Sunday, October 16, 2011

Decent Little Brown out of my local creek

Took out the GoPro again today to see if I could actually catch a decent sized fish with the thing on my head. Overall had a pretty decent day on Boulder Creek and finally got brave enough to test this whole "water proof" feature of the go pro.  You can see some of the fall colors here in Colorado and in short fall fishing on a small stream is what it is all about to me.

You won't see me post many pictures of "hawgs" or anything else, this small creek stuff is what I live for when I am not carping :)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Striking out first day with a GoPro

So I decided that I wanted to post some videos on this blog hopefully training folks on what to do.  I went down and got a fancy new GoPro Hero HD strapped it to my head and this was the result....

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hammering the Hoppers!

You know that childish guy movie where there are a lot of fart jokes and blatant frontal nudity?  The one where inevitably the guy scores with the girl and his buddy asks about it and he does something really low brow and lets his buddy smell his finger.  Well smell my hand folks…. It smells like FISH!
Long way to go to make a lame joke but I can’t stop smelling my hand today because I hit up the local creek this morning and they were absolutely hammering the hoppers.  It made me think about how during the run off I focus on Carp but just how awesome a day on the stream where fish are just jumping out of the water to catch a grasshopper.  It is that time of the year here in Boulder where there are 3-4 inch hoppers abound and it is probably my favorite time of year to fish, hence the name of the blog.
Over the past few months it probably could have been called “Carp” talk but I figured I would re-focus and give you all some tips that I found out today and the past couple of quick trips to the creek.

Cast Poorly

It sounds funny but the most violent strikes I have had when fishing hoppers came off of some of the worsts casts possible.  I can’t tell you how many times I have casted long and into the grass behind the bank and said “aww man please don’t snag”.  I give it a little tug and the hopper gently leaps off the grass and into the water and BAM a fish slams it.  Think about it, grasshoppers are terrestrials so they will come from land.  If you cast on the land and simulate it falling in the water it can be VERY productive.  The best place to do this is to find a rock and cast on it then just gently let it fall off of the rock and into the water.  Your chances of snagging on a rock are slim and odds are you can cast into the rock and let it fall into a pool.  The trout love this.

Environmental issues

As I mentioned above grasshoppers are going to come from the ground obviously.  It’s not like a Caddis hatch where there are bugs swirling all around you.  A Grasshopper has to be looked at like going to the County Fair with your kid and letting them actually get a deep fried Oreo, it doesn’t happen every day and when they get the chance they gobble it up.  So take note about how a grasshopper would get into the water.  A low hanging tree branch, make it look like it fell out.  Is it windy?  Perhaps a cast in the middle of the water would be a good idea. My favorite though was this morning I was near a bridge over the water and a car drove over and I saw no less than 3 hoppers jump off and 1 landed in the water and was instantly slammed. When there is a bridge near by the whole water opens up.

Bring a buddy!

Hopper season in my mind is the best time of the year to get someone started on fly fishing.   The bottom line is when a hopper hits the water it is not graceful, it flails around and sometimes twitches and even swims a little upstream.  We aren’t talking about the perfect dead drift here and no leader in the water high sticking.  You can afford to make mistakes and in some cases a mistake makes it look more realistic.  When a fish decides to hit a hopper (usually not very long after it hits the water) then they absolutely hammer it.  The type of takes you see on TV.  Perfect conditions for getting someone interested in fly fishing. 

One last little bit of advice.  The largest fish I caught today did something I haven’t seen a trout do before…. It may be common but I haven’t seen it yet.  It actually wacked the hopper so that it went under and then came back and ate it.  I somehow had the wherewithal to wait till the take.  Watch out for this!
Take care all and happy hopper season!

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Carp Directory

Jay Zimmerman over at Colorado Fly Fishing Reports has posted pretty much the end all be all directory for Carp fly fishing articles.

Short story about Jay.  Back when he was working for the evil empire Jay was one of the first people I ever talked to about fly fishing.  I am sure he had heard it a thousand times before, grew up spin fishing... moved to Colorado... wanted to try fly fishing blah blah blah.  Even though when I left he probably rolled his eyes at me and my newbie questions he was nothing but cordial and extremely helpful.  So I obviously caught the fly fishing bug and he was a big reason why.

Shortly after that I went in and told him a story of trying to fish for Bass for the first time on my fly rod and hearing something thrash around in the weeds.  I decided to cast at it and to this day it is the best cast I have made, I hit whatever this thing was on the head.  I let the popper type fly sit there for a bit and this BEAST appeared behind it and then WHAM my fly went down.  I set the hook and 2 seconds later my line was floating back at me limply minus fly and beast.  Jay (and Rob another evil empire employee) both said "Carp" at the same time.  I said "No it couldn't be this was a dry fly, and carp only eat hotdogs and corn puffs right?" Mere moments later Jay was drawing me pictures and telling me how to go catch it to see for myself, and I have been addicted to it since.  I still am terrible at it, but it is all sorts of fun especially during run-off.

