Monday, April 25, 2011

Good Friday or was it.

Managed to get out with my buddy Mac on Friday for some fishing. The fishing started off slow for the day, it was cold and windy as heck. First we checked out the Colorado River, but that was too high and muddy and flowing good for my buddy Mac to fish it. So we decided to head over to the Blue. Fished the lower Blue for awhile and nailed this little beauty. First fish of the day. After fishing here we decided to get in the car and warm up and head over and fish in town. Fished for a few hours in town. Caught several fish, but none the size of the first fish and decided to head home. On the way down the mtn, truck started ticking and appeared the transmission/clutch dropped just outside Dumont and was able to coast off the highway onto the exit and pull over. Couldn't get the old 4runner running again so called the tow man to come and pick us up. Got the truck back to Denver and now begins the thoughts of what to do. Fix it or buy a new truck. Ill have to sit on this one awhile. A little bummed about the truck breaking down, but what is one going do. Stuff happens. No reason to get mad. At least I caught a nice fish.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The H Bomb

This pattern has been a pattern that I have tweaked and re-tweaked and continued to alter over the years. It has been one of my most consistent flies that I have ever tied. When I first developed this guy many years ago. It was a just a simple take off the Woolly Bugger with some of my own twist thrown into it for good measure. It has mutated itself over the years, by adding this or that and taking away this or that. I have combined this and that too over the years, just seeing what works and doesn't work. Lucky for me, all the different versions that I have created over the years have caught fish and a lot of them too boot.

In tweaking the pattern over the years, I have always stayed true to a key ingredients of the fly. Those key ingredients are the just a few of the keys to this fly. Streamer hook, Tungsten Cone, Marabou Tail, silli-legs and wire under-body to make it heavy and sink like a rock. I have always kept the profile slim so it will slice through water and gets down fast.

The few ingredients that have changed over the years has been the flash in the tail or along the side of the body. The body material itself, but I have always kept the body shaggy and buggy as I could using dubbing with longer and shaggier fibers to give it action. I have wrapped hackle around the body, like the true wooly, but I always thought wrapping the hackle around the body of this fly took away from the dubbed body and the shagginess that it had. So I have stirred away from the hackle. I have experimented with the thorax and collars too over the years. I have given it different styles of wings from your classic matuka streamer wet wings to jungle cock wing pads to zonker strips.

I also have played with the colors scheme of this pattern as well, but there is one color plate that I keep going back to and tying every year. The choice color that seems to work year round and in tailwaters, still waters and running water is Olive. After my last few outings, I was starting to get low on a few colors of the pattern so it was off to the spooky dungeon man cave of my house to begin twisting them up.

With this batch came a few new twist that I have yet to incorporate into the pattern yet. Instead of diving right into the pattern, I played around with a few ideas I had bouncing around my head for sometime. But after I twisted up the ideas, I didn't care too much of the results and now knew, what I didn't want to put into the pattern. So I was set. With this batch I decided to go with slightly bigger streamer hook then in years past. I also added some new flash into the tail that I had used on the Platte River Apprentice flies, opting for the Rusty Olive Angel hair. This gave it a nice amount of under flash with the marabou over it. I continued with the 3/4 strands of krystal flash on each side of the tail as well.

Next up was the body. Sometime last year I whipped up an Olive blend of dubbing that I had titled Psycho Olive for Bunker Bombs. Looking back it must have been sometime last spring when I was, well replenishing this fly, but never got to using this blend. Twirled it up in a dubbing loop, twisted it on the hook and gave it a quick brush to shag it up.

