Friday, March 11, 2011

Blog and Website Has Moved

Colorado Skies Outfitters has a new website and blog with all your Colorado fly fishing reports, fly tying videos, and guided fly fishing information.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

South Platte Fishing Report: Last week of April

For South Platte Fishing Reports visit our new site at
For our blog visit

Silver Springs Ranch
Ice has just come off our private ponds in Woodland Park. A recent trip had several large browns and bows put in the net including this absolute lunker pictured in this report! Only a 25 dollar rod fee and available only through Colorado Skies!

Deckers Area
We are all still hoping for some help from Denver Water in Clearing up the lower river with bigger flows out of Cheesman. Hasn't happened yet, and flows today were recently dropped to 52 CFS. What this means is fishing above Deckers is good-Very Good, and below Deckers is tough. Tie on some Banana Splits, and pat's rubber legs in the lower river and you might be surprised. The fish on the lower river have received little pressure in the last few weeks. If they can see your fly, they will eat it...I don't care what it is.

Above Deckers, lots of midges, BWO's and even some caddis starting to flutter around.

Eleven Mile Canyon
Fishing in Eleven Mile canyon has been good with higher flows, and good bug activity. Egg trailed with a barr's emerger will do the trick. If you want to get cute with it...purple jujubeatis, split foam backs, purple back beatis, etc.

Also some pike in the Canyon right now. Every spring the Pike migrate towards the dam and end up in the river below. They'll eventually work their way down to Lake George, but now is a chance to see some big pike. A few customers have come in with pics of some absolute monsters! The water is cold in the river, and the Pike will be lethargic. If you see one, tie on a gummy minnow and let it suspend right infront of them. A little twitch here and there.

Dream Stream
Still Not fishable. The lake is turning over, and the various feeder creeks have it pretty nasty.

South Park Stillwater
Ice off is right around the corner. Some open water at Antero, and Spinney is just days away! Stop in for some of our new chironmid patterns.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Don't be That Guy!

Haven't posted in a while, so thought I would give my .02 on what I've seen last week.

Big fish are also starting to show up on the Dream Stream, but at this time I feel there are more fisherman in the river than 10 pound migrators from Elevenmile. If your going to the Dream Stream, "Don't be that guy!"

If your wondering who "That Guy" is and want to avoid being him, here are a few things to avoid.

1. Camps in one hole ALL----DAY-----LONG. Seriously, move around and fish to some different fish.

2. Cries and throws a hissy fit temper tandrom when someone starts fishing "to close." This is the Dream Stream in March, not a secluded high mountain Stream. Realize the boundary of what is an acceptable distance is smaller on the Dream Stream. If everyone is moving and not camping it works itself out. Tolerance people!

3. Fishing multiple egg patterns on the same rig. Unless you want your name to be omelet amongst your fishing buddies, don't be that guy.

4. Intentionally foul hooking fish--If your sight fishing its, going to happen from time to time, but don't set the hook for no other reason than your flies are near the fish. Set the hook when you see a white mouth, a flash, the fish move, or something justifiably out of the ordinary.

5. If your walking along the bank, and there is a guy on the other side fishing, there is no need to lean over the bank and take a peak into the hole the dudes fishing. If it's me on the other side, I'm going to tell you very quickly to, "Quit staring at my girlfriends ass!" Your will then look at me with a very puzzled look like "that guy" did on Wednesday. Here is what I mean. It's every guys nature to take a peak, but in respect fight the urge and don't be that guy! I suppose its better then the next degree of this which would be to just give my girl a nice slap on the rear AKA...walking by and out of testosterone driven impulse deciding to throw a line into the hole I'm fishing. A look is somewhat annoying but I can let it go. Touching crosses the line!

If you want to see what "that guy" DOES NOT LOOK LIKE...check out page 11 and 12 of Southwest of our guides Jeff Lyon had a few nice pics in there on a high mountain stream last fall!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Colorado's Top 25 Flies

This has been a fun ranking to put together. Certainly some flies work better on other waters and at different times of the year. I formed this rating based on the following criteria.
1. Fly effectiveness on various waters and at different times of the year
2. How often I find myself tying the particular fly on my line
3. Durability, floatation, weight, overall performance and appearance

Ranking 1-25
#1Umpqua's Flashback Pheasant Tail: (to include: beaded, no bead, clear bead)
There is not a river in Colorado where a pheasant tail won't work, or a time of the year where it will not work. Though not a difficult fly to tie, Umpqua ties this fly far better than any other fly manufacture--especially in the smaller sizes.

