Saturday, January 22, 2011

Guide Interview Questionnaire

Below is a sneak peak of one of our articles in our up-coming annual newsletter, The Fly On The Wall.  Thought that this would provide you all with a little insight into the lives of our staff.

Your Name: Travis Lyons

Been in the industry for: 4 years

Been fly-fishing for:  19 years

Originally from: Denver, CO

Nicknames: Too Tall, T-Locc, T-Rav Son

Favorite Rod(s): Freshwater - Scott G2 9’ 5wt., Saltwater - Scott S4s 9’ 9wt.

Favorite Reel(s): Freshwater: Waterworks Litespeed. Saltwater: Hatch 7 Plus.

Favorite Line(s): Scientific Angler Expert Distance, Rio RioGrand.

Can’t Live Without Item(s): Patagoina Sticky Rubber Boots, Seaguar FX tippet.

Favorite Fly(s): Big meaty flies whether it’s stoneflies, streamers, or caddis.

Wading or Floating?: Wade fishing. I like to take the time to read and work a run when I go out and fish.

Favorite Valley River: The Lower Roaring Fork and the Lower Colorado Rivers.

Favorite Outside of Valley Destination(s): Freshwater: North Park Tributaries, Saltwater: Florida Keys.

Favorite Type of Client: Any young angler, who is willing and wants to learn the sport.

Any Secrets: When in doubt, fish the Roaring Fork.

Pack or Vest?: Pack all the way.

Other hobbies/interests: Philadelphia Flyers hockey, fly-tying.

Your Name: Kirk Webb

Been in the fishing industry for: over 15 years

Originally from: Southwest Michigan

Nicknames: Kdub, Kirkdogg, The Asian

Favorite Rod: I really don’t have one single favorite rod but my most recent favorite is my 9’ 3wt G.Loomis NRX. It’s simply amazing.  Power and finesse are hard to come by but this rod has both.

Favorite Reel: For trout I love my Waterworks Force reels.

Favorite Line: Depends on the rod.  Scientific Angler Expert Distance or the Sharkskin Magnum generally.

Can’t Live Without Item: I’m a dry fly junkie so it’s gotta be Frog’s Fanny (floatant) and Seaguar FX tippet. I’d be lost without either.

Favorite Fly: Whatever the fish are feeding on.

Wading or Floating: That’s a tough call. I really enjoy both. I suppose I prefer wading since it allows me to hunt specific fish during a hatch. It’s awfully fun to just sit and watch a hatch unfold.

Favorite Valley River: When it’s on you can’t beat the Colorado River. The fish are just downright mean and you never know what you’re going to hook.

Favorite Outside of Valley Destination: Freshwater-The Henry’s Fork of the Snake, Saltwater- The southern Florida Keys

Favorite Type of Client: Those who are willing to learn. There’s more to fly-fishing than simply catching fish. A person that appreciates the beauty and splendor of all organisms that rely on our watersheds.

Any secrets: The carp fishing here can be spectacular. Shhhhh.

Pack or Vest: Definitely the pack. I’m a minimalist. Then again, I have fifty fly boxes and thirty fly cups in the back of my rig too.

Other Hobbies/Interests: Bowhunting, duck hunting, fly tying and football. I’m a huge Ohio State and Cleveland Browns fan.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Creative Fly Tying

When speaking of fly-fishing and targeting trout, Rene Harrop said it best by simply saying “to fish is to hunt.” To be a successful hunter you have to have the correct tools to gain the edge over the critter you are targeting. And just like an archer builds his own arrows and a big game hunter packs his own rounds, we as fishermen and women are able to tie our own “ammunition.”

The basic reason that all of us hunters do this is because there is a certain satisfaction that comes from getting the job done with one of our own products. For anglers it’s a fly that you tied. But not only a fly that you tied, but a fly that is the product of your own imagination, knowledge of the waters you fish, and the bugs the trout eat in those particular waters.

Creative fly tying gives you the opportunity to try and learn new things and get that “edge” over the fish. And let’s face it, sometimes the flies at the local shops may be grossly over dressed or possibly much too sparse for your taste and more importantly the trout’s taste. There is an unlimited amount of materials, colors and variations of the two to choose from and work with.

For me, the best thing about tying my own flies is being out on the water, catching fish when no one else is, and having everyone wondering, “what is that guy using?” When you really get it right, it can be one of the most amazing feelings you might every have while fishing. Whatever you did to tie that fly was right from start to finish. From the hook that you chose to tie it on, to the color of the thread you used, to the color combination you decided to go with. Days like that will make you feel like the ultimate predator and before you know it you will be spending more time behind a vice then you do in your own bed. Just don’t let your tying time interrupt your time on the water… after all, that’s what we live for right?

