Gazette Article - How To Properly Handle Trout!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Paying Respect To Great Grandparents

Bree with Great-grandpa at the zoo!

Today our daughter Bree's Great-grandfather turned 84 years young. Happy Birthday! He is part of a dying breed, and like many of our children's Great-grandparents he survived the Great Depression while learning the meaning of hard work and how to provide for himself on the farm. He served his country in the military during a time when people did so because it was the respected thing to do - not because of economic circumstance.

Back then, people knew who their neighbors were, and their kids played together in the streets until the sun came down without fear of some asshole shooting them with a Glock. There wasn't any Smartphones, Fox News, Jersey Shore, or Honey Boo Boo. Great-grandpa Charles Kleis raised his kids during a time when one man with one income could buy a house, a car, and provide for his entire family. His time was a place where respect, fair pay, hard work, and golden rules were normal.

My generation grew up in very different times. We were playing Oregon Trail on Apple computers at school, and coming home to Mario on the original Nintendo. We grew up watching Ridley own a bunch of acid bleeding aliens, and watching Bart getting choked out by Homer on Fox television before being forced to finish our homework. Though I appreciate a lot of things about my childhood, it's becoming more apparent to me that the 80's are when the societal shit started hitting the fan.

My grandfather was acutely aware of that fact. It was this that inspired him to be one of the positive guiding forces in my life from a young age. "Now Jon Henry Kleis, remember what grandpa told you? don't drink, don't smoke, and don't do drugs", is what he always used to tell me when he would visit. And guess what? I have never been drunk, I don't smoke, and I have never done drugs. My relatives, immediate family, and good friends know that being proud of the decisions I've made and continue to make define me, and are what make me a happier person. Without grandpa in my ear telling me it's ok to be myself and not to conform to societies new normals who knows where I would be.

Charles Kleis's story is relevant because it's a lesson in how the things we do now greatly effect the future's outcome. Obviously the, "treat your body and yourself with respect" line stuck with me, but what I've been discovering lately through his stories are that his passion for fishing over 60 years ago correlated with my becoming a flyfishing guide today. Of course back then he was crappie fishing from a boat with my father while using cane poles and crickets, but it's clear to me that he started something. He passed that passion for fishing down to my father, who then encouraged me, and now I share that passion with others.

Great-grandpa Kleis you are one of the many reasons I truly believe we can still have a positive future. If enough good people with the guts to be the change they want to see in the world put themselves out there, maybe that's enough to start a revolution. Thankyou for being the person you are, for all your flaws, and all your inspiration. We love you!

Guy In a Fish Costume!

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Look At Insects Found In Fountain Creek Post Waldo Canyon Fire 01-21-2013

I got bored today and decided to get out and enjoy this amazing weather. Out of curiosity I decided to pay a visit to the stretch of Fountain Creek above Manitou between the edge of town and Rainbow Falls to do a bug kick. I did several kicks there last year starting around March to see what insects I could find after the stream improvements.  A list of what I found in late March through April 2012: Baetis nymphs, Midge larvae, Caddis Larvae, Annelids (worms), Crane fly larvae, and Stonefly nymphs.

Today's visit was to see what insects inhabit the creek on a warm day in late January after the Waldo Canyon Fire. From what I understand there was plenty of run-off that washed into Fountain Creek after the fire - though I didn't see any physical signs. For example the Springer Fire in Elevenmile Canyon left the bank on the Springer Campground side colored black with soot. Noticeably missing from today's kick list so far are Midges, Caddis, and both large and small Stoneflies. How much of that has to do with it still being early in the year, or if those insects are missing because of the actual water quality, remains to be determined. When I do kicks like this I check multiple spots including under rocks, next to the bank, under fallen branches, and in any vegetation I find so all the bases are covered. I'll keep you guys posted on my findings when I do another kick in late March. Photos of the insects I found today...


Crane Fly Larvae
Small Baetis Nymphs

Monday, January 14, 2013

Fly Tying 101 - The San Juan Worm

The San Juan Worm has been a staple in many guides boxes over the years. Considered taboo by fly tying and flyfishing purists. There is no denying that tying the San Juan has become an art form, spawning many variations on the theme. Some tyers prefer the front of the fly to be longer than the tail or visa versa, some like to put a big tungsten bead on for additional weight, and there is no shortage of imaginative ways to use new synthetics in an attempt to make the perfect fish catching Annelid.

