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Syndicate European Nymphing Rods - Priced to Fish


syndicate european nymphing fly rodsA recent addition to the Blue Quill Angler European Nymphing offerings are the new Syndicate Euro Nymphing rods which have been well received by the staff as well as customers who have already purchased one. 

With the loss of the Grey's Streamflex line here in the US, Syndicate fills that price-point niche with a rod that is light in hand, has great sensitivity and will not break the bank.  There are three models available, a 10' - 2 weight - 4 piece, a 10' - 3 weight - 4 piece and an 11' - 3 weight - 4 piece.  The 10' models have a cigar shape cork and the 11' - 3 weight has a full wells with a small fighting butt.  The 10' 2 and 3 weight are priced at $299.00 and the 11' - 3 weight is $325.00. 

All of the rods are a nice matte finish with two stripping guides transitioning into single foot guides the rest of the way.  The uplocking reel seat has a stylish wood insert with aluminum components.  

The action on the rods is a medium to medium fast which allows you to fish lighter tippets without the risk of breaking off fish yet still has enough butt section strength to go to battle with the big boys.  The supple tip allows the rod to fish "under load" when Euro Nymphing which increases the sensitivity of the rod.  The recovery speed on the blank is actually quite inpressive for an overseas made rod and we feel it is actually better than the super popular Grey's Streamflex rods.  Casting accuracy is where it sould be when you are lobbing heavily weighted teams of nymphs upstream and actually comes into it's own when you change up to a single nymph where you can pick those little pockets apart with this rod. 

If you are in the market for a dedicated Euro Nymphing rod, you owe it to yourself to look at the Syndicate offerings as we feel you will not be dissapointed. 

About Syndicate:

Syndicate Fly Fishing was born of the desire to offer high quality, performance fly fishing equipment and accessories while making the sport more accessible. Our life-long passion for fly fishing and tying turned into the desire to offer technologically advanced products to a new breed of angler, while paying homage to fly fishing’s origins.

Headquartered at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, our research is done in the rivers and streams that we call home. Before we put a new product in a fly shop, it is thoroughly tested by professional anglers, who’s success is dependent on the performance of their gear.

Syndicate is a privately held organization focused on manufacturing the best possible fly fishing and tying products available. We produce our products at the best factories around the globe while specifying the highest quality materials. Try our products and see why many professional guides and competition anglers depend on Syndicate.

John "JP" Perizzolo - Blue Quill Angler Guide Profile


From time to time we like to feature one of our veteran guides here on the blog as they do not get the recognition they deserve. 

autumn2014 011John "JP" Perizzolo is one of those guide that spends most of his time on the water so you never see him in the shop.  John previously worked for the Blue Quill Angler and left for a stint to pursue other opportunities.  John rejoined the Blue Quill Angler for the 2015 guide season and we are stoked to have him back as the passion he brings to the clients on and off the water is exactly what you should look for in a fly fishing guide. 

John brings a level of experience that caters to beginners and veteran anglers alike.  Spend a day on the water and you will leave with a better understanding of how to effectively catch fish.  




About John "JP" Perizzolo:

john JP perizzolo colorado fly fishing guide at blue quill angler''JP" is a second generation Colorado Flyfisherman. With over 50 years of flyfishing experience, he has developed a simple, analytical approach to catching fish that will benefit both novice and experienced anglers alike. He grew up fishing Waterton Canyon, Cheesman Canyon and other public stretches of the South Fork of the South Platte. When he is not guiding for the Blue Quill, you will probably find him chasing big fish on a South Park Reservoir, float fishing a west slope river in his drift boat or wading other favorite waters. During the fall and winter he will be guiding bird hunters and hunting upland game and waterfowl over his national caliber Labrador Retrievers. Fishing, hunting and guiding aren't just hobbies with "jp", they are his lifestyle, his passions, and he tries to learn something new, or teach something new, every time he goes out. John also invented the extremely popular JP's Nymphing Mud formerly known as Mojo Mud. This tungsten putty style weight is by far the best on the market today and allows the angler to infinitely adjust weight on the leader to achieve the proper feeding depth. A must have for any serious nymph fisherman. 

