Thursday, July 20, 2017

Summer Eats

It is just the best time to be out fishing your favorite lake, river or stream. It seems all the fish are up, active and eating. With all the great winter water, we have lots of rivers and streams teaming with
cool, clean and clear water. The fish seem to be chowing do too. It is so nice to fish big hair or foam flies, having the fish come up and pound them. Early mornings or late evenings, the fish are willing.

Get out and catch a couple of them. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Three Hour Tour

The summer monsoon's had showed up for several days and destroyed the river, 
so we figured the next best thing was to just go float and enjoy a little dirty high water.
What seemed like a nice day at the put in, suddenly turned into the ride to remember.
A few lines from Gilligan's Island were hummed as the weather started getting rough,
the lighting was flashing, hail was pounding. 

It has been while since I have had a surprise like this on the river. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

More Practice

Now that run off has subsided and the water is clear again, it is time to breakout the underwater housing and work on 50/50 shots and underwater shots. Need to keep honing these down.
Certainly takes a lot of patience to learn and use.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Rover by Bote'

 With the summer Outdoor Shows and the ITFD show, there will plenty of new
products coming out to entice us. The Rover by Bote' is a pretty ingenious way
to incorporate the SUP/ skiff for one person. 
Check out this cool little video they out on it. You will want one. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Guide's Dog

Queso, aka " Fishspotter " taking a little rest prior to another day on the river with dad.
Queso is happiest chasing cattle or spotting fish. Always wearing her PFD and ridding side-saddle
in the raft.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Crazy Catch

Sometimes an ordinary catch turns into to something neat.

Earlier this weekend while throwing stimulators along the bank an average but nice 17" brown
inhaled the #14 olive Stimi, while taking out the fly he spit up this small sucker he had obviously eaten earlier in the day or days. I had not had that happen. Pretty cool.......

Thursday, June 29, 2017


Breaktime for lunch and a beer, hanging the hat up to enjoy the beautiful summertime flowers.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Grandiose Weekend

It seems we have been blessed to hit certain rivers and hatches spot on in the last couple of years. This year no different, with the water on the dropping and clearing daily, the bugs were insane.
Quite virtually having our choice of bugs to throw, you just had to choose, still quite a few salmon flies fluttering, golden stones as thick as can be and coving the sides of the boat, grey drake clouds up and down the river and numerous species of caddis fluttering amongst all.
We decided to stick with a single golden stone dry as this would provide us plenty of rises and fish.
Working the opposite side of the river from most of the right handed casters would yield water that had not seen very may flies since high water .

All the browns and a few bow's were healthy and eager eaters. Will be back for more punishment
over the extended holiday weekend.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Ready or Not

We found a river that is on the downside of runoff and fishing good. Of course we missed the annual march of the salmon flies, but will still hit the grey drakes, green drakes, golden stones, caddis and other bugs that get in the cross-hairs during the weekend. I am sure ready too ben the rod over and and see some fish to the net. 

See you all on the flip side of the weekend.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Cardiac Salmonfly

 I think everyone sports a little wood at the thought of fishing or hitting the salmon fly hatch
on any western freestone river. If you don't that side of your brain is dead. The thought of fish 
completely gorging themselves on these large bugs is mind boggling. Often times they cannot stop,
until they are stuffed and other bugs are literally being coming back out. 
I falls on and below the Henry's Fork is an amazing setting to launch a raft and fish the 
edges and rockfalls. Fish ooze from every crevice. 

Well watch for yourself, as the team from KBL Studios put together some nice footage.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

I"ll be Back

No Tarpon, No Permit on this go around, but I will return for vengeance.
The casting will be far better and pin-point, fish will be caught.
For now I will just have to toast the fish gods. You win..

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Sunday in the Park with Larry

Lady Floatfisher and I had the great forture of spending the day on Spinney Reservoir with our great friend and guide Larry Freidrich's. If you have or have not had the opportunity to fish with this master, either rowing the rapids of the Arkansas River throwing caddis and golden stones, or damsels and callibaetis on Spinney on the nice Lund you are miss something special. The man is dialed.

 My typical night before includes the normal restless, tossing and turning, knowing fishing is on the horizon. Since it has only been two weeks, I wasn't jonesing to bad. Normal one can "bet" the wind will blow in South Park, but not today, Sunshine and warm weather would be our best friends .
Ms. Floatfisher and Master Larry speaking "rainbow" in hopes of the next giant take, well lots of stories and laughs were had, always a gauge to a good day fishing.

