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A fly box can never be large enough!
A fly box can never be large enough!
The Schweitzer mobile flyshop is open! Come on in folks!
A red and green jewel
A red and green jewel
As red as they come, this Rocky Mountains greenback cutthroat is a prime example of the beauty of these small fish. Caught on a light rod with small flies, they present a high level of entertainment.
Another Arkansas brown
Another Arkansas brown
Once again the Arkansas has produced a fine brown trout.
Another salmon
Another salmon
Yet another salmon in the net. We took most of the fish in a small run right in front of Martin, where the water was deep and the bottom paved with fish.
Arkansas brown
Arkansas brown
The Arkansas River offered plenty of fish in this size -- absolutely great fun on a small rod. And the fish took what we offered them from large hoppers and Madame X's to small Copper Johns.
Arkansas brown trout
Arkansas brown trout
The Arkansa holds plenty healthy trout, which react well to flies. This fish lies well on the just-above-average size.
Arkansas sign
Arkansas sign
Signposts are plenty and informative along the Arkansas and public stretches are clearly marked.
Aspen
Aspen
There are plenty aspens in the mountains!
Aspen
Aspen
On a cloudy, rainy September day this Aspen forrest looks like something out of a fairytale.
At last!
At last!
Kasper fished for a nice size rainbow for a while before he at last managed to hook it.
Baby you can drive my car...
Baby you can drive my car...
Bidoz
Bidoz
Martin's French friend Andre Fourniez Bidoz in the background to the right. His son is helping in the foreground. Andre is the maker of beads, tubes, cone heads and many other small metal products for fly tying.
Blue sky, white clouds
Blue sky, white clouds
Brownie
Brownie
Butterfly
Butterfly
What Kasper caught during his Rocky Mountain lakes fishing
Chew that ant
Chew that ant
Small ant patterns seemed to work best on the greenbacks. The flies were chewed to pieces by the numerous fish yearning to eat this tasty meal.
Chipmunk
Chipmunk
This little fellow was so occupied by his dried berry and so used to people that he allowed us to get very close for photos.
Colorado Salmon
Colorado Salmon
Any deeply fished fly would bring up a fish like this. The bottom was covered by fish.
Colorful
Colorful
The selection of flies is enormous as this colorful box in one booth shows. The variations seem endless.
Comfortable fishing
Comfortable fishing
Fishing a mountain lake like this takes place from the bank. The trees around and behind Martin show that the long backcasts are often impossible, which will limit your reach onto the lake. Many fish will cruise close by the bank, so fret not...
Concentrated
Concentrated
Kasper concentrated on the greenbacks in the Rockies.
Copper John
Copper John
The Copper John was one of our succesful patterns. What makes it so good? Weight! Simple as that - lots of weight brings down the fly to a level where the fish are.
Copper Johns by the yard
Copper Johns by the yard
Wapsi's immense collection of copper wire will make any Copper John fan frown.
Cripple green drake
Cripple green drake
A fly this size unable to get off the water is some meal to a fish. That is why cripples can be such good patterns.
Crowd on the Frying Pan
Crowd on the Frying Pan
The tailwater on the Frying Pan just below the dam is quite crowded. The fish are plenty but most have seen everything a normal fly box can offer, and thin tippets are required to entice them. Once you hook a fish and follow it downstream not to have it break you off, you can potentially disturb a dozen anglers and hundreds of fish.
Crowds!
Crowds!
The Kokanee salmon gather in huge numbers where the Taylor and Gunnison streams run together. So does the anglers! This crowd was firmly set on their spots and not willing to give up their particular positions. The top man (right) would catch 10-20 fish for each 5 the second man would get. In that time the bottom man (left) would get nothing while the guy upstream from him would maybe get one fish!
This place would surely work well with a one-cast-one-step policy!
Cutt tail
Cutt tail
The beautifully spotted tail of a greenback cutthroat.
Denver International Airport
Denver International Airport
Difficult
Difficult
Not the first place you would want to camp.
Dirt!
Dirt!
A major turndown: the Arkansas all mudded up. Surprisingly enough a drive a few miles downstream took us to completely clear water.
Documentation
Documentation
Steve documenting Martin documenting Kasper catching a trout in the beautiful sunset.
Donuts and coffee
Donuts and coffee
Donuts, coffee and fly fishing magazines on Steve's living room table - home to numerous remote controls, the functions of which were far beyond our grasp. The donuts were extremely poor by the way...
Dream Stream rainbow
Dream Stream rainbow
Kasper's reward: a nice rainbow.
Dream Stream rainbow
Dream Stream rainbow
Dream Stream sign
Dream Stream sign
EHC
EHC
Al Troth's Elk Hair Caddis is an all time favorite on caddis streams.
Female Kokanee
Female Kokanee
The females are just a bit smaller than the males. They are all strong in spite of their size.
Fight back!
Fight back!
The last item on the list of good advice when navigating in bear country was: If attacked, fight back!
Fish on
Fish on
Martin has hooked a rainbow on the Frying Pan.
