…the Wandering Monk’s “Indian Summer” road trip…

~third leg of the trip~

~starting out on a freestone,  ending up in a tailwater…

~ second leg~     ~ fourth leg~   ~fifth leg~

~sixth & final leg~

 

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…cool clear water…Agua  Azul!…

…Indian Summer still has a bit of life left…time to get out and enjoy it!…

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…catching  a pretty 13″ brown with a royal wulff & a bamboo is just plain fun…

“tie on something red and they will take it”

                 During a stop over at the cabin needed some provisions and a little work on the rig… I had a few little sessions at my local crik…trout not as big as some of our detinations, but super fun to catch!…and near home!…up to 18″, but normally 12-14, w/ 16’s right behind…your basic trout fishing…and super fun with a nice bamboo!

 

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…the beautiful weather is holding up!!!…

 

rt_94…brown trout eggs…

               Fishing this time of year as soon as I see this I move onto another spot..and for sure don’t try to catch the fish in their spawning ritual… the fish that are tearing up( making egg beds ) in the shallow pebble beds and sand shoreline, they are spawning, and its cool to let them have their own little space for a while…any one of those eggs could be the 23″ trout of your life!!

             Having been an angler close to 45 years, when I see this sight I am reminded of the intricacy’s of the little world we share as fly fisherman…and how it takes much more than magic to make it all happen…

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…another take from the top  dropper, #12 “20 incher”…

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…is that awesome or what!!!…those little spherical nodules are the beginnings of a Brown Trout!

…the sunlight adds a special effect to something already magical!…

…on the South Platte side of the mountains they are orangish/red this time of year…

 

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…little pockets that hold more fish than you imagine…

…you have to believe!…

 

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    I love reading water and I love sight fishing even more…maybe its the bowhunter in me…but being able to see your quarry, and then attempt to trick it…for me that’s the essence of angling…the water in the rear of this pic is almost 4 feet deep…right in the foreground, about 12 -15″…most of the fish were caught about midway+, in 30-35″ of water. One #4 split shot…lots of hang ups…but also lots of fish…

            Years ago I was told if you’re not getting hung up fishing wets and nymphs,

you are not catching fish!

 

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             This female 15″er liked a baetis emerger with an  olive and brown color # 18 w/ a touch of green flash on its back…I have caught more trout all over Colorado with this fly as a dropper & a size 12 twenty incher at top in October than any other combo…when things don’t seem to be working…its my go to rig.

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      One of the set ups I used this day…you can see the line color here I got by dying a supra line, I really like the natural camo color…looks just like the granite stones underwater in the streams!…the net is my faithful “freestone”version I make…this one I used red oak for the handle and lamination’s …since the trip started its netted 100++ fish……the rod is a 2 pc. 7′  9” – 5 weight, with the “Rainmaker” series finish…full wells cork and a 2″ butt extension.Great day for this rod, I landed about 15 fish and probably lost 6 others…

               …I love the amber and natural variations of that shade…

…the materials I use to make my gear all have some aspect of that in them…

 

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…this 16″er took the top twenty incher of the dropper rig(he only has 4 more inches to go…LOL)…

…this happens to me about 25-30% of the time…

 

 

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              This replica of an old “Von Hoffe” style reel is a lot of fun to fish on a bamboo rod…the “clickety-click” sound of the gears, and the feel are something from another time. I usually “palm” the line for my drag with this one…giving even more of a sensation of being in touch with the trout on the take.

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…I used a 2pc. bamboo 7′  9″- 5 wt with an old school reel & line , then back and forth with my 6 & 1/2 ft. 3 wt….

~this fish the wulff as the top in the double dry…the trailer my new favorite caddis!~

              I am casting the double rig upstream, like with a dropper rig, but then keeping the fly line off the water all the way, and maneuvering if necessary to get the pair of situated properly and spread apart…you can  expect either fly being taken…it actually is a lot of fun…and two flies does give some more options…plus browns hate(love) red!!!

