Most Recent Trip Reports and Pictures
This page was last updated: October 13, 2016
PAST FLYFISHERS AT THE CROSSING
FLY FISHING TRIPS ARE BELOW!
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Even More Trip Reports Below
No One Goes There Anymore, It's Too Crowded (June 10th): You probably heard many of the Yogi Berra-isms. One is "No one goes there anymore, it's too crowded." As we planned our trip to Montauk I was thinking just that. As summer gets in full swing it seems Montauk gets more crowded. So what do we do? We plan a trip with 12 fly fishers - yes, you heard right - TWELVE fly fishers. So who is crowding the rivers now ;) Dave Komor, Tim Klotz, Sid Aslin, Bill Byington, Mike Bisaga, Jim Anzer, Connor Peters, mystery fly fisher, Steve Clark, new guys Bennett Sieczkowski and Al Angiocchi, and me (Kenny) headed to Montauk to not only graduate a new guy but to just enjoy the day on the river. As we showed up on the river others were asking themselves why is it so crowded on a Friday - it was us! Congratulations to Bennett who graduated early in the day and also to Al who joined us. Bennett caught trout early and learned several techniques of fly fishing throughout the day. Even though we spread out on the river we ran into each other throughout the day. That was fun to talk and catch up on each others lives. We all broke bread together at lunch time - all twelve of us...... twelve of us breaking bread together - what does that remind me of ???? The best flies of the day were the P&P midge, elk hair caddis, cerise worm, crackleback, cream midge larva, and a few others thrown in there. It was a hot day but most stayed protected with hats, buffs and sun screen. Check out the pictures below for a photo story of the day. Afterwards I got out voted and we decided to eat at the Hicks BBQ in Cuba BUT not before we headed to Happy Pappys to pick up a couple of pies!! Awesome pies!! And to prove it Connor ate a half of Cherry pie, yes, a FULL half of cherry pie before he got to HICKS BBQ!!! Oh to be young again!! The fishing is still good but the days are getting hotter. Why not refresh in a cool river with a trout on the end of your line!
Bamboo Rod Day or "You know, the short, fat, bald guy!" (Jun 17th) - This was a special day trip for five FATC who, under the tutelage of the bamboo rod Sensei Bruce Morton, had the opportunity to test their newly made bamboo rods on the water - catching fish. The weather was predicted to be hot but the cool waters of the Current river seemed to keep everything at a very nice temperature. After suiting up and before heading to the water the gang of five took their pictures with their rods - still pristine and all in one piece. The bamboo rod gang fished in Montauk park and got on to fish right away. Some used regular flies (Cerise worms or worm nymphs??) and others stuck with the dry flies and tiny flies made for the delicate flex of a bamboo rod. It was a fun day as "fish on" rang down the river. Surprisingly the river was not too crowded on this summer Friday. The guys fished the entire fly fishing only area and caught fish throughout the day. The best flies were the cerise worm, the WWF worm, the nymph worm?? - oh, come on guys you're killing me. Other flies used (and caught fish) were the elk hair caddis, renegade, soft hackles of various colors, P&P midge, pheasant tail nymph and copper john. The guys hung up the rods by 4pm and celebrated with Mexican food and Margaritas! It was an awesome day of friendship as the guys finally got to fish with the rods they spent months on building. Oh yeah, the short, fat, bald guy that I'm sure you are wondering about. Well, you will just have to ask one of the bamboo guys about that - Bruce Morton, Gary Elliott, Kenny Klimes, Jim Franke, and Dave Beerbower. Just be careful on who you talk to on the river and yes, rumors do fly fast!?!?
Our Bamboo Rod Makers Head to Colorado for Reunion and Fishing ( July 15-17): Bruce Morton and I had the opportunity to fly fish on some private water on the Frying Pan River in Colorado above the Ruedi Reservoir. The drive along the river and reservoir is absolutely breathtaking due to the sheer red rock cliffs that line the canyon. The wading was very tough and my wading staff came in very handy. Once I got stationed in the river, the fishing was great. I was swinging soft hackles through the current and also fished dry green drakes and caddis flies. Bruce had his dog Ellie and she got to run free in the fields next to the river. The river is narrow and tree lined, so roll casting was the rule of the day. We both had a memorable afternoon on this beautiful piece of water and caught several wild fish in the 10”-14” range.
