Month: July 2017

The Green River is over 700 miles long, originating in the Wind River mountains of Wyoming.  It flows through Wyoming and Utah before joining the Colorado River for about 40 miles in Western Colorado.  There are two sections of the Green in the TU Top 100 Trout Streams book.

The Flaming Gorge section is in northeastern Utah, specifically flowing out of Flaming Gorge Dam near Dutch John, UT, is the section we floated with Ryan Dangerfield of the Flaming Gorge Resort.  We stayed at the RV park connected to the Resort so our commute to meet Ryan and head to our put in was easy.

The Green below the dam is broken up for fishing purposes into 3 sections, A, B and C.  Ryan decided we’d do a “mix”, the second half of the “A” section and the first half of the “B” section.  What this meant was that we put in at the beginning of the “A” section and then rowed downstream, not fishing, until we made the midway point of “A”.  This way, we didn’t bother those people who were fishing ONLY the “A” section.  Clear as mud?  As it turned out, we avoided both a muddy river (red creek was blown out and muddying the Green) and a downpour in “A” because of Ryan’s decision to do the “AB” option.

We caught beautiful, strong rainbows and browns on dry flies all day and enjoyed the great scenery of the Flaming Gorge area.  We also had a great interview with Ryan in a “Carpool Karaoke” kind of way on our drive out.  We hope you enjoy it!

When we booked our guide trip on the Animas River (see Animas Antics) with the good folks at Duranglers in Durango (CO), I asked them about other fishing opportunities in the area we might want to try.  We always ask the fly shops this question in case there is a “nunya” creek that is fishing hot, or a special, scenic river nearby.  In this case, the shop said “You’ve gotta ride the train up toward Silverton and get off along the way to fish one of the remote mountain streams.”  Well…. it sounded like a pretty good plan so we called the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad (DSNGR) company and booked a couple of tickets.   We told them we wanted to fish one of the creeks along the way, so we needed to be dropped off.  The shop recommended Cascade Creek in Cascade Canyon so that’s what we booked.

The day arrived and we made it to the station on time to catch our 8:45 train and off we went.  The “Cascade Canyon Caper” video really tells the rest.  We hope you enjoy it!

When we checked into the Duranglers fly shop in Durango (CO), we asked about our guide, the kind of boat we’d be floating and what section of the river we’d likely float. We also asked if our guide was “fun”.  We’ve discovered that we really enjoy having the “fun” guides on our trips.  Sure we love to catch fish… a lot of fish when we can… but it’s about so much more than that.

We were a bit surprised and excited when we were told our guide’s nickname was “Crazy Mike”.   “Crazy” can have so many meanings….. crazy fun…. crazy river running…. crazy insane…. etc….  The next morning, we met “Crazy Mike” Sulkosky at the shop and immediately started appreciating his brand of “crazy”.

We had a blast!  Mike navigated all the boulder fields we encountered and made it look easy, although we know it’s not.  We also caught some good fish along the way.  But most importantly, we had an incredibly fun day on the water with Mike.

We’ll definitely be back to fish with Mike again, but until then, we hope you enjoy our “Guide Talk” with this incredible, thoughtful, talented and “FUN” guide, “Crazy Mike”.

PS   You’ll also hear why he’s called “Crazy Mike”… priceless!

When we were planning our 2017 “Ramble” dates, we purposefully wanted to be in the Roaring Fork valley for the 4th of July. We’d heard of incredible fishing in both the Roaring Fork and Frying Pan rivers, as well as incredible fireworks in towns all along the valley.

We arrived in the valley on July 3rd and setup the SaraLinda at the Gateway RV Park in Carbondale (CO).   The RV park is set right on the Roaring Fork and the Rio Grande “hike and bike” trail that connects Glenwood Springs with Aspen.  We learned that there was a “fire ban” in effect for the area and all fireworks displays were cancelled except for Glenwood Springs.

