Rainbow Warrior Give Away – Winner Anouncement

This announcement is long over due. But there was a re-checking and re-count of the copious amounts of entries I received. Congratulations to the “amateur angler” (https://amateuranglers.wordpress.com/?ref=spelling)! Thanks to everyone who left comments. Let me know which fly you’d like me to tie next and put up for a give away.

– Coleman Special

The Rainbow Warrior Give-Away

This blog post is long over-due.  Thanks to my friend and fishing buddy, John Matulis, I finally landed my first rainbow trout (non-steelhead) in Minnesota.  And then I proceeded to land a few more!  John moved to Rochester, Minnesota from New Hampshire just recently, and he has been exploring the driftless area in effort to give me a reason to drive down to visit him.  He’s been scouting out the White Water River, and I finally found some time to join him in our pursuit of tight lines this past fall.  Well, the river did not disappoint.  After showing me around, John placed me right into his “pot ‘o gold hole” (affectionately now called JPOG) and with the help of a Rainbow Warrior fly, rainbows started crushing my flies.  I joked that I found rainbows at the end of the pot o’gold, rather than the other way around.  It was a great outing for my first time fishing in southeast Minnesota.

Lance Egan, a competitive fly tier from Utah, has invented many flies that produce staggering amounts of fish.  Two of his flies that I fish the most are the Frenchie and the Rainbow Warrior.  In particular, the Rainbow Warrior has been a deadly fly for me wherever rainbow trout are around.  There’s something about the flash and color scheme that seem to drive these fish bonkers.  Here’s my favorite video for how to tie the Rainbow Warrior by Tim Flagler at Tightline Productions:

As an added bonus this week, I’m giving away five size 16 Rainbow Warriors to one person drawn at random (tied with a tungsten bead, and the barbs mashed).  Post a comment on my blog and you get entered into the drawing.  Post a comment on multiple blog posts and you get two entries (maximum of two entries).  In my comments section, leave a comment and your email and I’ll announce the winner one week from today.  The winner will have five Rainbow Warriors mailed to the address of his or her choice.  Happy commenting!



Rainbow Warriors

Land of the Noonday Sun

I’ve now been to the Nantahala River in North Carolina three times.  It definitely won’t be the last.  This time I had the pleasure of fishing with professional guide, friend and fly fishing enthusiast Clint DePriest.  Watching Clint fish reminds me how much I still have left to learn. You can check out his website here: https://www.facebook.com/noondayfishphoto

And go ahead and look him up: Noon Day Fly Fishing on http://www.tripadvisor.com.

The weekend marked another trip full of amazing fish, good food and relaxation.  Of course, some people wouldn’t call standing in cold water, climbing incredibly steep cliffs, and hiking around a valley relaxing.  Plenty of fish were landed, and new scotch was sampled!  I was fortunate to be able to shoot enough video to capture the weekend.

One of my favorite parts about fly fishing is exploring the unknown in search of those more challenging fish.  What do you like most about fly fishing?  Post it in the comments section below.

Fly Fishing Videography

My first video of 2016 is actually from my trip to Georgia near the end of 2015: https://colemanspecial.com/2015/10/26/no-fish-stocking-no-barbs-no-fishing-pressure-no-problem/

A lot of people ask me how I make my fly fishing videos.  It’s actually not too difficult. Here’s what you need:

  1. Preparation and Patience
  2. An HD camera (you can use your smart phone, but I highly recommend a waterproof case or bag to keep it safe so you don’t accidentally make a disaster movie instead of a fly fishing movie).
  3. Video Editing Software
  4. A Place To Show Your Video

With regards to Preparation and Patience, you need to balance your need to fish with the need to get good footage.  Sometimes, I spend an hour during prime fishing hours just getting some great footage.  It also helps to catch fish .  .  . and get it on camera.  There are plenty of times the camera ran out of power, or wasn’t ready when the fish finally decided to cooperate.   That brings me to preparation.   Make sure you have all the right equipment, and pack it carefully so that you can get at it easily (extra batteries etc.).

With regards to Cameras, in another post, I’ll talk specifically about the GoPro camera that I use.  But it’s important that you use a high definition camera (minimum resolution of 720p) so that your video quality looks good in our “high-def” world.  Between the GoPro and the iPhone that I use, I can get almost all the footage I want.  There are some things only a drone or a professional camera can grab, but a smartphone and GoPro can make some beautiful videos.

For Video Editing Software, most smart phones come with some sort of editing software, and there are plenty of cheap options in the “app store”.  If you want to, you can spring for Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro or another professional editing software, and then you are able to edit on a computer.

Finally, you will want to Share Your Work with the world.  I highly recommend Vimeo instead of YouTube for public viewing, but if you start to get a lot of followers, or want to increase your viewership, then YouTube can help with that too.  For sharing with family and friends, you can email a link directly from these sites.  In addition, Drop Box is a great way to store your files online so you can access them anywhere and share private links with family.

Stay tuned; I’ll share more tips and tricks about each aspect of my fly fishing videos in a later post.  Do you have any tips for making fly fishing videos?  Share them in the comments below!

No Keeping Fish, No Barbs, No Fishing Pressure, No Problem!

Hatch reels get it done!

Hatch reels get it done!