The primary reason we were in Colorado was to attend the Colorado Rodmakers Reunion near Marble, CO. There were about 75 people in attendance and we learned some new bamboo rod making techniques and got to cast some amazing rods made by other makers. The location was at the base of Chair Mountain at about 9000’ elevation where we needed a jacket in the mornings and evenings. The fellowship was special and I met some new friends in the rodmaking community. What a great trip!
New Graduate and Only 15% Chance of Rain (July 20th): A future graduate, Ron Berger, was ready to get his "diploma" so a trip was scheduled on a Wednesday. We were a little worried about two things as we planned this trip; Montauk being crowded and a super hot day with only a 15% chance of rain in the forecast. But that has never stopped us before so seven of our FATC decided to hit the road and give it a go. Pete Drochelman, Sid Aslin, Jim Franke, Connor Peters, Tim Trog, Kenny Klimes and newbie, Ron Berger, headed to Montauk to take their chances. When we arrived we were shocked to see the park empty - yes, empty! That made us smile and Kenny happy. There was a little cloud cover which held the morning heat down to a nice 83 degrees. The morning fishing went well for everyone as Ron Berger graduated before lunch, which took the pressure off of him (what pressure???). The group fished the entire fly fishing only area. At lunch reports of catching, no crowds and nice temperatures filled the discussion at the lunch table. As the guys headed back out for the afternoon things would be different. Ron caught a few more trout as we worked our way down from the top of the spring. Everyone was on to fish and the fly selection was all over the charts; cerise worms, red copper johns, P&P midges, Woolybuggers, Soft Hackles, Pheasant tail nymphs and more.... And THEN IT HAPPENED!! That 15% chance of rain went out the window (of course because of that we didn't bring our rain gear with us to the river). It rained, and rained, and rained - harder, and harder and harder. You might as well shot us with a garden hose in the face for 45 minutes straight. The cool rain and the heat created a fog over the river where you couldn't see your buddy from 30 feet away. I think in all my time fishing I've only been in rain like that about four times. We were SOAKED - but continued to fish right through it - I'm so proud of you guys :) At the end of the day we had our fellowship dinner at Hicks BBQ as usual and talked of the trip and family. Congratulations to Ron Berger our newest graduate!!
Tan Vat and 'Tauk still Fair to Good (July 25th): A little "extra" instruction was requested so it's hard to give it unless you are on the water. Four FATC made the trip to the Current river; Craig Dull, Jon O'Connor, Bill Byington and Kenny Klimes. They first hit Montauk's fly fishing only area and again, for a summer weekday, the park was empty. Fishing was fair with midges and copper john's the best in the park. After lunch the guys decided to "test" their skills and fish Tan Vat. Tan Vat was relatively ours for the afternoon. As always you have to "up your game" to fish and be successful at Tan Vat. Rainbows and browns were caught but most important the guys refined their techniques to catch them. The summer months have been hot but on the river it's been relatively nice. The water now is super clear which makes the fish a little wary and good technique and stealth are the order of the day. It was a good day of fishing and a better one of fellowship. Some Mexican food on the way home completed the trip.
Virginia Fishing and Fellowship ( Aug 8th): Here is a report from Dave Beerbower on his trip with the Virginia fellowship! Dave Beerbower had the opportunity to meet Tyler Pierce of the Virginia contingent of FATC for some wild trout fishing in the VA highlands. Tyler has spent a lot of time on these small streams and helped me learn the important aspects of this style of fishing. We used dry flies all day in riffles and small pools with good success. There were lots of hits and several brought to hand. This area is so beautiful, but the colors of the fish we caught took your breath away. It is tough casting to wary fish, but great fun. The fish are generally in the 6-8” range, but every once in a while you get a nice surprise. (See Tyler’s Brown in the pictures). All in all a great day with a fine young man in God’s creation. I could tell you the streams where we fished, but I would have to kill you, though we did hit the South Branch of the Holston among others. I will definitely do this again, but I may try it with my Tenkara rod. BTW, between the two of us, we accomplished the Appalachian Slam. A wild brown, rainbow and brookie in the same day.
