These two lines, the Airflo Sixth Sense DI3 Sweep and the new Ridge Supple Impact Mini Tips are finally available in the United States. Anglers in the past have had to order these from fly shops in the UK and spend anywhere from $75.00 to $100.00 on shipping which made this a super expensive line.
We asked Airflo if we could get these on their next container shipment and sure enough, they arrived today!!! No more expensive shipping charges for these amazing stillwater/lake fly lines.
More on these exclusive fly lines:
With a faster sinking belly and slower sinking tip and running line, this range of Sinking flylines follows a U shaped path through the water column.
The diving action of your flies getting pulled downwards by the belly make an attractive movement and the steeper angle at the end of the retrieve gives an almost vertical when you using faster sinking models making them absolutely perfect for fishing ’Strip & hang’ techniques.
Color - Olive Green
Core - Low Stretch (6%) Braided Power Core
Sink Rate - Tip - 2 inches per second/Belly - 3 inches per second
The ridge supple impact slow mini tips are probably the most important range of fly lines for the Stillwater nymph angler. Designed to anchor your flies in the water surface at that precise depth the fish are feeding at, giving you greater control and keeping you in direct contact with your flies.
Featuring Airflo's impact taper design which gives easy distance, whilst the low stretch core helps you feel every little touch, even at long distances.
This is one of the finest lines for "teching" out lakes with nymphs when the going gets tough!! The slow tips are great when fish are feeding right under the surface and the fast tips are great when fish are keying in on rising bugs as they will always rise toward the floating part of the line when retrieved. Want to have a secret weapon in your lake game, look no further than the Airflo Ridge Supple Impact Mini Tip lines
Sink Rate - Slow Tip - .5 inches per second/Fast Tip - 1.5 inches per second
Sink Tip Length - 6' or 12'
Core - Low Stretch (6%) Braided Power Core
Loops - Micro Loops on both ends
Coating - Ridge Ultra Supple Palyurethane (PU)
When we read an article or enter a forum discussion about fishing the European Nymphing Methods, most of the conversations revolve around leaders, flies and fly rods designed specifically for the task at hand. The one piece of equipment there is very little discussion on is the fly line itself. Most anglers are familiar with the Czech method where little or no fly line is outside of the rod tip, which is correct. When fishing short line/close range with a leader ¾ the length of the rod, there is only about 2 to 3 feet of line extending out of the tiptop guide.
The Czech Method (close range) is extremely effective when conditions are right but it is not a “dynamic” method that will allow you to cover all water conditions, as today's production fly line is the downfall when fishing at distance. When you increase the distance from your stream position, incorporating more fly line into the system, the line wants to hang sharply downward off of the rod tip, creating slack which is not good in a positive tension nymphing method. More slack = less strike detection!
Most anglers have compensated for this by building a longer butt section into the leader, increasing the overall length from 12 up to 20 feet. These long leaders are incredibly sensitive and prevent slack from forming in the rod guides due to the stiff properties of monofilament. They work great when fishing at close range, as only the bottom half of the butt section of leader is out of the rod tip, but when you increase the distance from your position and incorporate a production Weight Forward (WF) or Double Taper (DT) fly line matched to the fly rod weight into the rod guides, they want to fall down between the guides as well as slide back toward the reel. The reason this happens is the WF and DT fly lines are designed with a smaller tip that increases in diameter as you move back into the line. If a larger section of fly line is always pulling downward on a smaller section, gravity takes over and presto, you have a wad of line at your reel with the leader sucked back into the rod guides. This is not a flaw in the line, just the fact that they were designed to be out of the rod tip casting in the traditional method, not half way up the rod guides fishing a positive tension European Nymphing set-up.
This can be very frustrating for most anglers as they are constantly fighting with the fly line during the drift and inevitably missing fish!!! So what is the solution? Is it fishing straight mono, fluoro or rigging up some type of level shooting line? These are all great options with downfalls for each. When fishing level mono or fluoro, you run a greater risk of wrapping the line around the rod tip while casting and breaking the tip off when setting the hook. The level running line like a RIO Powerflex Core Shooting Line - .024”, typically used in conjunction with Skagit heads is a great choice but the overall diameter of the line is large and they have a mono core which likes to coil and requires constant stretching.
So, if all of the options listed above have issues associated with them, is there a “perfect” fly line for European Nymphing?
Many European anglers have gone to the Leader to Hand method where an extremely long leader (30+ feet) with a thick butt section, leaving the fly line on the reel. This has proven to be extremely effective yet still has its issues, especially in FIPS-MOUCHE Rules governed competitions where they only allow your leader to be a maximum of twice the rod length, which may not apply to most anglers. The main issue with long, heavy butt sections of mono is that it likes to coil, requiring constant attention to keep it straight and second, it can be hard to handle when wet, as it is slick.
The ultimate solution would be a fly line, the diameter of mono with a supple core and a slightly roughened or textured coating that will lightly stick to the guides as well as making the line easier to handle when wet. Unfortunately this did not exist in todays fly-fishing market so John Harder with RIO Products and Steve Parrott set out in the fall of 2012 to develop the “Ultimate European Nymping Line”. One line that will work on almost all European Nymphing specific fly rods. The combination of the weighted flies and the supple tips of these rods is what cast the flies, not the fly line loading the rod.
