Friday, December 9, 2011

It's been too long...

Work, life and the honey-do list just haven't afforded me any time to fish lately...not that I don't want to.  I did manage to get to the South Platte near Denver mid November, to one of my fav spots.  I found no rises, but managed to net a nice brown on a nymph I designed of the best thrills we get.  I had tried all the bugs recommended by the books and the shops, but the water was low and gin clear, as usual for November.  Consequently, the fish were wary as always, but in a deep riffle, in the shade, the brown and I intersected.  A good thrill to carry me to spring.
Keep the rod bent, fish when you can...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fly fishin Wisconsin...

Working for a couple of days in River Falls, WI...found out that the Kinnickinnick River flows through the town, and is a class I trout stream...soooooo. ..after work today, donned my gear and went looking for some trouts.  A fellow in my class told me of an area he knew of, so I went there.  This is a great time of year, as the weather is nice, and the trees along the river bank are starting to turn yellow and gold.  This river is about 15 yards wide, flows well, and has some nice pools and riffles.  After scouting for a while, I found some fish rising, and got close to them, slowly.  After trying lots of different flies, I found them hungry for rusty spinners, about a size 18.  Got two nice little browns, feisty and colorful, strong fighters, right at sundown.  Great day on the river.
...keep the rod bent...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Bassy mornings!

Travelling through Omaha recently, I happened to stop in the Cabela's store, and in conversation with the sales guy, I found out about a small lake that holds good bass nearby.   Well, I didn't have to leave until 3 the next day, and I had my fly rod handy, sooooooo....I'm up at 5:30 the next morning, geared up, and on the water at sunup.  There was a nice fog on the water, a scenic delight, and circles on the water told me the fish were hungry.  I put on a medium sized popper I tied with black maribou and some grizzly hackle, and caught a couple of fat little bluegills.  Then I placed the bug just outside of a weedbed, waited, waited, then the water boiled and exploded, and the fight was on!  My adversary was a fat 5lb. largemouth, hungry and strong.  He took line a couple of times and even jumped for me, making the catch even more special.  I landed the bass, took his picture and sent him back to grow up.  I love early morning fall bassin'...

Monday, August 22, 2011

summer bliss on a road trip...

I had the occasion last week to have to drive across Iowa...could have been a dull trip.  Brainstorm!  Carry the fly along the way.  I stopped at three different roadside county/city parks and fished, and caught several nice fish.  Three little fat bass on buggers, three fat little bluegills on a stimulator.  It doesn't have to be trout...
...keep the rod bent...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Crappie on the fly...

IMHO, crappie are some of the very best fish you can eat.  They are also fun to catch, but have you caught them on a fly?  Next time you go to your fav crappie spot, take your 5 wt. armed with some size 12 Wooly Buggers.  Cream works well, but I suspect a blue or silver would work well also, as they crave baitfish.  I've never tried them, but I suspect a small clouser would work too.  Set the hook much as you would with a trout, just raise the tip, beccause they have tender mouths.  Use a sink tip, 3x or 4x leader, and have some fun with crappie...hook up with a slab, and have a good time!
><)))))):>...keep the rod bent...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Tides make a difference...

Off to Rhode Island last week, so I stayed over to hunt bluefish in Cape Cod Bay.  I tied up some clousers and half-n-halfs, readied my gear...but no one told me how hard it is to find a spot to fish if you're not from the area.  There are beaches, but where to park?  I left early, headed to Plymouth, MA, because of what I found on the 'net...driving into town, I see the sign...Plymouth Rock.  Wo!  So, I had to see Plymouth Rock, of course.  This happens to me a lot, because, being a photographer, I can easily get side-tracked taking photos of neat things and places I see.  Check some of my stuff out at  if you want.  Anyway, by the time I found a good place, the tide was slack, and I had no luck.  I found a great estuary at Sandwich Town Beach, and I'll go back if I am in the area.  good luck to you this spring...I'm off to New Jersey this week, not fishing much.  To the creeks soon!  keep the rod bent...