That creative control is what I think people love about fly tying, and for a pattern that takes roughly 2 minutes to tie you can do a lot with this very simple design. The beauty of the San Juan is that there are always annelids/worms in some shape or form in the river system. This is why it never hurts to have a worm as your lead fly on a multiple fly rig. My personal favorite time to fish them is after a bump in flows, or I like to use a red San Juan as my lead fly during the spawn.

San Juan Worm Recipe

Hook: TMC 2488 Scud hook in your favorite size
Thread: Your favorite color 8/0 or 70 denier
Worm body: You favorite color standard ultra chenille.

For a look at a really cool variation of the San Juan Worm tied by Jamie Roth click here! He literally took a basic San Juan Worm and covered it in epoxy and it looks like it would rip lips under the right condition! For a look at the San Juan tied with a Pearl Core Braid follow this link. As always if you have any questions or would like to schedule me for a guided trip shoot me an email at

For more tying videos click HERE.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Fishing Report Jan. 10 2012 - Written

Midges and more midges! Flows are where they should be for the Arkansas and South Platte tailwaters with the exception of Cheesman Canyon/Deckers, which is still sitting at a healthy 172 c.f.s. Elevenmile Canyon is moving along at 70 c.f.s. and the bottom 2/3's of the canyon is pretty well covered in ice. If you plan on fishing the Dream Stream or the Canyon stay close to the dams, and even then be prepared for ice breaking off the banks to be an obstacle as temperatures rise during the day. Flow on the Arkansas below Pueblo is 61 c.f.s.

Flies to come armed with for both tailwaters are: San Juan Worms, Baetis emerges like the RS-2 in gray or olive and the BWO Barr's Emerger sizes 22-24, pegged eggs, South Platte Brassies size 22-24, Black Beauties 22-24, Bubbleback Midges size 22, Mojo Midges size 22.

Stay warm and tight lines everybody!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Friday, January 4, 2013

How To Tie - Kleis's Mysis

First, a little background behind my inspiration for this fly. Let it be known that I'm not the first person to use Glow in the Dark Flashabou for a Mysis Shrimp pattern, nor will I be the last. I just got tired of it not being shared with the general public. This is a simple pattern to tie (under 5 minutes), and you would be hard pressed to find a more realistic representation of a dead Mysis shrimp than this. Kristen and I took Kleis's Mysis to the Taylor, and owned fish all day while other anglers watched. In fact, that day on the Taylor was the first time Kristen landed a fish there, and she didn't stop at one.

Every sample I've collected of Mysis over the years has that paddle shaped looking tail called a Statocyst. This "tail" is something I rarely see represented in Mysis patterns, which surprises me because of how much emphasis is put on profile in fly-tying. Another trait that you will see if you google "Mysis shrimp" and look at the images is the appearance of an orange spot on some dead shrimp. I've been told that the orange spot is the egg sack of the female, though I haven't done the research yet to confirm. This is my reason for using orange for the eyes. And since I started putting orange eyes on my shrimp imitations I have done nothing but kick butt with Mysis on both the Blue River below Dillon, and the Taylor Catch and Release. No, I haven't taken these to the Pan yet, so if anybody wants to "borrow" a few, or tie some up and take them there to see how they do please let me know.

Here is the complete recipe...

Kleis's Mysis

Hook: Tiemco 2487 sizes 10-14
Thread: 14/0 or 8/0 (white)
Eyes: Fine Round Rubber in either orange, black, red, pink, purple
Legs: Widow's Web (white)
Swimming Legs/"thorax": 3 strands Ostrich Herl (white)
Carapace/Flashback: Lagartun French Mini-FlatBraid
Abdomen: 2 strands of Glow in the Dark Flashabou
Rib: x-sm silver wire
Tail/Statocyst: Lagartun French Mini-FlatBraid
Shell back: Thick Clear Cure Goo covered in head cement.

If you appreciate this video and my posts be sure to subscribe to Colorado Flyfishing Magazine and like our facebook page. For all other questions, or to schedule the creator of this bug for a guided trip, send me an email to

Tight lines!

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