A day on the South Platte with Redington's CPX Waders
I was able to get out on the South Platte this weekend with a group of fly fishers from my fishing club - High Plains Drifters. We fished the South Platte just above Deckers. Downstream from the bridge, the muddy runoff from the Hayman Burn area in Trout Creek (Horse Creek), made fishing iffy, so we fished the relatively clear water upstream from the bridge. Fishing wasn't really great; I hooked and release two - a 15" rainbow and a 10" brown - but the day warmed up nicely into the 50's, and aside for a few gusts of wind throughout the day, the weather was great. I caught myne on a peach San Juan worm and a beadhead Prince nymph, # 16. Others were fishing Cranefly larva, golden stones and midges.
But what made the day more enjoyable for me were the new pair of Redington zipper-front CPX waders I was trying out. I've tried out various brands of waders in the past, but I really liked the Redington zip-front waders for several reasons.
First of all, the very heavy duty zipper (same kind used in dry suites) makes getting into and out of the waders a breeze and was totally waterproof. Secondly, I generally use a chest pack, so the vertical side-zipper front pockets were very accessible, since they position nicely to the left and right of the chest pack. Thirdly, they really are cut well: I didn't feel that I was wearing a clown suit, and the RedStorm breathable fabric and reinforced lower legs were very comfortable. They have lots of other nice features, which you can read about on Redington's site www.redington.com. Probably the best feature is the $279.95 price tag. These waders compared very well to the brands I've used that have sold for more than twice that.
We don't currently sell these waders in our online shop, but I would recommend you check out the waders on Redington's site, find the nearest dealer to you and go in and try on a pair. I think you might like these waders as much as I do.
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This is a bit different from what I normally blog about, and there's a bit of backstory to it.
Several years I decided I wanted to write a novel. It was going to be a techno-thriller and I was looking for all the resources I could find. I was invited to join a local critique group, where author-wannabe's could present what they had done the previous week and get feedback from the group. Since then, several of the group have published their novels, but mine got to about page 200 and I put it away to finish at a later date.
One of the members of the group, Mario Acevedo, had this crazy idea: he was writing about nympho vampires. It was called the Nymphos of Rocky Flats and it was hilarious! His protagonist, Felix Gomez, a private investigator, was "bitten" so to speak, and obviously, became a vampire. Felix has shepherded Mario's novels through, now, 6 books, the latest titled "Werewolf Smackdown".
In addition to being very funny, Mario puts out a very good mystery, too. Felix is usually faced with a number of things out of his control and he can't always fight his way out of the predicament. But, he can think and move quickly, and that gets him out of some tough spots. Even the bad guys have foibles; doing things that are not only counterproductive, but get them into hot water more often than not.
I know how hard it is to write a novel, Mario has now written 6 in the last 5 years, and the guy deserves some kudos. If you like a good mystery with some great off-beat humor, pick up one of Mario's books at your bookstore. You just might get bitten too.
As for my novel; it's still sitting on my harddrive, waiting for the day I can get to it when I'm not fishing.
If you'd like a chance to win one of several great fly fishing prizes, including waders, rods, reels, a one-day guided fishing trip in Montana - even an annual membership in the Rocky Mountain Angling Club - register in our Spring Sweepstakes.
The sweepstakes will run until April 24th, 2010, but it's only our first. No purchase is necessary to register for the sweepstakes, but you'll need to do it before April 25th. Only one entry per participant, though. Throughout the year, we'll run more sweepstakes and contests, all with great prizes, so check back often.
While you're at it, check out the benefits you can get by becoming a member. For less than $50 per year you get access to great discounts in our members' shop (we'll be adding tons of great rods, reels, gear and accessories, as well as books, DVDs and travel throughout the next few months - most of which will only be available in our members' shop. Besides discounted shopping, you will periodically receive coupons via email on name-brand merchandise - all fly fishing related - and some truly "unbelievable bargains" on trips and destinations. You will have access to our Buy/Sell/Trade tent where you can buy, sell or swap your personal gear with other members, and even find people to go fishing with. Our Trip Planner™ provides stream flow, weather and other information on favorite fishing waters, and will soon allow you to create a private fishng log with pictures that you can share with other selected members, or just keep it to yourself.
