All posts by rrahmil

Driftless on the Fly- Digital Newsletter

Dear Anglers,

Spring is upon us in Northeast Iowa! That’s got us thinking about hatches of BWOs, caddis, hendricksons, baetis, and hungry trout. As I write this, the rain is lightly falling, giving our streams an extra “boost” as we head into the warmer weeks ahead.

  • There are no shortage of places to head out to find naturally reproducing trout in Iowa!
  • April-June are some of our busiest months at DOTF, and weekends are filling up. Give us a shout if you are looking to book your 1/2 or full day trip at info@driftlessonthefly.com
  • DOTF co-owner Jared will be back in Iowa in early April. He has spent the winter guiding in Chile again! A trip with Jared comes with a wealth of knowledge, stories, and tactics from all over the world.
  • We have two new colors of the popular Simms trucker hat- anvil and bark. Check them out here! Sale! Save 15% on anything in our store from March 27th-31st! Use code: browntrout

Fishing Report:

Fish gorging on midges (size 18-20) in mid-morning and early afternoon. Some BWO activity on several streams that should only increase as temps warm. In deeper stretches or faster water, baetis and caddis pupa nymph imitations. Small and mid-size streamers working on cloudier water. 

Things are starting to “pop”…the next few months are great ones to be out and about as spring “pops”… fish become more active and start to look up.

Advertisements

2015 Year in Review

2015 was a great year for Driftless on the Fly, and thanks to many of you we see continued growth as a business and interest in fly fishing the driftless region. Jared and I often comment how we have the best clients: just simply great people who make trips fun. We were blessed to add to that list of clients this year  and get the chance to work with many repeat clients as well. We’re looking forward to 2016 and all that it has in store for fly fishing in Iowa.

Looking back at 2015:

Jared spent his second summer season guiding at an outpost camp for Bristol Bay Lodge in Alaska. The stories and photos he brings back from each experience are just incredible. This was his 3rd out of state guiding employment (Grand Lake Stream, Maine, West Yellowstone, Montana). Jared also continues to tie professionally. This December, he started guiding in Chile for Martin Pescador Lodge, and will be there through late March before returning to Iowa for a few months, then again to Alaska.

Ryan guided our winter, late spring, summer and fall seasons and had a great time with some terrific individuals, friends, and families. We had just a great mix of rain of sun this summer to provide for one of the best summers of fishing in recent memory. Summer and fall were BUSY. We love it!

A few things we’re proud to highlight in 2015:

  • We co-sponsored the Fly Fishing Film Tour with the Trout Unlimited North Bear Chapter in November of 2015. This was the first time this event came to Iowa. We felt for the first time, it was a great crowd and a real fun night. Can’t beat great people, craft beer, and fly fishing movies.
  • We worked with Hartman Reserve in Cedar Falls in September to host an “Intro to Fly Fishing” Course last fall. We had a great time with this course and are always interested in putting a session like this together for groups.
  • Last March we hosted an “Intro to Fly Tying” at Rustic Corner in Charles City, Iowa.  We had 9 participants sign up and had a great evening of tying and learning.
  • We were featured in the Farm Bureau “Family Living” magazine. Writer/photographer Gary Frandel did a great job on the article and we had fun hanging out on the stream for an afternoon with him. Check out this blog post to read.
  • Our store has grown this year. We carry hats, stickers, Tacky fly boxes, and flies! We have personally selected these flies for use in the Iowa driftless region, and would be happy to help choose what might best suit your next trip. Check out the Driftless on the Fly store at www.driftlessonthefly.com.
  • Additionally, we’ve had a lot of requests for gift certificates over this past holiday season, so we are happy announce the availability of those for guided trips. This was our #1 seller over the winter! Contact us at info@driftlessonthefly.com for details.

We’re grateful for the opportunity to showcase what the Iowa driftless has to offer. We appreciate the efforts of the Iowa DNR, conservation groups like Trout Unlimited chapters, NRCS, county conservation, and what Allamakee and Winneshiek County Protectors have done to preserve and maintain our fishery. Thanks to landowners for the opportunity to fish. We know this is a partnership and we couldn’t do what we love without us all working together.

Have a great holiday from Driftless on the Fly

Fly Fishing Film Tour

It’s been a while since we’ve thrown out a blog post, so we’ll dive right in. Expect a post on the 2015 year in review, a holiday shopping list, and some exciting things on the horizon for Driftless on the Fly.

We were honored to be a part of bringing the Fly Fishing Film Tour to Iowa (for the first time ever) on November 21st to Des Moines. Trout Unlimited North Bear Chapter put together a nice evening of food, social time, drawings for prizes, and of course films. It was great to connect with a lot of people we only get to know briefly on the stream or via social media! Proceeds went to projects for North Bear Trout Unlimited.

Thanks to Scheels, Locally Grown Clothing, and Embassy Club West and of course Trout Unlimited North Bear Chapter for co-sponsoring this event.