 In typical fashion, Mary would be the star all day with her rod bent over and catching the fish, while I could only document the event and take a few photo's. Warm up for Mary included a few browns , in a typical rainbow fishery.
My view most of the day of Mary's rod bent over, and Larry netting fish. Thanks for a great day on the water, learning a new technique, and spending time catching up with my best bud Larry.
Thanks Larry....

Friday, June 9, 2017

Peak Season - Bloodknots

It's been kinda of a long stretch in between quality video shorts as of late, however,
Bloodknots Productions, always put out a quality show. A good flick to sit back and have your
coffee and Bailey's and watch that water fly down the river.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

"Either Way" Chris Stapleton

Just because it is simply a flawless performance of a new song 
from his newest album. Worth a listen, and if you get a chance to see him, do....

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Just Dreaming' Today

Wishing I was in the warm tropic casting a long line for a bonefish today.
Sure would like a little sand in the toes.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend Glee

Memorial Day weekend is usually the time we spend honoring the men and women who have served our great country, won and kept our freedoms. Many great men and women have lost their lives fighting for this freedom and we salute them. Many you you like me, have fathers and relatives who 
are Veteran's who fought and we salute them and love them.

 Usually by now the rivers and stream are getting their yearly flush and cleaning at high flows, after having been in Montand for a few months one becomes spoiled, fishing on a tailwater day after day, and not having to worry about dirty or rising water conditions to thwart the fishing. Anyways, I expected to have the river running high and muddy, and now opportunity to fish. 5 days of relatively steady flows had the river looking in get shape on the edges with great visibility.

Although sunny, I could not resist rigging a streamer rod to throw something larger to see what what would chase. Most of the chases were on the white skittish smelt, along the rockier areas.
Figuring the warm weather might have something looking up, I  tried a variety of larger attractors,
but no takers. Guess they too a a picnic on the mind.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Good Times

Filtering through hundreds of photos, I came across why the Middle Fork of the Salmon is such a stunning river. The unbelievably clear water that flows the length of the river is mind-blowing. What seem inches deep is 4ft deep, the river is packed with 6-9" beautifully marked cutthroat trout will to eat any well presented dry fly. The camping, with or without a hot springs is other worldly.
Prime-rib cooked riverside s one of the specialties, followed by scotch by the fire and watching the stars is just the great topping to the day.

Friday, May 26, 2017


Solitude - where does your fishing take you today, do you have the stretch of river to yourself, the section of lake, the stretch of river. Well get out there before the on slot of the weekend crowd .

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Cabin Bugs- by Daily Rise Productions

Getting pretty close to salmon fly time, always like the the big bugs, fishing them, and seeing the 
the fish gorge on them. Pour a cup of java and enjoy this fun little video short from Daily Rise Productions.

Monday, May 22, 2017


Kicking it around with fellow fisherman and photographers, it is always great to see amazing work by a good friend. Gerry, who has an amazing eye for capturing amazing wildlife and rapture shots, delivers again. Capturing this osprey during the hunt for a Lamar River cutthroat before heading back to the nest to feed the little ones.

Photo's courtesy of Dr. Gerry Bauer

Thursday, May 18, 2017

I Call Tails

I call tails, that means you row for three more fish, that's the rules of the game this morning.
Luckily, because we just started, I really didn't want to switch out already.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A Little Bit of High Dirty Water................... Then

As the the major river systems get busy with snow runoff, we have to endure a little time away or 
visit other waters in search of our finned friends. But once that nasty, chocolate milk water subsides ,
get ready for the the best three weeks of fishing you can have. Fish are pinned to the banks, eating streamers, nymphs and big ass foam flies like crazy. 
Until then, get out and visit the small creeks, still waters and tailgaters. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

stunning rainbow

Not many to the net today, but the one of the few that was lined
had some of the most beautiful colors and spot formations one one could
imagine. Notice the pink tinge around the mouth, stunning.
This is why we fish.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Time Ticking away Fast

What a wonderful wife I have, as I have taken a break from the usual Colorado watersheds and spring hatches to work and fish the past 7 weeks from Montana and the Missouri River. I have always wanted to fish the spring midge, baetis, caddis and throw in streamers when weather conditions prevail. While it was not all fishing, it made the commute to the river much shorter each weekend, and a chance to learn the river even better. As the water rises on all the rivers of the west, so does the Missouri, although a tailwater, there releases make room for impending runoff. Hampers the dryly action, the nymphing is always pretty special.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

24 gauge pump

I was happy to have my personal guide, wife and best fishing buddy fly in and fish with me this weekend, and she brought me great luck as the big browns we seek were out feeding or following our boat down the river. Sunday was a rain filled, overcast day,  made for hunting fellas like this. 
Three like this where brought to the boat and several other larger ones were on or missed. 
The "lucky lid" was the key ingredient.  

