Tag Archives: colorado

Sculpzilla Streamer Tie

First off let me apologize for the problem with this site. Unfortunately there has been some problems with plugins that have been causing some issues. As of now they are fixed and we are working on keeping it that way.

A  couple weeks ago I crashed at my buddy Cody’s house in Gilpin County Colorado. The first time I stayed there he introduced me to a cocktail that I have not drank since, Crown Royal & Cranberry Juice.  I woke his wife up that night when I fell off a bar stool at their kitchen counter. The crown and Cranberry is a sneaky Pete. Cody is a full time guide/stream restoration project manager/ aquatic biologist / and all around wizard for The Flyfisher Group. A hell of a good fisherman, hunter and fly tier. This past stay at his house he showed me some sculzilla streamer patterns he was tying/ tweaking.  I busted out the camera document the process and here is the result. Not your normal fly tying tutorial, because in my opinion those are like watching paint dry. I couldn’t tell you the exact process to this tie but I can break it down as I remember it.

Sculpzilla Streamer Tie from Joey Macomber on Vimeo.

First- Pour yourself an Extra Gold into a frosted mug. This was the first time I have tried this particular brand of beer. The jury is still out. You be the judge.

Second – Wrap your hook with some olive thread and tie in a olive rabbit strip. This is your tail. Do not cut off tag end, you will continue to tie in the rabbit strip on step 5

Third- Take 30lb spider wire and loop it through the eye of the hook.

Fourth- Put another hook in the vise ( this will be the body of the fly, the hook will be snipped off), slide a cone head over the hook and slide up to the eye. Then wrap the shank in olive thread, wrap the wire attached to the trailing hook into the shank of the hook in the vice. Cover with head cement then wrap again.

Fifth- Start incorporating the rabbit strip that is still attached to the trailing hook. This strip will be the spine of the body.

Sixth– Make a dubbing loop and wax it. Grab some crystal flash dubbing and add it to your dub loop. Spin it and wrap it at the end of your rabbit strip. At this point your fly body should be about 3/4 of the way up the shank of the hook.That will be the body.

Seventh – This step you tie in some red guinea feathers as the Gills of the fly. You can use any color you like but red is a good color for gills.

Eighth- Tie in some olive marabou as the skirt of the fly. This will cover the gills a bit and give the fly a pulsing behavior in the water. I just made that up. But, I think its true.

Ninth – Tie in some grizzly chickabou for the collar.

Finally – Carefully use some zap a gap to secure the cone head of the fly. Don’t over do it of you’ll get that glue on your feathers and you’ll really be pissed. Just put a gob or two inside the cone and slide the cone back towards your last step. Use red thread to finish the head of the fly. Build the thread up around the front of the cone so it secures the cone in place.

Finish your beer and look at your master piece. There are quite s few steps but it will save you about 5.95 a fly if you tie your own. The whole tie took Cody about 20 minutes. It would take me 20 days.  I hope I didn’t confuse all of you but that was from memory. Shorten that leader its streamer season.

Streamer Junkie: Bye Bye Bobber

I made an executive decision last week while trying to be a purist. I watched my Adams float along the surface of the river, raising and dipping over each slow riffle. Oh how it would be so cool if a trout decided to come sip this tiny bug off the surface. Then I realized – That’s not gonna happen.

This Is A Barn

It was about 11:30 and we had until 1pm to fish about a mile of river that is full of whiteys and from what we were told “25-26 inch brown trout and a kid hooked a cutbow that was approx 33 inches”
I felt like calling BS on the cutbow comment but who am I to call a guy a liar. I knew that there were big browns in this river and big rainbows as well. But, last time I had fished this water I had to sort thru whitey to find spots. In fact Dave Tepper has a picture of me, somewhere on a hard drive, holding a legit 23-24″ cutbow from this particular river. Of course he never sent the picture to me.

This Is A Cut Bow. This Happens When A Rainbow Trout And A Cutthroat Trout Get Busy In The Gravel.

So time is ticking, The Rattle Snake is bobber fishing a beautiful hole with a worm, of course he has a worm on, trailed by an rs2 or something of that nature. Bobber fishing, as much as I love it, has lost its lust with me. Don’t get me wrong I will still stare at the goat-nut when it is needed but lately I am into stripping streamers. This is what I like-
– One Box
– 2 spools of tippet (0x-1x)
– short leader
– ugly casts
– aggressive fish
– fish all types of water

A Black Sculpzilla was trailed but a Natural Slumpbuster and it was moving with a little strip, strip, twitch motion downstream. The first fish chased it to the bank where I paused the fly. The fish inhaled the slump buster and darted back into the current. I yelled at the Rattle Snake “cut that f*@king bobber off and start ripping streamers like a man.”