Foam for all
Foam for all
Kasper admireing a huge selection of foam for poppers and hoppers and what-have-you.
Foamhead CDC&Elk
Foamhead CDC&Elk
The CDC&Elk is one of the absolutely best allround patterns. Martin's addition of a foam head is not necessarily an improvement, but he says it helps him see the fly.
Forgotten boots
Forgotten boots
Steve had to take the hike in ballet shoes, because he forgot his hiking boots. This can not be recommended! The trail is nice, but sturdy boots are a great help.
Frappuchino automatic
Frappuchino automatic
An excellent combination: our rental Mazda with a great automatic transmission and many other nice features combined with Starbuck's Frappuchinos from Estes Park.
Frying Pan brookie
Frying Pan brookie
Steve presenting a Frying Pan brook trout.
Frying Pan fish
Frying Pan fish
Yet another one landed and released by Steve Schweitzer.
Galyans
Galyans
Nothing is small in the US, and Galyans makes the largest Danish outdoors shop seem like an ice cream stand in comparison.
Greenback
Greenback
Greenback
Greenback
The greenbacks are beautiful little creatures.
Greenback Cutthroat
Greenback Cutthroat
Greenback hunting
Greenback hunting
Only a few spots offered room for a back cast like this, which gave Martin the option to cast for fish a bit further away.
Hooked
Hooked
This greenback cutthroat was not weary enough to see the difference between a fake4 ant and the real stuff floating on the clear Rockies lake.
Hopper copper - no dropper
Hopper copper - no dropper
A big hopper as a strike indicator and a heavy nymph below it was the way to go on the Arkansas. A quarter of the strikes would be for the hopper - the rest would be for the nymph.
Huge selection
Huge selection
This is so typical that Americans do not even notice. The selection of everything is so vast, that choosing is a problem. This is just the soft drinks section at a plain, local gas tank.
In the neck
In the neck
"In the hat?", asked Steve. "No! In the head!" answered Martin...
In the surgery
In the surgery
A fly barb deep in the neck is not easy to remove. It took force and tools to dig this fly out of the victim's neck.
In the victim's hand
In the victim's hand
This CDC&Elk has been where few flies have been: in the very tough neck skin of GFF partner Martin Joergensen.
Is this beautiful?
Is this beautiful?
Is this beautiful or is this beautiful? Add a greenback cutthroat cruising by every second minute and you have the ingredients for a perfect day in the mountains.
It is 100 feet down!
It is 100 feet down!
It's not pink...
It's not pink...
...it's coral! Kasper, Marvin and Martin
Just another one before sunset
Just another one before sunset
It was tough leaving Dream Stream just as darkness fell. The evening was beautiful and the caddises started hatching in thousands immediately sparking an intense surface activity. But it was bitterly cold and we had a long drive before us.
Kasper with a Kokanee
Kasper with a Kokanee
When we at last got into an upstream spot we started catching fish consistently.
Kasper's catch
Kasper's catch
Kasper fished for 15 minutes for this Dream Stream rainbow that was working deep in a bend on the stream. Finally he managed to hook and land it.
Kokanee salmon
Kokanee salmon
It might not seem big, but fished on a 3-5 weight rod these salmon will give you a fight worthy of a larger salmon caught on a two hand Spey rod.
Kokanee salmon
Kokanee salmon
Typical male Kokanee salmon from the Taylor/Gunnison.
Kokanee salmon
Kokanee salmon
Martin with a typical small Kokanee Salmon.
Landing
Landing
After a few fish you get a more relaxed relation to landing the fish, and only go for the net when they are more weighty and threaten to break the leader.
Last cigarette?
Last cigarette?
Sean ligthing what may well be his last smoke ever. Hard pressed by the Frying Pan waters he calmly lights a cigarette. His next step might well be a wet one.
Lunch by the car
Lunch by the car
With convenient chairs and a large icebox lunch can hardly go wrong after a long morning's fishing.
Madame X strikes again
Madame X strikes again
I was fishing a Madame X here. It had started out as a strike indicator, but the fish took it anyway. Then I lost the nymph, and Madame lost her rubber legs. Finally I started fishing her downstream in a classic wet fly swing. She kept on catching! I had at least six nice fish on that same fly.
Mapping
Mapping
Measure check
Measure check
Steve checks his rod against the meaure on the sign in order to have an indication of the length of the fish he plans to catch in Waterton Canyon.
Nice Frying Pan rainbow
Nice Frying Pan rainbow
Rainbows this size are quite common on the upper stretches of the Pan close to the dam, where the fish feed on small shrimp that come out with the cold bottom water of the lake above the dam.
No hunting
No hunting
Yes, that is what the sign says! And the animals are boffalos roaming the large fenced areas around The Dream Stream.
Not all trophies
Not all trophies
Now you see it
Now you see it
Often you don't see the fish right in front of you. This trout was neatly feeding a few feet just upstream from Martin and took the first fly he offered it -- when he first had spooked several fish further away.
