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  • July 30, 2007

    The Things We Do For Fishing...

    By Tim Romano & Kirk Deeter


    Some times you do really stupid and painful things, like glissading (see video below) down the backside of the Gore Range. Last weekend Jeff Rogers and I slipped, slid, fell and basically punished our bodies for a half day of fishing. For this stupidity I received a couple of stitches on my left knee, my shin is a giant scab, and my right thigh looks as if someone took a baseball bat to it. Oh, and did I mention it rained all of the first night.   It takes one day to get in to this secret lake and another to get out.  A bit short for a weekend.

    Was it worth it? Based on the fact that we caught only four or five fish for this beating, maybe not. On the flip-side we didn't see another human being, the fish we caught were wild strong fish and most likely had never seen a fly. We mingled with mountain goats and camped at perhaps the best campsite on the planet.

    What doesn't kill you makes you stronger........right?

  • July 29, 2007

    Mako Action On Fire Off San Diego

    By Tim Romano & Kirk Deeter






  • July 27, 2007

    Colorado Friday Coffee, Sports, Fishing - Hmmmm

    By Tim Romano & Kirk Deeter

    Here I sit on a beautiful Colorado Friday morning sipping coffee on
    the patio taking in the fresh smell of nature. What a great way to start the
    day, however my mind is still pondering last evening as I was feverishly tying
    flies for this weekend’s guide trips. As I tie, I always need to have some kind
    of background noise – it was ESPN Sports Center.

    A little background is needed – my fulltime job that I call
    my career is working in the sports world for USA Hockey. I have been fortunate
    to work with the Olympic movement for numerous years and within this industry
    you tend to be a sports nut, which is putting it mildly.

    Over the past week the sports world has seen its turmoil:

    1. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig contemplating his presence at San Francisco Giants’ games to see Barry Bonds shatter one of the most legendary marks in all of sport.

    2. NBA Commissioner David Stern having to work through allegations of a referee gambling.


    Commissioner Roger Goodell having to deal with the Michael Vick dog
    fighting allegations.

    4. Tour de France organizers having to deal with more athletes being disqualified because of doping allegations.

    What in the Wide World of Sports is going on? From my
    perspective I watch and gather the facts and research the “fallout” these stories are going to have in a marketing perspective. My head is
    full of confusion. I take another sip of my strong coffee and look into the
    distance of Pike’s Peak, the nation’s most
    famous mountain.

    The answer – GO FISHING!!! Stop
    thinking about the fallout and start plotting a game plan. The Sports Center’s
    of the world will continue to update us on… who cares!!!

    My TV is off. I may not even grab a paper.
    Sports radio off. My truck is loaded and ready to venture into the
    mountains as the Colorado Rivers are exploding with bugs. Through the week, it
    has been awesome reports.

    From what I can tell – where would you rather be than right smack dab in the middle of a river throwing big dry flies, nymphing,
    and maybe tossing some streamers at great fish? Below is a recap of some of my favorite spots.

    Platte River

    11-Mile Canyon and
    Dream Stream –
    180-190 flow as of Friday morning

    On the surface: PMDs, Trico spinners, Yellow Sallies,

    Below the surface: WD40s, Rojo Midge, Black Beauty, Mercury
    RS2, BWO, Baetis


    Cheesman Canyon –
    414 flow as of Friday morning

    On the surface: PMDs, Caddis, Hoppers

    Below the surface: Baetis, Worms, RS2, BWO Emergers, Caddis (all forms),
    and more Caddis patterns


    Deckers – 414 flow
    as of Friday morning

    Flies: Same as Cheesman

    Fish from the bridge up in Deckers. The fish are on the
    sides and make sure to toss your dries into the bank and it will be crashed.
    You may get lucky and catch one of the large fish that was pushed down from the
    Wigwam club.


