Hello Guest, please sign in to comment

The Shotem' and Caughtem' Blog is the place to find the latest reviews and commentary on gear, destinations, conditions, events, and general knowledge to inform our readers and give our opinions to anyone listening.

blog subhead pic

So if you are still struggling to find a good fishing opportunity for your 4th of July weekend plans we think we might have a good idea on where to go spend some time.  It seems that should you want to brave through the smoke in different parts of Colorado, the trout fishing might be at a great peak the next couple of weeks.  Here is the information we found.  

Now is the time to hit the ground running to the valley’s many rivers, streams and lakes. The big draw at this time of year is certainly the green drake mayfly hatch. Currently this hatch is taking place along the lower-elevation waters of the Colorado and Roaring Fork rivers below Carbondale and Glenwood Springs. This evening hatch provides thrilling and frenzied Dry-fl fishing during the evenings. Locally, this event is called the “lightning round” or “hour of power,” as the final 45 minutes to hour and a half of daylight is when these large mayflies prefer to hatch.

This hatch still is in its infantile stages and historically becomes a full-bore hatch around July 4. Many local fly patterns have been developed to imitate these insects accurately because of the fact that our drakes don’t quite fit the mold of traditional colors and proportions. Some of my favorite drake patterns include TC sparkleduns, BDE drakes, KGBs, pimped-out H&Ls, drake cripples and winged-drake emergers in sizes 10 to 12.

While the Roaring Fork and Colorado yields its best dry-fly-fishing opportunities in the evening hours, the Fryingpan River will fish with dries midday from noon to 3 p.m. PMDs and caddis are common along the lower river, while below the dam, BWOs and midges are the name of the game. Late evenings also give way to decent rusty-spinner falls.

Diehard fans of the Fryingpan will find that the river is pleasantly devoid of its usual crowds as most anglers flock to the bigger rivers to chase the green drakes around. Complex hatches consisting of BWOs, PMDs and caddis can be had. BWOs and midges are the smallest of these insects (size 20 to 24), followed by PMDs (size 16 to 18) and caddis (size14 to 18). In a nutshell, just keep your eyes open if the fish are eating the small fly (BWOs) or the big fly (PMDs/caddis). Often, we will fish tandem fly setups consisting of one of each, enabling the fish to pick their fly du jour.

If you plan on hitting the state of Colorado in the next couple of weeks let us know your thoughts in the comment section below or post photos and tell us your story in one of the galleries.

Published in News/Events

We at Shotem and Caughtem, like many, are getting to the tail end of our ability to Turkey hunt.  With spring hunting season coming to an end the Shotem and Caughtem life will begin to shift focus from the Shotem side of the brain to the Caughtem side.  Luckily for us this weekend marks the start of the spring hatching season for caddis and mayflies.  What does that mean for us?  It means that the predator fish are going to come to the surface to gorge themselves on the little bugs.  This means it is fishing season.  So dust off the fly rods and the fishing gear cause the trout will be in full attack mode.  So take advantage of not only the hatch but the fact that nothing says happy mothers day better than some quality time in the great outdoors.  Here are some fly tricks and tips to aid in your adventure.  As always leave your comments in the section below and post your catches in the Caughtem Gallery or start one of your own to share with others.

What is the secret? Efficiency. The principle is simple; the actual attainment of it is not. Many anglers flail randomly, their fly occasionally crossing those areas where vulnerable insects concentrate, catching fish only when their fly is in a prime area. The expert, however, changes his tactics as the prime areas change, and keeps his fly for as long as possible in the productive zone.

The key to anticipating, or “ambushing,” a caddis fly hatch requires breaking the common notion of what it is. Too many fishermen only recognize the peak of the action, the frantic surface feeding coinciding with the heaviest concentration of insects on or under the surface film, but these fishermen miss out on fishing before or after the peak — fishing that is sometimes even better.

The first time an angler encounters heavy insect activity, he cannot anticipate it. It is a blind situation — he is unprepared for the ensuing feeding spree. He fumbles in his fly box for some kind of a matching fly and casts to the rising trout with various techniques. If he fails to find the right combination with his hasty attempts, he probably ends up frustrated and fishless.

Even a regular on a stream, lacking an understanding of entomology, cannot fully master such a situation. He might have enough experience with a particular insect to use proper flies and tactics during the main hatch, his methods worked out by past trial and error, but he can still only take advantage of the activity he sees, the hour or so of actual surface feeding. He cannot take advantage of the subsurface activity he does not see.

