High Park Fire

Monday, May 30, 2011

WIndy, rain. Time to make bugs!

Its been windy and raining.  It seems the weather man say the same thing over and over.  "More rain, more wind".  I love Kathy Sabin, but darn the girl just keeps talking about rain.  I guess this coming week we are supposed to hit the 80's here in Colorado, but we will see.
Anticipating the coming flood of water down the river, I have been tying up carp flies and a few 'Clown Shoe Caddis' by Jay Zimmerman.  I think he originally called it the 'Boulder Creek Caddis', but what ever the name was, I just love this fly.  

Clown Shoe Caddis
I also have been tying up for Carp.  These are also a Jay Zimmerman pattern called 'Backstabber'.  Easy to tie and I just love how buggy they look.  Here fishy fishy!

White Backstabber
Olive Backstabber
Green Backstabber

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Current Fly Rig

The Big Thompson is flowing fast and hard.  The color of mud, chocolate.
Big flies to carry big loads.

Stimulator, my all time goto fly as well as my favorite fly overall. Able to carry large droppers, leap tall buildings...oh sorry wrong story.  I just love this bug.

Kauffmans Stone Fly. Easy to tie and really very realistic stone fly imitation.  I love to use this pretty much all summer as well as now, in early to mid spring.

A cool cased or emerger caddis.  Also easy to and trout just love the darn things.

Happy hunting.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

Tree Wisperer and Sheep Herder, but sorry to say no Trout!

We are back from Michigan after a great visit with the parent-in-laws.  I thought I would try my luck fly fishing the Big Thompson River and see how much she has changed in two weeks.  Although she is a bit more stained it appeared that wading would be easy.
I must have been really rusty from all that jigging and bobber fishing at Lake Mac because within an hour I had lost 3 flies to the trees.

Pixie was along as she had just spent almost 2 weeks at the kennel.
I think she was just happy to out running around sniffing things!

I did manage to run into a large herd of bighorn sheep. All in all there were
13 males hanging by the side of the road either licking the road or eating green grass. Pretty impressive.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Fudge, Forts, and Long Walks!

On our recent trip to Michigan this year my wife Jocelyn and my mother-in-law Joan and I traveled to northern Michigan to visit Historic Mackinac Island.
 Mackinac Island is located in northern Michigan and has been settled ever since Native Americans traveled there to fish during the islands short summers.  French fur traders, British and American soldiers and now tourists have called Mackinac Island home.  Rich with history, fought over by two nations, and loved by all, this island is a great vacation destination.  Eight miles in circumference, the island can be biked in a few hours, or for the fit, walked in several more hours.
 After driving north for 5 hours we took a ferry with Sheplers.  The water quality in northern Michigan in incredible.  Clear, cold. Immaculate.

Arriving on the island is a bit of a culture shock.  No motorized traffic, horse drawn carts and taxi's, bikes everywhere.

We wondered around the island the first day, getting our bearings and checking into Mission Point for the next two days. Without renting a bike for 8 dollars an hour to riding a horse drawn carriage for a huge fee, we were set to walk, and walk, and walk.

The next morning we were up early to do some serious sight seeing.  A fort, cute cottages, shore line, and FUDGE!  Lots and lots of Fudge.
Mackinac Island is famous for its fudge. Sold originally in "Candy Kitchens", fudge became Mackinac Island's number one sweet souvenir.

 Fort Mackinac served as a military outpost for British and, later, American soldiers from 1780 to 1895.

Walking the old fort really was a huge history lesson.  I truly enjoyed being surrounded by so much past history.  And to think so much of the fort is still standing and we are able to walk around and view the past.

We had a small lunch and some more fudge, boy that fudge really is good, my mother-in-law talked us in to walking the entire island.  "We can do this, its easy."  Hmmm.

Off we go!

The scenery is truly breath taking!

Almost there!
We made it! Yahoooooooooo!

Such a wonderful trip. We drove home the next day leaving behind the rain and wind.  Historic Mackinac Island is truly a wonderful vacation destination.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A few pics from our recent Michigan Trip

 Holland Michigans Tulip Time May 2011

This guy walked around stating the world would end May 21 with a giant earthquake because of Israel and the 'Gay Pride Movement' 

Cute kiddo in a Dutch outfit at the parade
Nice Grass Carp 

18 inch Smallmouth Bass from Lake Mac
My wife Jocelyn and myself at Tulip Time Parade

Friday, May 6, 2011

Holland Michigans Tulip Time 2011

Incredible Tulips

Some really incredible Tulips from Holland Michigan.  Each year a huge festival to celebrate Tulips and Dutch Dancing.  Just a few quick pics to show the glory of flowers.

All shots using a Canon T2i with a 50mm 1.4.  I just love the 50mm prime lens. Such wonderful bokeh. Bokeh refers to the blurring of the field behind the main subject. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Flies for catching fish

A self pic from today.  Another windy chilly May day in Colorado.  I walked, saw carp jump, but no takers.
Sage rod and reel

A few bugs I have tied up over the past few weeks.  I am working hard on two parts here.  On the fly front I am working hard on proportions, bulk(lack of), and finishing the fly head.  
 Proportions.  When I first started to tie my flies where bulky and just didn't appear as I wanted. Too big, a bit clumpy there.  Really not good at all.  They say less is more, and in fly tying, way less is more!
  Bulk.  Did I say less if more?  
  Finishing. I have a tendency to 'crowd' the head of the fly.  Not sure why, I just do.  Working on stopping a few thread lengths before the head of the fly now.

The Stimulator is my favorite fly. Many tyers hate to make this bug.  So many steps and a kind of stop start production cycle. This bug just screams eat me.  What am I? A stonefly? A big hopper?  A...whatever?
 I love to fish this with a 'dropper' below.  Being bulky and buoyant this bug can hold its own and then some.  Put a big ole bead head hares ear and the fish can't stay away. 

Craven's Charlie Boy Hopper

Charlie Craven is a local tyer down in Denver and his patterns simply just work for Colorado rivers and lakes.  I just love this pattern.  Easy, simple to tie and when finished it really does look like a grasshopper.  Thanks Charlie.
Generic Nymph

This guy is just a simple nymph with some added rubber legs for some flash.
This  nymph would catch  trout, pan fish, and even carp.
Again I am working on proportions(not to much bulk), and  not crowding the head of the fly.  
Having  a bead head really helps keep down the bulk a the end of the fly.

Variation of Zimmermans Backstabber Carp fly.

This  bug is just so cool. What the hell does it represent? A nymph? Perhaps crayfish that are so prevent in our Colorado lakes and ponds.

I have made this bug in several colors and this one is the orange or amber colored version. I think the 'silly legs'as some really cool motion to the fly. But if you look close, the head is crowded and not neat. Need to work on that issue.

The other issues I eluded is my photography.  I seem to struggle with white balance and at times with focus.  My sharpness needs some work also. I purchased a cheap white cardboard stock for a nice 'infinite background'.  I also found this huge construction light in the garage and experimented with some lighting positions.  I especially like the last fly on this post.  Seems to hang in space.  Off to experiment some more.  Please feel free to offer comments.