• ksbioteacher

    by Published on 08-27-2014 03:52 PM  Number of Views: 16984 
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    Despite flirting with the Big River earlier this summer when I think about fishing in Southern Colorado, I think about backcountry small streams. If these streams are easy to get to then the "trout fishing" is likely to fall short of my expectations/dreams that I have formed through countless daydreams over the previous winter and spring. Over the years, I've concluded that it doesn't take much in the form of fishing pressure, fish harvesting, and frequent visits to change the dynamic of a stream. My own personal skill level, lack of patience, and propensity to fish only dry flies is more in tune with naive backcountry fish that see a fly only once or twice a week or a month rather than "educated" survivor fish living in a stream that flows along a well used road and see flies thrown their way multiple times a day. If these fish from public water represent two ends to a continuum then the amount of trout naiveté is directly proportional to the difficulty of access to the stream. Difficult access -->; naive (and maybe native) trout. With my limited fishing skill there is only one option--hike. ...
    by Published on 08-01-2014 12:01 PM  Number of Views: 12873 
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    The reports began trickling out of southern Colorado mid-June; reports of phenomenal hatches; the best salmon fly hatch in decades along with grey and green drakes. The Big River was playing the part of the temptress again. The Big River was on fire.
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    by Published on 07-04-2014 04:22 PM  Number of Views: 12318 
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    Each of the my last 10 or so summers have included a trip to the Finger Lakes region in New York to spend some time with family. Mostly we just hang-out together but I also find some time to get out to some of the local creeks. By necessity, these times on the water are of a limited duration so I have found myself fishing the closest water, only 15 mins. from town. Generally, I fish in the morning until about 10 or 11. By that time my granddaughters are awake and ready for whatever activities they or grandma have planned. ...
    by Published on 09-09-2013 10:10 AM  Number of Views: 13946 
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    For more than 45 of my 60+ years, I have spent part of my summer in the Southern Rockies. No matter whether I am with family, with a friend or by myself I cherish the entirety of the experience. I'm not big into detailed agendas or plans so each trip usually has a sense of spontaneity and adventure--if adventure is described as things not going as planned. Even though I abhor detailed plans--where should we stop, what shall we eat, how long will we stay here, etc. I find that over the years an informal structure to the trips has emerged. Of course that structure is dependent on who is on the trip but it is mostly driven by goals. In the deep past, before fly fishing, the goals centered around wilderness experiences, camping, hikes, and scenery shared with a growing family. Typically, I'm not one to look back and regret decisions made in my life with only a couple of exceptions---one being that it took so long for me to take up fly fishing in Colorado and that I didn't share this with my family when they were young. Now, it seems that my goals for each trip are tempered by this regret and I try to pack in as much river and stream fishing as I possibly can to make up for lost opportunities, while I still can. High on that list goals are wilderness streams. There is a sense of urgency--fueled not only by my advancing age but also by the fact that society's appreciation and perception of wilderness along with avocations like fishing is constantly changing. ...
    by Published on 09-03-2013 08:47 AM  Number of Views: 13545 
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    In science, some concepts and ideas are so complex or abstract that they defy definition. In order to proceed and communicate, the researcher is often forced to propose an operational definition that seldom satisfactory in the deeper sense but gets the job done in the short term. If the operational definition strategy is still not workable, then an alternate approach might be to talk all around the central, indefinable concept in an attempt to at least triangulate the boundaries of the indefinable--kind of like using the donut to define the donut hole. Obviously, this is not just a challenge in science. The reason we fly fish must be equally hard to communicate and define based on the number of words dedicated to the task in numerous films, videos, articles, essays and book chapters. I'm not quite the fool to propose that I have an answer to this question but let me try to describe a fisherman and scientist that I greatly admire in an attempt to draw the beginnings of the boundary around "Why we fish." ...
    by Published on 11-19-2012 11:25 AM  Number of Views: 5311 
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    Hear me out on this. The forecast for the third weekend in October was for perfect fall weather so I decided to head down ...
    by Published on 08-12-2012 10:27 PM  Number of Views: 4702 
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    A Long Walk….


