for.  
This is about what.
What's important?
Greed and anger?
Or getting the perfect drift?
I vote for one more cast!

Argue until you're blue in the face about same sex marriage.
Argue about money.
Rich man or poor man we are all dead men walking.

Why not share?
Share a secret fishing spot.
Share your wealth and your wisdom.
Take care of those less fortunate.
Because one day you'll be on your death bed, and all of the money 
and fancy things you voted and worked so hard for won't matter.
At that moment I bet you vote for one more cast!

Golden rules to still live by.
Are you the type of person who lets somebody over that's trying to turn onto a busy street?
You're losing friends you don't really know on some social network.
Treat people the way you expect to get treated and we all end up on the river.
When you get into fishing you're expected to display etiquette.
Respect each others space.
Wait your turn.

Come election time cast your vote.
Not for big business.
Not for greedy politicians.
Vote to live in the moments that give you chills and set your soul on fire.
Vote for one more cast!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Kleis's Fly Of The Week - Barr's Trico Vis-A-Dun

Click to enlarge

Barr's Trico Vis-A-Dun has been my go-to pattern anywhere there has been a Trico hatch since it came out.  Barr's pattern does a great job at imitating the dun stage of the Trico as it's name suggests, but will also catch fish all the way through the spinner fall.  I can't tell you how many days I've spent on the water fishing this hatch and never had to change flies.

Fish size 22 when you see Trico's starting to hatch around the end of July on the South Platte River, and on the Arkansas River below Pueblo Reservoir.  As it gets later in the year and the weather starts to get cooler down size to a size 24 Vis-A-Dun.  This is important for a couple of reasons.  First, if you fish in the same places I do then you know that there is a ton of fishing pressure and these educated fish start to snub larger offerings.  Second, the bugs actually start to get smaller in size as we get closer to October.  It's not unheard of for anglers to throw size 26 Trico imitations towards the end of the year.

One of the common mistakes I hear anglers make is that they assume because it is late September or even October that the bugs they are seeing are Blue Wing Olives.  Always remember guys and gals that Trico's hatch until we get that first real freeze in the high country.  If the freeze doesn't happen until two days before Halloween and you're fishing in the morning and seeing a cloud of insects overhead then the odds are pretty good you are witnessing a Trico hatch.  And because there are still midges and Blue Wings capable of hatching you could be smack dab in the middle of a multiple hatch.

The beauty of the Vis-A-Dun is that it can easily be mistaken for a midge.  A trick I learned from working with old timers in the shop that I truly believe has helped me fool more fish is to clip the tail to give your fly a smaller profile.  For instance, you know beyond the shadow of a doubt that the Trico hatch is done for the day but you still see fish coming up to midges.  Turn your Trico pattern into a midge by clipping the tail.

Photo of an epic Trico hatch in 11 Mile Canyon August 30, 2012

There is still plenty of time in the year to schedule a guided trip and have a chance to fish this insane hatch in beautiful 11 Mile Canyon on the South Platte River!  Just shoot me an email at to check out my rates and availability!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Inventor Of The Elk Hair Caddis Passed Away

I received a post on Facebook from a friend sharing the sad news that yet another great tyer has passed away.  I say great even though I didn't know much about Al Troth, but anybody that creates a pattern as timeless as the Elk Hair Caddis has to be considered one of the greats.  You guys know I have a soft spot for remembering and giving credit to tyers that have invented flies that have literally taken over the industry and this is one of those times.  For an extremely well written article on Al Troth follow this link to the Bozeman Daily.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Kleis's Fly Of The Week - BH FB PT

The Bead Head Flash Back Pheasant Tail nymph is a staple that just about anybody who has fished a nymph rig has in their box.  The original Pheasant Tail was created by Frank Sawyer and was tied only using wire as a thread and pheasant tail fibers.  Franks original has spawned many variations including the one I tied above since.

Hook: Orvis Big Eye
Bead: Spirit River Brass Nickel 
Thread: UTC FL. Fire Orange
Wing Case: Lateral Scale Crystal Flash
Tail: Pheasant Tail Fibers
Abdomen: Pheasant Tail Fibers
Rib: Small Copper Wire
Thorax: Peacock Black Ice Dub
Legs: Pheasant Tail Fibers
Head Cement Finish: Sally Hansen Hard As Nails

The Pheasant Tail is one of those generic patterns that could be mistaken by a trout for just about anything depending on the size PT you are fishing and the time of year.  The two hatches that I have seen on the South Platte and Arkansas River that this fly best imitates are the Pale Morning Dun nymph and the Yellow Sally Stonefly nymph.  I can't even fathom the amount of Pheasant Tails the fish in our river systems see which is why I think it's important to give them different looks.  Some people prefer Gold beads to Silver.   Some prefer to use a red collar as apposed to the hot orange as shown above.  Flash Back or no Flash Back, etc...  They all catch fish!  Here is a pretty cool Black and White video of Frank tying the original!  

Monday, August 6, 2012

Keeping Things Fresh And Local For 3 Years Now

Hey readers I wanted to thank you for showing your support.  My blog has surpassed 40,000 views!  I have a huge huge HUGE favor to ask you.  If you appreciate my site then take 5 minutes out of your life and follow this link and vote for me for "Best Local Blog" and help keep this project going!  At the bottom of the voting poll is where it is located.  When you find the field for best local blog just type in It requires that you vote for a few other things like favorite restaurant and business so this is also a great chance to potentially help out your favorite local spots.  I promise it's super quick and greatly appreciated! Also if you're into skiing, snowboarding, or skating and you like Blindside I know the owner Jon Easdon would appreciate those votes as well. Thanks and tight lines!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

America's Mountain In Black And White

I recently saw a commercial during the Olympics where they called Pikes Peak America's Mountain.  It's ironic that all of us Springs residents wake up every morning in the shadow of one of the most beautiful mountains in the country, and think nothing of it because we all subconsciously associate our mountain with what a mountain should look like.  All of the recent events have put our state in the National spotlight, and i am just as guilty as the next person when it comes to taking the surrounding beauty for granted.

In fact even though I make what some people might call a "living" by taking part in nature as a flyfishing guide it took a fire in 11Mile Canyon and half of our mountain burning up for me to realize that what we have living in Colorado Springs is a complete and total blessing.  All this media coverage of the fire and shooting have shown the rest of the people in this country two things.  First is that Colorado residents are a resilient bunch, and second is that our state is one of the most beautiful places on Earth.  If you need further daily proof of that then look up and follow "The Pikes Peak Guy" on Facebook.

He has dedicated his life to taking photos of "America's Mountain" from all angles 365 days a year.  In fact it is so refreshing to get on Facebook and see his photos every day that I was inspired to get off my fat butt and take some photos myself.  Obviously I'm not going to quit my day job but I think the photos came out alright.  It was sunrise around 8 a.m. and there was a cloud covering part of the mountain and Kissing Camels in shade.   I picked my favorite four of the group that showed the cloud moving away to reveal the rock formations.  Here they are...

What the morning started out like

Cloud moving away

Still moving away.  This is my favorite of the four.


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