Fly Fishing

What is the difference between a switch rod and a spey rod?

So, this month's blog comes to you by way of a true story. Last fall, my brother asked me to get on the sticks and row he and his friend down the Green on Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge. At the put-in, while rigging up, I suggested they throw big Chernobyl Ants with a dropper. It was then that I noticed that my brother's friend, Ned, (not his real name to protect the innocent) had strung up an 11-foot switch rod with a heavy switch line. What the Hell! I politely said, "Uh, ...

Fly Fishing

Teaching Kids to Fly Fish

So, you want to teach your obsession, fly fishing, to your son, daughter, grandkid, and/or your friend's child because he thinks you know something about whipping the water with a fly rod. Casting a fly rod can be challenging for an adult, so imagine what it's like for a kid who is barely learning how to walk and chew gum at the same time. What follows, owing to research and many years teaching children, is advice to help you teach a 4- to 12-year-old (4th grade is ideal) how to fly f...

Fly Fishing

What Tippet Should I Use? Mono vs Fluoro

Back when I was just a wee water-whipper, my Grandpa taught me how to build fly fishing leaders from differing lengths and diameters of catgut. Catgut leaders had to be "greased" with floatant when used with dry flies. In my teens, I could construct leaders with blood knots and monofilament nylon ("mono") which did not have to be greased. Later, thanks to Eagle Claw and better technology, tapered, knotless leaders, extruded from mono, hit the fly shops. Life was good. I...

Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing Spring's Early Hatches in Utah

All it takes in Utah is a week of warmer weather and little sunshine to get people scrambling for their fishing and bike gear. Out come the road and mountain bikes, and rivers that have seen only die hard anglers the last few months are alive with people once more. Winter isn't letting go easily and snow lines move up and down mountainsides daily. The wildlife begins to migrate back to the comfort of the high country and the elk herds again become the ghosts of the pine and oak brush. ...

Fly Fishing

Utah Cutthroat Slam!

The cutthroat trout has long been a favorite fish of mine. Cutthroat trout are the only native trout in Utah and many other western states. Of the 13 surviving cutthroat species, four are native to Utah, including the Bonneville cutthroat which is the Utah state fish. The Bonneville cutthroat trout was the very first fish I caught as a child. I was very young and my father took me to my uncle's ranch on Chalk Creek. He taught me how to read the water and avoid rattlesnakes. It wasn't ...

Fly Fishing

Beat the Spring Runoff

As the earth warms following a long, cold winter, it is easy to let the mind wander to summer trout, sipping dry flies. Luckily anglers don't have to wait until summer. If the fishing gods are so inclined, there is a magical time between slow and low winter water levels and the chaos of spring runoff.
--> Temperature Matters Springtime means that snow lines are moving slowly up the mountains, soon to be replaced by young green plants basking in the sun. However, the nig...

Fly Fishing

Fat Bike To Fly Fish!

Fat bike riding has been gaining in popularity the last couple years. I was one of the skeptics, thinking it was a fad, but was still willing to give the big tires a fair shake. I have ridden them on all kinds of surfaces - paved, gravel, dirt, sand, and snow - and am convinced they have a place in the bike world. Being the outdoor sportsman that I am, I look at every trip as an opportunity to check something off a bucket list or land a new fish. So when I started riding the fat-tire bikes I ...

Fly Fishing

Fishing Midges on Tailwaters

Wintertime trout fishing is not for the masses. Cast, cast, chip ice, and repeat is not the type of fly fishing that gets romanticized. That being said I can only spend so much time tying flies on the vise before I just need a trout fix. That's when I head out to one of my favorite tail-waters for some cold water trout on the fly. And the fly that is first on the line when the mercury plummets is the midge. “To succeed, find what the trout want that day, and play their game.&rdq...

Fly Fishing

To Fish or Not to Fish During the Spawn

Growing up fishing small streams with my father taught me many things about reading trout water and the etiquette one must show for fellow fishers and the fish themselves. While camping in the Uinta Mountains I was taught that cutthroat trout, when spawning, are to be considered a treasure and that if you must fish, caution should be used around any species that are actively spawning or are on a redd. A redd is an area of cleaned gravel, usually pea-sized, that fish have moved into a depressi...

Fly Fishing

Green Drake Hatch in Northern Utah - Jans Fishing Report

Fly fishing with dry flies for big trout is one of my favorite activities. When the Green Drakes hatch the rivers are alive with big fish actively chasing and eating big bugs. Watching big browns break the surface to inhale a dry fly is an activity that is relished by most fly fishermen. You may have a couple of eats during any given day on the river, but that textbook take by a big brown is what you play out in your mind’s eye in slow motion. But, when the stars align and the weath...

Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing the Spring Runoff in Utah

Every year, as the snow melts, I go through the same transition of breaking down my winter gear and putting skis, boots, and heavy coats into the depths of the closet. I know I will probably have to get them out again, even though it has been warm for a couple days and I think spring is here to stay. There is still snow in the mountains and it freezes more nights than not, but I can't stop my brain from wandering to larger flies and trout on the water's surface sipping bugs bigger tha...

Fly Fishing

End of February Fly Fishing Report Park City, UT

With mild weather in and around Park City this February, the fly fishing on our two most popular tailwaters, the Provo and Weber Rivers, has been outstanding. There has been an increase of people on the water since the skiing and other winter activities are a little short on snow. This is also the time of year that people start looking forward to spring and getting outside. --> Provo River The lower Provo River is running at 100 cfs and the middle Provo at 150 cfs. This is nor...

Fly Fishing

Sage Method Fly Rod Review

Expert Review The color is the first thing I noticed about the Sage Method Fly Rod, Magma Red - very eye catching. Preferring to fish high-mountain trout streams, I shy away from the epic fast rods that throw a lot of line into the wind, but lack the finesse to turn over a small dry at short range. I had already made my mind up that this would be a great rod for certain situations, but not one that I would use outside of streams or for saltwater fly fishing. Then I took the 9 foo...

Fly Fishing

Catching Four Different Species of Trout - Near Park City, Utah

Many diehard fly fishermen don't believe it's possible to catch brook trout, rainbows, browns and cutthroat trout in the same river. Trout of different species just don't hang out in the same places - they require different water temperatures and have different feeding patterns. However, in my more than 60 years of fly fishing I've experienced this phenomenon twice. High mountain stream near Park City, Utah--> Kimball Creek near Park City The first such experien...

Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing Water Levels in Park City - end of August 2014

Fall Fishing is Almost Here As summer winds down, the fishing pressure decreases on many streams, lakes, and rivers in Utah. Browns and brook trout are pre-spawn feeding which makes them very catchable. High mountain stream near Park City, Utah--> Recently, Park City has been fortunate to get some much needed rain in what is typically the second driest state in the nation. The rain has helped cool off high mountain streams and has added some flow, but also makes hatches a littl...

Fly Fishing

What You Need in a Fly Fishing Cooler - A Yeti

The banter among fellow anglers is made even more enjoyable as wading boots are removed and stories of missed strikes and landed trout are retold. One of the best memories you can have after a day of fly fishing involves reaching into a cooler and pulling out an ice cold can that contains the nectar of the gods. For some reason, it is at this moment that everything tastes better. And that is why a reliable fly fishing cooler should be considered a required piece of equipment. Wildly ...

Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing in the Utah Indian Lands

The Provo and Weber Rivers, as well as other local waters, tend to become crowded during peak fly fishing season in Utah. Mid-summer is the time of year that it might be wise to consider fishing the rivers on south slope of the Uinta mountains, particularly those on Indian land. You'll probably never see another fisherman, but you'll have to buy a special Indian Lands fishing permit to fish in these areas. Where You Can Fish Parts of the Duchesne River, Rock Creek, Lake F...

Fly Fishing

Current Water Levels in Park City Utah - End of July 2014

Dog Days of Summer As we move into August, water levels and temperatures will begin to influence your fly fishing. Throughout the month of August, many of the reservoirs in the state of Utah will be pushing large amounts of water downstream to aid in irrigation. At the same time, snow melt is at its end and high-mountain streams will recede or even dry up completely. It is a good idea to check levels before heading out to make sure there is good trout water. High mountain stream near ...

Fly Fishing

The Best Fly Rod for Beginners

My first trout on a fly rod was on Chalk Creek, just outside of Park City, Utah. I used a hand-me-down fiberglass rod given to me by my great grandfather. It was a big clunky rod that felt more like a combination of a wet noodle and a broomstick handle. At the time I was not aware of how difficult it was to use because I didn't know the difference – I only had one fly rod. Over the years I've improved my knowledge, casting, and the quality of fly rods that I own. In hindsigh...

Fly Fishing

Best Trout Flies for Early Summer

Anglers celebrating the arrival of summer should be organizing their fly boxes searching for the best flies to use for catching early season trout. The start of summer in the Rocky Mountains generally means high water from melting snow which translates into using larger searching patterns to attract attention. While local hatches may dictate using specific flies to match certain insects, general patterns usually work well this time of year for trout that haven't seen a lot of angler press...