The traditional casting you are familiar with when fishing dry flies and even indicator rigs is vary rarely used when properly fishing the close range and long range European methods. Most of the casting is a wide open loop, basically lobbing the flies to the target, allowing the weight of the flies to propel the line. With the long leaders and weighted flies, if you attempted a traditional style cast, most of the energy of the fly line would dissipate at the butt section and the flies would run into the rod tip or even worse, you!
Can one fly line actually work across a range of rod weights? That was the ultimate question we set out to answer and after many prototype runs, each getting smaller and smaller in diameter, we came to the conclusion that one line just might work. Now let the fun begin!! Each time we received a new prototype, we headed to the river with a Sage ESN 10’ – 2, 3 and 4 weight as well as the 11’ – 3. We also tested it on the Grey’s Streamflex 10’ – 2, 3 and 4 weight as well as the 11’ – 3 and 4 weight. We fished each rod with the line and made detailed notes on what worked well and what did not. We would then send those to RIO and they would go back to the specifications of the line and make changes to fix the issues we had.
We finally received a prototype line that was the smallest yet and has a very subtle 5” orange section on each end with an extremely small loop for leader attachment. We used a micrometer to determine the diameter at the tip and continued up the line until we reached the middle point since this was an extremely modified double taper. The tip measured .020” and the middle was .025”. With the extremely gradual taper over 39’ meant this line should stay nice and tight in the guides and should not droop out of the rod tip. The other feature of this line was the introduction of a low stretch core to increase the sensitivity. The note we received in the package stated the line had a 6 to 8% stretch in it which has us even more intrigued now as this was the first one we had received like this.
After fishing this line on all of the rods through varying conditions, we all gathered together to discuss the pros and cons. Most of the guys stated that they noticed increased sensitivity, superb cast ability and an overall true joy to fish. The only cons about the line were the fact that this line is not available for purchase, as it has just changed the Euro Nymphing Game.
There are critics out there who will have a field day with this line. It will read something like, “you cannot cast your flies effectively with this thin of a diameter fly line” or “the lines have to be matched to the rod weight or slightly heavier to effectively fish the European Methods because traditional casting is involved”. That is exactly what most anglers will believe, especially if they are followers of that critic but I as well as the team of testers assembled to develop this line will enjoy a good laugh as we all feel that there is now a fly line option that will greatly increase the overall success of these methods by increasing the required sensitivity to hook and land more fish. If that is not where you want to be, then do not buy this line.
Fishing is the true test and the entire team of seasoned competition anglers can attest to the effectiveness of the diameter combined with the coating and core choices. Sensitivity is off the charts and only 4 fish were bounced during our testing session with more than 60 landed. One of the most noted features was the slightly rough feel on the coating, not Sharkskin or Mastery Textured rough, yet just enough so you can easily control the thin diameter line with ease. Unlike long mono leaders, this line is straight in the guides and almost hovers out of the rod tip. There is absolutely no droop or slack when fished under very slight tension using light tippet paired with 16 and smaller flies. Setting the hook takes very little effort due to the lack of slack in the system and the low stretch core, which will greatly increase the amount of fish in your net!!!
This is not you standard off the shelf fly line!!! If you are looking for a line that will nymph well and cast dries, this is NOT the fly line for you! As this industry has taught us, you buy the line to match the rod. This line is so far from the norm; it will seem foreign to most anglers. We are fishing methods that pretty much go against what most have learned, why not have a specialty fly line that does the same!!!
Retail Price - $44.95
Length – 78’
Taper – Modified Double Taper
Diameter (tip/middle) - .020’’/.025’’
Color – Dark Sage with 5’’ Mini Hi-Vis Orange Tip
Core – Low stretch 12 lb core
Micro Loop on one end and open on the other which allows anglers to tie or loop their leader to the welded loop of splice their leader to the open end.
If you were a fan of the Sage TCX Series of fly rods that would dump a 100' fly line out of the tip or punch through the wind with ease, you will surely love the new Method Series from Sage. Super smooth casting in an ultra fast package which is all possible because of the incorporation of Sage's proprietary Konnetic Technology. Read more below..........
METHOD Fly Rod Series Combines Technology with Ultra-Fast Action
June 13, 2013 (Bainbridge Island, Wash.) – This summer, fly fishing industry leader, Sage Manufacturing announces the release of its 2014 premier collection of high performance rods called the METHOD series. These ultra-fast fly rods use Sage’s proprietary Konnetic technology. The METHOD delivers high line speeds and tight loops for extreme distance and wind-cutting casts all while maintaining critical accuracy and feel.
“Being able to offer fly rods that perform to the expectations of the most demanding anglers in any casting situation is the main reason behind designing the METHOD. Sage’s DNA is synonymous with fast-action rods, and through Konnetic technology, we’ve taken seriously smooth, ultra-fast action performance to a new place entirely,” comments Sage Chief Rod Designer, Jerry Siem. “Our newest high performance rods will make any caster better but will help experienced casters notch exceptional casts with regularity.”