Put in the silli-legs and now came for the next part. This is where I wanted to give it something new that I have yet to put in it. I mentioned before I have put Zonker strips in it, as well as jungle cock and various Matuka style feathers. So I had to come up with something new for my little fly here. I started digging around the vast amount of materials I had and when it hit me, to go for a double whammy here. I decided to use Black Ice Angel Hair underwing and Mallard for the overwing. The Thorax/Collar blend is a mix of European Hare Skin Le Lievre, Jack Mickievicz Masterblend of Rainbow Warrior Peacock Olive dubbing and a touch of the Psycho Olive Bunker Body Dubbing and a few have bits and pieces of mallard. Yes, I know it seems like a lot of stuff going on here, but it just pops and gives the thorax/collar a neat look to it.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spring Break

Spring Break 2011. I have to admit, I really enjoyed spring break this year. Not only for the great company, but for all the activities that came with it. This year I took off the week that my kids were not in school and headed for the mountains of Steamboat for some Skiing, Snowboarding, Fishing, relaxing and chilling. We rented a condo with a few other families, and have to say this was not a normal condo. It was oversized and was able to fit 4 families into comfortably. We left Denver early Saturday and made your way over I-70 needing to take a little detour, because Rabbit Ears Pass was closed to an accident, so we went the long way around and really enjoyed the drive. After arriving at the condo, Jim unloaded his van quickly and I unloaded the truck quickly, and got the stuff up into the condo. After a quick dump and run, we blew out of there and headed down to the Yampa for some late afternoon fishing.

We found an area just before town that we wanted to fish and quickly got strung up and jumped into the river. It wasn't long before I had caught a beautiful Cuttie. Wished I had took a picture but I couldn't get to my phone buried inside my jacket, so I quickly released it and dug for the phone and moved it to my front wader pocket for easy access.

Fished for a little while longer and caught a few more fish, managed to take one picture of a nice brown that I had caught.

A bit later the sun had crept behind a mountain and the temp started to dropped so we started to pack it in, but not before making one last cast. I made the last cast and hooked into what I thought was going to be a pig, because it ran quickly and broke off, oh well. Will try again another day. So we called it a day and headed back.

The next day we put all the kids into Ski/Snowboard school, so we could all ride together and what a great day to be on the slopes. The snow was great there was fresh powder to be had. We took the gondola up and quickly rode down to the Storm Peak express and up to the Morningside Park for some powder action. We played in Morningside park for a couple of hours before making our way into the Chutes and bowls of Christmas Tree Gulley. The snow was great to be riding in here and took one nice run down here.

A stop for a late lunch and cocktail, we made a few more runs before we had to pick our kids up from ski school, so we headed down to the bar for cocktails. Woo Hoo. Packed it up for the day and headed back to the condo for dinner and hot tubbing.

Next morning we woke up, had coffee and breakfast and quickly packed up the fishing gear for a morning on the river. So Mac, Jim and I bolted out of the condo and headed to the river for some snow fishing. Got to the river and the area we chose we were the only ones there for a short time before more anglers decided to show up. No great stories to tell, but some nice healthy fish.

We only fished for about 4 hours before we had to be back at the condo for the girls to make their way to Strawberry Hot Springs and we were on children duty for the day.

The next day we woke to 2 feet of fresh powder, so a the night before we made plans for a few us to get up early and make first tracks and the others to round the kids up and bring them to the mountain for afternoon skiing. This worked out great because, Mac, Jim 2, Jenny, Jen and I were able to make it up to Stormpeak for first tracks. After a few powder runs with the girls, the boys and I broke away from the girls and headed into Morningside park for a quick run, so we could hike up to the no name chutes and bowls for one last run before heading down to meet the kids. And what a run it was, STEEP and DEEP and FAST. Made our way down to bottom to ski with the kids for the rest of the day. We all took a few family runs before meeting for lunch. After lunch the girls went off on their own, Jim 2 took Quinn and his girls for a few runs. And took all of them back to the condo and then it was my daughter Celia and I for the rest of the day. Her and I must have made about 20 runs that day. She was a super trooper on the slopes and couldn't get enough. It was great!

My little girl on dressed up.

We had to pull out of Steamboat the next day to get back to Denver for the arrival of Jens mom and our niece, for a few day visit. Was able to get out and fish Cheesman on Friday. Nothing special here a few nice fish, great weather.

The weekend consisted of great weather and some fly tying on Sunday. Well that wraps up a great week of fishing, snowboarding, fishing snowboarding, driving, fishing, and fly tying.

On tap this weekend, float fishing Saturday followed up by cat skiing on Sunday.