Trouts Journal

The Tape Deck // A Weekly Playlist (Volume 14)

Brandon Rodriguez / Oct 9, 2021

This week we put out a lot of hot tips and tricks to keep you catching fish well beyond the fall months. Although we naturally talk a lot about Colorado rivers and streams, the tips and tricks we covered this week go well beyond our state lines. It is easy to be intimidated when you roll up to a new section of water you've never fished or gotten eyes on. But, when you are prepared for those situations and are armed with the knowledge of how to approach certain types of water you slowly start to realize a lot of trout water is the same. That all being said we had a great week here at the shop and just like last week I will be giving you a quick rundown of my favorite products mentioned this week and their respective blogs. Hope Y'all enjoy this week's weekly recap.


As the final months of dedicated dry fly fishing come to a close, it is a good time to take inventory of how well you did this past spring and summer. I will speak for myself here, but I am sure many can agree one aspect of our fly fishing game we can all improve on is our drifts. Specifically, drag-free drifts. For a majority of trout anglers, our opportunities to fish for trout come in two forms, stillwater (Lakes and Ponds) and moving waters, (Rivers, Brooks, Streams). If you are interested in learning these hot tips CLICK HERE, if you are interested in the short end of it all, use LONGER TIPPET SECTIONS and MEND LIKE HELL. -

Scientific Anglers Absolute Fluorocarbon Trout Tippet

When it comes to achieving a drag-free drift, increasing the amount of tippet you have on the surface of the water and decreasing the amount of fly line is the secret to success. When you examine tippet it is actually the only piece of rigging material with a constant diameter, everything else is tapered. Since your tippet has a constant diameter, if it is cast properly, the tippet will want to lay on the water in curves. The curves or "slack" in the tippet will help your fly maintain a natural drift - while the current tries to straighten out your section of tippet - and keep with the current without being pulled in unnatural ways.


As always your FIVE FLIES for the month of October!

As we progress through the month of October, Blue-Winged Olives will be the primary fare for trout here in the Rocky Mountains. Yes, October is a great month to throw streamers, fish hopper-droppers, and even midges. however, no matter what river you're fishing around Colorado through the month of October, chances are BWOs will be hatching at some point during the day and fish will be rising to them, especially when the light is low. Whether you're targeting fish with nymphs, emergers, or dries, a Blue-Winged Olive is sure to produce for you through the month of October.

Five Flies October - Magic Fly BWO

A superior little mayfly pattern that will represent just about anything. Fish it as a dropper or fish it in a double nymph rig or fish it solo, either way this fly will catch the pickiest of fish.


September warmwater fishing was quintessential of Colorado in late summer, and the return of normalcy was welcome after a crazy spring and summer. The transition to fall is shaping up to fall in line, and that means consistent warmwater angling until the cold locks in! Here is a quick rundown of Ricks's warmwater forecast for the Denver South Platte. The Denver South Platte is in classic form; low, clear and a tactical sight fishers paradise. We still have the advantage of the high flows of the summer, which have greatly reduced pressure, and the Carp and Smallmouth are a little less wary than they would be in a normal early fall. The river is crystal clear, you will be able to SEE almost every fish in the river, and that really helps the odds, as you have lots of targets, cut carp and DSP Smallmouth are smarter than most, and stealthy approach and presentation is CRITICAL. We spoke about two big things you can do to counter this last month; reduce false casts & wear camo. In addition to this, fly selection is increasing in importance. With high flows and reduced clarity, big and bold flies were the ticket.

Rainy's Crawdad Craig

Balance is key and flies with medium lead eyes, and even better, hidden tungsten beads to reduce splash are key; enough weight to get down, but not so much it hits like a cannonball.


On Thursday we discuss some hot tips and tricks when the flows start to drop and the weather gets a little bit colder. And, when these flows drop knowing how to approach your favorite stretch of water can make for a much more fruitful day on the water. That is why on Thursday I decided to revisit an old favorite written by the old man Ivan. Even though he wrote this a few years back when we saw a dramatic drop in Decker's river flows many of the tips and tricks still ring true today - no matter where you are fishing. If you are interested in reading the 5 tips we covered CLICK HERE.

G. Loomis IMX-PRO Euro Fly Rod

Here is a little inside look at tip number three for fishing low water. With low and clear conditions, it's easier for fish to feel and see you approaching. Instead of rushing to your favorite hole, run, riffle, walk slowly, and don't clomp around like a damn elephant. Avoid wearing bright colors and summon your inner samurai and tread lightly into position to cast. While our Regional Store Manager and fellow burly boy, Tanner Smith, might tell me this every day when I think about ordering a pizza, in this instance, I'm talking about your nymph rig. Take a BB off or change from tungsten beaded flies to gold beaded flies...or gold beaded flies to no beaded flies. This will allow you to present your flies in a more natural way and get a longer presentation because you won't be hanging up on the bottom early and often and your flies will be drifting through the feeding lanes longer. This also allows you to delicately present your flies to feeding fish and lessens the chances you'll spook them.


For those that may not know, we started a new reoccurring series on our youtube channel titled READING WATER. For this episode, we joined Trouts own Rick Mikesell as he stalks the banks of the Denver South Platte looking to catch carp on the fly. Rick talks through his gear selection, available forage, fly selection, rigging, approach, identifying happy fish and not-so-happy fish, and presentation for these spooky game fish. From the drag and drop to fighting a hooked carp, Rick touches all the bases it takes to be successful when chasing carp along the Denver South Platte. Enjoy in HD.

Abel SDF Fly Reel

Based on the SDS (Sealed Drag Salt), the SDF (Sealed Drag Fresh) is a scaled-down version of the award-winning saltwater titan featuring similar porting and a stainless steel / carbon fluoropolymer drag system. The SDF boasts an enormous amount of drag, an adjustment range almost three times greater than its predecessor, and virtually zero start-up inertia. We took what was learned from our SDS design, made sure to include the unmistakable Abel fit and finish, and created the best freshwater reel we have ever seen.

Well folks, that about does it for me this week here at Trouts. As I mentioned before, if you are enjoying these sorts of weekly recaps let me know over email. As always, if you have any questions, comments, or lingering ideas about what flies to bring on your next trip to the water, we have your covered. Come swing by the shop, have a beer on the back deck and enjoy our space. If you enjoyed today's post or have some comments feel free to send them over to my Instagram or email or brandonrod15 on Instagram.

Enjoy the weekend.

As always, get out. Gas up the truck, load up the fly boxes and enjoy the weekend. Oh, and make sure to take The Tape Deck with you.

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