Friday, May 5, 2017

Quality People

A little catch and let go by my buddy Eric. I have had the good fortune to spend some
quality time learning the trenches and lines of the river, over the past two months. Eric Mondragon rustled up his roots 14 years ago, now calls Cascade and the Missouri River home. Looking for a straight up quality quite, get ahold of Eric. 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Streamer Eat

Some said the water was too high, some said it was too sunny, some said you should just be "nymphing", but persistence pays off. This little butterball could not resist a properly presented
Hickman's Skiddish Smolt. this fly has been a terror on the browns. Get some , fish some, release some......

Monday, May 1, 2017

Time Well Spent

Montana weather continues to be very erratic, as well as the fishing but for the second weekend in a row, the large fish have decided they wanted to come out and play with Floatfisher. Had the great fortune of having my best bud Jim show up to fisher a long weekend. He was not disappointed, although the wind did blow, the rain and snow did show, but fish fish were eating sow bugs, scud, beatis and chasing streamers.
Getting out early was the key because they were done feeding and off by early afternoon, but great times were had. Just a few more weeks of big sky country to enjoy.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

My Favorite

Tail is my favorite, and the spot of Redfish Tail is takes the 
top spot in my book. The magical colors take your breath away.
Ready to catch more.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Bennett's Lunch Money

A nice video short on Bennett's Lunch Money, as tied by Joel Skogall.
Originally tied for bass, this is also a great producer for trout too. Give it a view,
and twist a few up for your streamer box, don't think you'll be disappointed.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Land of Giants

Mary flew up to Montana to visit me and do a little fishing, on the agenda this weekend was a visit 
to the fishery known as the Land of Giants. As short river section between Howser Laker and Holter Lake , roughly 3 miles long, accessed by jet boat from upper Holter Lake.
This section is know for it excessively large fish, that run in from the lake. They would not lie.

 The very short ride up the canyon would provide a pretty , canyon setting, with some 
deer and sheep present. But it was the fishing we where there to experience.
As you can see we had a difficult time getting the camera out as the rod was bent over
most of the time with fish. The average fish of the day just have been 19", with the largest running
24" but several larger lost. . Mary and I have well over 20 doubles throughout the day. Absolutely a tremendous day, set up for us by Headhunters.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Lunch on the Ditch

Taking a little time to stretch, grab a little sun on a windy day, have some lunch and share some laughs, equal a great day on the ditch. Add in Bob and Eric and the day went to superior. Bam , enough yakking, back to fishing....

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


For the past couple of weeks the unpredictable weather of the Missouri River has been fickle
to say the least. Wind is the consistent, with rain, snow and a little sun mixed in. When the right conditions exist, some real nice fish are being brought to the net in all sections of the river. With 
the streamer being my favorite, toads like this can often be brought in when that sun and wind duck away for a bit. 
My guest from the east coast , made his first cast of the morning with a streamer and was treated
to this carnivore looking beast. Just a giant head and body to match. Wow.

Monday, April 10, 2017

the Railroader

There are decent days on the ditch, and the are even more better decent days with good fish counts but real nice size and girth. Well yesterday, was in if the those days tossing streamers, with the 7wt. and catching some serious brown trout. The one that took the fly twice in the dead drift, with a 10 ft. tail walk into the side of the boat to dislodge the fly was the creme del creme..... 
thanks skiddish smolt.
Oh , forgot about the 19" brown that sucked down the skawlla dry to end, the day. Some days are great when the camara is down deep in the case.
Week two down, four to go..... 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Throwing Feathers

Throwning a little bit of everything, but big feathers are some of my
favorite. Few followers, few knippers and a few eaters. Hoping for 
better conditions tomorrow with hard overcast, dark skies and a little snow.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Boat Ramp Etiquette

Thought I would re-post this nice article that Brody Henderson, guide , from the Vail Valley area, who put-out a while back, as the season gets underway. There is no sense coming up with a another article when Brody captures all the major points to make the boat ramps and parking lots a safe and happy place for all to enjoy.