    North Fork of the South Platte River:

    Private Ranches line this corridor of 285, however you can
    find some public water between Bailey and Shawnee. The flows are between 400 and 430 making it hard to land the
    large trout that populate these waters. If you go to the top for action, make
    sure you go with large bugs and put a weighted dropper off the back and toss it
    into the banks as the fish are holding on the sides out of the current. If you
    go with nymphs, try using a large attractor pattern with a bit of shine and
    shimmer to attract the fish for hits, and make sure to put on lots of weight. As for shimmer and shine - Wonder Worm, Bead Worm, Princes, Copper Johns (bright colors), Flashback Nymphs, and anything that is bright.

    HINT – If you latch into fish, make sure to control the head
    and keep it close to the bank and out of the mid-stream current or you will be
    chasing it down stream.


    South Boulder Creek:

    Lincoln Hills – 172
    flow as of Friday morning

    On the surface: PMDs, Grey Drakes, Hoppers, Ants

    Below the surface: Princes, Pheasant Tails, PMD Emergers,
    Stoneflies, Copper Johns, Pink Worms

    This river is just on fire. Take a little bit more time to
    drive there, but it is worth the extra gas money. The hatches are thick and the
    action is feverish for flies on the top.


    I will be out the entire weekend and will provide feedback
    for the week ahead, and come Monday morning I may pick up a newspaper to see just
    the scores.

    -- Anthony Bartkowski

  • July 26, 2007

    On Fake Fish and Fake ...

    By Tim Romano & Kirk Deeter

    Given the fact that almost every behemoth trout reported, photographed, or otherwise posted on the Internet triggers an upwelling of emotional responses (some downright disturbing) on the “real-ness” and viability of farm-raised, planted salmonids, I felt a holy obligation to meditate on the issue and weigh in with an opinion.

    So yesterday (after we stocked the river) I waded into the current, sat on a boulder, and thought.  And thought.  Then drank a beer, squinted my eyes, pursed my lips, and thought harder.  In a moment of rare subconscious enlightenment, the answer seeped into my mind like a purple blob dropping through a lava lamp.  Two words: breast implants

    Granted … they’re not real.  But they’re definitely not a foul.  There’s something to be said for aesthetic appeal.  Otherwise, there wouldn’t be droves of middle-aged men lining up and shelling out the dough for the opportunity to have their photographs taken in close proximity to them. 

    Stocked trout, that is.   

    --Kirk Deeter

  • July 25, 2007

    Keys Report -- Aggressive Tarpon

    By Tim Romano & Kirk Deeter

    The past couple of weeks have definintely seen a drop in the numbers of
    large tarpon both swimming and laid up. While there are fewer fish,
    there are definietly fewer anglers fishing them and the fish have been
    remarkably aggressive. When the tides have been right we have
    encountered guppy and shrimp hatches, with the tarpon (ranging in size
    from 30 lbs to over 100lbs) feeding with reckless abandon. The fish
    swimming the ocean have also been aggressive, responding to good casts
    more times than not. The key with the ocean swimmers lately has been
    leads of 10 to 15 feet, allowing the fly to reach the fish's depth and
    then slowly, swimming the fly as the fish approaches. I have found
    lighter colors to work best on these fish lately, especially tan with a
    chartreuse collar. Additionally, the baby tarpon fishing has been very
    good with the fish rolling along the edges of basins early and then
    retreating the cover of the mangroves as the sun gets higher in the sky.

    The permit fishing, particularly last week, has been outstanding.
    Anglers fishing the Del Brown Invitational recorded some very
    impressive numbers and although I spent the week tarpon fishing, I was
    seeing mudding, cruising and tailing permit everywhere that I looked.
    The summer permit fishing is generally very good, the ingredients to
    success this time of the year is moving water and being blessed with a
    little bit of wind (sometimes a rarity). There have also been good
    numbers of bonefish feeding on both stages of the tide, particularly to
    the east of Key West. On the right tide we have encountered small
    schools aggressively tailing across backcountry banks and as the water
    gets higher they have been both cruising and mudding. Unfortunately,
    the two day sportsman lobster season is the 25th and 26th of this
    month, making fishing a bleek prospect with the obscene numbers of
    boats descending on Keys waters. Luckily, by friday the 27th the
    lobster grabbers will be heading home and we will again have the water
    to ourselves.