To book a trip with John you can give us a call at 800-435-5353

Cortland Competition Nymph Rods for Euro Nymphing


With the growing popularity of European Nymphing here in the United States, more and more companies are seeing the need for specialized Euro specific fly rods and fly lines, not to mention the increasing availability of flies tied on barbless hooks. 

The most common rods found on the market today are offered by Sage with their ever popular ESN (European Style Nymph) rods and the Grey's Streamflex XF2 line-up.  There are more recreational anglers as well as competetive anglers using the two series of rods listed above with great success due in part to their specific designs that favor the European Nymphing Methods.

Cortland Competition Nymph RodsOne company that was kind of a surprise to me when they released a family of rods designed for European Nymphng was Cortland.  I have always thought of them as a fly line company and never paid much attention to the fly rods they made.  While conducting a river clinic with my dear friend, George Daniel, he asked if I had fished the Cortland Competition Nymph rods and I replied no.  He said I owed it to myself to get one in my hands and give it a test drive as he felt they were the best Euro rod on the market in that price range.  


Being intrigued by his comment, I reached out to Joe Goodspeed at Cortland to see if I could get one to test out and possibly stock them at the Blue Quill Angler as the price point would fill a much needed gap in that category for us. About a week passed and a nicely package 9'6'' - 2 weight 4 piece Cortland Competition rod arrived at the shop complete with a rod/reel case.  I immediately put the rod together and my first impression was how light this rod was.  The action felt great and I could not wait to give it a test drive on the river.  

Well, with all the day to day activities at the shop, it took me about a week to hit the water with the Cortland Competition Nymph 9'6'' - 2 weight and the location was Bear Creek which flows right through downtown Evergreen.  With all the recent rains, the creek was high and muddy so heavy flies with tons of color were my patterns of choice.  First cast with a heavily weighted attractor pattern wrapped with lead and finished with a 4mm tungsten bead hit the desired mark perfectly and 4 seconds later was slammed by one of the residents of Bear Creek.  The Cortland Competition Nymph rod transmited the take beautifully and the hook set was quick.  The softer tip on this rod performed flawlessly and the fish was to the net in a matter of seconds.  This continued for 45 minutes where about 15 trout averaging 10'' were landed without one single fish bouncing off or breaking the 6.5X tippet I was using.  Needless to say I was pretty impressed.

Next test would definetely give this rod a workout as I was heading down to the South Platte river at Deckers where fish can be tough on not only tippet but equipment too.  Flows had been dropped to around 130cfs so I would be able to test how well this rod casted smaller weighted flies. I began with just one size 16 jig nymph tied on 6.5X tippet and the rod delivered the fly extremely well.  The sensitivity was just as it had been while fishing Bear Creek and the first fish of the day was on the line and soon in the net.  Nothing big enough to write home about but a descent South Platte Rainbow.  Next fish is a different story as I added a dropper to the leader to fish a deeper run and the third drift through, the rod was jolted with a rather large trout that took the top fly, made a hard charge upstream, then decided to make a u-turn and take off downstream.  This is a critical point where having the right equipment can mean the difference between landing or loosing this fish and I am glad to say the Cortland Competition Nymph rod held in there beautifully. If you know me, I am a die hard fan of the 11' - 3 weight Sage ESN which you will find in my hand 99.9% of the time I am on the water but I was truly impresed with what Joe Goodspeed has done with the Cortland Competition Nymph Rod series and I think you will be as well.  

The Cortland Competition Nymph rods are offered in 5 different models, a 9'6'' - 2 weight, 10' - 3 weight, 10'6'' - 3 weight, 10' - 4 weight and a 10'6'' - 4 weight.  All are 4 piece rods with a cordura rod/reel case and retail for $219.95.  For the angler looking for a rod to solely dedicate to European Nymphing that will not break the bank, the Cortland Competition Nymph Rod series is a great place to start.  

