Vise Squad! 2/9/16

Copper Ribbed RS-2

Copper Ribbed RS-2

Copper Ribbed RS-2   HOOK:  Dai Riki 310 #16   THREAD: 8/0 gray TAIL:  Coq de Leon tailing fibers    RIB:  Ultra wire, copper, small  (xsm for smaller sizes than #16)  ABDOMEN:  Superfine, Adams Gray  Wing post/bud:  Craft foam, 2mm x 2mm  (1.5 x 1.5 for #20 and smaller)


 Download recipe and tying tips

Last Vise Squad! session was a blast!  20 vises set up, and a pile of flies collected for Project Healing Waters Fly Drive!  Thanks to all of you who have been dropping off donations at Elkhorn the past weeks.  The plan is to keep collecting until our Vise Squad event on 2/23, at which session we will host representatives of the nearby chapters of Project Healing Waters and deliver our tokens of thanks for what they do for our veterans.

What to tie for the Fly Drive?  Same stuff you catch fish on!  

Vise Squad 2/9/16   

This week I’m tying the Copper Ribbed RS-2.  It’s hard to improve on the original, but over the past couple of seasons this variation has been a hot fly on the Thompson, especially in Blue Winged Olive season.  In addition to the ribbing, it incorporates a foam wing post that floats this nymph in the film, and helps spot this otherwise invisible fly.

I’ve been having fun recording short videos of the Vise Squad Sixpack patterns.  Check them out, along with a growing library of pattern videos.  You can subscribe, and get notified when new videos are posted.

If you want a kit, visit the form below!




Saturday Demo – Al Ritt

Fly Tying Demo – Al Ritt

Saturday, Feb 6, 2016   10AM 

This Saturday we welcome Al Ritt as our guest tyer.  Al is a versatile tyer and fly designer, any you should look into his “ARF” series of flies.  We’ve seen him tie everything from local patterns through cutting edge streamers and saltwater patterns, and he is a busy demo tyer across the country.  He’s a meticulous tyer, and we will all learn much from his demo.

This Saturday Al will be tying dry flies – “The Usual”, a Humpulator, Sparkle Dun, Adams, Splitsville Caddis, and a Hackle Stacker are some of the patterns he will demonstrate.

Al is associated with Peak Engineering, a Loveland company whose flyfishing division manufactures the Peak Vise.  You see this vise used from coast to coast on your favorite YouTube tying videos.  

Peak and Award

  Check it out at Elkhorn Flyshop, or visit Peak



Fly Drive – Project Healing Waters



Vise Squad

20 vises! Vise Squad 1/26/16

Rick at visesquad

Rick Takahashi

Keep them coming! Drop your flies off at Elkhorn!

Thanks to all of you who have donated flies for Project Healing Waters.  Our Vise Squad event was a good time, with 20 vises in operation and a many visitors.  Over 16 dozen flies were donated that evening!  And our drive will continue until the second Vise Squad event in February.

Our “Fly Drive” is a suggestion from from Israel Patterson, a veteran (and our demo tyer from 12/23) seeking to promote Project Healing Waters.  Your donated flies will be put top use by veterans participating in the group fishing trips organized by the Platte River Chapter, based in Cheyenne and serving veterans in Fort Collins and Loveland.  (On Tuesday we also were pleased to have John Birkenkotter as a guest – he’s the trip coordinator for the Denver chapter)

Between now and the end of our fly drive, we hope to host another couple of guest to tell us about this program, and the good work our flies will accomplish






Elkhorn Saturday – Dennis Martin

Saturday Doubleheader!

10AM to noon            Dennis Martin Fly Tying Demo

12:15 – 12:30            Paul Dudley, Rocky Mountain Sharp Shop


 This Saturdad.martin portraity we welcome back Dennis Martin.   Dennis is a versatile tyer, and we may see anything from midges and mayflies for the Thompson or Poudre, to big hairy bass bugs.  Drop by for a cup of coffee and let’s see what he has in store for us this year!

MARTIN 01.15.18 


After Dennis finishes his demo, we have a follow up feature!  Paul Dudley will have a brief presentation on care of your fly tying scissors, and describe his company’s sharpening services.   

Rod Building Instruction – Winter 2016

Done-Seats_640We hope you enjoyed Jim Cooper’s presentation last Saturday, along with Brian Chavet, describing the process of rod building and introducing our opportunities this Winter.

To recap, at Elkhorn we are committed to small class sizes so you receive the full benefit of our knowledgeable instructors.  Classes are scheduled for small groups at times convenient for you. Tools and equipment are available for your use, such as rod wrapping stations and the rod turner for applying the epoxy finish.

The class begins with a session in which you fit a grip and reel seat, and assemble the butt section.  Next, you learn how to align your rod sections with the spine, mark your rod guide spacing, and make thread wraps to secure the guides.  Last, you will mix the epoxy and coat your thread wraps.