Monday, May 9, 2011

Nice article from Angler's Covey


I like to fish upstream from the blanket hatch (maybe a mile or two). My favorite patterns are as follows:
Elk hair caddis tan size 14, 16
Lawsons spent caddis tan size 16
Olive stimulator size 16
Lawson's E-Z caddis tan size 14, 16
Puterbaugh's foam caddis black  14, 16

Borieal's caddis pupa 14,16
Sparkle pupa tan or olive 14,16
Barr's Graphic caddis olive  16

Fish on sunny warm days. Stay upstream of the main hatch. Fish the subsurface flies early until you start to see rising fish...pretty simple.

For the more selective caddis risers, I like Lawson's spent caddis. Late in the day I like an egg layer pattern or an orange stimulator (Kingery's egg layer, or the Mother's Day caddis are great egg layer patterns).

You can fish the dry attention to the end of the drift when the subsurface fly starts to rise in the water column.  Some days there are tons of bugs on the water, but very few fish rising.  Obviously fish the pupa patterns when this occurs. Or sometimes I like to fish a big dry like an Amy's Ant in olive size 14 or 12 and drop a pupa off of the big them a porterhouse steak! It might bring them up!

On cooler cloudy days don't forget about the baetis! The Ark is a very underrated BWO river. Some of my best dry fly fishing days have been on the Arkansas during a baetis hatch. Fish Neils BWO size 18 or 20 to risers. If no rising fish are present I like to nymph with a Murphy's flashy grub (size 14) trailed with a mercury RS2 size 18. I concentrate on the fast water.  Usually you can see fish flashing in the fast riffles when they are on baetis nymphs preceding a hatch....this is where the Mercury RS2 hammers fish!

Steve Gossage

Sunday, May 8, 2011

a Pennsylvania Meadow with onlookers....

Crossing the fence in a Pennsylvania Meadow...

It's a long ride, over a bumpy road, twisting and turning through dense forest along a country stream.  I can hear my gear tossing about in the trunk, but I know it is not far now.  There, ahead, a wide meadow opens up, with tall hardwoods reaching to the sky on either side.  An old wooden fence, all wood, lines the lane, but there is an opening just ahead.

When I spoke with the fly shop owner in town, he told me not to worry, that the landowners allowed fishermen to cross over their land to wave their sticks over the small swift streams here.  It's unusual to me, coming from an area of the country where you had to have specific permission to fish, not carte blanche to cross the fence.  It's spring, and the meadow is layered with spring flowers, yellow, blue, red, all reaching to the sky for the sun's nourishment.  I'm careful to not mash the flowers, stepping on just green as I cross to the stream.  Once there, I survey the situation.  To my left is a small dam over the stream, maybe made by a beaver, maybe just there from rains, but blocking enough water for a pool.  Below the dam, a few rocks in the water, just before a slight turn to the left, then a long run to a riffle.  What a spot...and I just saw some circles on the water, giving away the presence of a trout.

I've brought my short 4wt. today, but I'm using 5 wt. line, because I like the way the heavier line loads the 4 wt. rod and makes it easy to cast.  I'm tying on an adams, a size 14, just because.  No hatch apparent, but its a good start.  Staying low, I sneak up on the stream, for there are no woods behind me to hide me.  I make a short cast about 6 feet or so upstream from where I last saw the circles, and as the fly floats down, sure enough, a small rainbow sips the fly from the film...a short play, the net, and the fish is mine.  I take the customary picture, thank the fish and God for the connection, and slip the little fish into the cool stream.  I love the springtime, and the experience it brings.  
...keep the rod bent...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dry Fly Time...

