Fundamentals of Flycasting for Beginners

Flycasting Class for Beginners 

Instruction by:  Jim Tilmant, FFF Certified Casting Instructor

Here is a perfect class for the flyfisherman who wants to learn the fundamentals of making good casts!  Whether you are just getting started in flyfishing, or have been at it a while but want to improve your casting, this is the class for you!  This is a full two-hour session of hands on flycasting!

Sign up to reserve a spot.   Walk-ups will be welcome the day of the class, space permitting, but these classes fill fast so you are encouraged to secure your place.

Class Size:       Limited to 6 Students

Cost:                $65.00 / person    

Class Dates:       Saturday, April 1 2017 at 1PM-3PM, meet at Elkhorn Flyshop

Flycasting Class for Beginners

  • This date features one session, for beginners. Later sessions will be scheduled for intermediate casters, and for specialty skills.

Saturday Demo – Pat Dorsey

10AM to noon at Elkhorn Flyshop on Saturday, March 19 2016

dorsey image

Pat Dorsey


Elkhorn hosts a guest tyer each Saturday at 10AM all winter, starting in September and through April and beyond.  It’s free, and all are welcome.  Drop by for coffee and fly tying and fishing talk!

Pat Dorsey is our special guest this Saturday.  He will be tying many of his favorite South Platte patterns, and we long ago discovered that his flies are fantastic on our Big Thompson and other tailwaters.

Visit Pat’s Corner on the Blue Quill Angler website for a full introduction that will easily explain Pat’s stellar reputation.

You can download Pat Dorsey’s Recipe Sheet for the Demo here.

 

 

Saturday Tying Demo – March 12 2016

MadScientist

McMillan Tying Bench

“And now, for something completely different . . . . “

 

Mark McMillan

Mark McMillan

Mark McMillan is our guest tyer this Saturday 3/12/16.  He has developed a reputation for incorporating unusual materials into unique and creative patterns.  He’s reputed to be on the Pro Staff at Hobby Lobby and JoAnne’s, but don’t let this fool you – he’s an excellent tyer with sound fundamental techniques, which are easy to overlook when he starts going “cutting edge”.

I asked Mark if he was going to prepare a recipe list, and he said “Why start now?”

If he did, the first recipe would probably say “Preheat oven to 270 degrees”.

“It’s Alive!” McMillan finishes a fly

Rumor has it that Mark is playing with torches and powder paints, as well as some foam popper stuff.  We usually demand he demonstrate a Wally Wing, and he will probably furl some rabbit or squirrel.

We will make sure the fire extinguishers are all charged and ready.

Drop by Saturday.  You will definitely see something “Completely Different”.


 

Elkhorn hosts a guest tyer each Saturday at 10AM all winter, starting in September and through April and beyond.  It’s free, and all are welcome.  Drop by for coffee and fly tying and fishing talk!

 

Saturday Tying Demo

 

 March 5, 2016   10am

CARL PENNINGTON

Elkhorn hosts a guest tyer each Saturday at 10AM all winter, starting in September and through April and beyond.  It’s free, and all are welcome.  Drop by for coffee and fly tying and fishing talk!

It’s a treat to host Carl Pennington this Saturday.  He’s on the Pro Staff for Regal Vise, a staff fly designer for Montana Fly Company, a regular demo tyer at all the big tying expos, and very dedicated to Colorado trout fishing and tying.

 

Check out Carl’s blog

pennington tyingPennington stones

 

Saturday Tying Demo-Eric Pettine

 

Saturday, February 27, 10AM

Elkhorn Flyshop

Eric Pettine

Elkhorn hosts a guest tyer each Saturday at 10AM all winter, starting in September and through April and beyond.  It’s free, and all are welcome.  Drop by for coffee and fly tying and fishing talk!

 Eric Pettine is our guest tyer this Saturday.  He’s been tying, fishing and guiding in this area since ….. well, a long time.  Don’t miss this opportunity to meet  such a wealth of knowledge. 

Personal testimonial – back in about 1987 a few self-taught buddies and I had been tying subsistence flies, and decided to go to a tying expo in Fort Collins to see some proper fly tying.  Eric was one of the featured tyers, and showed me how to tie a big black stonefly nymph, with biots, Ligas Dubbing and Larva Lace rib, and turkey slips, and then gave me the fly.  I still have it, and it’s still perfect! 

Join us Saturday!

 

 

Super Grand Slam

I fished the Cameron Pass area intending to catch a Grand Slam (four trout) and maybe a grayling. Instead I caught a six fish slaTiger640m including a tiger trout, pictured here. It was the first I had seen. I understand they are a non-reproducing cross between a brook trout and a brown trout. They must be a accomplished predator with that ancestry. If you would like to see images of all six fish, read the whole story, and learn where most were caught, click Slam Article

Jim Cooper

Leader & Tippet – Equipment Selection

Leader and Tippet

If you have fished nearly as long as I, you remember carrying all your equipment, except rod and reel, in the pockets of the clothes you wore daily. Now we walk into a fly shop and are overwhelmed byDSC_1714 thousands of items on display. Remember every item is needed by someone, but no one needs every item. Your needs can be written on a three by five card. Helping you fill in that card, I will focus on the beginner end of the spectrum. This is the first of four short articles dealing with the equipment selection process, starting with leader and tippet followed by lines, rods, and reels.

