Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pike Fishing On Rifle Gap

Often overlooked in the Roaring Fork Valley, Northern Pike are highly sought after gamefish for fly rodders. Every March I look foward to wading the shallow flats of Rifle Gap and Harvey Gap Reservoirs in search of large pike. Taylor Creek guide, Travis Lyons, and I headed down to New Castle/Rifle on Monday to go put an eyeball on the ice and water conditions on the two reservoirs. Harvey Gap still was still locked up in ice from bank to bank. We headed up the road a few miles to Rifle Gap where I knew that at least the inlet would hold some open water and possibly even be fishable. One quick glance and a short drive around the lake and we saw approximately 1/3 of the lake open water. Out came the fly rods....quickly.

Gearing up, I had high hopes of seeing some monsters laid up in the shallow water reeds. Perch and Crayfish colored flies have always produced well for me on both of these lakes. The majority of my flies are about 3-5" inches. Not too big, not too small. I've never been a fan of fishing with wire tippets out here as these fish bite much better, and much more frequently when your flies are attached to fluorocarbon tippets. I prefer to fish a two foot, 03X (25.3lb)Seaguar FX tippet section that attaches directly to my fly. Though blind casting to pike can often be effective, I'm here at early ice out to stalk fish in less than two feet of water. Long story short, we found a few fish laid up. All in all, between the two of us in two hours of fishing we saw somewhere in the neighborhood of about 13-16 fish. Most of those were hammer handles about 20-24" inches in length. We did see a very few fish in the 26-30" inch range and two nice specimans that pushed 34-36" inch length. Trav and I probobly had half a dozen shots each, at some of the better fish we saw. Both of us hooked up once, lost both fish and left after two hours.

I got my first yearly injection of pike fishing out of the way only to turn me back into a frequent pike junkie. I'll be making weeking visits now and hopefully will post up some fish pics soon from me and some of the other boys! Keepin' it real in the Valley, I'm out. -Kirk Webb-

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Spey Fishing In Colorado

Say what? Spey fishing in Colorado? Absolutely! You're missing the boat if you've yet to try spey fishing and casting. It'll open up all kinds of new trick casts, many of which can translate into single hand rods and casting. Trout sized spey rods or switch rods are ideal to fish with along the Lower Colorado as well as the Lower Roaring Fork River. Taylor Creek sells many of these short two handed rods and even the versatile switch rods, which are shorter yet (under 12 feet) and suitable for either single hand or two hand applications. Come in the shop and let us show you first hand what you're missing out on.

I borrowed a 12' 5wt from Will Sands the other day to go fart around on the Colorado River. I'm definately a novice when it comes to Spey fishing, but what I do know is that they are a ton of fun to cast and punch as much line out as you want. When it comes down to fighting fish on these long rods, my enjoyment skyrocketed through the roof. Every move the fish makes transcends into the rod and your hand. It's almost like fishing a 2wt for 12" inch fish. What a riot. Perhaps what I like most about Spey fishing is that I get to learn how to fish all over again... -Out- Kirk Webb

It's Time To Get Off Your Butt And Fish....Hard

It's that special time of year again. Time to dust off your gear and get out on the river. Spent my day yesterday fishing with Tyler Sessions (our new shop guy...what a smart kid and talented angler/tier!) Matt O'Connor, sales rep for Patagonia, and a friend of his, Bobby, from Boulder. Started on the Pan near Old Faithful and caught fish after fish after fish. The fishing was simply on fire. Fish were focused on Micro Eggs in the shade and fast water and various midge pupa patterns fished well all day long. Though we didn't land any monsters, several above average fish were landed. The dry fly fishing is kicking into high gear and despite the bright sun, Matt even caught a few on Midge dries around Rosie's. If you can find some shade or overcast that's key. You'll see fish rising in the sun, but these fish are picky and don't feed as rhythmically as those fish found in the shade. It's no secret, the best dry fly is a Bills Midge Emerger. It's been a staple fly for us for years and years. Around noon-thirty, we took off to fish the Roaring Fork below Basalt. The Fork was a bit hit and miss as some runs fished really well yielding several fish, while on others we blanked. The quality and brilliance of the fish we stuck on the Fork was much more impressive than those caught on the Pan. What can I say? The fishing is really turning on in this warmer Spring weather. -I'm out- Kirk Webb