    Drew Delashmit

  • July 25, 2007

    Cohos & Kings busting bait in Puget Sound

    By Tim Romano & Kirk Deeter


    We have had some exceptional fishing in Puget Sound for King and Coho Salmon this year.  Fishing from local beaches has been very productive for anglers casting baitfish patterns.  King Salmon up to 40lbs have been landed recently in area waters.


  • July 25, 2007

    Lees Ferry-Colorado River

    By Tim Romano & Kirk Deeter

    Fishing Synopsis and Forecast by Terry Gunn 7/25/07

    The fishing this past month can be summed up in one word…CICADA!

    The hatch began two weeks earlier than normal, around the first of July the fish started keying in on the prolific bug. It began with a bang and as any of the people that experienced this action would tell you…it was nonstop. It is still happening this week but the “wide open” bite has slowed considerably. We are getting most of our action in the deeper runs where the fish are coming off the bottom, in water that is 5 to 20 feet deep, to eat the fly. Long casts are necessary and the best strikes have been while fishing the large dry fly directly downstream of the boat. One technique that we have employed to get the fly away from the boat is to keep the bow pointed upstream and cast downstream then put the boat in gear while throwing slack line on the water which allows the fly to move downstream. I’m not sure how much longer the top-water action is going to continue but the cicadas are still singing and I have seen the action continue well in to August in years past.

    The drift fishing with heavy nymphs has been hit or miss most days. We have not been spending a great deal of time with this technique since the dry fly fishing has been so productive.

    September 1 is when we will experience a flow change to lower water. Most years this is the very best fishing of the entire year so if you are waiting for cooler temps and want to experience some great wade-sight fishing this is the time to be at the Ferry.

    The AZ Game and Fish Department recently detected whirling disease in a small percentage of Lees Ferry trout that were collected for a random sampling. This is not good news nor is it necessarily terrible news. Whirling Disease has infected many of the Western State’s fabled trout streams with greater and lesser affects. The Madison comes to mind as one river that was severely impacted while the San Juan suffered little notable impact from Whirling Disease. Lees Ferry has more in common with the San Juan than the Madison…both Lees Ferry and the San Juan are Tail-Water rivers with clear, cold water that is a consistent temperature year-around. Consistent cold water temperatures are believed by most experts on the disease to keep the spread and severity of the disease in check. I’ll be sure to keep you informed as more data becomes available. In the mean time when you do come to Lees Ferry be sure to clean your wading gear thoroughly before you leave to prevent the spread of Whirling Disease. For more information visit:   

    The summer drift fishing is often the best and most productive fishing of the year and this has certainly been the case recently. The high summer flows are great for the trout by providing more drifting food. I can’t wait to see what our fish look like this fall; my bet is that they are going to grow all summer and be fat and sassy this fall.

    The trout spawn is over. We saw the best spawn that the river has experienced in years. Most all the spawn is occurred in deep water which bodes well for fry survival and future recruitment of juvenile trout.

  • July 25, 2007

    By Tim Romano & Kirk Deeter

    From Northwest Michigan
    Ray Schmidt of Schmidt Outfitters

    July 25,2007

    It's the heat of the summer and the Hoppers are on!

    The Red Legged Green hoppers are on big time on all area rivers, Manistee, Little Manistee, Pine and the Pere Marquette.

    Other insects of importance right now are Tric's and Caddis in the morning's Blue Winged Olives in the evening.

    This is the best Hopper fishing we have had in a few years, get out and do it!


  • July 25, 2007

    Stuffed Squirrels And Bluegills

    By Tim Romano & Kirk Deeter

    Come on, what’s cooler than stuffed squirrels and bluegills…together? Am I alone when I say that every self-respecting angler should have one of these beauties on the mantle?