A Successful Canadian Trip (Aug 7 - 14) Here is a trip report from Matt McClure who took his yearly family trip to Canada. Our own Connor Peters and his Dad joined Matt's family on this trip. Hi Kenny, I wanted to share some of the success we had on our annual Canada fishing trip. As you are aware this was the first time I took along a fly rod. Well, it was a success. It took a while getting used to casting an eight weight rod & reel with a large Pike fly but I was eventually able to get used to it. Here's a few photos of several Pike caught on fly rod. The first was a 38 incher weighing in around 16lbs. and a 33 incher. Thank you again for loaning me a 8wt. rod and reel and for helping me tie up Pike flies. The 38 incher was caught on one that you tied and the 33 incher was caught on one that I tied. I have included some additional photos of the trip. Thanks again for helping me to prepare. Matt McClure Matt, you are welcome. And I hope others going on fishing trips (other than trout) will bring their fly rods and give it a shot! It's a blast!!
Bennett is Fishing Well (Sept 23rd): We have this trip report from Dave Beerbower from Bennett Spring trip. Here is Dave's report. Dave Beerbower, Jim Franke and Gary Elliott decided to try their luck at Bennett Spring. The day was hot but beautiful and the water kept us cool all day. We started out above the dam and nymph fished using worms, cracklebacks and pheasant tails. It was pretty slow, but several nice fish were caught before lunch. In the afternoon we headed down below the dam. I fished above the bridge and Jim and Gary hit the area below the bridge. I tried some streamers and the fish went wild as I stripped them in. One of the ones in the net was over 16" and very fat. Jim and Gary had great success with worms and red midges. Near the end of the day,
the dry flies became very productive as Griffiths Gnats and Sparkle Duns did the trick. Dinner at El Nopal topped off a great day of fun and fellowship.
YELLOWSTONE - Despite the Roadblocks, Success!! (Sept 18 -25): Our annual out of state trip this year was a huge success despite the roadblocks that we faced. Kudos to John Walker for putting together and leading this awesome trip. We didn't want to leave when the trip came to a close. On Sept 18th, six FATC met at the Lambert St. Louis airport for their adventure to begin. John Walker, Pete Drochelman, Al Blair, Craig Dull and Kenny Klimes set off for Bozeman, Montana. There they would meet up with the Berwyn Bear, Ron Fiala. After landing in Bozeman the six met up and headed to Gardiner, Montana which would be our home for a week. John got all of us a beautiful apartment with kitchen, frig, big screen TV and comfortable beds. We were excited to get ready but first visit a few fly shops and check out the town. This is where the road blocks started. Forest fires closed off Slough Creek, a spot we definately wanted to fish - off the list. The major road running from Gardinier to West Yellowstone was closed for repairs - meant longer drives to the rivers. A recent rain storm "blew out" the Lamar river which was flowing fast and chocolate brown - unfishable. BUT we would perservere and it paid off as the trip was a blast!!
Fishing: The fishing was very good as we fished four different river systems during our six days of fishing. We fished Soda Butte, Madison, Firehole and the Gardiner (or was that the Gibbon? - just kidding John!). Our most successful river was Soda Butte. We had the chance to fish it three different times throughout the week. The Cutthroat were nice size from 12 - almost 18 inches. For some in the group it was their first cutthroat. The water was low in Soda Butte so you had to find the holes throughout the river. Did you know if you put a lawn chair on the river you own 50 yards either side of the chair!! Yes, no one else can fish there but you - RIGHT??!!! The first day we fished the "Butte" it was crowded and we had to work to find holes to fish but the other two times we fished we pretty much "owned" the river. Dry flies, soft hackles, midges and stoneflies were the flies that did best. On the second day we fished Soda Butte the afternoon was filled with catches on small BWOs but the third time we fished rains made the river fast and cloudy and stoneflies brought most of the cutthroat to the net. We also fished the Madison and Firehole for the first time. In the past, when we have fished in August those rivers were too warm and are usually closed. Both are beautiful rivers with hatches happening each afternoon. The fish were smaller - especially on the Firehole although once in awhile someone would tag into a nice fish. Kenny pulled a nice 18"+ cutbow from the Madison and Pete followed him with a 17" cutbow. Ron caught some nice fish with some streamers pitched into the timber on the shoreline. But most enjoyed whatever they caught on the dry fly as the fish were sipping the BWOs and Miller Caddis. Five of the guys fished the Gardinier river one day (minus Kenny - which is a story we will discuss later). Smaller fish there for the five.