This Is A Hay Barn On The River. We Caught Fish In That Riffle.

My streamer box was looking a bit weak and my tippet scenario was about the same. I had left my 0x and 1x in my boat bag which was in the truck and 3x was my go to. Not a problem I thought, until what looked like a cross between an alligator and a steelhead boiled on my fly and chewed it off instantly. Shit

That’ll Do

We ended up fishing roughly 3/4 of a mile ripping meat the entire time. We legitimately turned over 75 fish easily and landed about a 1/4 of them. Some which were little dinks and others in the 18-20″ class. The Rattle Snake knocked one off the line with the net that was pushing the upper 20’s and we hooked multiple fish the same size that never made it to the net.

This is my rig. What does yours look like?

(16-18″ 0x-1x tippet) (5 – 6 foot heavy leader)
slump buster sculpzilla

You Should Have A Lot Of These

You Should Have A Lot Of These Too

The Things You Shouldn’t Say: In Bold

I was on a request yesterday with a fella and his young son. I woke up at 5:30 made breakfast and made lunch for our early float down the Upper Colorado. It was a 6:30 pick up about 6 miles from my house. No big deal. Except when you get there and the dude doesn’t show up until 7am. Right there I was a little on edge. He only made up for it by telling me that his 8 year old would only be riding and not fishing. pheeew. I love kids and I dont mind untangling their knots but, when I have to untangle his fathers too…it becomes a long day.

We started the car ride with the usual BS where ya from? what do you do? hear is the million dollar question…. “have you fly fished before?” and the answer is YES

right away I am relieved and nervous at the same time. He then goes on to tell me “I usually fish with dry flies on small creeks” So, now I am thinking that this guy is a stick and park a bug in some pretty tough spots. because from my experience, fly fishing in small creeks can be very difficult.

We are at the ramp now and I hand him a rod with a Hopper and a dropper on it. I go park the truck and come back and He says “I don’t know what I did here I think it is tangled”
The dropper was hooked on the eyelet and he didn’t remove the fly…..

I dropper the hook about 200 yards from the ramp and begin my usual BS rant. The run we are anchored in is big, deep and full of fish. I grabbed the bobber rod and hand it to him. Have you ever fishing with and indicator before? “no” I go on to explain “Well it is very effective when the fish are not eating on the surface…blah blah” This was the moment of truth when the rod left my hand to his. Can he cast?? he tossed the flies in the drink and started to take line off the reel by reeling backwards. Nope, he can’t cast. The rod comes back quickly with about 10 feet of line out and races forward only to land next to the boat. The lovely snap sound rings in my ears as he says ” I haven’t fished in a long time” “no buddy you have never fished before..” it what is rumbling thru my mind. We get the logistics figured out so only every third cast was in my lap. We finally get a couple bobber downs and I am yelling at him to set the hook he turns and says “Are there hooks on these flies”.. priceless. Since he was a “dry fly guy” we saw a couple risers about 30 feet out. Just 15 feet outside of his casting range. So he got excited and I got him the dry fly stick and let him go at it. I hopped out of the boat and grabbed the bobber rod with the hookless flies. About 3 casts later I handed the rod to his son who was in the back of the boat embarrassed by his fathers display. I coached him thru landing the small brown trout and enjoyed seeing him smile at his dad… corny I know.

We enter the Canyon. Now The canyon, like most canyons in the world, is real fast with pocket water, riffles and back eddies. It also holds some big fish that like to eat streamers when they are stripped properly. I busted out the streamer rod, bold I know, and let the flailing begin. The fish were all over the streamers, jumping out of the water, chasing them and eating them. He looks at me and says “these fish really like to chase but not eat these things” I said “we’ll if you would’ve had the line in your trigger finger and were stripping like I told you to you would have hooked all those fish.” I was starting to be a little pushy. But, sometimes you can only repeat yourself so many times before you just stop caring, especially after you take a sculpzilla to the cheek and his son takes one to the back.