The magma red colored shaft of the METHOD is complemented by rust colored primary thread wraps and pewter trim wraps. Fuji ceramic stripping guides and robust guide sets round out the features of this high-end rod series. The rods come in a black rod sock with a red silk-screen and are protected in a fusion red powder-coated rod tube with a silver colored medallion and gloss black end caps.
“Overall, the fast action ONE rod is still and will continue to be our flagship series for a wider range of anglers,” notes Sage Marketing Manager, Eric Gewiss. “The METHOD series makes it possible to take casting abilities to whole new level. It performs quickly and accurately close-in, but if anglers are looking for an ultra-fast action rod that is lightweight, exceptionally smooth yet has the extra punch for farther casts and windy conditions, this rod is for you.”
Twelve single-hand models will be available in 4-6 weights for freshwater with a cocobolo wood insert and black reel seat components paired with a snub-nose, half-wells grip. The saltwater capable 6-11 weights feature a black aluminum reel seat and a full wells handle and fighting butt. Nine Spey and switch models feature a high-grade cork fore and rear grip. The METHOD rods will range in price from $800-$1,050 and will be available August 1, 2013.
About Konnetic™ Technology:
Konnetic technology, the most recent and significant evolution in fly rod innovation, uses new materials combined with pioneering manufacturing methods and processes. This technology incorporates an optimized ratio of Sage’s proprietary resin to exclusive high modulus aerospace-grade carbon fiber.
The latest construction methods include Sage’s Advanced Modulus Positioning System (AMPS); a process that precisely aligns and positions carbon fiber materials to exacting tolerances for the greatest blank strength delivering extremely efficient energy transfer throughout the shaft. Using Sage’s High Compression Molding process, carbon fibers are compacted for optimum density and precise alignment while simultaneously fusing the 50% lighter all-carbon fiber inner core.
Unprecedented casting control and instantaneous feel. The trout line redefined.
RIO's revolutionary Perception floating trout line helps anglers connect with more fish than ever before. Built with ultra-low stretch ConnectCore Technology, Perception lines provide groundbreaking levels of sensitivity for intuitively better cast timing, easier line lift and sharp, precise mends. Lack of stretch also means enhanced detection of subtle takes and faster reaction time when setting the hook. Our exclusive SureFire color system (RIO’s uniquetri-color distance measure) improves casting accuracy by making it easy to gauge exact distances with a quick glance.
Unique three-color SureFire system ensures deadly accurate distance control
ConnectCore improves casting timing, hook set and mending
EasyID tag to quickly identify fly line"
Not knowing what to expect with this new fly line from RIO, fishing it was a must. We headed over to Tarryall Reservoir for a loch style session which typically involves sinking lines with a team of flies varying the retrieve. With very good surface activity, we decided to rig up a "washing line" with a large dry on the end and a team of midge pupa also known as "buzzers" on dropper tags. This can be a super productive method with the wind action moving the buzzers up and down in the water column imitating the rising midges.
The new RIO Perception fly line performed flawlessly with superb strike detection and the ability to set the hook quickly due to the ultra low stretch ConectCore RIO has incorporated into this line!!! The most amazing feature was how well this line casted with a 20 foot leader. It loaded the Sage ONE 10' - 7 weight with ease and the tip stayed nice and high in the water which is a must when fishing the "washing" line method to keep the flies at the desired depth.
If you are looking for a high performance fly line with all the latest and greatest features, look no further than the RIO Perception Fly Line!!!!!
Available in two colors - Green/Camo/Tan and Camo/Tan/Gray where the first color is the tip and the last color is the running line.
Retail - $89.95
What do you think of when fly fishing comes to mind? Is it bouncing a hopper off a streamside bank to a lurking trout? Perhaps it’s finding that perfect natural and matching the hatch or maybe its getting down deep and dredging a nymph rig through a picturesque pool? For many of us, the notion of fly fishing is almost always synonymous with rivers and with more and more anglers are hitting the water, it is always nice to diversify to find that solitude that will recharge the body and soul.
Spring is slowly creeping up on us and the snow pack is still well below average which may lend us to another brutal summer of low flow conditions. Consequently, many anglers will be looking for different ways to combine two things that are getting harder and harder to do in the midst of two consecutive drought years: One : Finding productive fishing spots that are not 70 degrees and Two : Solitude!!!
For me, I will be leaving the waders in the trunk and heading to the local reservoir.