Of course you can catch fish in the winter time on dries.  Fly fishing is not restricted to just spring, summer and fall, any more than trout are restricted to eating only sub-surface offerings in the's just more infrequent, more difficult, and usually the flies are very small.  Now, here comes spring!  Bugs let's be efficient. 
1.  It's not bass fishing.  Don't just start flinging some dry fly out in the stream to see if something bites.  Now, I know that sometimes that can be successful, but what about the times when you make the great cast with poor timing, and the fish rises three feet or more away, just as you begin another cast?   When trout start rising, often they are methodical, rising at some sort of interval.  Not exact, but you can tell.  You can cast ten times and catch nothing, or wait a while, observing the pattern, then target the hungry fish in the area and on his time line.
2.  Can't tell if or what is rising?  Bend over!  Yep, bend down to the water, and look across the film.  This is when you see what is really going got to think like a trout if you want to catch one.  Use a monocular or binoculars to look down and upstream to see if there are insects rising or falling, or if there is just nothing going on.  Fish smart...catch more and larger pescados.
3.  Be careful about your silhouette against the sky...if fishing an open meadow, your shape against the background will be something different to the fish, maybe a predator in their mind...think like a fish...
4.  Parachute adams, caddis, ants, midges...all proven and time tested...don't get too fancy.  Size matters more than anything else.
5.  Minimize false casting, and cast away from the fish, especially in very clear water- trout are watching for things above them that don't make sense.
...keep the rod bent...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Morning on the Beaverkill

Rays of soft morning sun woke me, and I sat on the edge of the bed, groggy.  Gazing around the room, there they were, crouched in the corner, ready to go – fly rod, assembled, reel in its seat, chest pack, waders, all the necessities for a great day out on the stream.  It was to be today, a short drive through the meadows and forests to the upper Beaverkill, one of America’s first and best trout streams.  I know this place where there is an old covered bridge over the water…the name escapes me…and a large quiet pool stretches some 75 yards up stream.  Riffles fall out of the tail end of the pool, downstream into more cool, clear, New England troutness. 
Making some coffee, the elixir of life, I mused about just how much fun it would be today, me and the fish competing to have our way.  I really like to see it as more of a sharing experience, where my finny friends are allowing me to walk in their home, to see their neighborhood, trying my best to entice them to take my fly.  Most of them are smart enough to realize that it is unreal, even surreal, the ‘bug’ that I present, for , on close inspection in this water, they usually quickly figure out that there is just something not right about the ‘insect’ floating their on their ‘roof’.  Oh, well, it’s part of the game.  One that I play with them, against their will, as often as I can.  Today, a 16” rainbow falls prey to my offering, only to be photographed, appreciated, and returned to grow and live on.    
...keep the rod bent...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

You've seen it all when...

If you'd have told me I could catch a rainbow trout on chicken livers, I'd have said, "baloney."  Last evening, my grandson and I went to a local lake intent on catching some catfish at a popular spot.  We bait up with nice juicy chunks of chicken livers, and before long, he catches a wiper.  No too surprising.  After a while, I got a nice hook-up, with a real fighter, and when the fish jumped, I was a rainbow!  After a good fight, got the fish in, and sure enough, a 15" fat rainbow, on chicken livers.  I've seen it all now.  They don't eat just insects!
keep the rod bent...

Friday, April 8, 2011

From Dave at the Angler's Covey:

Just recieved word that all United States National Forests facilities will shut down if congress does not pass the budget tonight. This could present some real discomfort to all anglers in thier time of need. Forest Service personal are being instructed to "lock down" all assets until congress acts. This of coarse includes all public restrooms found in the Pike National Forest. Colorado State Parks will not be effected. If you out and about this weekend you many need to plan appropriatly.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fly Fishing Tip of the week:

I often see anglers false casting three, four, five or more times before allowing the line to fling itself to its destination in search of a wary trout. What for? If it's a dry fly, its dry after one or two...if it's a nymph, ? Over false-casting wears on your shoulder, the knots, and the fly itself, plus, all that 'stick wavin' scares the bejezus out of trout, especially in very clear water. Limit your false casts to only what is necessary. Another tip is to false cast to the side, not over the fish. Stealth, my brother, is the key.
...they call it fishing, not catching for a reason...


