Rod Building

JP Ross Beaver Meadow 5wt Build Gallery

A few months ago I picked up a JP Ross Beaver Meadow 5wt rod blank with prebuilt cork and reel seat. Since I am notoriously prone to take advantage of a deal, the great price made this my next fiberglass rod project. Upon returning to Texas over the Christmas holidays and to my "rod shop" (or at least to the cardboard box containing it) I was able to complete the build. I was pleased the rod blank had both a uniquely etched reel seat and quality built cork handle already given my limited time frame. I also want to thank Jordan P. Ross for making me decals with the Siren Flies logo. Its a great little touch that makes this rod especially mine. 

For my two cents, I would classify the rod as a faster glass...medium action rod, and it paired well for me with the Leland 5wt fly line. I am still deciding on a reel to balance it to my satisfaction. As is often the case with glass, a heavier reel is needed to balance the rod...perfect opportunity to track down a nice new vintage reel. Now all I need to do is get it on the water to break the mojo. Too bad the weather has been terrible here. Alas, it will change in time. Good luck on the water. 

DSC_0106.JPG

Trout Flies, Fly Fishing, Guadalupe River

Return to Texas

 This year I traveled across the country and covering thousands of miles with job changes. I have fished Estes Park in Colorado, the Bighorn River in Montana, most of the drainages of the Bighorn National Forest and now Puta Creek in California. However, Texas still seems like home and I had to go fishing while I returned home for the holidays. I am still pretty leery of comparing the annually stocked trout of the Guadalupe to the native cutthroats of the Bighorn Mountains, but the trout of the central Texas hold a special place in my life long fishing adventure since they were the first trout I ever caught. 

The weather change has pulled much of Texas out of the drought conditions of the last few years. In these years, flows of 100 CFSon the Gudadalupe were treasured on the few days they occurred during the drought, but now flows in the 500 CFS range make for completely new fly fishing challenges. The combination of high (but good) flows and exceptionally warm temperatures this winter have made fishing generally difficult. Daniel Hughes (@cordovacustomrods on Instagram and now guide for ReelFly Fishing Adventures) and I have been discussing these challenges for a couple weeks in anticipation for a holiday fishing trip on the Guadalupe. 

As our battle plan formed from a mix of our own experience as well as stories from other anglers that fished in the days of yore (when Texas had flow). Ultimately, we settled on sinking lines and streamers. One of my long term goals has been to catch a trout on the Guadalupe with an articulated streamer. My normal fishing access points are usually so heavily pounded with olive wooly buggers that tossing streamers bigger then a size 10 would be foolish. However, since I would able to float regions of the river with Daniel that are not accessible by foot I hoped to finally scratch this one of f the list. 

This logic proved sound as I both achieved my goal. I had a nice trout come flying out of the bottom of deep pool to crash my streamer near the surface. A color variant of Fly Fish Food's Cheech Leech proved to be too much of a temptation. Other fish fell to some of my other small streamers and a sculpzilla variant thrown by Daniel. Perhaps streamers and sinking lines will be a new and reliable option in the high flow conditions.

Fly Tying, Bass Flies, Sunfish Flies

The Fly Shop is Open

I am happy to finally be able to say that my flies will be available for purchase through the Siren Flies website. The flies will be available on the site as I tie them rather than by custom order. For the customer this means flies will ship out within 48 hours of purchase, but if a fly is out of stock it will not be available until I am able to tie more. 

The current fly line up is only bass and sunfish flies, but I intended to expand eventually to include several trout and saltwater flies. 

Check out all the flies in shop here.

Bass Flies, Sunfish Flies, Fly Tying

Flies For Texas Bass and Sunfish

I was asked for a breakdown of Central Texas River flies by a friend. The flies listed here should cover rivers like the Llano, Medina, Guadalupe (non-trout season), San Antonio, Nueces, and Frio. While I will wager these flies will work on the other central Texas rivers such as the Colorado, the greater depths of some rivers may require weighting the flies more heavily then I usually do. Adjust to the waters you fish.

Powell Lakes in Bighorn National Forest

I recently hiked into my first high mountain lake to chase cutthroat trout. The lake was at 10,760 ft elevation in the Cloud Peak Wilderness area of the Bighorn National Forest.  

It took about a six mile hike to reach camp and then another mile of 800 ft change in elevation to reach the lakes.

The lake itself was primarily all boulders with a few shores of gravel. 

I managed to find success fishing small black and purple woolly buggers on an 200 grain sinking line. It was mostly a game of sight fishing and boulder hopping. 

Yellow Stone Cutthroat

Yellow Stone Cutthroat

Snake River Cutthroat

Snake River Cutthroat

Fly Fishing, Trout Flies

Cutthroats.....Finally

So as you might image as a fish biologist I love catching new species .....as a fly fisherman I love catching large numbers and sizes of different species. Cutthroat trout are a new native novelty to me as a fly fisherman and so far had proved elusive or too small to be of note...for a fly fishing blog. So far the single cut throat I caught was about 2 inches long....I regularly throw poppers that could eat this fish.

However a recent visit to the North Tongue finally allowed me to find my trout fishing groove. The dry dropper system I based off of Fly Fish Food's Stone Flopper and an emerger pattern I am working on as well as a couple local fly shop recommendations (see the most recent instagram posts).