In short... if you happen to come across this and you havn't checked it out yet.  Head on over to his directory and his blog for that matter.  You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tips on Better Hopper Fishing

Seeing as how this is called hopper talk I figured I would defer to the nice people at Orvis for this good article on how to fish Hoppers better!

Tips on Better Hopper Fishing

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fly Fishing Still Waters (Lakes and Ponds)

First off I apologize for not posting in a while.  It has been a very busy year and admittedly I did not get to go fishing nearly as much as I would have liked to.  However I do have a 2 month old daughter to show for all of that time off so the tradeoff was worth it.
Recently I had a chance to stay at a cabin on a private lake near Grand Lake, CO.  I had heard that this lake was stocked with 3-4lb rainbow trout every year and that the getting was really good shortly after ice-out which is when it was stocked.  This timing happened to coincide with my 10 year anniversary so the family and I headed to the cabin for what turned out to be a fantastic time.  Now… since this is a blog about fishing I will spare you all the good family fun we had and focus on what I learned about fishing still waters.

In the past my approach to fishing lakes and ponds was to put some sort of spoon on my spinning rig go out there and cast, reel in, drink a beer and repeat.  But I am a fly fisherman now… or at least trying to be so I wanted to educate myself on fishing this type of body of water.   I bought a book called “Trout Rigs & Methods” a long time ago when I was first starting out and so I figured I would see if it had anything in it about Stillwater fishing boy did it ever.  As with most sections in this book you can get lost in the information that it provides or extract out what you need from it and try to apply it.  I chose the latter.

Locating fish

This particular lake was a ground water lake which means there were no streams feeding into or out of it.  This means that there is literally no current other than what the wind provides.  This poses a few issues, mostly when trying to locate the fish.  Depending on the time of year and day the fish in a lake like this will change their position drastically.  The reason for this is because with no current the food will not come to them, so they have to go find it.  This is why in the early mornings and late evening fish in lakes and ponds will cruise around the shallow areas because the temperature of the water is warm but not to warm.  When it gets warmer during the middle of the day the fish will move to the deepest parts of the lake and they become much harder to catch.
Unlike in streams where there will only be one or two fish in a particular good holding spot, fish in lakes and ponds often form a pod and will cruise around together.  This means locating the fish is the most important thing, and then not moving on right away after you catch one is a good idea.
Now when you can spot rising fish it makes locating the fish easier but I found a very good way to locate fish in deeper waters that were not rising.  The answer is… trolling.  Now this may sound totally un-fly-fisherman-like but it is very hard to argue with the results.   If you have a float tube or a canoe then toss your line in the water let it sink to the right depth and then paddle/kick your way around the lake.  Once you get a bite you have likely found a pod of fish and know where to cast for a while.

Fly Selection

I tried at first to throw some dry flies.  There was a decent amount of caddis fly activity going on all over the lake and the occasional fish could be spotted sipping them off the top.  This is where I learned that fish in still waters are extremely selective.  The caddis hatch was tiny.  Somewhere around a 22 sized hook.  I had nothing but 18s and 20s and I could not get one single fish to take a dry.  I think this is due to the fact that they can see a lot better and do not have to make their minds up right away like they would have to in a rushing current.
After failing for a while with dries I spoke with another fly fisherman who said that he hardly ever got takes on dries on this lake either and that was because mostly they were eating mosquitos off the top and not the caddis.  Along with that suggestion he suggested that I switch to a leech pattern as the lake was completely overrun with leeches (side note: good thing I told my daughter no to swimming in it).  Once I did this I was getting hits left and right, especially using the trolling technique mentioned above.
At one point I tried a tandum rig and had great success.  I was using a leech pattern I had just tied that day and also a Mysis Shrimp pattern behind it.  A lot of times in these stocker lakes they will throw in a ton of Mysis shrimp to keep the fish alive and happy.  I actually took two fish at once!  I have never had this happen before and I almost thought it was impossible but apparently it is not.  Due to the aforementioned tidbit that the fish in lakes will pod up there is actually a good chance of this if you come across a pod.  Now I didn’t actually bring in the fish but watching two fish jump out of the water at the same time was worth it.  I think halfway through the battle the figured out how to pull together and it was to0 much for my 5wt rod/line. 


All in all I had a blast learning how to fish still waters.  Now the guys around me with the spinners were killing it but I have faith that once I get my presentations down and fly selection I will be able to be just as good in the future.