    For more than two years, Randy and I had been trying to synchronize our summer schedules so that we could fish together, again in southern Colorado. In the interim, we both made several trips to Colorado and tried out all kinds of water. One of those wilderness streams, I wrote about earlier under the title of “I’m not telling….” Access to this stream requires a hike of about 5-6 miles with an elevation change of almost 1800 ft. The problem is that you walk downhill to get in and then have to hike out uphill. Many questions and doubts come into your mind at our age as you think about committing to a trip like this. Can I still hike that far in a day, on that trail? If I do will I be so shot that it will take three days to recover? Will there even be fish? ...
    by Published on 08-03-2012 09:08 AM  Number of Views: 11866 
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    One of the apparent universals of the human condition is the desire to collect, to possess or to hoard not only things, but ideas or even just experiences. On Facebook different polls appear in waves that seek to measure “How many states you’ve visited?” “Which of these books have you read?” or “Which of these movies have you seen?” In the common vernacular, everyone has a “bucket list” to fill. I have no idea of the etymology “bucket list” but I often succumb to this temptation myself.
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    by Published on 07-31-2012 03:35 PM  Number of Views: 5897 
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    Like most of us, it has been too long since I’ve prowled the banks of a trout stream but finally after a summer of back to back to back workshops and meetings along with endless days in the triple digits, I finally was able to find the time. Following a weeklong workshop in Colorado Springs, my wife and I headed to the high country.

    We arrived at our campsite just after dark in much needed rain. This campsite is the last campground near the headwaters of one of those famous Colorado rivers. I like to go as high as I can to get to the small part of the river and to get as far as I can from the crowds. In the past I’ve only had to share the campground with one or two other parties. Unfortunately, the Forest Service decided to make this campground a volunteer payment. This time there were several parties—mostly ATV’ers. There was one couple who were flyfishing. So much for complete solitude. ...
    by Published on 03-13-2012 08:39 PM  Number of Views: 3547 
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    For the past month, I've tried to work in a weekend trip to fish one of the blue ribbon trout streams in Missouri. I had ...
    by Published on 08-22-2011 11:06 AM  Number of Views: 4874 
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    In John Gierach’s latest book he opens with a chapter about pursuing cutthroats in southern Colorado. You don’t have to ...
    by Published on 08-21-2011 08:33 PM  Number of Views: 4252 
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    Earlier in the year I told GMAC (a fellow flyfisher with a lot more experience than I have) that I would be heading to Colorado ...
    by Published on 08-09-2011 11:27 AM
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    Fickle, maddening, enticing, alluring.....the big river. As Jeepster reported earlier this river gives up spectacular ...
    by Published on 05-19-2011 09:05 PM  Number of Views: 5105 
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    I make several trips to New York each year to visit my grand daughters but this is the first May trip in a long time. It's a great place with great eateries with live music--often blues or blue-grass, history, friendly folks and beautiful scenery. The weather forecast was not encouraging--rain, rain, and more rain. New Yorkers from this area are used to the rain--they really don't let it keep them inside so neither would I. There are a number of state parks with a lot of trails through beautiful, waterfall lined gorges full of wild flowers. ...
    by Published on 04-21-2011 01:47 PM  Number of Views: 6001 
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    Earlier this month a local guide shared an idea that I thought had merit. He proposed a challenge to catch wild trout from 5 out of 8 Missouri wild trout streams. Sounded like a more than adequate excuse to head off again to the Ozark's for a spring weekend. I called Randy to see if he was interested---no hesitation. Strategies, streamside tactics, and logistics were quickly discussed, leading to a plan. We would hit 4 streams in one weekend--two on Sat. and two on Sunday. We didn't schedule a fifth since we had already visited another stream multiple times this spring. We'd camp on one of the streams Sat. night, hoping there would be room in the campground. It had been more than 30 years since I had visited any of the streams that we were seeking....

    Left Saturday morning early with temperature and wind both in the low thirties--not a good sign.
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    by Published on 04-07-2011 11:45 AM  Number of Views: 4201 
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    Last Saturday I headed back down to the edge of the Ozarks to walk around, enjoy the weather, the flowers and the fish. Got up early and drove to the creek that will not be named to try out very skittish wild trout knowing that March and April are good months for dry fly action. I was on my own which makes for longer hours on the highway but quiet time for introspection. A couple of weeks ago, I made a quick run to the stream but the stream was high and the weather was storm so I left unsated. I figured that this weekend would be great---if I found the solitude I was seeking.

    After a 4 hour drive I arrived at my first access point to find a party of 4 flyfishers--decked out in Orvis and Sims--with all sorts of jingle jangles hanging off their bodies. It appeared that each was geared up, ready to tackle a Lake Erie tributary steelhead, a White River Brown, a Frying Pan Rainbow but hardly ready for a small wild rainbow from a Missouri stream. At least they were prepared for anything. Not trying to be judgmental but why would you carry all the equipment, flies and tackle for such a small stream? Doesn't it slow them down, making it hard to move through the tight brush? After this week I'll be wet wading to improve my mobility--though there isn't a lot of wading necessary on this stream---mostly just stream crossing.

    These petty thoughts raced through my mind as I tried to come to grasp with the possibility that I might have to share the stream banks today, after a 4 hour drive. One reason I travel to this stream is to fish in solitude. I'm selfish in that regard. Once a run is fished on a stream with trout this spooky it will often take hours before the rainbows resume their normal routines.
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