#2: Beadhead Prince Nymph
A first choice on all free stones. Has always produced, and will always produce

#3: Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail
Through the earl spring, summer the Soft Hackle PT has become my most productive fly as a dropper under a dry fly. The movement, silhouette, and "bugginess" off this fly make it irresistable to Colorado trout on free stones, tailwaters, and still water. It can be fished as a caddis emerger, BWO emerger, PMD emerger, and green drake emerger. I fish this fly in natural, red, black and olive size #10-18.

#4: Crystal bugger
The crytal bugger is the most productive streamer I have used in Colorado. Black is always my first choice, but I find myself tying on the whole color spectrum at some point in the year. Great for stillwater, bass, carp, stripped, or even dead drifted under an indicator.

#5: RS2
This is a no brainer and an easy top ten. Many different styles available, and has been a top producing fly on tailwaters for quite sometime.

#6: Craven's Jujubee Midge
It's very rare that a midge pattern can come around and be completely innovative from anything ever tied like it. The use of superhair to create a perfectly flush and segmented body was made possible only by fly tying master Charlie Craven. The flouro-fiber wing case has just enough flash to wink at fish while maintaining proportions. This is by far the best midge pattern. I fish it in virtually ever color available with excellent results.

#7: Mercer's Epoxy Back Golden Stone
The single most productive golden stone nymph in Colorado. The wide size variety makes it productive on numerous waters under numerous conditions.

#8: Amy's Ant
Amy's Ant is the hopper to replace all hoppers. After using Amy's Ant for the few summers, I find no reason to ever tie on another hopper pattern. Floats all day, very durable, catches fish, and can hang a bit of weight underneath.

#9: Krystal Simulator
An improvement on the original stimulator, the Krystal variety seams to catch light and trigger lunging strikes from colorado trout. It can be fished as a caddis, stonefly, and terrestrial.

#10: Dennis' Para Wulff
Jack Dennis cracks the top ten again with this fly. The para Wulff is a far imporvement of the long trusted Para Adams. The difference is the versatility of the wulff style fly and the balance on the water. This is my first choice dry to cover about any kind of mayfly that could possibly hatch in Colorado. This fly in purple is unreal!

The Best of the Rest
#11: San Juan Worm
#12: Sculpzilla
#13: Rubberlegs
#14: X2 Caddis
#15: Clouser Minnow
#16: BH Twenty Incher
#17: Barr's Slump Buster
#18: Poly-wing Spinner (rusty, trico, etc)
#19: Brown Killer Mayfly
#20: Pigsticker
#21: Pearl and Elk Caddis
#22: Fly Formerly Known as Prince
#23: Barr's Pure Midge
#24: Barr's Graphic Caddis
#25: Griffith's Gnat