Plane litterature
Plane litterature
Kasper preparing for the purchase of a digital camera while in the US. German photo magazines make good airplane litterature.
Planning
Planning
Pool anyone?
Pool anyone?
The casting pool at shows always seems to attract hordes of people, and navigating close to it can be exciting to say the least.
Prairie walking
Prairie walking
Fishing on the prairie means walking a bit to hit the right spot on the meandering streams.
Reel seats anyone?
Reel seats anyone?
Just about any sort of wood you can imagine.
Release party
Release party
Sean and Steve releases another Frying Pan rainbow.
Releasing
Releasing
Rod carrier
Rod carrier
Rule number one for travelling fly fishers: carry your rods with you at all times! Do not check them in, and bring reels and flies. That will increase your chances of fishing on the first day a lot.
Sign
Sign
Steve reading the sign describing the Waterton Canyon stream.
Signpost
Signpost
The trails are well prepared and signs are plenty in the Rocky Mountains National Park.
Small jewel
Small jewel
The greenbacks are not big. Here Kasper is displaying and average size fish.
Small monster
Small monster
A true monster compared to the average greenback.
Space
Space
Spinner
Spinner
The Rocky Mountain lakes can not only be fished with ants. A small spinner will no doubt produce at times.
Spot that trout!
Spot that trout!
A newly released brown trout rests just before Martin's feet to gather energy.
Spot the fish!
Spot the fish!
Yes, there is a fish over the gravel right in front of the photographer. You tend to overlook the fish really close, and often spook fish right near you because you cast to a riser close to the opposite bank.
Stackpole books
Stackpole books
Steve had to get this: Drag Free Drift - the book to which he contributed LeaderCalc amongst other things.
Steve and Brookie
Steve and Brookie
Steve's dog Brookie would always go for the flies in the back cast.
Sun down, fish up
Sun down, fish up
As the sun sets over the Dream Stream a large hatch of caddis takes place and the fish start rising eagerly. Anybody can catch fish on a dry fly during this period.
Sun setting
Sun setting
The sunsets are sooo red on the prairie, the sky sooo beautiful and the rising fish sooo difficult.
T-shirt fishing
T-shirt fishing
The weather was so warm that we could fish in T-shirts much of the time.
Taylor Creek Fly Shop
Taylor Creek Fly Shop
Taylor trout
Taylor trout
Amongst the salmon in the Gunnison/Taylor there would be trout, probably feeding on the eggs from the salmon. Once in a while one would hit the fly.
Taylor trout
Taylor trout
...this time without the sunglasses - Kasper that is...
The continental divide
The continental divide
The continental divide. Take a leak on this side of the shack and it winds up in the Pacific. Drops spilled on the backside go into the Atlantic.
The cripple
The cripple
Hatches of large mayflies are common on the Pan. Steve fished this cripple off the water - a tasty mouthful to any trout.
The lake
The lake
The lake we fished for greenback was beautiful and calm, with clear water and a georgeous backdrop. Fish were constantly moving and rising along the bank and further out in the lake.
The local Orvis shop
The local Orvis shop
The ring of the rise
The ring of the rise
No doubt that these small Cutthroats take stuff on the surface.
They do like Tying Thread Joes
They do like Tying Thread Joes
The Tying Thread Joe is a small, black nymph with no more materials than a bead head, copper rib and black tying thread. Its prime virtue is weight. Its second virtue is that it is actually a very good imitation of a lot of small, indescript insect nymphs and emergers.
This is it
This is it
This is what fishing for greenbacks is like. The fish cruise and rise consistently to anything that seems edible. The might refuse your artificial offerings, but often they will take a fly with vigor.
Touch and go
Touch and go
A Dream Stream trout about to be released.
Two in the distance
Two in the distance
Kasper and Martin located in the distance pursuing the small Greenbacks in the Rockies lake.
Typical road
Typical road
We covered hundreds of miles of this type of road. Beautifully winding through the mountains.
Vice
Vice
Fly tying vices never seem to find a final shape. Manufacturers keep on finding new ways of shaping this fairly simple tool as this DH Thompson Cobra shows.
Watching the Pan
Watching the Pan
Kasper and Martin looking for risers on the Frying Pan.
Waterton Canyon
Waterton Canyon
The low water level meant fairly high temperatures in Waterton Cayon. The fishing was absolutely accepable anyway.
Why are reels always black?
Why are reels always black?
Like'em or not, but these colorful Abel reels are an impressive display.
Why they're called cutthroats
Why they're called cutthroats
Will it take?
Will it take?
This fish is certainly interested in the fly, and watching rises like this makes you realize how exciting flyfishing really can be. Casting to cruisers, observing the fish and waiting for the strike. And then the take! What more do you want?
Working media
Working media
Steve and Kasper proudly flashing their bagdes reading "Working media". There you have it the proof: we are working at GFF!
Ye olde local shoppe
Ye olde local shoppe
Yucky pastrami
Yucky pastrami
Too much meat, too poor cheese, no vegetables and plain chips out of a bag made this the lousiest meal during our whole trip.