Float Fishing Boat Ramp Etiquette

The summer float fishing season is about to get underway here at Vail Valley Anglers in Colorado. We are expecting a great summer of fly fishing on our local rivers with a good snowpack and plenty of water. In just a couple of weeks when spring runoff subsides, boat ramps on the Colorado, Eagle and Roaring Fork Rivers will get a lot busier and fly fishermen will have to do their part to make our rivers a pleasant place to catch trout.

Float fishermen have to share the river not only with each other but recreational and commercial whitewater rafters and kayakers. Boat ramps can be become chaotic and tensions can rise when proper boat ramp etiquette is ignored. In particular the ramps at Pumphouse, State Bridge and Two Rivers Park on the Colorado River, the Edwards boat ramp on the Eagle and both Carbondale and Westbank on the Roaring Fork can become congested when lack of courtesy, inefficiency and disorganization cause problems.

Here’s 20 tips for avoiding trouble and saving time while putting in and taking out your boat this summer.

1.  Arrive early before or after most boats tend to start their day. You’ll have more space and time to get things done.

2.  If you are floating with other boats as part of a group, make your plan for the day now not on the ramp. Boat ramps aren’t the spot to hold an important conversation.

3. Rig your boat well away from the ramp BEFORE putting in. Most boat ramps have nearby staging areas. Use them. This is the spot for pumping up rafts, unstrapping your boat, getting your oars ready, and putting plugs in the drift boat.

4. Load up your boat first at the staging area as well. Load your life jackets, cooler, boat bag, fly rods, and raingear before backing in. There’s nothing worse than waiting for someone to do all of this while they’re clogging up a spot on the ramp, slowing down everyone behind them. Not all boaters are polite or patient and you’ll get a well-deserved earful if you are the person slowing everyone else down.

5. Know how to back up a trailer. Sounds simple but waiting for someone who has jackknifed a trailer while ten groups wait their turn is a common issue on the river.

6. WAIT YOUR TURN in the queue. DO NOT cut people off.

7. Drop your boat in quickly but SAFELY. Watch for people walking around on the ramp behind you or boats that may be in the way. Move your boat quickly away from the ramp and secure it or anchor it. DO NOT anchor directly in from of the ramp.

8. After dropping in and anchoring away from the ramp, quickly but safely pull your rig off the ramp. This is not the time to load your boat up with gear from your rig. Proceed to the parking area

9. DO NOT drive like a maniac around boat ramps and parking areas. There are people who will not be paying attention. Often there are small children around who have no idea what is going on and don’t understand the danger of moving vehicles and boat trailers in areas with limited visibility.

10. DO NOT rig your fly rods with your boat on the ramp or while your boat is parked in the water directly in front of the ramp. This is a very common and annoying problem that prevents people behind you from putting in quickly. Row your boat a short distance from the ramp and rig there. Better yet rig your fly rods before you even drop your boat in and then load them into the boat before you drop in.

11. Get in your boat and float well away from the ramp and then begin fishing. Dodging backcasts on the ramp is not fun.

12. BE READY for the takeout before you get there. Have your boat buttoned up and well organized before reaching the ramp.

13. DO NOT stage your boat directly on the ramp. Park upstream in a safe spot like an eddy and make sure your boat is well anchored or tied off.

14 WAIT YOUR TURN in the queue if there are boats ahead of you. This is a great time to derig rods, zip up boat bags, secure life jackets, pick up trash in the boat and tie down oars.

15. Head to your vehicle while the boat ahead of you is taking out. Back down when your spot opens and load your boat quickly. Now is not the time to rehash the day’s fishing. Get off the ramp quickly.

16. DO NOT load every piece of gear on the boat into your truck while your boat sits on the ramp and those behind you wait. You’ll get some dirty looks if you’re clogging up traffic behind you. Leave the gear in the boat and move your vehicle and boat away from the ramp. Load your gear into your vehicle there.

17. Just because you are on a boat ramp on a more remote or less busy section of river does not mean you can throw these rules out the window. Be considerate of the boat that might show up any minute.

18. Offer a helping hand wherever and whenever possible. Helping to pull a boat on or off a trailer, moving gear out of the way, politely directing traffic or advising onlookers to stay safely out of the way will all go a long ways to speed things up.

19. Many visiting fishing and whitewater clients do understand the chaos or potential danger of boat ramps. Let them know the safest place is well away from the ramp.