One of my fly fishing buddies, Jeff Smalley, yes, the one from the original “Trout Team 3”, recently invited me to join him for an amazing opportunity for some fly fishing on Duke’s Creek in Georgia.  The Smithgall Woods area is an amazing trout haven.

Jeff prospecting for rainbows.

Jeff prospecting for rainbows.

Anglers must register in advanced to fish, and they only allow fifteen anglers on the river per day (one morning slot and one evening slot).  The fish are reproducing naturally because it’s entirely catch and release.  Also, on this section of Duke’s Creek, you are only allowed to use barbless hooks (which I adhere to anyways).  Furthermore, they provide supplemental feeding to ensure the fish are healthy. All of this results in an amazing fishing experience with rainbows and browns that are crafty, intelligent and battle hardened.  I had more than twice the number of fish that I caught figure out a way to de-hook themselves.  And this was not due to the barbless hooks.  These fish have figured out just the right moves to throw their head and lose the hook point. They are powerful, acrobatic and energetic.  Not to mention that they are numerous within this five mile stretch of river.

After a full day of fishing, I had over a dozen rainbows battled into the net for a quick photo and release video.  I had twice as many get away, including some real hogs, ensuring I will visit this trout sanctuary many more times.  I also made a new friend, Clint DePriest (https://instagram.com/noon_day_flyfishing/), who happens to be an amazing guide out of North Carolina.

Clint's all over these 'bows.

Clint’s all over these ‘bows.

The moral of the story is: Whenever a friend asks you to go fly fishing with him, you say yes!  Have you ever been asked to go fishing, and aren’t able to go, only to hear later about the epic hatch you missed out on or the “once-in-a-lifetime fish” that was landed?

Check out the video I made for this trip too (in the videos section or click the link here: https://vimeo.com/143579448 ).

The Stolen Fishing Trip

native brookie

native brookie

Fly fishing opportunities can present themselves in the most unusual of circumstances.  For instance, a friend and colleague of mine happened to fly in for a sales meeting.  I saw this as an opportunity to steal away to the river for two to three hours and show Jeff a little bit of the driftless area in Wisconsin.  After picking him up at the airport, and heading to the river in scrubs, we skulked around the river hunting for active trout.  A bunch of beautiful brookies and browns later, we were admiring the sound of the river as we put our gear away into my Subaru.  That’s when Jeff coined the phrase (for me at least): He said: “Michael, this was really a stolen fishing trip”.  He described it as stealing a moment in time for something you never have quite enough time to enjoy.  It’s amazing what a little relaxation on the river can do for the soul.  Have you ever had a stolen fishing trip? Share yours in the comments!

The stolen fishing trip

The stolen fishing trip.  Here’s Jeff masterfully handling my CFO reel and Orvis Helios-2, 4-weight rod like a champ!

Rush River: Brown High Water Yields Big Brown

When I moved to Minnesota, I started fishing the Kinnickinnic River in River Falls, Wisconsin (the Kinni, as the locals call her).  This is a typical Midwest small to medium stream in the heart of the northern driftless area with beautiful, naturally reproducing brown and brook trout.  It wasn’t until after a couple years of exploring the Kinni that I realized there was another gem about 15-30 minutes further east called the Rush River.  From Baldwin all the way through Martel and Ellsworth, the Rush River winds through beautiful farmland with ample natural trout and seasonal hatches.  In particular, the Trico hatch, BWOs and Sulfurs are very healthy hatches on this river at various times.  Both the Kinni and the Rush are subject to large changes in water flow following rain storms and showers.  This brings me to the point of this post.

A lot of fishermen shy away after a rain storm, but I’ve found that sometimes I can have a wonderful day on the river after a storm with a little strategy and the right flies.  After the most recent Minnesota and Wisconsin deluge, I decided it was time to put thoughts into action.  The river was running higher than usual, and was fairly ruddy, but it was not dangerous to wade (I hear my dad in my mind saying “safety first Michael!”).  At the first hole I went too, I struck out big time, including losing my whole rig within five casts.  Not the epic night I was hoping for.  However, after adjusting my rig a little, I started catching fish after fish as I went upstream from hole to hole, with virtually no one else on the river (ostensibly scared off by the recent storm).  After all, the fish do have to eat, regardless of the weather.  I was already into double digits for the night, and then the fishing got relatively quiet.  The biggest trout I had released so far was 10 inches (with a range of fish caught from 4 inches to 10 inches, both brookies and browns).  I had about a quarter mile walk back to the car, so I figured I would tie on a Stimulator and hit the same pools and riffles on the way back.  On my way back, I noticed a section of river I had previously ignored because it was difficult to get too, but the storm had padded down all the grass and made access much easier.  No sooner had I made a few casts then I was doing my best to pull in a nice 15 inch brown, which is more of a rarity on the Rush.  This was a fun fish to land on my newly minted Helios-2 (4-Weight) with CFO reel; this was really the first fish to challenge this rod.  A lot of people shy away from Orvis for a variety of reasons, but Orvis makes fantastic gear, is committed to environmental conservation and their customer service is superb in my experience.  I have products from Orvis that are over 20 years old, so I am a loyal customer.  I released this brown, as I do all my fish, counted my blessings and continued my walk back to the car, grinning from ear to ear about the last fish of the night.

Caught this beauty on the Rush River before dark after a stormy couple days.

Caught this beauty on the Rush River before dark after a stormy couple days.