(royal wulff’s and red belly humpy’s)

 

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…Nice female about 15″…this fish  took the top fly…a size #12 royal wulff…

 

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              I have often joked that there are 10,000 places to fly fish in Colorado…if you find time to fish them ,then you find 10,000 more!…at one a day that’s almost 55 years…just right!…and then the repeats of course…LOL…lets just say its impossible…

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…the typical fish this day… 14″…lots of fun with a pair of bamboo’s I brought along…

 

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             Not one of mine, found it at the Wal Mart  getting some coffee and goods….yep…and its my new favorite caddis pattern…similar to a partridge wing, but bigger hackle and elk or mule deer fur in place of the partridge feather….I can think of quite a few variations base on various materials I have…I don’t know whose it is…only the box said some guy from Montana…most likely imported…but well done never the less…if the weather holds a bit longer I think it will do special stuff!no more caddis hatches goin on, but these patterns still work on aggressive fish…last week I was catching trout with elk hair and hackle caddis fly’s…  spitting snow today, but report for next ten- 14 days is beautiful…the last hooray most likely of the Indian Summer in Colorado above 8,000 feet…

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…close up detail of one of the  fish today I caught today…I’m not a numbers guy…

…20 fish day…40 fish day…not my thing…

…but when you consistently trick some fish its a good day…

…and when its with a dry…its even better!…

…the little dots you can see here are absolutely amazing!!!

 

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…the perfect “Catch & Release”…

                    The fish spit out the fly in the net…gills popping…the tiny baetis barely held him!, I just dipped the net in the water and he darted off!..see you again my friend…check out the blurred fins from the shutter speed setting…

 

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               I love when the creek splits in two with a rock bar…giving two sections of quicker water with pockets to fish…sometimes I spend a few hours without leaving! fishing a spot for a while then letting it cool off going to another, then rotating to others…especially if you have caught a fish…this bar has 4 distinct spots…

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                    This is one of the rods I made up especially for the trip,  7′ 9″ -5 weight……its done great…caught a few dozen fish on dry/dropper rigs…and even some straight up nymphing…

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                I put the same finish on my working rods as I do on my nets…its a maintenance coat that provides excellent protection from the “real” angling world…

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When I get back to my cabin and get the pictures from my phone to my lap top I am always amazed at the details that go unnoticed until the full view can be seen on the monitor…the “lacing” of the trout’s slime, their protective layer is visible here…I try to handle fish as little as possible, but if I must to remove a hook I always get my hands wet to avoid messing with the protective layer…

 

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… nice steady current with lots of flat spots to pitch dry flies…

 

rt_77…”WD-40″  & ” Humpy” rigs…

Here are a few dry dropper rigs I made up for the next time out…Rs2’s have been working, so I got a few wd-40’s to see how they work…with a #10 humpy as the lead…

 

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               When I started making bamboo rods I was trying to capture the color of the Colorado Rockies during Indian Summer…using the sinew, Osage, various shades of cork, antler , trying to dye some fly lines amber & of course the natural colors of bamboo! mimicking the shades of the water, granite stone & sunshine…not to mention the incredible foliage too! I dyed an old  SA line with some alcohol based dye , like I use on mallard flanks for tying…after a few coatings I got a really nice amber color like a fine silk line has, fading from lighter to dark…this is one of the first dry/wet fly rods I ever made…still going strong after 6 years…

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…the “Pope & Young” looks like a wet muskrat here after being “clipped” to change dropper rigs…

               Sometimes when I’m in a really”old school” moods I will tie on some of my natural flies from my stash of materials…this rig has my version( Pope & Young) of an old pattern called “sheep creek”…on this one I use buffalo wool for dubbing, some elk for the tail and a mallard feather cut split for the wings…this creek is home to some Bighorns now and then…

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…Sun getting ready to go behind the mountains on the last & nicest  fish of the day…

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…this female, eggs gone,  in natural camo…

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                 One of my fly boxes I make and use…probably way more flies than I need to choose from, but I just like to keep my box ready with options…sometimes a very different pattern can wake things up a bit…

               The only empty spots if you look closely, are some of the smaller baetis emergers..went through 1/2dozen this day. I restock  every evening or change things around…getting ready for the next day

…coming up the last of this leg with my friend, the Big Thompson …

…then the 4th leg starting with the  Poudre  &  St Vrain, totally new waters for me…

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      …the story behind this rod…I made it especially for this trip…I usually just make up rods for others and fish my older units…but I wanted something special for the epic adventure!…its patterned on a “RainMaker”…slightly flamed  blank, dark burn rings accent,super grained Osage insert &  MuleDeer and Elk antler accents…plus some special decorative braids..does all that make the rod work better…no…but it sure does make me feel special when I’m catching brown trout!!!

             The subtle action…and in the case with this set up palming the line “old school” for the initial drag, feeling every little movement of the hooked fish…plus knowing I made it…for the purpose of catching my beloved browns ! !what a thrill…the quintessential angling dream come true for me…

…the Big Thompson below Estes Park & Cache de  Poudre next …

 

 

~all pictures taken on my road trip pages were taken with my Samsung Galaxy 4 phone!!!~

…the auto focus on my Canon SLR broke…so I’m winging it…lol…

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