  • July 25, 2007

    A. Bartkowski: Grey Drakes & PMDs invade South Boulder Creek (Lincoln Hills)

    By Tim Romano & Kirk Deeter

    South Boulder Creek at Lincoln Hills above Gross Reservoir
    Flow - 200 and dropping in the afternoon
    Bugs - Grey Drakes and PMDs hatching all day
    Hooks ups / Netted - 80 / 60-plus
    What to use (size) - Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail (16); Un-named Fly (10 read below); Matuka Streamer (8); Black Stonefly (12); Prince (12-14)

    This is my favorite time of year to fish as it is big bugs
    and crashing fish. What more can you ask for? There is nothing like seeing an
    aggressive trout rise to the surface and crash that big floating bug.

    You got that right – it is hoppers, drakes, stimulators,
    ants, beetles, and other terrestrials you may tie at the bench while sipping on
    a Jimmy Buffet Boat Drink late in the evening on the back picnic table getting
    ready for the morning drive to the fishing hole. What else do you need? I won’t
    go there but life is pretty perfect now!!!

    I am excited to report that the Grey Drakes are starting to
    pop with abundance in Colorado.
    I was fortunate enough to be at Lincoln HIlls Fly Fishing Club on South Boulder Creek over the weekend with
    clients and what a natural high I encountered. I just completed putting my gear
    together for the trip, and took a few minutes to walk the creek to see what was
    happening – scouting the waters for starting position.

    It was already fairly warm out and the PMDs were popping
    with consistency. They were a bright canary yellow that just shines. I decided
    to walk a little further downstream to scout another section and there were
    some Grey Drakes cracking the surface. OUTSTANDING!!! It is 8:30 and the bugs
    are thick.

    We start the day off with a fly change before they were even
    wet. That is not typical, but I could not resist having a dry-dropper
    day. PMDs and Grey Drakes are popping off and the fish are smattering the
    surface consistently but not after the smallish PMDs. They were going after the
    Grey Drakes and the emergers.

    I decided to trick them with a modified John Barr Tent
    Caddis I whipped up a couple weeks back and sure enough it was stellar. The
    dropper was the ever resilient Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail. Before an hour was
    completed it was about 8 fish in the net and the outlook was only to get
    better. Both of us were whooping and hollering like kids splashing in a wading
    pool. By the end of the day it was 80 fish hooked and 60 in the net.

    You are thinking how can one mess with a John Barr creation
    – I found myself asking the same question, but the original fly's floatability with
    river current and droppers does not perform to optimal circumstances. It was about
    1:00 a.m. a couple weeks back when I rise from a dead sleep and bang around to
    find note paper and a pen without stirring my bride.

    If you are just fishing the Tent Caddis by itself – great
    fly, but when adding a dropper or two it sinks. I decided to change the colors
    as well. I am still in the research and development stages of this fly but so
    far everything is looking bright for the future. The best way to explain this
    mid-morning realization is a MUTT FLY. It is a mutation melding of

    After I experiment a little more behind the vise and fish it this weekend, I may be able to come out with a pattern
    description. The new rendering is going to add some foam for picking it up
    better at further distances. THROW FOAM OR GO HOME.

    My trial run with the un-named fly was in Deckers as I tied
    it just for the Caddis Hatch that has been so prevalent. The first cast
    resulted in a trout crash that just leaves you smiling from ear to ear. So with
    my second cast I tossed the line out into the middle of Deckers and counted to
    three and launched another vicious attack of a 16” rainbow to my net. The rest
    of the day of hitting the banks with this dry-dropper was outstanding.

    Usually I will not test a newly created fly pattern on a
    guide trip if I have not tried it out in that specific section of river, but
    this last weekend I could not refuse as it was the right color.

    Now is time to make the alterations, test it, and report
    next week with the findings and a strong pattern description for you to test at
    home. The moral of the story - try different colors on flies at the vice and don't be afraid to toss them.


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