The fly fisherman who understands the typical life cycle of stream caddisflies, however, knows the vulnerable subsurface stages. He discovers where, when, and how the concentrations occur during an emergence, which allows him to anticipate and prepare for the appearance of the insect. This knowledge also allows him to take full advantage of the predictable daily feeding schedule of the trout. Such an angler is not a member of a scientific cult, but simply a fly fisherman who is prepared to match his tactics and flies to the changing concentrations of insects. There are three areas in which caddisflies concentrate during a hatch.

1.  Usually, hours before the main hatch, some caddisflies begin popping out. The first of these random emergers often reaches the surface safely because trout are not conditioned to the occurrence, but soon fish take notice of the hatch. Even when they do start feeding, however, the trout seldom rise to grab a natural from the surface.

2.  Once out of the silk-lined, stone or vegetable cocoon, drifting freely in the stream, the swimming caddisfly emergent begins inflating its surrounding skin with gas bubbles and beating with hair-fringed legs, both of these actions lifting the insect up through the water. At the surface the adult hesitates, pushing against the underside of the meniscus (surface film) and struggling to shed the pupal skin.

3.  When the peak hatch is over and the surface of the river is blank, most anglers quit fishing, or at least stop trying to match caddisflies but there is still an hour of so of very exciting action left. There is one more concentration of insects that pulls fish, often the largest, into specific areas of the stream.

 
Published in News/Events

We at Shotem and Caughtem want to see your trout photos in the Caughtem gallery as the state prepares for next months season opener.  They are stocking places where reproduction numbers have been low to help with their sport fishing numbers.  Here are some of the details.

State Department of Natural Resources officials say they hope to add nearly 330,000 trout to Wisconsin waters before the inland fishing season opener next month. 
     
DNR fisheries crews have been stocking rainbow, brown and brook trout raised at hatcheries in Nevin, Osceola and St. Croix Falls. Volunteers and students have been helping, too. 
     
The crews are adding fish in waters where the habitat is marginal and there's no natural reproduction. 
     
The season opener is set for May 4. 
     
Interactive maps of trout streams are available on the DNR website's inland trout page.

Published in News/Events
Friday, 15 March 2013 20:23

Fly Fishing's Fatal Attraction

Those of us at Shot em' and Caught em' would not say that we have devoted the time to fly fishing but the art of it is mystifying.  The beautiful sway back and forth that takes so much time to perfect.  The look of a shallow stream and the sun glistening off the rapids.  It all makes for quite the scene in our minds.  But for Dan Blanton it comes down to finding the big fish and he found the perfect fly to bring them to the shore line.  We thought we would pass along the information of what he calls a Fatal Attraction.  Let us know what you use on your fly fishing rigs in the comments section below or post a photo to the Gear Section and tell us your story. 


Published in News/Events
Friday, 01 February 2013 23:02

Ice Fishing at Pathfinder Reservoir

Recently we at ShotemandCaughtem got the opportunity to go ice fishing for the first time with some experienced ice fisherman and thought we would share the trials and tribulations of our adventure.  We traveled to Pathfinder Reservoir just outside Casper, WY.  Being a native Kansan we had never been ice fishing and felt a little out of our element, but were reassured that we had people along that knew exactly what we needed.  First were the size of the fishing poles.  The ones we pulled out of the truck almost made me laugh since they looked as if they would snap in a New York minute should they hook into a Kansas Flathead.  Then came the "pop ups" that I had never used before.  The pop up works by having a spring loaded flag so that when you get a bite the flag pops up.  Something totally different than the bells we use here in Kansas but a nice visual cue non the less.  We started by drilling 24 holes in the ice since in Wyoming you can have 6 poles per fishing license and drilled thru 10-15 inches of ice (Note:  2 gas powered augers, a total necessity, otherwise we would still be hand drilling weeks later).  Next we set up a couple of clam shelters with chairs and a heater (www.clamoutdoors.com) along with a case of beer for warmth since the temperature at the time was -10 degrees.  Finally came the fun part.....fishing.  

Our objective was to catch delicious rainbow trout.  We loaded our poles with shiners and shrimp and set our pop ups.  We thought the adventure would take some time due to the weather conditions and the fact that we would wait hours for a catfish to hit our line.  Fortunately for us the fish were active.  We still giggle at the site of one another screaming fish-on and running across the ice like deranged Sasquatches due to the 27 layers of clothes needed to stay warm.  To sum up the trip was a blast!  Even though the time it takes to get set up is a little more intense than just baiting a pole and throwing it in the water (why we tend to fish in more in warmer temperatures) we would definitely go out again.  Thanks to Fred, Dustin and Perry for making this a memorable experience and most of all for helping me land this wonderful five pound trout which we are having smoked and I can't wait to try. Let us know how a ice fishing experience went for you by posting a photo to the Caughtem Wall and starting a discussion.