Transitioning from a small stream and river based angler was certainly intimidating, and quite frankly still is in many ways. But both rivers and lakes share many similarities. Fish still like to hold in structure and transition zones, and all in all it’s really about getting your flies in the feeding zone. The most productive fishing I have found will be within the top 10 ft. of the water column. Often times, this may mean dries, emergers, dry dropper rigs, or indicator rigs. You can also run lighter sinking lines like an intermediate, hover or midge tip which will get your flies in the feeding zone quicker, and keep them at relatively the same depth for the duration of the retrieve. With that said, trout often go down deep as well. I believe this occurs most often during the heat of the day, or during other abnormally warm temperature situations. Here, a sweep type sinking line is ideal because you have a heavier sink rate at the back of the head and a lighter sink rate at the tip so when you retrieve the line, the fly is actually descending instead of ascending, which happens with most density compensated lines (tip is heavier than rear). This type of sinking fly line allows you to search different zones depending on how fast you retrieve the line, varying the speed until you find where the fish are holding. Once found, you can then switch to the appropriate density compensated sinking line, which will hold your flies in that zone longer.
Some of my favorite lake flies include the Hot Head Bugger, Pops Bugger, Blank Saver, and various chironomid patterns like Tak’s Holo Chironomid…but get creative. Often times using very bright and flashy flies, like a European style “Blob” or “Booby,” can be very beneficial in grabbing the fishes attention. Fishing these larger attractor flies utilizes a type of “shock” factor, which can trigger a trout to take. But as the name “attractor” implies, fish will often be lead to your rig by the attractor, but ultimately eat the more subtle and natural offerings. Depending on how the Blob or Booby flies are tied (foam eyes or tags) you can effective suspend your chironomids at a given depth depending on the speed of the retrieve? This is extremely effective when working shallow flats or gentle transition zones where fish are searching out emerging bugs.
Above are samples and a Booby Fly (left) and a Blob Fly (right) which can prove extremely effective on the point or bottom position of you lake rig. The Booby Fly will begin to float to the surface with a slow sinking or hover line giving the chironomid patterns in your rig the appearance of emerging. The Blob fly is a great attractor pattern that pushes a ton of water, grabbing the fishes attention via the lateral line.
Again, fishing nymphs can be fished very much the same way as you would a river. You can fish them via indicator (thingamabobber, yarn, ect), or dry dropper rigs. More experienced anglers may prefer to lose the indicator altogether, and rely on a floating fly line and feel for strike detection. Various Hares Ear patterns and other larger attractor patterns work great as well for nymph rigs. Fishing streamers is very similar to rivers as well, and can be fished with a variety of fly lines including both floating and sinking. Mixing up retrieve speeds and tempos is often beneficial, and can help determine what fish may be “keying” in on with your presentation. Try very long, slow, and delayed strips. Try extremely short and fast strips, and every speed and tempo in between.
As for fly rods, any 9’ 5 weight fly rod will generally work for most Stillwater applications. Through my experience walking the shore lines or fishing from a boat or float tube, a longer 10’ rod in a 6 or 7 weight is more beneficial because of the extra power that can be generated from a standing or seated position. The longer you can cast, the longer your retrieve which means flies are in the water longer and your chances of a fish seeing or better yet eating your flies greatly increases. Another added benefit of using heavier line weights is the resistance in the water. When a fish takes the fly and turns with it, the resistance of the line changing directions in the water often sets the hook so all you have to do it tighten up. So when the heat is on this summer, and rivers run low...beat the crowds on your local lake or reservoir and have fun catching fish in yet another way!
About the Author:
Brian Kelso, a Colorado native began his fly fishing career at an early age and while in college at Western State in Gunnison, honed the necessary skills fishing rivers like the Taylor, East Fork as well as the abundant lakes and reservoirs in the area.
Brian is one of our web customer service specialist at the Blue Quill Angler getting all of those orders out the door at a blistering pace.
He is also a Colorado Fly Fishing Team member and regularly competes in local, regional and National fly fishing competitions.
Typically Sage introduces now products in the Fall but with the addition of some really cool packs and bags as well as the long anticipated Sage ESN 11' - 3 weight - 4 piece we have something to get axcited about in March!!!.
Sage produced an extremely popular line of packs and bag they called the DXL Typhoon series. Those packs were one of the few in the fly fishing market that offered anglers a true waterproof compartment but there were some design issues that have now been addressed with the new design.
These next generation packs and bags up the ante in the never ending battle against the elements. Sage pioneered some new technologies with these packs like the SubZipper, TPU coated zippers, magnetic closures and tool keeper to keep your gear dry and accessible. This new line of packs and bags offers you the most advanced construction on earth with top tier perfromnace and functionality.
Sage Technical Boat Bag - $300.00
Perfect for the drift boat, raft or traveling angler who want to keep their gear nice and dry. Large enough to hold just about everything you would need for a week of floating or flats fishing. More info........
Capacity - 1953 cu in
Dimensions - 21'' x 12'' x 13''
Color - Cobalt/Storm
Large enough to hold the kitchen sink with a completely waterproof zipper. You can fall in, lay in the water or endure one on those summer rainstorms that we get here in the Rockies without a worry. This will keep your boxes nice and dry!! More info........
Capacity - 671 cu in
Dimensions - 14'' x 8'' x 8''
Color - Cobalt/storm
Compact and completely waterproof. This pack will hold enough for a days fishing and keep the contents nice and dry if you fall in or get that errant rain shower. More info.......
