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Dragonfly Anglers

How to Tie a Slightly Modified 20 incher
March 29, 2011

The 20 incher is a great stonefly imitation. This version is great if you need a heavy fly to get you down as deep as possible. If you don't want your 20 incher to be as heavy as the one Mike ties, skip the weighted wire.

How to Tie a Slightly Modified 20 Incher from Chris Eaton on Vimeo.

The Ingredients you need:
hook: sz 6-10, nymph style
tail: Goose Biot, brown
rib: Pearl Flashabou and copper wire
abdomen: Peacock Herl (5-6)
wing case: Swiss Straw
legs: Hungarian Partridge
thorax: gray dubbing (gold if you want a golden stone)
weight: .025 Lead or non lead wire
bead: 3/16in tungsten bead


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Spring Fishing Techniques and Tips
March 21, 2011

Most early spring fishing consists of dead drifting nymphs in deeper holes. There are many different setups that you can use to get your flies down to the fish. My favorite nymphing setup consists of a 9 ft 5x tapered leader a thingamabobber and a couple of weighted nymphs. Normally I just loop the thingamabobber onto the leader. This allows you the most flexibility in terms of changing your depth. Your line will be a bit more prone to tangles and your leader may wear out quicker since you will be crimping it in different locations. The other option instead of using a loop connection is to tie the thingamabobber directly into the middle of your leader. You have to cut the leader to make this happen, but it is a much cleaner connection with less chance of tangle. The downside of this method is the need to retie any time you want to change your depth. I try to keep the overall length of my leader about 1 foot – 18 inches longer than the total depth that you will be fishing. This will ensure that your flies are getting down to the fish while still keeping the leader fairly taut giving you a better chance of hooking up once you get a strike. When fishing in early spring the key is to make sure that your flies are getting to the fish. You really need to be willing to change your depth frequently until you figure out where the fish are holding. In general I start with a weighted nymph, normally a 12 or 14 pheasant tail or prince nymph, follow that with a 12 inch length of 5x tippet tied to a smaller nymph, maybe a micro mayfly or another small pheasant tail or hare’s ear. Depending on the depth of the hole that you are fishing split shot may be necessary, I would start with a smaller weight about 18 inches above the upper fly.

Give us a call at the shop for more spring fishing advice, (970)-349-1228, and check the blog occasionally for more spring updates
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How to Tie a Micro Mayfly for the Gunnison Valley
March 17, 2011

The Micro Mayfly is a great Blue Wing Olive nymph, and an incredibly effective pattern during the spring and fall in the Gunnison Valley.

Tying a Micro Mayfly for the Gunnison Valley from Chris Eaton on Vimeo.

Tail: Three pheasant tail filaments
Abdomen: Undressed Peacock Herl (Peacock Herl with all feathery parts removed, the best method to use is with an eraser)
Wing Casing: Black Swiss Straw
Flash: Original Pearl Flashabou
Thorax: Mercer's Micro Mayfly Dubbing
Thread: 80 Denier or 8/0 Olive Thread
Hook: Size 16-20 nymph hook
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How to Tie a Brassy for the Gunnison Valley
March 10, 2011

Mike shows how to tie a Brassy for the Gunnison Valley. The Brassy is a fantastic all around midge imitation, it is a great fly for early spring and very cold waters and will often catch fish when nothing else will.

Tying a Brassy from Chris Eaton on Vimeo.


Scud hook; sizes 16, 18, 20 and 22
Thread: Black 6/0 Uni Thread
Wire: Size small; any color you would like, copper, wine and green are all suggested colors
Thorax: Peacock Herl
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Spring Fishing in the Gunnison Valley
March 7, 2011

There isn’t much that I like more than spring fishing in the Gunnison Valley. Your legs are exhausted from a long ski season, it hasn’t snowed in weeks and the mountain is in full spring conditions and most importantly the East and Taylor Rivers are starting to warm up enough to fish. Spring fishing is not for the faint of heart, temperatures are often in the high 30s, the fish are sluggish and down deep, and the walking and wading can be treacherous. For those willing to brave the early spring conditions the payoff can be legendary. We have all heard the stories of the epic spring day; someone throws the rod and waders in the car for a quick trip on the way to or from Gunni for groceries, they stop, wader up, tromp out to the first slow hole, hook two 20+ inch fish on eight casts, then pack it up for the day. Therein lies the beauty of early spring fishing, the rivers are in pre-runoff stage and the fish have been holding in the slow deep holes all winter long. If you know where to look the fish will generally be stacked up. Your favorite summer riffle might be empty, you hear nothing but crickets when fishing that shelf that you hook up on all summer long, but if you head to those deep slow holes the bite is on.

Not every day produces; if you can try to make your way out on those warmer days, the warmer it gets outside the more likely it is that the water will warm up a tenth of a degree and the fish will be that much more active. Remember, the name of the game is getting your flies to the fish. Bring your thingamabobbers and your split shot and make sure that you are getting down. The fish are going to be holding tight to the bottom and the water is cold enough still that they are not going to expend a lot of extra energy to eat your flies. Being willing to change your depth is key. This time of year the fish generally aren’t keyed in on any specific bug, so it is presentation that will get you the most action. A well drifted fly at the right depth will get the job done every time.

Weather depending we have been able to fish parts of both the East and Taylor in February, but most years the spring fishing really starts to get hot in March. When the days get a bit longer and the sun is a bit higher in the sky it gives the water that much more time to warm up. If you are thinking of heading out stop by the shop at 307 Elk Avenue, Crested Butte, give us a call at 349-1228, or shoot us an email at
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How to Tie a Midge for the Gunnison Valley
March 3, 2011

In the video below Mike will show you how to tie a midge for the Gunnison Valley. One of the best flies to have during the cold winter and spring months is a midge. They are also one of the easiest flies to tie. Tie this one up and bring it to the Catch and Release on the Taylor or maybe the Hatchery Ponds.

Tying a Midge for the Gunnison Valley from Chris Eaton on Vimeo.

- size 18 scud hook
- 6/0 Black thread
- Small copper wire
- Grey dubbing (or another color)

Sizes to tie: 16, 18, 20, and if can see well enough size 22
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Bull Trout Video from the Northwest
March 2, 2011

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