Whether you become a member or not, we hope you join our angling community. We have forums waiting for great topics, a place to upload your favorite fly patterns to share with the community, ability to reach our viewers with guest blogs, and if you're a guide, outfitter, lodge or fly shop, a free listing in our directory. We have other marketing services available, too, if you're a part of the fly fishing industry.
But most importantly, we want our content and features to be driven by the anglers of the world. If there's something you'd like to see or do online, let us know. We're interested in what you have to say.
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There are lots of people who swear the phase of the moon has a lot to do with their luck in fly fishing. I'm one of them.
No, I don't mean the lunar gravitational pull on the tides, which I believe has some effect on coastal fishing. I'm referring to the amount of moonlight on freshwater fish feeding habits.
We recently posted a lunar calendar in our resources section, and in researching the effect of moon phases on feeding habits of freshwater fish, I came across an interesting comment. The author stated that most flying insects have poor night vision; that's why we see so many buzzing around streetlights on a summer night, and, I guess, why there is a lucrative market for bug zappers. But I digress.
He stated that during the full moon, and the last part of a waxing moon and the early part of the waning moon, there is a relative bright reflection of the moon on the water. And this reflection is what attracts the insects to hover close to the river surface and, of course, attract hungry trout. If the trout are gorging themselves at night, they are less likely to take that new fly you just tied, or paid $3.00 for.
I know this doesn't account for all my rotten luck on occasion, but I sure hope it accounts for some of it. I even bought a watch that tells me the best times to fish, based on the moon phases. Sometimes it seems to work and sometimes it doesn't. Of course, as any good fly fisher knows, there are so many moving parts - like a sloppy cast, or using a pattern that has no remote resemblance to anything that has existed in the insect world for the last million years, or not setting the hook even after the fish has taken the fly, figured out it really isn't anything he wants to eat (how this could be so, I don't know; I have found cigarette filters in their stomachs) and spits it out in arrogant defiance of your slow reaction time.
Maybe there's something to this. Maybe you have an opinion one way or the other. We'd love to hear your thoughts.
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(Note: Fly Fisher Pro personnel received free accomodations and some meals provided by Riverside and the Rio Grande Club)
The Riverside at the Rio Grande Club provides some luxurious accomodations on the upper waters of the Rio Grande. Southfork has about 500 permanent residents, which triples during the summer season when the Rio Grande is floatable and provides some fantastic trout fly fishing.
During mid-October, however, myself and a few other bloggers were the only ones on the 1.5 mile stretch of private water on the Rio Grande, owned by the Club. At this time of year, the river is very wadeable and provides ample opportunity to try out some #14 and #16 AP nymphs tied by local guide, Joel Condren at Sout For Anglers. The 4 of us caught a number of Bows, Browns, and a few CuttBows, nothing of trophy size (the largest was a 16" Rainbow), but nonetheless great fishing.
One of the nice features of staying at the Riverside/Rio Grande Club was the fishing lodge right on the river. It was a great place to take a break for lunch provided by the Tandem Group, marketers for the Riverside. And that brings up another nice feature: the food at the Club is superb and plentiful. One wonders if they lured a chef from one of the national resorts.
I've included a few pictures below about the long weekend. Given the 1.5 mile stretch of private water, the very nice accomodations (some of the 4-bedroom condos can accomodate up to 10 people), an 18-hole golf course and top-of-the-line clubhouse, it is well worth the 3-hour trip from Durango, CO or the 5-hour trek from Denver.
Aerial view of Riverside at Rio Grande Club
Private water fishing at the Rio Grande Club
Family room at Riverside
Clubhouse at the Rio Grande Club
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For 3 nights, I, along with a few other fly fishing bloggers, were hosted at the Riverside at Rio Grande Club, by the Tandem Group, the marketing arm for the Riverside vacation homes at the Rio Grande Club in Southfork, Colorado.
This little hamlet at the intersection of Highways 160 and 149 sits right on the upperRio Grande, not to far from its headwaters, and the Rio Grande club owns 1.5 miles of access to the Rio Grande.
Late October isn’t the best time to fish the Rio Grande.Low water (about 250 cfs) means the trout are holding in deeper pools and have to be presented with just the right flies, at just the right depth.We were using a #16 AP (an “all purpose” nymph with a large, copper beadhead tied by local guide, Joel Condren – more about him later), pheasant tails and bead head pheasant tails.These seemed to do best attracting the fish, mostly browns and rainbows.