Capacity - 336 cu in
Dimensions - 13'' x 6'' x 7.5''
Color - Cobalt/Storm
A really cool backpack that will hold all of the necessary gear you need for a day on the river. Completely waterproof from the fabric to the zippers so all of your valuable contents will stay dry if it rains or you decide to take that unexpected swim in the river. More info.......
Capacity - 1709 cu in
Dimensions - 15'' x 9'' x 22''
Color - Cobalt/Storm
Euro nymphers rejoice as the the long anticipated Sage ESN 11' - 3 weight - 4 piece fly rod is now IN STOCK!!!! The 10' models of the ESN set the new standard for a Euro specific nymphing rod but most anglers wanted something a little longer. Sage recognized this and through extensive development and field testing, the 11' version was born. Offered in the most popular line weight - 3, the 11' 3 weight ESN is the furthest thing from a "true" 3 weight. The first 40+ inches of this rod act just like a 3 weight then the engineering begins with increased strength through the middle and butt section for incredible fish fighting power. The rod is light and incredibly sensitive and with that extra foot of reach, long leader issues are a thing of the past!!!
More on the Sage ESN 11' - 3 weight - 4 Piece...............
This completely new line of Umpqua Packs and bags was spawned from a need to bring fishing packs into the 21st century. Becasue fishing packs have remained outdated compared to those made for the outdoor industry (backpacking, climbing and Skiing), Umpqua was driven to partner with the best designers and manufacturers in the ourdoor industry to create a truly modern line of packs and bags specifically for fly fishermen. They didn't build the line around a specific technology or a specific material - they designed them to perform with the expectations of the most demanding fly fishermen, guides and professionals and to assure they exceed the expectations of anyone on the water. This is true of all the Umpqua products with the Umpqua Professional Guide (UPG) seal, there were developed and tested by Umpqua's dedicated and diverse team of guides and professionals.
The Ledges 500 is an essential fly-fishing pack. Unlike any other waist pack on the market, a suspended back panel provides all-day comfort, support and ventilation. Everything else is icing on the cake...and lots of it. More info.......
The Ledges 650 is the ultimate large fishing waist-pack. At over 650 cubic inches this pack will carry it all. Its suspended back panel with a light-weight aluminum stay provides all-day comfort, support and ventilation. Loaded with lots of other great features any angler will love the versatility and comfort of this waist-pack. More info.......
With the full-featured Overlook 500, deep waders and minimalist will no longer need to sacrifice. We eliminated the typical chest-pack neck-strap for serious, all-day comfort and a low, tapered profile to ensure unhindered casting and visibility. More info.......
The Surveyor 1100 takes the “fly-fishing” backpack to the next level. This is real mountain-technical gear with an aluminum stay suspended back-panel for proper suspension and ventilation. Integrates with waist- and chest-packs. More info.......
The Famous 2500 sets itself apart with a fully-functional work station built into the EVA-molded lid. The “Famous” comes complete with drink holders, non-skid feet, pliers pockets and a deep water-proof base. More info.........
The Deadline 3500 is designed to get you anywhere with all of your gear. Your default carry-on, and gear-up/ gear-down partner, it’s perfect for everything including waders, boots, gear, etc., and will keep wet and dry gear safely apart and readily at hand. More info.......
Most people think of Colorado as a skiers paradise during the Winter months which is true but just becasue the snow is flying does not mean the fishing is bad. Focusing on tailwater rivers (rivers below dams with a consistent water temperature being release) is the perfect place to get out in the dead of winter and catch a few fish!!!
Joe Shafer, veteran Blue Quill Angler guide made the journey to the Blue River located in the town of Silverthorne, Colorado today and was rewarded with very little fishing pressure and some really incredible fish!!!!
Here is what Joe had to say:
The bite is on a the Blue with a recent bump in flow out of Dillon dam from 53 to 116 cfs. Laney's Mysis Shrimp pattern was the ticket from the dam all the way to city hall. Even with the higher flows, the fish are still spooky so 5x and 6x fluorocarbon tippets are a must!
Sight fishing is the best way to approach the Blue right now! Find your target, move into the position needed to produce the best drag free drift without spooking the fish and hang on. There are some areas of "dead" water where fish are not holding so be willing to move and look for fish instead of staying put all day. Moving will also help warm up the cold toes and fingers!
The most productive zones were just off the seams of faster runs where you can see fish moving in and out of the faster current. Midge/Mysis combo was the best set-up today ranging in sizes from 18 down to 24. Rig the Laney's Mysis Shrimp pattern on the top with a Mercury Midge, Medallion Midge, Chironoflash Midge Pupa or Minute Midge - brown on the bottom. Adjusting the weight with the changing river conditions is a must so you present the fly right in front of the fish!!!!
There are some 20+ inch fish lurking around if you keep a trained eye to the water! Wait patiently and stare where you think they are and you will find them. Don't sit at home wishing you were fishing, get out there and have some fun!!!
Interested in a guided fly fishing trip to the Blue River with Joe? Give us a call at 800-435-5353 or submit a guided trip request form by clicking here to experience these amazing fish first hand!!!!