The leader-tippet combination is the first connection to the fly and consumable. Along with the line, rod, and reel they have only one fishing purpose – present the fly to the fish such that it thinks it’s food. There are other aesthetic and ego gratifying values, but not for this discussion.

Leader material is available in fluorocarbon and monofilament. Mono has more stretch, floats better, and is less expensive. Fluorocarbon sinks quicker, is more abrasion resistant, and less visible to fish. This suggests that fluorocarbon is the choice when fishing below the surface with nymphs, pupas, and larva, while mono is more appropriate for dry flies on the surface.

Leaders are tapered because fly lines are designed to cast with a tapered leader attached. Now we begin to see an equipment system developing instead of a parts collection. There are manufactured, hand tied, and braided or furled leaders to chose from. I will leave the last two out of the discussion. They are more of a fishing style choice, but not to be avoided. Hand tied leaders are those that you can make, and have their place in personal gratification, expense, and customization. I use these in salt water fishing. Their downside is the knots collect moss in water where it is present. Manufactured leaders are available in many taper designs, weights, and lengths. Weight refers to the “X” designation, which sorta’ means diameter. 0X is 0.011 inches in diameter, and 5X is 0.006 inches. [ diameter = 0.011-X]. So, the bigger the X number, the smaller the diameter. The smallest leader the average fly fisher needs is 4X, and nine feet is the longest. Long leaders have their place in windless smooth water conditions, and small tippet sizes with picky fish. But, long leaders are harder to cast, and small tippets are more prone to tangles.

So, here are my suggestions.

  • Buy 7 and ½ foot 3X monofilament leaders. Immediately add 18 inches of tippet, making a 9 foot leader. Use mono tippet if fishing drys or a dry with a dropper, or fluoro if fishing subsurface. It should be 4X if flies are size 16 or larger, and 5X if size 18 or smaller.

  • Purchase spools of 4 and 5X mono tippet, and 5 and 6X fluoro tippet. 4X mono will serve in place of fluoro.

The 18 inch tippet gets eaten away with each fly change, and replaced when needed, saving your more expensive leader. Finally, you can simply use all monofilament leader and tippet to save cost. Your fly presentation is more important than the visibility of the tippet.

There are many brands, and without a preference, ask the folks at the shop what they use. I try to use the same leader and tippet brand with tippet spools that are easy to manage on the stream.

Knots are also a consideration. Blood and Surgeon’s knot serve well to tie tippet to leader or tippet to tippet. It does become hard to reliably tie materials differing by more than 2X (3X to 5X is OK, but 3X to 6X is problematic). Wet the knot before tightening, particularly with fluorocarbon.

One last tip, stretch your leader to remove the curls, and put floatant on the leader if fishing drys, otherwise fish may see the leader where it dips below the surface.

Saturday Tying Demo – Jake Ruthven

Feb 20, 2016      10AM to Noon

 

 

 Jake’s Bio keeps changing.  He’s now a college student, and has racked up numerous flyfishing and tying accomplishments, from big time tying demos to magazine coverage.   Seems not that long ago he was just a talented kid promoting a high school flyfishing club!

This Saturday is a perfect time to see how Jake has expanded his tying talents. 

 Elkhorn hosts a guest tyer each Saturday at 10AM all winter, starting in September and through April and beyond.  It’s free, and all are welcome.  Drop by for coffee and fly tying and fishing talk!

 

Saturday Tying Demo – Vincent Su

10AM on Saturday, Feb 13

Welcome Back Vincent Su!  Vincent has tied some of the most beautiful small flies we have seen, including some incredibly effective extended body mayflies.  Here’s a chance to watch some fine, detailed work and some intriguing techniques. 

This session:   “All About Caddis”.  From egg to spent, Vincent has a program that covers the whole cycle.  Download an advance copy of his recipes and program here>    All About Caddis

 

 

Check out a video of Vincent at work.  The video is from the website of our friend and past Saturday Demo tyer Juan Ramirez.

 

 

Elkhorn hosts a guest tyer each Saturday at 10AM all winter, starting in September and through April and beyond.  It’s free, and all are welcome.  Drop by for coffee and fly tying and fishing talk!

 

Fly Drive Contest

WapsiLogo IMG_0536

 Our Pile of Flies grows larger every day!  Thanks to all of you who have donated flies for Project Healing Waters, or plan on doing so in the coming weeks.

The short video is of the pile as of today, 2/9/16.  Go to the Facebook page and enter a guess as to  the number of flies in this pile, and a second guess as your prediction of how many we will end up with when we wrap up the Fly Drive at our 2/23/16 Vise Squad! session.

Your prize will be a bag of Wapsi Tungsten Beads!  (Wapsi sent them to us by error, and told me to keep them and donate them to a worthy cause – perfect timing!  Thanks, Wapsi!)