More on the Cortland Competition Nymph Rods:

The primary design focus of this rod series is precise European Style nymphing featuring a matte black finish that helps the rods dampen extra vibration quickly, so your rod tip doesn't throw extra shock waves down your presentation after each cast.

The rods are balanced with the weight toward the back end, so your wrist will do less work to hold the rod at a fishing angle.  The crisp action blanks have a dull matte finish, with slightly oversize matte black single foot guides for easy leader knot transfers and a serious stealth factor.  The handles have a thin, elongated taper heading toward the blank that allows an angler to touch a finger against the blank for added feel.  All sizes have a fighting butt with a hard cork bottom layer that helps to counterbalance and also serves as a great resting spot to bury a hook point, all the rods have a matte black hook-keeper as well.

Ultimate Bead and Hook Storage Box


After an exhaustive search to find the perfect bead and hook storage system not to mention having way to many Umpqua Hook Boxes, Pro 20 Hook boxes and Plano systems, we have FINALLY found it.  

The Bead Storage Solutions - Tiny Containers Bead/Hook Storage Tray!!!!

bead storage solutions tiny container bead and hook storage full

This tray has a snap tight lid and 78 individual containers that fit into the tray which basically replaces 4 Umpqua Hook Boxes.  This system will greatly reduce the clutter at your tying station but will also make traveling with your hooks and beads much easier.  

With specially designed finger shaped indentations, these containers are easy to remove and replace when tying. Stack multiple trays for the perfect storage solution for all your hooks and beads. Beads are not included

Bead storage tray kit includes:

  • 1 - 13.75 x 10.5 x 2 inch bead tray

  • 1 tray lid

  • 78 - Tiny Containers™ measuring .75 x 2 x 1.125 inches each

  • 2 sheets of removable container labels


The best part is the price!!!  

1 - Tiny Container Bead Tray - $39.95

4 - Umpqua Hook Boxes - $47.80

You save $7.85 and have one tray that will hold way more - Not Bad!!!

Check them out today and get your hooks and beads organized today.

Airflo Sixth Sense Sweep 3 and Ridge Supple Impact Mini Tip Lines IN STOCK!!!!


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:

Airflo Sixth Sense DI3 SWEEP Sinking Line:

Airflo sixth sense sweep 3 fly line 1 resized 600With 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


Airflo Ridge Supple Impact Mini Tip Stillwater Fly Lines:

Airflo Ridge Supple Impact Fast Tip Stillwater Fly Line resized 600The 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)


Ultimate European Nymphing Fly Line - A Game Changer!!!


Ultimate Euro Nymphing Fly Line


RIO Ultimate European Nymphing Fly LineWhen 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. 

RIO Ultimate European Nymphing Line Close UpThe 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. 

RIO Ultimate European Nymphing Fly Line LoopWe 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!!!

Line Specs: 

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.

Sage Method Fly Rods - Ultra Fast and Super Smooth


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..........

Sage Method Fly Rods new for 2013

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.

RIO Perception Fly Line - Connect With More Fish!!!


Unprecedented casting control and instantaneous feel. The trout line redefined.

Rio Perception Fly LineRIO'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.  

Rio perception fly line fullThe 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 

Tailwaters to Stillwaters : Making the Transition to Lakes


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.    

fly fishing lakes in coloradoSpring 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.

Booby Lake FlyBlob Style Lake Fly

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. 

New Sage Products for 2013 - IN STOCK!!!


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

sage technical boat bag new for 2013Perfect 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







Sage Technical Waist Pack - Large - $250.00 

Sage Technical Waist Pack large new for 2013Large 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 




Sage Technical Waist Pack - Small - $150.00

sage technical waist pack small new for 2013Compact 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  


Sage Technical Backpack - $275.00

Sage technical backpack new for 2013A 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








Sage ESN 11' - 3 Weight - 4 Piece - IN STOCK!!!Sage ESN 11' - 3 Weight - 4 Piece - IN STOCK!!!

Sage ESN 11 foot 3 weight 4 piece Euro Nymphing rod IN STOCKEuro 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...............

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