Weather was crisp but clear and beautiful, until a brief early-fall snowstorm followed us down the valley as we left Monday morning.The best times to fish were midday and late afternoon, which was also the right times according to the local lunar calendar.
Granted, it’s a bit of a haul from Denver to Southfork – about 5.5 hours,but if you’ve never fished the upper Rio Grande or any of its tributaries, you’re in for a wonderful surprise.Even in the busiest season, you seldom see another angler close enough to yell at, and in early summer float trips are really great, especially with a guide like Joel who holds leases and permits on more water down the upper Rio than anybody else.2-and 3-pound Cutts and Browns, as well as Rainbows are not uncommon catch-and-release game fish on one of Joel’s float trips, but our luck during this weekend topped out at a 15” Rainbow caught by Marshall Estes of fly-fishing-colorado.com.My largest was a measly 12” Rainbow, but hey, I enjoyed just being on the river in mid-October, and imagining a really big one slurping in my fly and taking my line for a ride.Maybe that’s how I missed some of the suck-and-spit strikes that would have netted me something larger.
Tomorrow I tell you more about the facilities and the food at the club, along with some picture I took, if I can find my darn cable…
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If you're looking for a little competitive fun this weekend, and you're a wily fly angler, you are in luck! A few slots just opened up for the Carp Slam this Saturday, August 22, 2009.
If you're not looking to compete, you can watch 15 teams up and down the South Platte in downtown Denver compete for the $1000 First Place prize. The teams will be fishing from 8:30 - 11:30 am and again from 2:00 - 5:00 pm in their quests to score the most total inches of Carp landed.
Afterwards,starting at about 5:30 pm, head to Fuel Cafe [directions] for the Awards, Free Band (Broken Holmes), Drink Specials, Special Guests and a fund raising auction.
All of the proceeds from the Carp Slam are dedicated to our goal of transforming the urban South Platte River from Denver's biggest ditch into a special, scenic place with a full range of recreational opportunities. Of course we'd love it to be full of giant trout!
Get all of the details at www.CarpSlam.org. We hope to see you this coming Saturday.
P.S. the South Platte is considered one of the finest carp fisheries in North America.
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I spent a great morning fishing Bear Creek above Ideldale, Colorado. Water was a perfect 50 cfs and clear. There was a caddis hatch coming off the water and the trout were taking just about anything I threw out: # 18 gold-ribbed hare's ear, # 14 purple pheasant tail, #22 caddis puppa. I hooked 6 and landed 4, including a 14" rainbow. It was starting to warm up at 11 :30 AM when I left the stream to drive back and get to work on the site. Although I was only on the water about 2 hours, it was a lovely two hours! What a great way to start the day.
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My friend Marshall Estes, owner of Colorado-Flyfisher-com, decided to check out a few spots along Bear Creek between Morrison, CO and Evergreen, CO. As of today, cfs above the lake is about 54 and is 80 cfs at Morrison. For this size stream, it's still a bit fast to fish well, but it's trending down. Near Evergreen, Bear Creek should be very fishable this week. When we went up Friday, we noticed a nice Caddis hatch.
The South Platte at Deckers is still running high at 854 cfs.
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We're getting excited to see all our old friends and meet new ones at the Fly Fishing Show in Denver, Colorado this weekend. We don't have a booth this year, but I'll will be roaming the aisles, passing out literature about the new FlyFisherPro site, and seeing if we can help the businesses attract more customers in these tough economic times.
There are about 100 exhibitors at this year's show. Mostly local guides, outfitters, and lodges, but some from as far away as California and Florida.
If you live in or near Denver and are looking for something fun to do this Friday, Saturday or Sunday, I encourage you and your family to visit the Fly Fishing Show at the Denver Merchandise Mart just west of I-25 on 56th Ave. You'll be able to attend seminars by leading experts and authors, see casting demonstrations, see fly tying done by people like Charlie Meck, Ed Engle, A.K Best and many more. And, if you're the competitive sort, there's the open 2nd annual Wright and McGill Fly Casting Competition with a grand prize of $1,000!
All in all, it will be the best show yet. Hope I'll see you there.
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