The fee for our small-group rod building class is $75, of which $25 can be applied as a credit towards the purchase of any Elkhorn rod blanks or components.  We have blanks available for most of our product line, and can certainly provide a suitable blank for any length and line weight.

If you would like to build a rod, fill out and send the form below with your contact information, and we will answer any questions you have and help schedule you for instruction.


Elkhorn Saturday – Israel Patterson

January 23, 2016    10AM Tying Demo


Sydney, pondering her next creation


 Israel’s flytying skills have been honed under the tutelage of his sensei, known in the trade as “Sydney”.

We tried to book her for a demo, but she is in great demand and this Saturday she is busy working on a couple of new patterns such as the “Unicorn” and “Purple Bunny Slippers”.  We expect to feature her on an exclusive fly tying video, so check back often.

In the meantime, she recommended her best pupil and biggest fan as our guest tyer.





CnA Nymph

Israel Patterson usually gains some altitude when he fishes, having guided over 100 days last season and specializing in backcountry flyfishing trips to remote streams and lakes in Rocky Mountain National Park.  He regularly torments me with Email attachments of cutthroats that belong on magazine covers.

This Saturday he will share some of his favorite patterns, including a number of flies you have never seen before.  You can download a copy of his Demo Recipe Sheet here.

His demo will include a few patterns you will recognize, and a number of truly unique twists.  In addition to his tying, this is a great opportunity to draw him out regarding secret gems in the Park. 


Elkhorn Saturday – Bob Castner

Saturday Double Header!

Guest Tyer Bob Castner   10AM

Jim Cooper on Rod Building   12:30 PM

Bob Castner will be our guest this Saturday, tying a mix of dries and nymphs for local waters, and some tube fly patterns he has been working on.  It’s Bob’s inaugural demo, but looking at the sharp looking flies on his recipe sheets makes us thankful he’s ready to share his tying passion with us!

You can download Bob’s recipe sheets and photos of his patterns:  

Castner Recipes Page 1

Castner Recipes Page 2

Castner Recipes Page 3

Bob’s Bio

 Jim Cooper will be here to display the three rods he built in the course of his Blog on the Elkhorn website, and to discuss our upcoming Rod Building Instruction opportunities.  Come and see what’s involved!  We will be offering instruction in rodbuilding over the next month, and you won’t want to miss this opportunity to learn from experienced builders.Bobbin_640

Review Jim’s Online Tutorial on rodbuilding, and join us for an hour or so Saturday afternoon armed with any questions!


Tying Demo – Steve Thrapp


  This Saturday Steve Thrapp will be sharing his “Spring Staples”, with patterns for early season in both running and still waters.  His program will encompass a variety, from small midges to full grown leeches.  Check here for a downloadable copy of his recipes, with photos! Thrapp 2016 Elkhorn Tying Demo

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!



Tying Demo – Mark Mills

Mark Mills – Tying Demo Saturday, January 2, 2016 10AM

Kick off the new year with our first tying demo of 2016!  This Saturday we feature Mark Mills, whose patterns are sharp, straighforward ties developed on and for our local waters!

You may recall Mark’s demo last January, when he was under a cloud of suspicion, after he threatened to tie up some Hippie Chicks.   We never heard how the investigation was resolved, but rumor has it that he reached a settlement with authorities that has him tying probationary flies and performing tying demonstrations as community service.(Let’s gather ’round and hear the real story, and find out if he put the Hippie Chicks to work.)

Here is Mark’s Recipe List for the Saturday demo.  


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!

Holiday Fly Tying for Kids

Holiday Class of '12

Holiday Class of ’12

Looking for a fun activity over the holiday break?  Sign your son and daughter up for our Holiday Fly Tying for Kids!  These are two hour session of casual instruction, with all tools and materials provided, and friendly instruction personalized to the age and ability of the tyer.  Parents are welcome to stay and observe – the coffeepot will be on!    We will have several sessions:

      Monday afternoon, 1PM to 3PM.  Recommended ages 7-12.

      Wednesday Morning, 9AM to 11AM.  Recommended ages 7-12

      Wednesday Afternoon, 2PM to 4PM.   Recommended ages 13-16.

The youth sessions will focus on fun and exploration rather than regimented instruction.   No experience is expected, and attendance at the first session is not required to participate in the second session.

The teen session will be more instruction oriented, but still tailored to the abilities and experience level of the individual tyers.

The fee $25 per tyer per session, with a family discounted rate of $15 for each family tyer after the first.

No prepayment is required.  Just complete the form below and let me know who is coming, and for which sessions. If you have any questions you can contact Marty at, or call the shop at 970-227-4707.

Use the form below to reserve a spot!