The Adventure: As in any trip there are always adventures and stories to be told. We had some long drives each day to get to our favorite spots. To keep us alert and "occupied" we developed a new game to play. "If you were...." or "if you could be......what would you be?" The responses we got were to say the least - surprising!? Like when we asked this one question ....... what a minute! I almost forgot "What happens in Yellowstone - stays in Yellowstone!!!" Sorry guys, I can't talk about the answers or even the questions for that matter - just let it be said some of us almost wet our pants laughing so hard. We did find a great place to have breakfast each morning before we headed out on our trips. Did you know when a beautiful young Bulgarian women says something is "very spicy" she actually means ATOMIC HOT!! I did not know that.... Might be why I missed a day of fishing :) One night we had an awesome meal at the Chico Hot Springs resort with John Walker's graduate professor. A super fun evening of good conversation and stories. The best story was from John's professor, Paul Grieco. He told about the time that John was cleaning some very potent chemicals and........wait a minute....."What happens in Yellowstone, stays in Yellowstone!!" Sorry John, almost slipped out. Paul even picked up the entire check - WOW!! We also found another most excellent driver in Craig Dull - look out Dave I think he has surpassed you! We also saw some very cool wild animals throughout the trip - black bear (walking right on the side of the road), zillions of Bison, Elk, mule deer, pronghorn sheep, two big horn sheep, eagles, a swan and more.... some of them will be pictured below. Luckily for us we had the Berwyn Bear, Ron, to interpret Sioux and keep the bison (Tatonka) at bay.
Overall it was a great trip - thanks to John for all the hard work. The fellowship and especially the banter was to remember. Thanks to the Berwyn Bear for always having my back!! And for bringing that "fake" Tenkara rod case to get Pete all excited. Ok, thanks for not using it anyway. Thanks to Al for making us laugh so hard - laughter is good. Thanks to Craig for all the driving he did while we relaxed in the back. And thanks to Pete for the special hat and also for allowing himself to be too easy for me and the Bear.
If you ever get a chance to join the FATC on an out of state trip please don't balk at the chance - you will regret it. Check out the pictures belwo for more of the story!!
Colorado - Backup Trip ( Sept. 18-25) Here is a report from Jerry Lybarger who fished with Tim Graham in Tim's new home state of Colorado. The guys were supposed to join the Yellowstone gang (see trip report below) but aches and pains got in the way !? Jerry Lybarger flew to Denver to meet Tim Graham intending to meet up with the infamous Yellowstone 6 for a week of fishing in and around the Yellowstone Nat'l Park north area, but the road construction and fire closures increased travel time to 12/13 hours and made accommodations very iffy. So they fished around Tim's new home in the Fort Collins area camping along the Cahe la Poudre River Canyon and Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park, which allowed 2 extra fishing days that would have been devoted to travel. It also allowed them to break some nights to shower at Tim's and enjoy his wife, Rhonda's great cooking. We fished several places on the Poudre with the biggest fish sighted around 30"+. Although we caught fish there, those big ones were too smart for the boys. One even jumped hitting Jerry in the thigh. The mountain freestone streams are much more difficult to navigate than our rocky pebble stream beds in Mo. Jerry pulled one half dunk with many stumbles and Tim ruined his phone. We also fished several mountain lakes and the Big Thompson R. in the park and the tailwater below the dam in Estes Park. We saw black bugs about the size of a sharpened pencil point and a translucent bug similar to an RS2 or maybe a caddis emerger so small we had nothing to match. Fish were caught on RS2, Blue Dun, BWO, CopperJohn, Hare's Ear, Pheasant Tail and wooly bugger with all sorts of things tried. Jerry even used his fly rod as a cane pole improvising since the boys hiked 4 miles up 1,000+ feet on a difficult boulder strewn path fit barely for Lamas (yes we ran into them also) to fish Fern Lake but forgot his reel. Tim forgot his hikers so wore sandals - ouch. And both caught native greenback cut throats. The fishing was technical in many places (that's code for we did not know what we were doing half the time). We caught browns, bows, greenback cut throats, and the wooly bugger brought in many brookies. We found some good holes for Tim to fish in his new home. The elk were bugling, big with attitudes. One night they past our tent within 20 feet and left presents on our area. One boy huffed like a bear bringing Tim to grab the bear mace and whisper for Jerry to grab the gun. Alas he was just breathing in for a pre-bugle but we expected antlers to rip the tent any moment. One harem forced us out of the Big Thompson at about 20 yards while the king majestically posed for pictures, sprayed his scent, herded his girls and ran off other bulls. Beautiful fish in beautiful country without the bantering of the Yellowstone 6. Ahh, Blessings.