About Joe Shafer:
Joe Safer was born and raised in Colorado. He was taught to fly fish at the young age of five by his grandmother at their family cabin on South Boulder Creek. He has a fierce passion for fly fishing and really enjoys teaching beginners the wonderful sport. Joe noted, " there's nothing more rewarding than seeing an angler catch their first trout on a fly". Joe's sense of humor combined with his outgoing personality really makes for a fun day on or off the river.
Joe loves fly fishing for pike, bass, carp, salmon, and trout. You may fund him on any body of water that has fish in it. When not working, you will find Joe fishing with his best friend and fellow Blue Quill guide jerry or spending time with his wife Cindy, and his two daughters Delaney and Ella.
When Sage released the ESN (European Style Nymphing) rods in the Fall of 2011, they were immediatley on track to top the European Nymphing specialty fly rod market!!!! Super light, responsive with a tip that would protect the lightest of tippets with ease. Most anglers who were in the market for a Euro specific rod rejoiced as there was finally an option that would not feel like you were fishing with a club or better yet a wet noodle!!! The only thing missing was the 11' model which seems to be one of the most sought after lengths among this incredibly small but growing community.
Well I can tell you that the wait will be rewarded with a super light, incredibly responsive 11' version offered only in a 3 weight. Most anglers will question fishing a 3 weight with heavy flies or attempting to land larger trout with a 3 weight. Rest assured the Sage ESN 11' - 3 weight will handle it with ease!!!! This rod is unlike any other 11' 3 weight on the market today. Most anglers who wanted an 11' rod were willing to sacrifice action and or sensitivity for length. The Sage ESN 11' 3 weight has covered all of the bases.
I have been fortunate enough to have the prototype of this rod and can honestly say that it is one of the finest European Nymphing rods I have held and fished. First impression for me was the solid looking blank. The only thing that screams 3 weight is the super supple tip section and the weight in your hand!!! The middle sections of the rod resemble more of a 4 or 5 weight and the butt section more along the lines of a 6. Your eyes are not deceiving you, that is exactly the way the rod is built using Sage's proprietary Konnetic Technology that allows them to construct a thinner walled blank with little or no wasted space between the fibers making them incredibly light and extremely responsive!!!
The extra length provides a better degree of stealth, makes the Long Line methods a breeze and has plenty of backbone to land big fish with ease. One of the features in the ESN 11' 3 weight was the snub wells handle that Sage uses on all of the Sage ONE series rods. This grip is incredibly comfortable and will not cause hand an forearm fatigue like a cigar shaped handle causes due to your thumb always being pushed down a slope as slight as it may be.
A couple of other noticeable changes from the original ESN Series was the incorporation of a 1" fighting butt at the end of the rod which allows me to rest the butt section on the underside of my arm while fishing with an outstretched arm position. This aids in fighting larger fish as well as achieving perfect form of having the rod as an extension of your arm!!!
The last addition was the addition of an aluminum reel seat to add extra weight at the rear of the rod which helps achieve a better balance point. Paired with one of the new Sage 4660 reels, the 11' 3 weight will balance right at the front of the cork which is ideal for Euro Nymphing as you can place your index finger on the blank for increase strike detection!!!
I loaned the rod to a good friend of mine, Josh Graffam - Fly Fishing Team USA member to fish for a couple of weeks to get his input as well. Josh's first response was "this is one incredible rod that is a true game changer when fishing the European Methods, especially in competition settings! The sensitivity is dead on and the incorporation of the new grip with fighting butt makes this the Ultimate Euro Rod" The only question he had for me was "when are they avaialable and whatever that date is, I will take two"
If you are in the market for a Euro specific nymphing rod or just want to add another soldier to your assault, you need to take a long, hard look at the Sage ESN 11' 3 weight. Others may disagree or baulk at the price but I can honestly tell you that there is nothing else like it on the market today!!!
Length - 11'
Line weight - 3
# of section - 4
Handle - Snub Nose Modified Wells
Reel Seat - Anodized Aluminum with locking reel seat and 1" fighting butt
Weight - 3 1/2 oz
Retail - $699.00
Available - NOW!!!
The Blue Quill Angler, nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains is within reach of some of the finest fly fishing water Colorado has to offer. Combine that with our World Class Fly Fishing Guide Service and you have a combination that cannot be beat!!!
Our veteran guide staff lead by Pat Dorsey will teach you the intricacies of fly fishing if you are new to the sport. For the seasoned angler looking to improve your skills, we have some of the most technical trout anywhere in the country and our staff will teach you the necessary tricks needed to present your fly, acheive the perfect drift, key in on the subtle clues needed to land these fish. With this knowledge, your trout fishing will be elevated to a new level!!!
The Blue Quill Angler has access to a ton of water which allows us to create the type of trip you are looking for. Whether it is technical rainbows in Cheesman Canyon, pocket water dry fly fishing on Clear Creek or wading a big river like the Colorado for browns and rainbows.
Below is a list of rivers the Blue Quill Angler has permits to guide on and a little history as well. With this amount of Gold Medal trout water, we are confident we can put together the trip of a lifetime for you!!!
