Featured Photo: Native Colors

Featured Photo: Native Colors

Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!!!!

Happy New Year everyone!!! Hope you have a great 2013 and are able to spend a lot of time on the water.  Anyone have any big fishing plans for 2013?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Take Better Fish Pictures!!!

How many times have you caught a great fish and were able to get a picture?  In this day and age, probably most people are carrying some type of camera with them on the water.  You've seen lots of how-to articles on taking better pictures.  We've all seen the Rule of Thirds and other tips on better composition.  This means that often, when you pull out your iPhone or post the picture of your trophy on a blog or online fly fishing forum, you sit back and wait for your buddies to pat you on the back and discuss how you're such a great fisherman.

Enter the fish nazi.  We've all run into them, and truth be told they do a great job of reminding us how to handle trout.  You know what I'm talking about; the random person that always has to rain on your parade by suggesting that you had the fish out of the water for too long, or maybe you were squeezing too hard, or, gasp, dry handing the trout, and let's not forget the ultimate sin of laying the poor fish on dry ground for a photograph.  Are you tired of listening to the complaints?  Have you given up on sharing those trophy pictures because of all the criticism you receive?  As we approach the New Year, the Trout Zone is working hard to bring you a better fly fishing life.

With that in mind, let me introduce the Photarium from the Wild Fish Conservancy!!!  Ever had anyone tell you that you should never take a fish out of the water?  Now you don't have to, and you still get a great shot of that trophy you are so proud of.  Imagine getting out with your buddy on a float trip and when that nice fish is landed, you just ask the rower to dump the netted trout into your Photarium for a quick picture.

Photo Courtesy of the Wild Fish Conservancy

Imagine how impressed your friends will be at your concern for the well-being of the fish, not to mention the ultimate pleasure of seeing your favorite fish nazi speechless next time you share that shot of your most recent trophy.  Only catch dinks?  Not to worry. The Wild Fish Conservancy has three sizes for all types of anglers and has even been known to make custom extra large boxes perfect for those anglers fixated on size.  Make a New Years Resolution today to treat trout better in 2013 and start the year off right with a Photarium!!!



What are you looking at???

Friday, December 28, 2012

Crashing Surf

My vacation in Maine has been enjoyable and relaxing and was made extra special with the large dose of snow we received yesterday.  There's nothing like staying home all day and watching the snow come down.  The feeders were a big hit with our feathered friends, and I spent plenty of time trying to photograph them from the comfort of the warm indoors.

Today we made it out to two well-known spots in the Portland, Maine area, Two Lights and Portland Headlight.  The first is a state park on the coast complete with rocky shoreline while the second is a famous lighthouse.

My camera has been kept very busy the past couple of days.  I have tons of pictures to sift through and it will take some time to finish that process.  In the meantime, here are three pictures that caught my eye at first glance.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Things have been quiet on the fishing scene for me the past few days.  Thankfully I'm in full Christmas break mode which involves a lot of relaxation (much needed I might add) as well as time with good friends.  Yesterday was a ski day, and as it was only my third time ever, I'm a bit sore today (okay really sore today), mostly in one or two spots that I repeatedly fell on.  Apparently the ability to cast gracefully with a fly rod on liquid water does not translate into grace on frozen water.  Still, I had a great time and am already planning a trip in Colorado when I get back home.

Once I return, I'll be kicking into high gear on the fly tying scene.  A fishing trip or two may also be in the works although probably not too many of those will happen for the next 2 months.  Stories of BIG trout being caught over on the Frying Pan have me considering a weekend trip, maybe sometime soon during the cold but quiet off-season.

Yes, this has been a great year for me and next year is looking like more of the same.  I hope that all of you are as blessed this Christmas season as I am.  Merry Christmas to each of you, and here's to another great year in 2013!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Last Trip

Sunday may have been my last trip of 2012.  There is the possibility of venturing out while in Maine for Christmas (yeah, you read that correctly), and if any of you have any helpful hints and suggestions I'm all ears.  Realistically, however, in all likelihood I logged my last trip of the year.  Best of all, the fish were still hungry!!!

A trip to Boulder provided a great excuse for tossing a fly rod in the car.  One can always hope right?  On Saturday, I drove about a mile up Boulder Canyon and was dismayed at the amount of solid water. Yep, winters in Colorado are just a little bit different from those in Tennessee.  Amazingly, there is still a fair amount of open water in town.