20. You will deal with boaters who will not follow any of these rules. Deal with it as politely as possible. Screaming at someone rarely makes things go faster. Be polite and have fun. Sometimes during the busy season waiting on others is just part of the program at the boat ramp.

Here’s to a safe and fun summer of float fishing on Colorado’s rivers. We’re excited at Vail Valley Anglers for the best fly fishing of the year.

Brody Henderson, Guide and Content Writer

Monday, April 3, 2017

New Sled

The team at Adipose Boatworks built us a new sled for the rivers of the west.
We are very pleased with "rainwater" color and Derek DeYoung Brown Trout
infused logo, the combination looks sharp. Now time to shut up and fish....

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Smith River Story by North 40

A real nice video short put together by the crew over at the North 40 Flyshop. Floating the 
Smith River in Montana is pure heaven, doing it low flows like this fella's did would be a hoot,
just cause they would have the river all to themselves, and see it in a truly different light and perspective than the rest of have. Seeing the clear, low water, casting to the large fish that can
inhabit this river, oh, that would be super. Sit back and enjoy this short, it has been out a bir,
hopefully you have not seen it.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Evening on the Deschutes River

As the sun slowly sets, and the last few long casts, and drifts with the hopes of 
landing that one last steelhead of the day, fade away. Soon we will loaded on the jet boat head
back to camp for cocktails and fabulous meal, cooked streamside.
What a way to spend a couple of days. 
Oh, so ready to go back and do it again.......

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Contradiction by Redington


Escape to Montana's  legendary Bighorn River with Rich,  a fly angler and hard-rock miner form 
Billings who works hard to play hard no matter the season. he understands what it means to be a 
contradiction, and his store highlights the nuanced relationship every angler has with the river. At the of it all, though, Rich understands one vital truth about his identity. He's a fly fisherman, just like the rest of us.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Just around the Corner

Oh, just around the corner will be the Tax Day or Mothers Day Caddis hatches everyone 
loves to chase and fish in the Rocky Mtn. West. I just love the way the trout crash, slash, jump and 
explode out of the water to chase these great bugs. 
My recent favorite of past couple of years is the Delectable Caddis, fished with either the legs on , or 
plucked off, your simple choice. Either way will slay.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

New Friends

It always amazing how you meet new fishing friends and keep in touch. Well when I met Bob and his wonder wife Nancy they were joining Mary and I for a wonderful saltwater trip chasing bones, permit and tarpon, while learning more creative ways to use our cameras. Since the Bob and I have kept in touch and will meet in Montana in a few weeks to pester the trout of the Big Sky country.
Heres to new found fishing friends and your old trust pals!
Fish Hard life is short.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Home Stretch

The Home Stretch - as you roll from the dam or Wolf Creek Bridge into Craig on the 
Missouri River. Always means you can get the boat loaded and head to Joe's for a cold one.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Foundations by Shane Scherholz

A real quality story line and excellent videography by Shane Scherholz. A great morning 
watch with a cup of coffee, before the morning newspaper. Great inspiration....

Monday, March 20, 2017

Addition to the Family

Spring has spring, and so did the checkbook, as Floatfisher added another element to the camera arsenal, with the Aquatech Elite underwater housing for our Nikon D750. In following some of the great fishing photographers that are out there these days, the 50/50 shots and water releases are quite beautiful. As we get the opportunity to travel and visit a few more of the freshwater and especially the saltwater destinations, it could and will add a new element to our fishing and trips. 
 First big trip is to the other room to submerge and test in the bathtub. Yippee......
More to follow in the coming months.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Olive Midge Body Soft Hackle

Olive Midge Body Soft Hackle
Hook: Alec Jackson, North Country Hook, # 11
Thread: 8/0 Tan
Body: Montana Fly, Olive Midge Body
Soft Hackle: Premium Partridge, Blue Ribbon Flies
Head: Montana Fly, Olive Midge Body

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Beautiful Art by Jeffrey Craven

Came across this very talented artist awhile back, but was reminded of him as he was featured in
a recent issue of Big Sky Journal. I am always fond of artists with skills of in watercolors and oil. In addition Jeffrey Craven resides in Ririe, ID, just outside of Idaho Falls on the South Fork of the Snake.

 " Browns and Diamonds on the Ruby " watercolor
" Mid Summers Eve " watercolor
" Evening Hatch " Oil on Board