Archive for February 2013

Uptream Without Drag   Leave a comment

Hey Folks,

Thought I’d continue with the theme from a couple weeks ago dealing with mending tecniques.  I dug up an old short video dealing with an upstream cast and an upstream mending technique.  This works for nymphing as well as dry fly work.

Being able to effectively pick apart a river while working upstream is invaluable.  I like to work right up the middle of the river picking apart various seams from the inside out.  You can cover, and I mean cover, serious water perfectly once this tecnique is mastered.

I absolutely live for the late afternoon after a full day guide trip when I get to fish my way home.  Typically, I will throw a dry or two on and work as I described above.  Great fun.

The key is to regulate the drift with the fly line loop that forms right under your rod tip.  Strip line too fast and the loop is gone while you “pull” the flies thru the drift.  Strip too slowly and the loop grows too big and the flies are dragged thru the water.  Obviously, the better you control the loop by using the management loop, the more perfect the loop, and the more perfect the drift.  It’s something you have to practice, but you can tell when the drift suffers.

Another thing, after the cast, leave the fly rod in the flat and low position.  All too often I see folks upstream cast, and immediately lift the fly rod tip.  Remember, the mend is the action of stipping in line at the proper speed.

Have fun with it.  See the video at:


Fear No Water! 


Posted February 25, 2013 by duaneredford in Uncategorized

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Preachin’ to the choir…..   6 comments

Hey Folks,

The South Platte is being a bit cranky this week with a lot of shelf, anchor and sheet ice.  I stayed off it this week, but thankfully added another day guiding pheasant hunters. Won’t be long before we start seeing the “big midge”, then Blue Wings, then Caddis.

Can’t wait.  With good weather, plentiful bugs and good flows comes anglers.  Not just any anglers, all anglers.   The hard core guys will simply transisition from less crowds and skinny water, to hordes of river users and run-off.  We’ve all done it before.  Preachin’ to the choir.

Since we are all using the same hymnal, I gotta ask a favor.  Can we all make an effort to educate those around us on river ettiquette?  Anglers, guides, tubers, waders, kayakers, everyone needs to practice better ettiquette. 

I can’t begin to tell you how often I get high or low holed, pinched or proded to leave a run.  I also see anglers and other guide services setting up shop in one run all day.  Do that for a couple days in a row and it destroys the run.  I watched that happen all last year. People catching the same fish twice, foul hooking on purpose,  poaching, walking through runs after they fish it, smashing redds, leaving crap on willows (flies, tippet), trash, I could whine about it all evening.  I know you folks are adding to my list.  Thing is, we all see it, we can all do something about it.

Last fall, being careful to not throw my shadow on the water above a fly fisherman, I politely asked him which direction he planned to fish the river.  He responded, “Right here.”  Ok, I looked at my clients, mustered the politness up again, and said, “I understand, we are trying to determine which way you plan to fish so we give you plenty of room.  He said, “Right here.”  “Suit yourself”, I said as we walked down stream to my favorite run and proceeded to whack fish below this guy. Had he a hair of sense he would have overcome his arrogance and locked up the run he was in and the one below.

I try to give folks the entire run they’re in the straight above or below it (if I can discern which way they are going), and the next bend.  It’s river dependent, but that’s what I try to do.  I (and other guides I know) will do our best to rotate through runs, it’s not unusual to bypass a small seam or two every now and then to try to give the fish a break.  It’s common sense.

To promote common sense it starts with education, and it begins with us.  A few things to remind other anglers about are:

  • Proper fish handling (rubberized net, wet hands, quick, pinch barbs)
  • Pictures (quick, no gills, don’t put them on rocks,snow,ice,grass,etc)
  • Watch released fish swim away
  • Try to keep tangled leader, tippet, etc
  • Pack it out
  • Give folks a smile, and some damn room
  • Don’t cut-off,pinch, or high/low hole
  • Don’t “camp” in a run
  • Stay off redds
  • Don’t disturb fish habitat
  • Report poachers
  • Calm down, fly fishing is fun

Feel free to add some of your own, I’m sure I’ve missed something.  At the end of the day, we need to educate others on proper ettiquette, because nobody else is.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you get bored the next time the snow flies, check out my videos on youtube.  Just google search my name and youtube.  As always, let me know what you think, and share this with your friends!

Fear No Water!


Posted February 18, 2013 by duaneredford in Uncategorized

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Rollin’ Rollin’ Roll casting on the river..   2 comments

Hey folks!

I’ve been super busy running my shorthairs after game birds.  I did, however find the time last week to put together a video dealing with the roll cast.  The roll cast is a vital cast to master, because it forms a solid base of which to perfect other casts (reach, tuck casts).

I would guess that when nymphing I probably roll cast eighty percent of the time.  It’s a great idea to be able to “spot cast” with a roll cast when nymphing to not only get onto fish accurately, but to also cut down on the amount of wind knots from casting a weighted nymph rig. When fishing dries, dry drops, and streamers, I will still use it to set up other casts and to minize fly-rod flash that spooks fish.  It’s just a great tool.

At the end of the swing stage in a typical nymph drift, we always put in a blind or position set.  If done correctly this actually leads perfectly into the first phase of the roll cast.  All this stuff meshes together to make you one fly fishing machine. 

See the video at:




Feel free to comment and share it!







Fear No Water!


Posted February 11, 2013 by duaneredford in Uncategorized

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The Unthinkable.   1 comment

Hidy ho good fly fishers!

I was with 2 clients last week when we ran into a fella that guides the river a bunch every season.  He’s a really nice guy, and by all accounts a dang good guide.  We came upon him in an upper part of one of my favorite runs, which means, he had already fished the entire run.

Knowing that someone, especially a good stick like him, had pre-fished a stretch, I would be very hesitant to fish it right behind him.  However, after some chit-chat, he asked what fly we’d been hooking the majority of our fish on.  I told him, “We’ve been throwing a size 14 tan scud”, and I watched his jaw drop.  “A what?”, he said.  “14 tan scuddy”, I replied.  After a bit more stunned silence, and encouraging nods from my clients, he finally said in a long drawn out tone, “Really?”

I asked what he was using and he replied with the usual winter tablefare, midge, egg, midge larva.  Nothing wrong with that rig,  and I know he was catching fish, but our scud had been absloutely deadly, and I wanted to put it to the test.  We dropped in and fished behind him.  We still caught a bunch of fish.

Most people don’t equate low water, skinny conditions with big bugs, especially scuds.  I employed this tactic before when the river drops substantially, and it works.  Here’s my theory as to why.  Scuds like to hang in slower, softer water, usually along the edges and usually in, on or around some sort of cover.  The river was running a healthy 175 cubic feet per second (cfs) and was unceremoniously dropped to about 40 cfs in less than a week.  Scuds gotta do what scuds gotta do. 

Scuds don’t swim gracefully and they have to relocate, so many of them fall prey to whatever main current is remaining, and yup, they become a mid winter, high protein slab to hungry fish.  We caught at least 8 out of every 10 fish on that scud.  It’s not unthinkable if you think about it.

Winter is for fishing alone, sight fishing, and trying new tactics.  Think outside the box, think like a bug, do the unthinkable.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Couple of scud eaters…….the fish too.







Fear No Water,


Posted February 4, 2013 by duaneredford in Uncategorized