About a month before arriving in the valley, we’d contacted Frying Pan Anglers (FPA), a fly shop in Basalt (CO), and asked about booking a guide trip on the Roaring Fork for July 4th.  I’d asked, “do you have guides who go out on the 4th”, to which the shop guy said “the fish don’t care it’s the 4th of July”.  DUH!   We laughed and booked the trip.

At 8am on the 4th of July, we met our guide, Ed Deison, at the shop and headed off to fish the Roaring Fork.  When we got to the boat ramp, it was clear this was going to be a VERY busy day on the river.  There were already 3 drift boats in the water at the dock waiting to start their trip and another 4 rafts ready to enjoy a pleasure float down the river.  In the parking lot, the boats and rafts just kept coming, lining up, awaiting their turn to put in.   It was going to be a bit crowded on the river it seemed.

Undaunted, Ed pushed us off and floated down a bit to rig up our rods, away from the craziness of the boat ramp at Carbondale.   We met another FPA guide, Dillon, who turned out to be from Austin (TX) and had gone to Lake Travis HS and Texas A&M on a baseball scholarship.  Small world!

After we’d rigged up, we started down the river and began what would become an “epic” day of hooking and landing really big, beautiful brown and rainbow trout.   We started by throwing dry flies toward the banks, bringing these  hungry trout to the surface to hit our flies.  When that slowed a bit, we went to nymphing for them and things heated up even more.

We always like to take at least one picture of a fish we’ve caught on a particular river, so when we caught a nice brownie early on, Ed wanted to make sure we got that one pic, so he pulled the boat over for the photo op.  While we don’t count the number of fish we catch on days like this, it was a lot.  When we’d catch an even bigger fish, Ed would pull over and get another pic for us.  While we were landing what was our biggest fish of the day, Ed took a pic with his phone for the shop blog.  When Dillon pulled up, his client had landed an even bigger brown trout.  It was that kind of day.  Lots and lots of big fish.

When we finally arrived at our take out spot in Glenwood Springs, it was insanity.  The boat ramp was so busy with everyone  either taking out, or putting in, or getting ready for the fireworks that were happening that night at the park.  For us, our fireworks had already happened on an “epic” fishing day on the Roaring Fork.

The Frying Pan River flows into the Roaring Fork River near the town of Basalt, CO, the home of Frying Pan Anglers (FPA).  We had an epic float fishing trip down the Roaring Fork with Ed Deison, senior guide at FPA, but, more on that in another post.  The prime fishing on the “Pan” as its known in the area, is the tailwater section below Ruedi Reservoir.

We had the pleasure of fishing the “Pan” with Eric Way, a guide with FPA who specializes in wade trips on the river.  We met Eric at the fly shop and headed up river to fish.  We grabbed a pullout along the river that was empty and made our way down to the water.  Almost immediately, Eric saw a big rainbow hiding behind a large rock submerged below the water.  The rainbow would slide out into the current to feed before sliding back in behind the rock.  He rigged up a two fly nymph rig and told me to “go for it”.  In about 4 drifts by the rock, it was “FISH ON”!  What an incredible start to a great day fishing on the Frying Pan.

We had a chance to sit down with Eric during a lunch break along the river and interview him.

Eric is a very fun guy and is a great guide as well.  We talked fishing, fly tying (he’s an expert in an English form of tying), beer, food and more.  We know you’ll enjoy his “guide talk” with us.

Ramble On

We’d been looking forward to our trip down the Gunnison Gorge for some time.  We knew that the trip would be part whitewater running, part fishing trip and part sightseeing.  We were blessed to have Ben Magtutu, with Black Canyon Anglers, as our guide.  He was an expert in running the rapids, having floated the river through the Gorge more than any other guide in a raft.  He knew where fish held between the rapids and knew what they were eating.  What was really impressive was his knowledge of the river’s history and geology.

Rather than a guide talk with Ben, we decided to create a video;  “Our Day in the Gunnison Gorge”.  We hope you’ll watch and enjoy our narrated journey to and down the gorge. It was a day we’ll always remember.

Ramble On