Wiped Out

Wipers just might be the hardest fighting fresh-water game fish in America, thanks in part to the phenomenon of hybrid vigor.  Hybrid vigor is the term that biologists use to describe the enhanced strength and stamina that occurs in the sterile offspring of two closely related but different species. The mule is one example, the wiper is another.

Catching wipers by any method is great fun, but catching them on a fly rod is in a league all its own. Long-distance casting, jolting strikes and dogged battles with a powerful and stubborn fish are all part of a game that reaches a higher plateau when played with fly rods. Fly-fishing for wipers is not a difficult sport, but the transition from trout to wipers does require a word of caution.

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Ice-out Trout

In the pre-dawn hours of a frigid night in mid-April, anglers that have traveled from far and near are lined up in front of the closed gates at Spinney Mountain Reservoir in central Colorado.

The early birds have been here for hours, arriving the evening before and spending the night in their vehicles. Being here and being  part of the  opening day scramble at  Spinney has become a tradition among scores of flatwater anglers.  Continue reading

Perfection

canoe0002The simple truths are the hardest to come by.

The canoe, in cultural variations of its basic form, is deeply embedded in ancient civilizations worldwide. Elegant in appearance, graceful in motion, and unsurpassed in simplicity, the canoe has opened up the wilderness of inland waters and the backcountry expanses of coastal estuaries to the adventurous.

In the fishing world, canoes are faster than a float tube, dryer than a kayak, able to transport hundreds of pounds of gear and people, and look good doing it.

Fly rods and canoes are a natural fit.