After quickly rigging a rod, I hit the stream with, you guessed it, my favorite little white streamer.  Time has been tight lately but I promise that I will get around to doing an article about this great winter time fly.  In the first pool and riffle, I found zero fish.  Not to be deterred, I worked my way upstream.  The next pool was much more promising.

A little trick I like to use this time of year is to find pools where I know fish spawned.  Normally fish will move to the closest deep water after spawning to ride out the cold months.  The next pool I fished was such a pool.  The tailout still had the telltale signs of recent spawning activity so I was fairly certain there were some browns nearby.  In fact, my first cast into the heart of the pool produced a rather impressive follow for the size of the creek, one of those "I'm coming back again later" type of moments.  Not a giant fish mind you, but large enough to be interesting.

Working my way into the run/riffle area at the head of the pool, I was surprised at how many fish were following the streamer out of the faster water.  The fish were definitely hungry and willing to eat while the stream conditions were still marginally favorable.  Finally, I saw two fish racing to hit the streamer at the same time.  The smaller of the two won, and I was a bit surprised to discover a brook trout with a face full of streamer on the end of my line.

Working my way up through riffles and pools, I found a few more willing fish.  As usual, I discovered several creative ways of spooking the best fish of the day.  This time of year can be particularly tough with low clear water, but I was already satisfied.  I hadn't really expected much out of the outing, but those are usually the times when the fishing is actually pretty good!!!

For Christmas, as I mentioned above, I'll be in Maine.  If anyone has any tips or suggestions for a place to fish this time of year, I'll be just northeast of the Portland/Freeport area.  I still haven't decided if I'll go to much effort to get out or even bother taking gear but must admit that the idea intrigues me.  I'm already thinking about some late winter or early spring trips to tailwaters like the Taylor or Frying Pan for BIG trout.  Apparently cabin fever sets in early here in Colorado...

Monday, December 17, 2012

Lost Reindeer?

While driving through Boulder yesterday, I found Santa's lost reindeer...or at least that's the first thing I thought of when a group of deer came tearing down the street just in front of me.  My first thought was that they were running away from Santa, but then I realized they were just regular Mule Deer.

I'm still not sure what frightened the deer so badly, just as I'm also not sure what they were doing out running around only a few blocks away from the Pearl Street Mall in broad daylight.  Still, it provided a great opportunity for me and my camera which is almost always close at hand.  As luck would have it, the settings were already almost right on for the lighting.  They briefly stopped in someone's yard to pose, still obviously disturbed about something.

Next, they attempted to fly which started me wondering again if they were perhaps reindeer in disguise.  However, their brave efforts always brought them back down to earth.

Not long after, they decided to pose one last time before disappearing in the direction of the Mall.  Maybe they were just on a shopping spree looking for red bows and ribbons to wear for the holidays or maybe some red face paint for their noses...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Saturday Evening Sunset

Today I got caught up on several things including uploading pictures from my camera to my computer. The results of today's brief fishing trip are just about ready to be shared.  However, one of the most beautiful moments this weekend was last evening's sunset.  We were walking on one of the many Open Space trails near a local lake.  Our timing coincided with the sunset which was reflected on the water for a nice treat!!!

Early in the hike, the light was still bright enough for a picture of an interesting plant growing along the path.  I don't know exactly what these are (hint: This is where one of my knowledgeable readers graciously helps me out) but they look intriguing and a bit prickly as well.

Further along in our walk, the sky overhead started to reveal the colors still to come.

Almost to where we could see the lake at this point, I started to hustle.  I really wanted a reflection in my sunset pictures!!!

Saturday, December 15, 2012


I have not fished yet this weekend and at this point it is becoming a little more unlikely.  The Blue is still an option and I also have thought of the Big Thompson below Lake Estes.  However, today was a great day for relaxing.  After a great Christmas Cantata at church, we had a nice afternoon that included a walk with a great sunset!  I haven't had time to look at my pictures yet, but you can see some here taken by my girlfriend.  Check them out!!!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Summer Rainbow

Looking through some old pictures, I came across one that was beautiful, but remembered that when writing about the trip I skipped over this picture in favor of another angle.  I kind of like this picture.  It looks a bit like a painting to me.  The fish was caught on the Gunnison and the memory now has me excited about the possibilities for next summer.  Nice to dream about while its cold outside...