Sunday, January 24, 2010

First Impressions

Let me lead this off by saying i was asked a while back to contribute to this blog, not WHAT to contribute.
First impressions are big. It can shape your trust in the shop you’ve just stumbled into, whether it be an auto mechanic, therapist, bar or fly shop. I once wandered into the only fly shop in Spearfish South Dakota at the end of July about 11 years ago. My first, second and third impression sucked . The place was dead except for the black and white TV set running a version of General Hospital the rest of America saw the week before. In front of the noise maker, slumped like a Grizzly Bear that just had a 55 gallon drum of donuts and a keg of beer, slept the shop dog/owner. I’m not sure if his poor attitude was because I woke him or because I was the first soul he had seen that week. I knew my way around the industry by then, I had been through a few shops that sold me Wooly Buggers for a BWO hatch. I knew I could not play Syracuse style zone defense to get what I wanted in downtown Spearfish. This was obviously a time to play offense and not the “run it up the middle” stuff. The poor guy had no idea I called a play in the dirt before I even walked in. “Ol Fargo” wasn’t new at this, he understood quickly I wasn’t there to make his month by buying a Winston 4 weight. I was looking for info in a very strange place for the price of a dozen flies and a leader. Then we blindsided him. In walked my trick play. Long brown hair, eyes that would melt you, a smile you fell in love with the moment you saw it all wrapped up in a cute little 4-11” package. Just one of the two women I should have married, not the two I did. Little J had him eating out of her hand, it just wasn’t fair. She changed both my and ol Fargo’s first impressions for the better. “Trust me” was the last thing I heard as we walked out the door with the grease covered napkin map leading to his secret spot.
After spending 2 weeks with Miss J camping at Slough Creek, Fargo’s secret spot did not scream good things back at me. This weed infested puddle on the outskirts of the Badlands of our country gave me a very poor first impression. The weeds on the fringe of good water was so thick, the very large population of snakes sharing it with us didn’t even seem to get wet as they tormented me. Having to wade to my nipples just to get a portion of a 60’cast to open water made me feel sorry for my tiny fishing partner. It took about 8 minutes to completely understand the gift we were given and squash yet another wrong first impression. It was one of a few days I counted fish. We were in the hundreds before a thunderstorm drove us back to the pick up.
Fly shops can be funny places and I don’t mean classic Eddie Murphy funny. Sometimes you have to decide on your own if you got what you were paying for when you didn’t buy anything. Information is tricky to put a price tag on. I want to know that shop dog is standing there with confidence and knowledge, not arrogance. The shop is no place to put someone new. The shop is not a place for a recycled guide who cant produce while his feet are wet. A shop dog should be a local. The shop dog should never talk about what one of his guides did yesterday. If you recognize any of these during your quest, trust your first impressions.

I have worn several hats in this industry in the last 5 years and I now find myself a free agent. No solid affiliation will bring a bit of honesty boiling to the top in someone like me. My first impression of some of the young guns of this industry has not always been positive. Fair or not they have had to prove themselves to me to truly listen and appreciate their youthful exuberance. Respect is earned. Theo Anest and the boys at Colorado Skies have done that. His passion for the sport and who he has chosen to surround himself with has helped him grow into a great guide and shop owner. I’m not getting a nickel for this contribution, if anything it’s me paying Theo back for doing things right for a sport that I have loved for 30 years. Trust your first impression in this quaint little shop in Parker, if for nothing else he would never have General Hospital on.
This was just a way to avoid the fact that anyday my feet are not wet i get bored. I needed to do something other than tie flys this morning, sorry Theo. Any complaints about this dribble should be directed to my staff at, my name is Bob Streb and i approve this message

Monday, January 18, 2010

Great Weekend at Grey Reef!

James was in the shop this weekend, so Mike and I headed up to Grey Reef and we had a blast! Keep checking the website, as I feel a destination trip to the Reef could be in the works this spring in partnership with Trent and his crew at Grey Reef Fly Shop. These guys know the Reef better than anyone (they live on it), and beyond all else--they're some pretty awesome guys. Make sure when you're up there you stop in and give them your support. They are always more than willing to give you the straight scoop on what's working. 307-232-9128

Friday we decided to fish below Alcova as the Reef had a few people on it. Below Alcova they had the water almost completely shut off.  Usually below the outlet the water is ripping way to hard to really be effective with anything other than some heavy artillery spin gear.  I know there are big fish that sit in this spillway so today was our shot.  We dumped the raft in right above the wooden bridge and rowed up to the outlet.  I tied on a sculpzilla with a rusty pine squirl leach behind it. I was making long cast up all the way to the face of the dam, and then slowly stripping back.  First cast--wham!  18 inch bow.  We caught several fish in that 16-20 inch range but didn't come up with the North platte  behemoth I was looking for. Below the alcova outlet.  Note: if the bell rings for water release get the F outta there! Sunday we were going to float Reef to lusby and went by Lusby to check and make sure it was still open--there are a few known spots there of sheet ice that can form--but none today! Amazing what a week of warm weather can do.  If you are going to float it this winter make sure you eye it up at lusby first!  A few days of cold weather will put some sheet ice over it in no time. Weather was perfect all day--50's, no wind, sun.  Couldn't ask for anything better for January in WY.  Fishing was pretty steady--fish were in the tail-outs of runs and far inside seams--to be expected.  Typical grey reef stuff--orange scuds, red annalids on the smaller end 14-18,  black midges 18.  Lots of cookie cutter fish in that 16-18 inch range...a few larger.  Had one beast straiten  a #18 200R.  I love that hook for tying red annelids but size 18 and smaller means you gotta baby em with grey reef fish.  I generally prefer laying the wood to em up there.  It seamed like we would bang one fish in each  run and then notta-- Stick and move.  All and all a great trip!