With over 300 miles of river, the Arkansas River starts it journey deep in the Sawatch Mountains (highest mountain range in Colorado) and runs unobstructed until it reaches the eastern plains and a dam in the town of Pueblo.
While it’s the longest river in Colorado, this river is mostly fished from Twin Lakes to Canon City and on into Pueblo. One of the most well known hatches in the west is the Mother’s Day Caddis hatch. Late morning hatches and evening dry fly fishing are highlights of this annual hatch from Mid-April to Mid-Late May.
Terrestrials such as ants, beetles, grass hoppers, and crickets are great choices during the hot summer months of June through September. Mayflies are thick during their spring hatch of late March through mid May, while thinner during the fall hatch of mid September through early November.
The river’s spring runoff starts mid May, with peak 3,000 cfs mid June, 1,300 cfs mid July, slowly dropping into the fall months. Typically flows between 300-500 cfs from late fall through early spring. Winter months are great time to fish with consistently clear water days and great midge and Baetis hatch below Pueblo Reservoir.
Trophy trout can be found right in the heart of Silverthorne’s Shopping district as a direct result of feeding on the Mysis Shrimp coming out of Lake Dillion dam. This prehistoric creature is said to have over ten times the amount of protein that a trout would typically see in its daily diet, so you can imagine the size of some of these fish.
As the Blue River continues to flow, it moves towards Green Mountain reservoir, and on into the Gore Range. Eagle's Nest Wilderness Area also adds a spectacular back drop to the setting. Successful hatches include PMD’s, Red Quills, Caddis, Green Drakes, Blue Wing Olives, and Midges. The river can be great for dry fly patterns into the afternoon and evening.
Cheesman Canyon - South Platte River:
Jim Cannon of the Blue Quill Angler states “…anytime is the right time to fish Cheesman Canyon, it can be fished all year”. The boulder-filled Cheesman Canyon section of the South Platte River is considered by many to be one of the most pristine fisheries in the world.
In 1976, it became the first section of river in Colorado to be protected with catch and release regulations. The Canyon is an unforgettable fly fishing experience. A roughly 1.5 mile hike from the parking lot to the river’s edge presents the angler with three miles of beautiful canyon with Bald Eagles a flight, a river filled with enormous boulders and superb river banks to fish. It is a perfect day trip alone, with family or fishing buddies.
This three-mile section is fished most successfully with nymphs and anglers can expect to catch large rainbows and good-sized browns within the close company of other fisherman. The Canyon is best fished on overcast days with good presentation only 2 or 3” away from the fish’s nose. It has been said “if you can catch fish in The Canyon, you can catch them anywhere”.
The best reviews from our clients come in the spring when blue-winged olives start to show themselves on a regular basis (late March through late May). Flows are perfect that time of year from 100-300 cfs”.
In 1988 when the Blue Quill opened its doors, there was very little fly fishing going on in Clear Creek. The river had suffered over one hundred years of mining pollution, channeling and chemical spills along I-70. Since 1983, Clear Creek has been a Federal Super Fund clean-up site and each year the water seems cleaner, the hatches of aquatic insects more abundant and the fishing better and better. Clear Creek is only seven miles from BQA and is home to a very high number of naturally reproducing brown trout.
Clear Creek Watershed is unique. With a mountain range of 14,000 foot peaks as its western boundary and approximately sixty linear miles of mainstream river water, it hosts a variety of natural habitats and wildlife populations. Much of Clear Creek is open to fishing from Golden all the way west to Georgetown. There are many pull-offs on HWY 6 and lots of access points on the service road that parallels I-70. Much of the river is channeled and rocky and can be a dangerous stream to fish especially during run-off though it remains a popular front range stream for kayaks and rafts.
Despite the inerrant problems with the environment, Clear Creek can be a very fun and exciting stream to fish with a stimulator or a bead head dropper. The fish are often pushed over on the edges and seem to be behind every rock. Czech nymphing techniques can also be very productive. Clear Creek is the perfect place for an afternoon or evening of fly fishing without the long drive necessary to many other spots and offers many miles of productive angling with low angling pressure.
The Colorado River begins its 1450-mile journey in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, flowing through the Grand Canyon in Arizona to the Gulf of California located between the Baja Peninsula of California and the mainland of Mexico. In Colorado, as the river travels west from Rocky Mountain National Park, it convergences with the Fraser River and near the town of Hot Sulfur Springs, provides fantastic fly fishing.
Some of the river’s most popular fishing areas can be found west of Byers Canyon; places such as Paul Gilbert, Lone Buck, Parshall, Kemp-Breeze, Sun Set Ranch, Reeder’s Creek, and the Pump House to Radium stretch just to name a few. Designated as the state’s Gold Medal Water and known for its dry fly fishing, the Colorado River has excellent fishing opportunities both wading and floating.
Brown trout are healthy and there are plenty to be caught in the 12-16’ range. The rainbows are scarce but if an angler is lucky enough to land one, chances are it will be a bruiser. Not many rainbows survived the Whirling Disease epidemic but those that did tend to be serious rod benders.
