COLORADO DREAMING: South Park's All-season Playground
When most anglers picture a dream fishery, they imagine clear water, prolific hatches, large populations of trout, and a smattering of trophies all wrapped into a beautiful four-season setting. Believe it or not, this fishery exists. Just an hour and a half west of Colorado Springs in the giant valley of South Park lies a section of the South Platte River aptly referred to as the Dream Stream. This tailwater winds below Spinney Mountain Reservoir for 51/2 miles before emptying into Elevenmile Reservoir, and offers some of the finest fishing in the state.
TIPPIN' & SIPPIN': Understanding Trout Feeding Patterns
One of fly fishing's greatest thrills is witnessing trout gorge on a heavy mayfly spinner fall. Instead of selectively targeting one insect at a time, the trout vacuum the surface of the water with their jaws open, inhaling everything in their path.
10 TIPS FOR SPOTTING TROUT: How to See Fish Before They See You
One of the most important skills you can learn to consistently catch large trout is spotting them in the water. Once you can see where a fish is holding, you can move to make the best possible presentation, and see when the fish takes your fly. This enables you to set the hook immediately for more hook-ups and less foul-hooking. Sight-fishing provides a visual thrill that you don't get when blind-fishing and is more efficient because you are not wasting your time casting in water that doesn't hold fish.
VISUAL NYMPHING: Follow the Dotted Line to More and Larger Trout
Nymphing has always been a productive way to catch trout but unfortunately it is too often chuck-and-chance-it fishing. Nothing can match the excitement of watching a trout take a dry fly off the surface, but what if there was a way to make nymphing more exciting and productive? Visual nymphing is a technique that can be used in many conditions regardless of the time of year and weather conditions. With this technique you can experience much of the excitement of fishing with drys but the visual spectacle is just below the surface. This isn't just eye candy-it also dramatically improves your catch rate. Because you don't cast blindly, visual nymphing also helps you catch larger trout.
LEARNING THE SHORT GAME: Three Casts to Help Catch Trout in Close
For many, the classic image of fly fishing is an angler standing in the river throwing a long, tight loop that unrolls into promising water far away. In practice, however, this frequently isn't the case. Many quality trout are caught at close quarters, with less than 15 feet of line outside the rod tip. Whether a trout is sipping drys under an overhanging branch, or hugging the bank of a riffled run, close encounters can puzzle even the most experienced anglers.
LONESOME LANDS: Do it Yourself in Alaska's Brooks Range
While some anglers prefer lodge accommodations while they pursue Arctic char, there's nothing like the true connection you get with nothing between you and the fish except the next cast. Such unguided and undeveloped waterways exist all over the Arctic, including the Brooks Range region of Alaska, where the only tracks on the river's edge are from caribou, but not other anglers.
RESERVOIR HOGS: Fishing South Park's Elevenmile Canyon, Antero, and Spinney Mountain Stillwaters
Located in the heart of central Colorado's Rocky Mountains, the 1,000-square-mile South Park Basin is perhaps best known for the snaking South Platte River and its lunker tailwater trout. But the river also fills and flows from a series of three reservoirs-Antero, Spinney Mountain, and Elevenmile Canyon-that are all remarkable fisheries in their own right. These three reservoirs provide some of Colorado's finest stillwater fishing. They are home to large trout amid great structure, a healthy forage base, and heavy hatches during the prime spring, summer, and fall months.
Midging Year Round
For skiers, Powder Days bring thoughts of a fine, deep, snow-covered ski run with not a single track to mar its surface. For fly fishermen, Powder Days are those brisk, cloud- covered days when the snow is drifting down like small feathers to cover the rocks and brush in a blanket of white.
It's Bugger Time!
Fall is the favorite fly fishing season for many anglers, and for good reason. This is the time of year when we can stand by a high country waterway and enjoy the beauty of the foliage changing colors; be refreshed by the clear, brisk air; and often times find solitude on the river, fishing waters that were crowded just a few months earlier. This can be a magical time of year, with summer over and change in the air, and fall fly fishing for Browns is a special treat.
Summer Time Dry Fly Bonanza
Imagine yourself walking along the side of a high country stream, it's a beautiful summer day, the sun is rising, the wind is quiet, and not a cloud is in the sky. A steadily increasing swarm of insects starts forming just above the water in front of you, and then you see a number of trout gathering in the river underneath the swarm, and soon these trout begin feeding hungrily on the insects that fall to the water surface. It doesn't get any better than this right? "Nope", you answer yourself, as you wade into the river for what you anticipate will be one of the best fishing days you've ever had.