We got to the take out and they went on to tell me how much fun they had as I put the last strap on the boat he says “It will be nice to have a beer when I get back to the ranch, maybe two beers” I smiled and said “I think I am going to have a whiskey.”

Catfish, Heeb & Mac : Saturday Adventure

It was the damn lightning that started the entire day off in the wrong direction. “Well should we get a beer and see if this is going to blow over?” said catfish. The 3 beer bottles clanked together as the three bachelors made a toast to a wife free weekend. The sky darkened and the hope of getting to the top of the mountain was lost when the storm produced heavy rain and thunder. “fuck it, lets go camping the boat is already hooked up and we can float down and fish the evening hatch below the hot springs.” Then the rain and wind got stronger. “Well” mac said ” it is not looking to good. Heeb was already on the phone to the Rancher leaving a message “were going camping lets go.” Catfish piped in “we can be dry and watch it rain or be soaked on the river and watch it rain. We can’t have a fire so, I think it will be pretty miserable sitting in this weather.” they all agreed and catfish went into the yeti for a beer. “its 2:15” mac said “lets play cards”
The ipod was blasting old crow medicine show as the boys were finishing a game of back alley when a text came thru from magnum at 8:15. It read – you wanna go to state bridge? I am not camping and will drive.

A look of panic and enthusiasm came across the faces at the table. None of them had been to State Bridge for a concert before. They knew that it tended to be overrun with hippies that liked to live in the spirit world. And this scared them, but after being stranded inside for an entire day they went against their fears. Mac texted back – you got room for 3 drunks?

Brown Trout & Brown Dog

Magnum pounded on the door and they hopped into the Jeep with no back window. It was wet and dark as the group cruised along to Eagle River towards rt 131. Out of nowhere a single light was instantly on the bumper of the Jeep. Magnum was pissed. “look at this asshole he is right on my bumper.” The engine of the tailgater roared as he passed them on a solid line. The group was in shock when they looked to the left to see a man dressed in all black riding a Harley in the rain. The rider made a slow pass staying even with the jeep for a few hundred yards. Mac yelled “holy shit magnum don’t mess with this guy… I think it is the ghost rider” the car erupted with laughter as they turned north onto rt 131. The ride was long and dark they passed a white car that they thought was the police and the car got silent. They soon realized that it was a group of people standing on the roadside with headlamps on. Mac quickly piped in “the ghost rider must have slashed their tires with flaming chains.”

The parking lot was full, hippies were everywhere hula hooping and dancing barefoot around the concert. They could hear the bluegrass as the jeep passed the stage looking for a parking spot. It was pointless. “this concert is going to be over by the time we find a spot to park” yelled the banker. “I got a spot, we are going to have to hike thru the woods to get to the show but it is not far” magnum chanted. The jeep pulled back onto 131 and took a right onto a dirt road where it hit a ditch sending the group out of their seats into the ceiling. They though for sure the tired were popped but when they parked a 1/2 mile later it was all in one piece. “where the hell are we magnum? your not gonna rape us out here are you? mac and the banker said jokingly. “dude the concert is right down this hill” magnum hollered back.

After scaling down a steep hill of sage brush, rocks and juniper trees the group was back on 131 walking to the “Spirit World.” They were welcomed by the band finishing up their first set and the background music of Bob Marley as they waited in line for a 24 oz PBR. The boys were shooting the shit and staring at the stage a young hippie jumped up on the bandstand and started dancing in font of the crowd. He did a slow turn and continued to get his groove on while mooning the audience. All the hippies cheered and the boys were laughing out loud. All of a sudden the kid stopped dancing and faced the crowd. He started to unzip his corduroys like he was going about to urinate when security finally grabbed him and escorted him away.

The Infamous String Dusters Finished their second set and it appeared that they boys had all entered the spirit world. The Heeb was so zone out that people thought he was sleeping standing up. The Banker had a huge grin on his face and kept saying “these guys are fucking awesome” Mac was in the same boat as the banker enjoying the music and laughing as he yelled to the banker “can you believe that we are at State Bridge right now?”

Rain Dance

We are finally getting some. Yesterday was one of the Fiercest thunder storms I have ever whitnessed. The wifey and I had to seek shelter in our basement. Although, I was running window to window watching the lightning and hail. This morning I walked on the lawn and for the first time this summer it wasn’t crunchy. Looks like there is more precipitation in todays forecast. Let’s hope it continues for a few days. Philip Seymour Hoffman gives us some “Rain Drops” below.