Colorado Blue River (Sept 27th): Brian Yost sent us this trip report from the Blue River in Colorado. Sounds like he had a great trip with some beautiful scenery. Brian Yost recently fished the Blue River in Colorado on September 27th. It was a perfect day; 70 degrees with clear skies. The water was moving fast. The fly of the day was the prince nymph, dropping from a hopper. Also got bites on a wooly bugger and a caddis.
Two FATC Fish Montauk (Oct 4th): Here is a report from Sid Aslin on his trip with Tim Klotz to Montauk state park. Montauk fishing report for Tuesday October 4. Water flow has dropped. SId Aslin and Tim Klotz fished hard all day. Morning was the best with some nice trout coming to the net for both fishermen. Sid is glad that he finally made the investment of sinking tip line rather than the sinking leader. Not sure if Kenny would call it a real fly, but the peach color mega worm fished well off the bottom all day! Two of Sid's trout were actually caught accidentally as he was trying to get his line untangled from the mend of his line and trout took the fly. I suggest next time you are at the lodge to buy one mega worm of each color and give them a try! Tim caught his fish on nymphs using a elk hair catddis fly as the indicator. Sid wishes that his eye site and finger coordination were better so he could see and tie the combination of two flies better, but he just has to be content being the best looking fisherman of our whole group! Lol, seriously it was a good day on the water for two friends! Sid you better not fish that mega worm when I'm with you - unless you really want - I guess. Thanks for the report!
Virginia and Missouri Fish Together (Oct 1st): Here is a trip report from Dave Beerbower as he fished with FATC member Jonathan Pierce in Virginia. Dave Beerbower met up with Jonathan Pierce of the Virginia FATC team to chase some wild trout in the Mt. Rogers Wilderness area. The heat and drought have seriously diminished flows in the local streams, so we had to really search for fishable streams. We found some and fished most of the morning with one fish and several hits to show for it. Not to worry, we had a great day of fellowship in some of the most beautiful streams anywhere. I am thinking of planning a FATC field trip back here in the spring. Anyone want to come?
Montauk Trip Finds Fishing Fair (Oct 12th): Several FATC members took a day trip to Montauk on Wednesday. Mike Harvey, Al Blair, Barry Dunnegan and Kenny Klimes headed to Montauk to check out past reports that the fishing has been fair. They found out that the past reports have been true. We are not sure why fishing at Montauk this year hasn't been up to par but we do believe that the past winter floods have been the main culprit. We have also found out that due to those floods the hatcheries are adding fewer trout per tag purchased this year. Could it be that they lost too many fish during the flooding of December 2015? On this day the weather report called for 100% of rain - and it did. Most heavy rain in the morning and sprinkles throughout the day. The fishing was best in the morning like it has been most of the year. The water is low and clear so smaller flies seemed to do the best. Flashback pheasant tail nymphs, P&P midges, small san juan worms and soft hackles seemed to do the best. The rainbows averaged from 10" to 14" in length. The guys fished from the top of the river/spring down to the dam in the morning and then fished from the road bridge down to the lodge in the afternoon. The day ended with fishing in the area between the boulder and the dam. One big lesson learned from the trip was to get better you need to get out and fish. So if you have been off the water for awhile then get out there and fish.