Thursday, June 27, 2013

Abel Nippers-Product Review

Nippers tend to be something that you take for granted on a trout stream...until you need them.  It seems as though they would always be dull, or missing when I frantically needed to cut my nymph off in order to tie on the right big dry fly in the middle of a hatch.  Last fall, my friend Morty gave me a set of nippers made by Abel Reels.  The set I was given was hand painted in brown trout colors, and attached to a handy lanyard.

These nippers are outstanding.  In the past I always used an inexpensive set, but experienced the problems described above.  The Abel nippers are not only a work of art, but they are are built like a tank, stay sharp, and if you use the lanyard, are always where you need them.

If you are looking for nippers that will last for a long time, check these out at your local flyshop, or at 

As you might recall, BDF uses a three tiered gear rating system for gear reviews.
Dry Fly =       Great Product
Emerger=       Good product with potential
Nymph=         Could use improvement  

Abel Nippers earn Dry Fly status.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

St Peters Fly Shop- South Location

Fort Collins is home to one of the finest fly shops in the country, St. Peter's Fly Shop.  When I first moved to Colorado, I remember going to the Old Town location and being treated like a long time customer and friend from day one.  The folks that work there are always happy to share advice, and have a knack for displaying that fly fishing item that you suddenly realize that you have to buy.

The Old Town location is housed in a historic building that gives true character to the shop.  A while back, St. Peter's opened a south Fort Collins location in a storefront after taking over another fly shop.

 Just recently, they announced that they had moved into another building at 2008 E. Harmony Rd.  I visited the new digs for the first time the other day, and was amazed at the location.   They have restored an old house/barn, and turned it into a beautiful fly shop that has to be seen in person to be appreciated.  Visiting both locations gives you a sense of Fort Collins history, which blends nicely into the history and tradition of this sport that we love.

Check them out at

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Trout Snob...

I can be a bit of a trout snob.  There...I admitted it.   Don't get me wrong, I don't look down at those who fish other species...far from it.  But, I love fishing for trout, and don't spend a lot of time pursuing other species.

As my good friend Morty of The Fiberglass Manifesto likes to point out...I live right next to a lake that is full of fish.   I've fished the water occasionally for years, usually when the younger nephews come to visit.   They have always caught plenty of panfish and bass, usually on a spinning rod, and I have even taught them the basics of fly casting on these waters.  However, I've really taken it for granted, and haven't spent much time fishing these waters, frankly, due to the fact that they haven't held trout.

As they like to say in the business that I am in, "If you travel more than 50 miles away and try to teach something, you are considered an expert.  If you teach it in your home city you are just doing your job."  I imagine that this holds true for water.  It is easy to take something for granted that is right in front of you.  I drive past these lakes every day, often when driving to other locations to catch trout.   It seems like it might be time to focus on water that I can walk to.  I'll admit, the fact that trout were stocked in the lake might have made me a bit more curious, but I'm trying to be a bit more reformed, and target more species of gamefish.

So, this weekend I walked down to the lake to give it a try again.   The morning was clear, and the winds calm.  I watched fish jumping, and huge carp cruising the shore.   I had a very nice time catching panfish, and gained an appreciation for my home water.   I'd still like to catch some of the trout they put in the lake, but I was satisfied with the enjoyment of bringing fish to hand...whatever the species.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The golden hour

Last week I headed to a favorite mountain lake on two occasions.   During runoff, a trout filled lake is a great place to spend time, while the rivers are cleansing in preparation for dry fly season.

On the first day, my friend Dave and I were joined by Joe, who is new to the sport.   It was great seeing him catch trout during his first time using a belly boat.   If you ever feel like you take this sport for with someone who is just discovering this passion will remind you of what a special pastime this is.

Dave and I headed back up a few days later in order to fish the evening.   When we got on the water, it was windy, but the wind soon died down as we entered that golden hour of the setting sun. 
The trout started rising all around, and we had a great time hooking trout.  I caught my favorite fish of the day right as it was getting too dark to see.  I saw a few rings nearby, and cast my size 12 parachute adams in that direction.  I waited for a few seconds, then my fly disappeared and the fight was on.  As I released the trout into the water, and watched it swim away in the last glimmer of light, I took a moment to take in the beauty that was surrounding me as a I floated in the middle of a perfectly calm lake.   I then put on my headlamp and headed for shore.