Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Backcountry Brookies

        Theres not much else better in life than hiking to a place where you are only present for a few moments.  Lucky enough to spend a few hours chasing fish that very seldom see flies. Life above 11,000 feet above sea level is not a place for humans to live and flourish. It is a delicate yet tough environment. The "summer" season is so short and sweet that its only a matter of time before the rains turn to snow and the ice eventually settles in for another winter in the Rocky Mountain High country.
        The family and I got out a few weeks ago to one of seems like endless high mountain lakes in Colorado. These lakes are probably my favorite thing to fish. Sure its not monster fish pushing the scale toward my toddlers weight but the eager brook trout, lake trout, and splake make for a very entertaining day on the water. Heres some pictures from our adventure hope if you ever get a chance to come out to Colorado you'll try the high mountain lakes around the state. If you time it just right you will be rewarded with lots of wildflowers.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Colorado Back Country Cutthroats

I have a complete problem with hiking. I also have a fishing problem. When you combine the two you end up with a backpack that Boba Fett would envy. With rod tubes protruding like lightning rods and everything needed for "survival" you know tent, sleeping bag and whiskey. The real bare essentials.

 I enjoy a hike that is counted in miles. Especially a hike that is counted over 10 miles of walking through complete and utter wilderness. The final location a high mountain lake damn near the clouds. Of course we all know the fish we chase always live in terribly awful dreary locations that are not worth ever experiencing.
The lake as you finally get to see it.

The Falls Just below the lake.
The first set of falls.
This is what most of the trail looked like on our hike up after the first falls. My 2 year old son holding his own on the trail.

 Generally these lakes are teeming with fish that will eat anything that even remotely resembles a bug. I cannot and will not ever be able to put words to the feeling of catching these wild fish in their native habitat. I am by no means an author or an english major. I just like to share these adventures with the rest of the fishing community.
This was my first fish after camp was established. Forgot my phone for the rest you'll just have to take my word.

I love fish that have been in the same lake for a thousand years. Unmolested and left alone to breed and regenerate their population without hatchery influence. I am talking real wild trout. Sure cutty's don't get the same publicity as their sea fairing cousins the steelhead and salmon but each one of these fish is straight up rocky mountain gold. Get out there and start prospecting!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Splurged and the selfish act of going to the fly shop.

We all do it. We as fly fishermen and women are all guilty of telling the significant other were just going for tying materials or a pack of tippet. When in all reality we are eyeballing the reel case day dreaming of that thing cranked down whining with the fish of a lifetime on the other end of that tippet we were supposed to be getting in the first place. Or false casting that brand new top of the line $1000 dollar Sage, Orvis, or Winston. When you know you should just be in the tying section and fooling oneself into "I could afford this" "If i just eat ramen and tuna packets for a few weeks." "You know just like hiking but living at home." We all know that having a family and youngsters comes with responsibility and they aren't going to be cool with having ramen and tuna for a couple weeks we have to put that dream rod back in the case and walk away. Thinking to yourself, one day I will have that rod tube tucked under my arm and reel in hand lined out with your choice will eventually come and it does.

After waiting a few years and being patient I have finally pulled the trigger on a new setup. I have been fishing the Orvis clearwater with a BBS3 reel for about 5 years. I have absolutely no complaints on either of the rod or reel. I have caught bass, walleye, sheepshead and trout on that setup. It was my first "real" fly fishing rig with the big name. Which is why I am so partial to this setup. I have broken it and my dog has broken it. Orvis has came through and honored their end of the warranty. Earning them a customer for life. They even upgraded me the second time because they didn't make the original clearwater anymore. So hell yeah as a fisherman you'll take the latest and greatest for the free!(rod return fees)

Orvis has gone away with the Access series of rods and have introduced the Recon. From the get the advertisement totally won me over. I know I shouldn't let advertisements push my direction either way. Besides who can get mad at that trout laid out in a topographical map? With being an avid backcountry hiker and enjoying the high mountain lakes and rivers Colorado has to offer the solid aluminum rod tube with the aforementioned topographical trout lured me in. Light weight sleek and not made of nylon and plastic that tends to soak out when it does rain here adding weight that you can't drink. The other part that caught me was the fact that they were made here in America. I've always wanted a rod that was made in the US, but never could come up with the coin to own one without as much guilt.

I bought the Recon in a 4 piece 9 foot 8 weight rod. Having the casting characteristics of the H2 without the H2 price was a huge plus. Thermoplastics and high end resins are nice but fish don't care about that stuff. To be quite frank neither do I. Do I enjoy a rod that casts smoothly and puts your fly within a foot or two of where you wanted it? Absolutely. I paired the rod with Sage 4280 reel. I lined it with Scientific Anglers 250 grain Wet Tip Express. This is going to be my streamer rod for big trout and pike out of my canoe.

Why am I still rambling on about my latest first world purchase? Because of ice and snow are still blocking the trailheads. Until then I will continue to construct Kelly Galloup would be a mad zoo cougars.

Monday, January 26, 2015

January Dry Fly

Well I have thought about this page and how I should be keeping up on it but honestly its the last of my worries. I sure wish I fished as much as I could just to keep a page like this rolling. Obviously in all reality I haven't fished nearly as much as I should have. Oh well what are you going to do. When you're 27 and raising a family working 40+ a week all you can do is enjoy those Saturdays with the family. I love the time spent with them and still adventuring but its not at my pace anymore. Its what satisfies the collective. If I am lucky we can squeeze in a couple hours on the river casting god knows what with crap that has been collected in my fly tying desk. Which I have learned don't keep real deal wild squirrel tail in there because mites of whatever sort will eat the rest of the materials in that said drawer. That was a fun clean out.

The weather finally broke after a few weeks of what felt like actual winter here in Colorado. We had a Sunday with a forecast that said the possible 60's! I took a random chance hoping for some dry fly fishing and was rewarded. We packed up and headed down south hoping to catch a warmer break on the river. I got what I was hoping for. Warm weather and rising fish! IN JANUARY. Being from Michigan having rising fish in January is I won't say impossible but very very close. Watching people fly fish with dries is only something you can watch on youtube and or think of those sunny days on the little creeks watching the resident browns sip them from the surface while  you're sitting in an ice shanty jigging for walleye. Anyway this was a banner day. Not a single fish broke the scale. Not one was even over 14 inches. They were all wild trout in the river. I had an awesome day on the river fishing dry flies with my family IN JANUARY! Oh yeah and technically speaking these were my first fish of the new year!