I'm tingling...with excitement! It's spring, and I'll finally get to catch some fish on dry flies. My fly fishing experience is hightened by the dries, because I'm just not too good below the film. I am learning, and getting better, but there is nothing like seeing a fish rise and slurp in a dry fly, especially if it is one you have tied yourself. I'm Atlanta in a couple of weeks, and will most likely get in the 'Hooch'. Many people don't know that the Chattahoochie River right in Atlanta hold some excellent trout fishing. Atlanta is a great place to visit, and the trout make it even more fun. keep the rod bent!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Pictures from Mesa Verde and the San Juan

Created with flickr slideshow from softsea.

the San Juan below Navajo Dam

I had the great experience of fishing the San Juan River this month, having been on a job in the area.  My day started with a visit to Mesa Verde National Park, which I highly recommend.  There you can view and even tour the ancient Anazasi Cliff Dwellings...over 600 exist in the park.  Amazing, and interesting.  After the hour and a half drive to the Navajo Dam, I visited a couple of the local fly shops, both very helpful.  I paid my parking fee ($5) and trekked to the water.  I found the river in March to be somewhat high, but not bad.  It is a large river, and I am most comfy in small streams.  I found myself at a disadvantage, because of the high flow, and no rising fish.  This forced me to nymph, not my strong suit.  There were several boats on the river, and some were landing fish, mostly 14 - 18", very nice.  The San Juan is known for having lunkers, but I didn't meet any of them.    The rive is a bit challenging to wade, because of the prolific algae, but worth it.  The scenery is beautiful, and I hope to return someday.  keep the rod bent...

Tip of the week, last

Do you wonder, sometimes, if your indicator is spooking the fish? Try a large foam bug, like a hopper, instead of an indicator. Odds are good the trout will see it as just another bug in the water, and who knows, they might take it! I have also switched to using just white indicators in very clear water, because it looks more like just some more foam on the water.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

the San Juan River experience

I fished the San Juan in northern New Mexico recently, and will blog about it this week.  Here's a pic:

Fishing in trout parks...

My grandson and I visited the last two Missouri trout parks we hadn't fished this weekend, and learned some lessons.  1. Be there first light, because those that are get the hungry trout..those that are late don't.  2.  Check the calendar...don't go on a day when they have a trout-fishing contest.  Everyone in the freakin' state is there!  I can't stand fishing 'elbow to elbow'.  We had a wonderful time, anyway...I managed to land two nice rainbows in spite of my scheduling and the crowd.  Take a kid teaches them (and you) patience, respect for others, and the beauty of nature.  keep your rod bent...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fishing in new places.

People often comment that I am so lucky that I get to fish all over the country, and I am. is not as hard as it seems, and not even all that expensive.  Airfare tickets, bought far in advance, can be less than $200 roundtrip, to just about anywhere, if you play your cards right.  There are cheep hotels to be found everywhere- all you need is a bed, right?  Plus, rental cars, the off-brand ones, are often only $20/day.  Don't take the insurance, just use a VISA card, it and your personal liability insurance will cover damages, should they occur.  OK, what do you take?  Waders, boots, vest, rod, reel...the bare essentials.  Pack 'em in a duffel bag, and carry the rod on in a tube.  Just be sure to put knives and such in your checked bags.  If you go to the state websites, or do a google search on access points near your destination, you'll always find a place to fish.  My fav is to call a local fly shop and ask.  They are always great about directing me to a good spot.  Just be sure to stop by and buy a fly or two, or something to support the local shop that helps you out.    keep your rod bent...

Friday, March 4, 2011

Small pleasures in fly fishing

One of the things I like best about fly fishing, and in fact, fishing in general, is the friends and associations I make.  For example, just this week, I've made two new friends, one I may fish with, the other I may never see again, but enjoyed the brief encounter.  In the airport, a fellow, Darren, noticed my 'zero limit' sticker on my laptop, and asked about my fishing.  As it turns out, I travel regularly to the area where he lives, Cleveland, and like to to chase steelhead there.  We had several nice conversations, and shared places to fish, both in Cleveland and Missouri, where I fish a lot.  I think there's a good chance we'll fish together someday...I'd like that.  Today, while out and about checking out fishing spots (rivers blown out), I spoke with a fellow angler that turned me on to two more spots for me to try in the area.  Sharing information is what its all about, my friends.  No man is an island, so they say.  Relationships drive even our fun times.  Get to know more people...and keep your rod bent.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The State list of fishing websites is on FlyIguana!