Written by Taylor Creek Guide and former counter-boy, Cameron Scott

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Maximizing Your Performance On The Water

There’s no doubt that there is a lot of hoopla written and talked about in the way of high performance gear for fly anglers. Think of all those ads in magazines, or all the discussions on blog and internet forums. It’s overwhelming and everyone has their favorites. Every company touts having the best waders, rods, reels, fly lines and more. I’ve often found that my biggest key to performing on the water is my body’s comfort level. If I can stay comfortable in a variety of weather conditions my brain has a tendency to keep focus on the job at hand: catching fish. I’m infamous in my circle of fishing friends for being able to stay out there in the elements and fishing hard when other give up and call it quits. In cold weather, while others are complaining about frozen hands, frozen feet and going back to the truck to warm up in front of the heater, I’m still out there. Cold spring and summer rains, no problem. Baking in the heat, no worries. Extreme wind, doesn’t faze me. Am I Superman? Far from. I simply dress right.

Cold Weather

Last March I took off to Alcova, Wyoming to go fish Grey’s Reef and the Miracle Mile sections of the North Platte River for five days. We’re still young enough, and more importantly, broke enough to make our excursion a camping trip. No hotels, hot showers, or beers while watching tv in the comfort of warmth. The weather was brutal and we all knew it was going to be a long trip for all of us, but what the hell, we’re going fishing and nothing was stopping us. If any of you have ever been to this part of Wyoming you know this area is desolate. Trees are few and far between so we packed a half cord of wood in the boat trailer thinking we’d at least be warm and toasty at night. Wrong. The wind was ripping so much that our burned through our wood in only two days. Wind is a common issue here, and if it’s not blowing hard you count your blessings. Day One, two and three were God awful. Highs in the single digits to low teens, overnight lows below zero and wind gusts topping 50 mph. I’m not kidding. It was brutal. If I ever die and go to Hell, I imagine it’d be like winter in Alcova, Wyoming. Tents collapsed despite the guylines being well staked with coolers, boats and trailers used as wind blocks. It snowed every day and got old very quickly waking up in the morning to 18” inches of fresh snow, brutal winds and subzero windchills. No matter, we caught fish. Actually we landed several large fish pushing 20-24” inches daily. On our fourth day we did have comparatively nice weather where the mercury sky rocketed into the thirties with no wind. What a relief. We knew it was too good to be true and our last day ended up being identical to the first three days. Everyone got cold, except for me. How is that possible? I’m not going to go into all the ins and outs of the layering concept as this is now common knowledge in the outdoor industry. Essentially though, dressing in multiple layers allows you to add or subtract articles of clothing to maintain your comfort level and regulate your body’s temperature. You’ll notice I’m very fond of Patagonia clothing. Patagonia started the layering concept and designed the first technical pieces of fleece a long time ago and has remained at the forefront of clothing for outdoor athletes and enthusiasts ever since. I've got to give some props to my man Casey Sheahan, a dear friend and CEO of Patagonia (who happens to live locally) who brought me on board with the merits of their wonderful clothing.  Simms, a long time leader in the fly fishing industry has also become increasingly popular with winter anglers due to their big push into cold weather clothing. Their Waderwick, RiverTek, and Guide series of clothing are all very nice as well.

My list of cold weather layers and clothing is below.

Base layers – Patagonia Capilene 3 top and bottom, Simms Polypropylene Liner Socks

Mid Layers – Patagonia R1 top and bottom, Patagonia Micro Puff Vest, Patagonia Micro Puff Hooded Jacket, Patagonia Ultra Heavyweight Mountaineering Socks

Outer Layers – Patagonia Guidewater Jacket, Simms G4 Pro Stockingfoot Waders

Hands/Neck – Glacier Glove Sun Gloves under Simms Windstopper Foldover Fleece Mittens, Patagonia Fleece Balaclava, Simms Windstopper Fleece Beanie

This is an excerpt from our annual newsletter, Fly On The Wall.  Written by Kirk Webb

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Guess Who's Back? Back again.

Yeah, I know, I know. Our blog hasn't been updated in seemingly forever. Don't be discouraged. We're back now. Look forward to many new and exciting articles on here again. After so many requests to bring our blog back, well, we're back. And we're going to hit it full force. Stay tuned..... Kirk Webb and the staff at Taylor Creek Fly Shop.