Thank God places like WY still exist!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It is the season...

Any way you slice it, I like fishing in the winter. Yes its cold, can be windy and icy, but man is it a beautiful time to be outside. I took my son to Deckers this weekend to get some quick fishing in before a night of Nut Cracker ballet with my daughter. Normally, quick and winter fishing don't go hand in hand, but I wanted to get out and try the Scott S4 Theo had been talking about.
We hit Deckers early in the morning; we didn't see a single car once we left Sedalia. When we parked along the river to put on our gear a bald Eagle flew off the river to a nearby tree. The sky was blue and the river was serene. Things are slower and quieter this time of year, especially after the cold snap we just had. I think of winter fishing the same way as car camping - if you are uncomfortable you didn't bring enough gear. My son and I layered up and headed down to the river. There were no footprints in the snow as we approached the river and we pushed a trout out from under the clear shore ice. We stood and just checked it all out - it was great, quiet. I was hanging with my son on a perfect Colorado winter morning looking for trout.
It had been a while since my son and I fly fished together. He grew up fishing - from worms to flies to most recently spawn for Michigan chrome (we did use flies, but we went to the dark side and threw the Steelies pork chops until they ate...). However, with sports schedules, work travel and whatever other lame excuse I can think of, we just haven't been on the water much together. As much as I love fly fishing - I didn't force my kids to learn to cast to a rhythm set by a metronome as shown in "The Movie". I just gave them access to the gear and told them they can come along anytime. When they were younger I fished from the bank with them in the backpack, as they grew legs they started casting short rods with 10' of old fly line. Or they just cast their Snoopy rods. The key was hanging with Dad, doughnuts on the way to the river and a killer shore lunch of sardines, crackers and cheese.
I think teaching any skill is easier to do when the pupil is not related to you. This applies to skiing, canoeing, driving and fly fishing to mention a few. Every time I have taken someone fishing, I have learned something. Maybe it was a better way to explain a technique or understanding how to demonstrate it clearer. This day with my son was no different - I learned a lot. He had asked for a refresher since he hadn't cast in a while. I set him up with a double nymph rig and began the tutorial. Even without false casting there is a lot going on - mending, stripping, line control etc.... My tutorial only lasted about 5 minutes, I could tell by his tone of voice he was done listening to me and ready to just fish. So I let him. I told him to work his way upstream to me and I headed out to try the new rod. As I watched him from upstream, I learned that he actually listened to everything I had said and was figuring it out on his own. I think I would have ruined his day if I had fished next to him - adjusting things here and there. He did great and he did it on his own.
Standing back and watching is hard for any parent to do, but it works. Sometimes my passion for fly fishing is so strong I want to make sure that my kids love it as much as I do, that they have the best day, catch tons of fish and enjoy the sport instantly. On this perfect winter day, we just fished, ate a great burrito at the Deckers coffee shop and headed home.
Normally in winter I fish slow and methodical, that day I bet I only made a few decent drifts. I wanted to try out that new S4 so bad I kept my flies in the air more than in the water. I spent the morning casting everything to see how it performed - streamers, double nymph rigs, long leaders, short leaders - you name it, I threw it. I spent more time casting and changing rigs than I did drifting a fly, but it was fun. I am no rod critic, but I love that S4 - it put the fly where I wanted it to go, handled the short soft casts fine, and the bigger stuff as well. Good times....
Driving out of Deckers, we ran into Jeremy and his dog Magnum walking down the road. I stopped the truck and exchanged war stories for a few minutes - no cars came whizzing by, just a nice quiet day on the river. Hard to believe on one of the busiest waters near Denver. The cold weeds 'em out so layer up and head out!