Small Flies for Big Trout

When I think back to my childhood fishing trips, I often recall good times fishing a local canal that was diverted from the Provo River near my home.  I remember riding my bike with my pole in hand, making sure I reached the best holes before my buddy did.  We never packed bait with us because the fields along the canal were loaded with a brown trout favorite...

New York Visits Falcon’s Ledge

This past summer we had the opportunity to host a group of guys from New York. Adam Cook, manager of the Orvis company store in Buffalo, visited us last summer with 11 other fishing managers and spent two days fishing their guts out. The goal was to show the fishing managers what fishing opportunities  Falcon's Ledge had to offer. They were able to fish a couple of different rivers for different species of fish.Adam went back to his store, put together a group of his top customers and made the trek out to Utah. This was one of the funnest groups that we've had out to the lodge. All were having such a good time and happy to be in an area where all they thought about was fishing. Having been to the lodge the summer before, Adam was able to outfit the group with all the necessary equipment for...

Dave’s Tiger Trout

Late fall in Utah is one of my favorite times of year.  The temperature is moderate during the day, the air is cool and crisp, and the brown and tiger trout get aggressive.  The beautifully-colored browns are spawning and are up in the shallows along the shore line looking for spawning areas and strike at nearly anything that gets in their territory.  The tiger trout are feeding heavily before the winter hits, but the tigers can be fickle and you can find them one day and they are gone the next.  However, I think that the challenge of tiger trout is part of the allure for me every fall.  I have found myself on many occasions in the late fall stopping and fishing for 30 minutes or an hour after work trying to hook into one of these big, beautiful fish.  One fall day I had a couple of hours...

Keoni’s Quest

[caption id="attachment_2664" align="aligncenter" width="589"] Keoni fishing pocket water[/caption] We hiked a few miles into a steep canyon on a small creek. Fishing was fast all day for smaller browns, rainbows and even a few cutthroat. It was tempting to enjoy the fast action on big dry flies, but we knew the bigger fish were going to be down deep and less likely to come to the surface.[caption id="attachment_2669" align="aligncenter" width="589"] Fishy water[/caption]We approached the deepest and most "fishy" hole on the creek and could see cutthroat feeding on a shallow muddy shelf on one side. I rigged up a dry and began picking them off one by one. My friend was fishing two heavy nymphs and dredged the main current with great success including several very nice browns. After 15 fish (yes, 15 fish!) from the same hole, we decided to rest the hole and have lunch.[caption id="attachment_2677" align="aligncenter" width="614"] Higa's...

Brown Trout Days

  There comes a time during the summer at Falcon's Ledge when the energy around the lodge increases, the staff are at the top of their game, and the guides are vying for a chance to guide...

Outdoor Writers Visit Falcon's Ledge

flyfishing, orvis, utah fly fishing

Dan with a nice brown.

Fly fishing guides should always remember that it can be intimidating for a novice to ply his craft under the nose of a professional.  Most of us have noticed that some clients, or even just new fishing buddies, will begin the day feeling a little nervous about fishing with a so-called “pro” guide.  On the other hand, when a trout bum sits at his laptop preparing to write a blog post about guiding professional outdoor writers, the roles are suddenly reversed.

In August, it was my pleasure, along with head guide Spencer Higa, to introduce two such professional writers, Dan Nelson and Kelly Bastone to a couple of our best rivers in Eastern Utah.  The pair, was joined by Donna Meshke and Tom Rosenbauer, Orvis’ in-house legend who edited The Orvis News for a decade and has more than 10 fly fishing books in print or in the works.  Even as I type, I’m scared to think how bad my literary back cast is looking.

Trout Hunting with Bill, Doug and Doug

[caption id="attachment_2524" align="aligncenter" width="717"] Doug Bear catches a nice Utah brown[/caption]Fishing with Bill Reed, Doug Best and Doug Bear was a real treat. Guides meet people of all kinds of skill and ability, but rarely do you get a chance to spend the day with three anglers as talented these guys. I love teaching novice anglers, but it was sure fun to watch this group just take a river apart. Even better, we got to play with some great new gear, too. Bill brought out one of the new Orvis fiberglass rods in an 8’ 5-weight for dry flies and paired it with a Helios 2 in a 9’ 6-weight and a Mirage reel loaded with a Bank Shot line to throw streamers. A great combination on our low-elevation rivers with big fish.[caption id="attachment_2532" align="aligncenter" width="614"] Bill Reed patiently waits for rising fish.[/caption]While Bill brought two rods along, he was...

Big Dries, Laughs and Hungry Fish

It all started out with a text message from fellow guide Bryan Eldredge asking me if I wanted to go check out a nearby stream the next day to see if the bugs were hatching. I looked at my schedule and saw that I had a morning full of things I needed to get done before I could even think about leaving to check rivers. But we had a group of fisherman coming in, so I needed to get the most current fishing report first hand. I woke up early the next morning and hurried to get my to-do list done, so I could make my way to the river. As soon as I sent my last e-mail, I texted Bryan to let him know I would be meeting him on the river. His text back to me said "I'm already here and the bugs are out!!!" I drove the short...

Fly Fishing for Carp

With fly fishing for carp growing rapidly in popularity, many fly fishermen and women, from the die-hards to the weekend warriors, are coming to appreciate the difficulty and tremendous enjoyment this prolific specie can provide.  While some find success in enticing carp with a prince nymph under a strike indicator, or by stripping a bugger blindly, I have grown to love the challenge and thrill of sight casting to feeding carp, watching the take and enjoying the long, powerful runs these fish are known for. Joe Ferber of Orvis in Leawood, Kansas introduced me to the guerrilla tactics he had developed to sight cast to both common carp and grass carp that inhabit the creeks that flow through the hairy, overgrown hardwood forests of  Kansas and Missouri.  The first common I landed was a bow-and-arrow flick through an arc of vines and branches; a twitch of my leader as the carp...