Timing your fishing trip with weather in mind

A few years back, I put together some links that are helpful when planning your trip. Below is an abbreviated version of that article. The links might be worth bookmarking as you start to look at your trip.

If you live in the midwest, you know how fickle the weather can be. A forecasted day in the 60s can turn cold and gray, the winds can be bitter, and conversely, sunshine makes all the difference for humans and for a hatch on the stream. In the summer, sunshine, shade, and heat index makes all the difference.

There are a few places that can help you out online before you spend the gas money to head out on your trip. First is the NOAA forecast page. Forecasting is tough, but NOAA rarely leads me astray. Once you have what the weather will hold for the next day, see what the weather has been like using the precipitation map. This gives you an idea how much rain has fallen in the last 24 hours plus and is zoomable to any specific location. Lastly, I check the river levels on the water chart to see what they are and where they are forecasted to land. Since all streams feed in or out of these major area rivers,  you can get a sense of what the levels will be like.

Other considerations:

  • The more you fish, the better sense you’ll have for how long it takes your favorite stream to bounce back from a heavy rain event. Some take more than others.
  • Be prepared with a rain jacket of some sort.
  • In Northeast Iowa, it makes a big difference from one valley to another. If your favorite stream is off color, grab the map and move on to another. Could be a whole different story. If not, go to a pond or lake and fish warmwater. You already have your gear- make the best of it!
  • If you know it will be a windy day, leave the light duty 3 wt at home and bring the stiffer 5wt. It will make casting easier and a more pleasant day for you in general.

Obviously there are other variables to a good day of fishing besides the weather, but these help me get the most from my time on a trip. Rain can be a bummer, but ultimately, the moisture we get is going to provide us with a great summer of fishing in the months ahead.

Check out our page at http://www.driftlessonthefly.com for information on guided trips and lessons as well as pictures from our most recent trips.

Knots for Fly Fishing

Knots are essential to fly fishing and take time to master. With time and practice, you’ll find faster and more efficient ways to tie your favorite knots. Two knots you will have to learn and be comfortable with is one that will connect fly to tippet, and leader to tippet.

I’m a very visual learner, so I like to learn by watching videos. You can pause, rewind, and go back time and again. I recently stumbled across two great videos. Hint: if you are running these videos off a desktop or laptop, tap “spacebar” to pause the videos.

There are a lot of videos on how to tie knots out there, the key is to find a credible video that is simple to understand. Both videos are by Rio, a brand we trust and represent. Enjoy!

-Ryan

Driftless on the Fly “Digital Newsletter”

2014 was a great year for Driftless on the Fly, and thanks to many of you we see continued growth as a business and interest in fly fishing the driftless region. This is a “look back” and a “look forward” that is a few months over due!

Looking back at 2014:

In 2014, Jared spent the summer season guiding at an outpost camp for Bristol Bay Lodge in Alaska. The stories and pictures that he has from that experience alone are simply incredible. Booking a trip with him would be a day filled with amazing tales and guided fishing from an experienced angler and guide. This was his 3rd out of state guiding employment (Grand Lake Stream Maine, West Yellowstone, Montana). Jared also continues to tie professionally.

Ryan again guided our late spring, summer and fall season and had a great time with some terrific individuals, friends, and families. We added Amanda, Ryan’s wife, to our guide staff this summer. She is an accomplished fly angler and is looking forward to the opportunity to guide more in the future.

A few things we’re proud to highlight in 2015:

  • We worked with NIACC college again to offer a Fly Fishing 101 in fall of 2014.  We had a great group of gentlemen to work with. We spent two night learning knots, casts, and equipment, and another night on the stream fishing. We’re hosting another class in April of this year. If you’re in the area and are interested- or know someone who is, contact Cathy Simon at NIACC (simoncat@niacc.edu) to sign up!
  • This March 18th, we’ll be hosting an “Intro to Fly Tying” at Rustic Corner in Charles City, Iowa.  We’ll take you through basic set-up, materials, techniques and help you learn some patterns you can use on the stream or river! Cost is $10. Contact us at info@driftlessonthefly.com to sign up! Class is limited- you can also sign up here.
  • In addition to some great Driftless on the Fly Simms Fishing trucker hats (new great price- see store!) and stickers, we are now offering flies through our website. We have personally selected these flies for use in the Iowa driftless region, and would be happy to help choose what might best suit your next trip. Check out the Driftless on the Fly store at www.driftlessonthefly.com.
  • We’re working on new stickers for 2015! Stay tuned.
  • Additionally, we’ve had a lot of requests for gift certificates over this past holiday season, so we are happy announce the availability of those for guided trips. This was our #1 seller over the winter! Contact us at info@driftlessonthefly.com for details.

 

2015 has all the markings of a great year to come. We’re looking forward to showing you around the Iowa #driftless!