See the resources section on the right for links to all the US state fishing department websites.  When you are preparing to go somewhere you haven't fished before, it is a good idea to view the regulations and reports from the specific state.  Many of them allow you to purchase licenses from the website also.  keep the rod bent!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Travelling fly fishers resource coming soon!

A very useful tool, as I travel the US, has been the state fish and wildlife website for the area where I am planning to fish.  I am compiling a list of the links to all the state departments, and hope to post that soon in my resource section.  Watch for it on facebook and twitter.   keep the rod bent.....flyiguana

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tough, challenging, beautiful, and worth the trip! The South Platte in CO.

I was privleged to fish the South Platte at Deckers near Denver this week.  The fish won, well, in some aspects.  The water was running about 170cfm, gin clear, sunny days, big fish, no hatches.  This time of year is stonefly time, and of course, it's always midge time.  Several of the guys caught some 20"+ rainbows, most caught nothing.  Sorry to say, I was one of those- however, I learn something everytime, and this was no exception.  Since Deckers is only 1.5 hours from the Denver airport, it is an excellent day trip.  Flies and Lies in Deckers is good for information and tips, and they have really reasonably priced guide trips.  Cheesman Canyon is a short hike over the mountain, and is another worthwhile trip.  At both, you have a chance at really big fish...really smart? fish.   keep the rod bent...

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Just sittin in the Sound View Cafe in Pike's Place Market in Seattle, having a coffee, wanting to be wading...Cool here today, some rain, some snow, but peaceful.  Fishing is good here in the sound, but today I didn't have the time.  Tomorrow, gonna grab the 5 wt. and hit the local lakes for some bass or bluegill, or whatever takes the bug.  Taking my grandson, he's a fly fishing buff too.  Brings a point to mind...teaching a kid to fish is one of the best things you can do to build their character.  Fishing teaches patience, and a deep appreciation for the things of nature - where we come from.  Plus, the bond you create between you and them cannot be broken.  Go fishing...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Truckee Trials, or, not this time...

Flowing between Lake Tahoe and Pyramid Lake in northern Nevada, in the Reno area, is the Truckee River, well known for its beauty and fish. This time of the year, flows are pretty low, but there are still lots of riffles and pools where the trout will hang out. The best tools are winter stone flies, midges and BWOs, fished more slowly than usual, with a little more stealth because of the clear water. Having said all this, I walked away with a goose egg this time, even knowing the right things. was a beautiful day, and I was fishing on my birthday, which is the way it should be. maybe next time.

Here's a pic of the Truckee in Verdi, NV at Crystal Bridge Park.

keep castin'

Monday, February 7, 2011

Look for me on

You'll find this blog on

Getting Ready...

Like most of us do, I spent last evening going through all my flies, reorganizing and sorting. It's amazing how many flies we accumulate in our efforts to have everything we need to 'match the hatch'. Interestingly enough, I find, as many have, that we could probably get by with just a few: GR Hare's Ear, Stonefly, Caddis, Baetis, scuds, Prince Nymph, wooly buggers, midges, spinners, all in both dries and nymphs, in cream/white, black, brown, and olive. I personally believe that in many cases, the shade and silouette are the most important features that trout key in on, coupled with size, of course. And , size is probably the most important factor. Agree or disagree? leave a comment and let us know.

keep the fly on the water, not in the air...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Winter is killing me...

Boy, I cannot wait for winter to be over, or at least to be sent somewhere where I can get my fishin fix. Fortunately, I'll be in Houston this month, and I plan on taking my 8wt. to Galveston Bay... the specks and redfish spawn and run this time of year, especially around Bolivar Point. Using a fly rod in Galveston Bay can be challenging, due to the winds that blow almost all the time. I have found that horizontal casting parallel and close to the water works for those long casts needed. Clouser minnow in blue/white, chartreuse/white and gray/white tend to work well. I have caught fish on small fly spoons, with a touch of hair as a tail. Baitfish are the key. Hopefully, the birds will help me find a fish or two. Good luck this winter season with your fishing.
keep your rod bent...ed