Deckers/Trumbull - South Platte River:
The area below Cheesman Canyon is the popular Deckers area where anglers enjoy easy access and plenty of opportunity to catch fish. The best fishing is from the bridge crossing to the lower boundary of the WigWam Club.
Since the Hayman Fire, Horse Creek has been running more mud than water caused by runoff accumulating through the burn site. When this is the case, fishing is typically very poor below Deckers’ bridge. But when Horse Creek clears chances are the fishing is very good downstream.
Since fishing in Deckers is hit or miss for dry fly action, nymphing is key for catching the large brown and rainbow trout. The ideal flow for Deckers is between 150-400 cfs.
Spinney Mountain Ranch - South Platte River:
The winding, treeless, meadow portion of the South Platte River between Spinney and Elevenmile Reservoirs is known as the Dream Stream. Recently this was renamed the Charlies Meyers State Wildlife Area in rememberance of the late Charlie Meyers, outdoor editor for the Denver Post. He was a great man and it is only appropriate to name one of the finest fly fishing areas in the State of Colorado in his name.
The scenery includes Pikes Peak to the east, lush grass and farmland to the north and south, and many majestic 14,000 foot peaks to the west. There are several well known hatches including in mid-May the PMD hatch, the terrestrials after three p.m. on the hottest of summer days and, in October, early morning and late night wooly buggers helping to land big brown trout and kokanee salmon.
One of the most sought after hatch on this stretch of water is the Trico hatch in mid-July when a #24 Black Spinner looks like a giant next to the natural bugs found in large clumps in the water. Pat Dorsey’s stream report states “spring and fall spawning runs from Elevenmile Reservoir are quite impressive with fish up to 12 pounds landed during a key three-four week period”. Ideal flow conditions for the Dream Stream are between 100 cfs and 250 cfs.
Williams Fork River:
The Williams Fork River, aka The Fork, parallels the Blue River and is a tributary of the Colorado. It holds one of the finest populations of brown trout in the west. From the Williams Fork Dam, downstream to the Colorado River, is a two-mile stretch of fly fishing paradise.
A full thirty minute hike from the parking area to the river helps keep fishing pressure low. Anglers can catch trout with all specialties in fly fishing from nymphs to streamers to dry flies. Unfortunately, the devastation that the Whirling disease has had on the rainbow trout is very apparent. But the browns are still there in impressive numbers.
If you want to feel like you are in the middle of nowhere while whacking some really beautiful browns, the Williams Fork is the place to be!!
Private Fly Fishing Opportunities in Colorado:
Boxwood Gulch Ranch - North Fork of the South Platte River:
This section of the South Platte River is one of Denver’s premier fishing destinations. Winter or summer, the fishing is great! If you need a guide for an angler’s first fishing trip or a place large enough for a corporate adventure, Boxwood Gulch is the perfect location.
Over nine species of trout call these waters home including: Rainbows (50%), Browns (30%), Cuttbows (20%), Snake River Cutthroats, Brookies, the elusive Palomino Trout plus various species of Steelhead. Big flies work well and feeding can be aggressive in this stretch of water. Watch out for rising fish! With little less than one mile of private water to fish, anglers have the advantage of not bumping into other fisherman. The river usually runs 50-200 cfs, but can reach 900 cfs in June.
Long Meadow Ranch - North Fork of the South Platte River (just above Boxwood Gulch):
Long Meadow Ranch is located about 50 miles from Denver in Shawnee, Colorado and is comprised of over two miles of private trout waters along the North Fork of the South Platte River. It is just upstream from Boxwood Gulch and offers some of the finest private water fly fishing trips in the state.
Anglers claim that Long Meadow holds some of the biggest fish around! During the summer months stimulators, green drakes, red quill, and hoppers work well while nymphs work well all year long. Long Meadow Ranch is the perfect place to catch the five fish that comprise the Colorado Grand Slam: a rainbow, cutthroat, hybrid cut-bow, brook trout and a brown.
Rocky Mountain Angling Club Properties:
The Rocky Mountain Angling Club offers its members exclusive access to quality catch and release fly fishing by way of arrangements with private property owners throughout the Rocky Mountains. The Blue Quill Angler has access to these properties which are some of the most overlooked fisheries in the State.
Members enjoy access to over 50 premier fly fishing properties in Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Montana. Gold medal fishing opportunities abound with access to over 90 miles of rivers and streams and 25 trophy-producing ponds and lakes. RMAC provides exceptional fishing on under-fished, uncrowded waters. Whether its stalking trophy browns, float tubing for Donaldson Steelhead, or casting for ravenous brookies, RMAC membership provides access to fishing opportunities never thought possible.
Fishing on RMAC properties is by reservation only on a first come, first served basis. The number of anglers on each mile of stream is limited, as we strive to provide quality, uncrowded fishing opportunities.
With all of these World Class rivers at our fingertips, the Blue Quill Angler guide staff can put together the perfect trip for you whether you are a local angler or from out of State. Rest assured that our professional staff will cater to your needs to guarantee an enjoyable day on the water!!!!