Monday, December 2, 2013

DARK - New YGF Video

GoPro's greatest weakness are their ability to capture footage in low light. I gave it a shot while throwing some over-sized rodent patterns at some of the South Platte's finest. Let me know how you think it turned out. I hope you guys enjoy.

DARK from Yukon Goes Fishing on Vimeo.

Monday, November 18, 2013

One Hand Holds - Egos Beware

For those dedicated carp anglers like myself, you might be familiar with the "One Hand Hold" that John Montana has popularized. I am here with a cautionary tale. It's not as easy as it looks...and sometimes, it's downright embarassing.

WARNING: Bruised Egos shown below.


Nailed it.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Fly Collective presents "Long Shot"

Long Shot from The Fly Collective on Vimeo.

Teamwork makes dreamwork. We (SchnitzerPHOTO and YGF), The Fly Collective, are proud to present our most recent piece about carp, Erin Block, and Jay Zimmerman. Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Extreme Circumstances

Fall is not a time to sacrifice days on the water. It will be winter in no time. When finances are tight and major expenditures like new wading boots take away from the recreation budget, I will forgo new boots and opt for more water time every time. My wading boots have seen their last action. They've been dying for the last six months. The tread is gone and the "seams" have busted open. My first substitute, my hiking boots, are too tight when worn with stocking foot waders and caused some noteworthy blisters. My hand has been forced. Now, I am sporting some high top Nike Dunks. All leather. All black. No tread to speak of. Arkansas River here I come.

Options? They aren't options if there is only one.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Redington Sonic Pro Jacket - A YGF Review

Fishing in inclement and harsh weather can be productive and rewarding time on the water. Scratch that. Fishing in inclement and harsh weather can be productive and rewarding time on the water when you have the right equipment. Fishing in cold and/or wet weather requires a quality jacket to protect the portions of your body that aren’t covered by waders.

Winter fishing on the Dream Stream in the Sonic Pro Jacket
Redington’s Sonic Pro Jacket is one such jacket. Constructed of 100%, 4-layer waterproof and breathable fabric, the Sonic Pro Jacket features the ultrasonic welded seam construction that is found in Redington’s extremely durable Sonic Pro Waders. The Sonic Pro Jacket boasts seven pockets, including: four spacious zippered, chest pockets, one internal zippered chest pocket, an open internal chest pocket, and a huge double zippered back pocket. Additionally, there are fleece-lined handwarmer pockets inset behind the external chest pockets. The Sonic Pro Jacket also features a waterproof centerfront zipper and an oversized fully adjustable hood that rolls up and tucks into the collar. Finally, perhaps my favorite feature are adjustable cuffs, that when properly fitted, provide a water-resistant seal for your arms.

A look at the front waterproof zipper of the Sonic Pro Jacket
Since I live in Colorado, I don’t experience too many all out rainy days (until recently). However, Colorado is the land of tailwaters and has a plethora of winter fishing available. Winter fishing conditions in Colorado can often times be described as inclement. As such, over the past 10 months, it is my opinion that the Redington Sonic Pro Jacket has been put through it’s paces. After nearly a year of use, I have nothing but positive things to say about the jacket and would definitely recommend it to anyone in search of a high quality, durable wading jacket for the upcoming fall, winter and spring angling seasons. Additionally, at $299.95, the Sonic Pro Jacket is, at minimum, 100 dollars cheaper than direct competitors similar offerings. Yet another quality product from Redington at an affordable price. It’s seemingly what they do.

Bosley gets a good sniff in.
Read on for my detailed take on the Redington Sonic Pro Jacket.


A jacket is either waterproof or it isn’t. The Sonic Pro Jacket is waterproof. Denver receives 300 days of sun a year, so in a typical year, there aren’t a great deal of opportunities to test a wading jacket in the rain. However, when the opportunity has been presented the Sonic Pro Jacket has stood up to the challenge. Perhaps my favorite feature in the jacket are the adjustable cuffs, that when properly fitted, provide a water-resistant seal for your arms.

Sonic Pro Jacket experiences some -14 F temperatures.
In the winter, when water temperatures hover at or slightly above freezing and ambient air temperatures can sink below zero, keeping cold water off insulating layers is of the upmost importance. When fitted properly, the adjustable cuffs create an excellent seal that keeps the insulating layers dry and allows for a more comfortable day on the water.

A look at the adjustable cuff of the Redington Sonic Pro Jacket
In addition to utilizing this jacket during days on the water, I have also used it as a rain jacket during the historic rains of early September here in Colorado. My girlfriend and I sat in torrential rains from 5 PM to 12 AM for a concert at Red Rocks. The only complaint I have is that I didn’t pair the Sonic Pro Jacket with my Sonic Pro waders. Had I done so, my lower half would have been dry as well.

Storage & Fit

As detailed in the second paragraph of this review, the Sonic Pro Jacket features seven spacious pockets. During my days on the water with this jacket, I primarily made use of the four zippered, chest pockets. All four pockets are spacious enough to hold a large 8-row C&F Design fly box. With all of the available storage in the Sonic Pro Jacket, you can replace a chest, hip, or sling pack if you so desire.

Sonic Pro Jacket storage
The fleece-lined handwarmer pockets that are inset behind the external chest pockets are serviceable. One of my only gripes with the design of this jacket is the thickness of the fleece lining. It is a little on the thin side and leaves a something to be desired when the hands need a warm home during a cold winter day.

In addition to the plethora of storage, the Sonic Pro Jacket boasts an oversized and fully adjustable hood. On it’s own without adjustment, the hood is big and unwieldy. However, with a quick adjustment, the hood fits perfectly around a fitted hat and/or knit hat and allows for the comfortable, continued pursuit of our finned friends.

The Sonic Pro Jacket has a relaxed fit. I am 6’2” and 215 pounds. The Sonic Pro Jacket in Extra Large was the appropriate size for my frame. It has ample space for layering options depending on the temperature. In addition to allowing for the user to wear the appropriate layers, the large rear storage pocket serves as the perfect storage space for those additional layers as the day progresses. I found the Sonic Pro jacket to be comfortable when casting, walking, and stalking trout.


It has been expressed to me by those who I fish with, that I am abnormally hard on my gear. With that in mind, the Sonic Pro Jacket has stood up to all my apparently abnormally hard tests. The zippers, the seams, the stitching, the pull strings are all intact and performing just as well as they did when I pulled the jacket out of the box 10 months ago.


I feel like every review of Redington gear I publish ends in a similar fashion. But, rightfully so, I suppose. Durable, well-designed, and more affordable than it’s direct competitors, the Sonic Pro Jacket is worthy of such high praise. With fall upon us and winter knocking on the door, the Sonic Pro Jacket is an excellent piece of apparel to make those foul weather days more enjoyable. The more comfortable you are when fishing in the cold, the more fish you’ll catch. It’s math...and science.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Why, you ask?

Because I love summer so much? No. I hate fall because it doesn't last for 8 months.

Otherwise, this season is alright with me.

I mean it.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Favorite Hats. What About You Favorite Fishing Shirt?

There are a lot of quality, breathable, quick-drying fishing shirts on the market. When it comes to my favorite fishing shirt, I completely disregard all of those desirable qualities and opt for irony.

I opt for my embroidered Rainbow Trout Deerskin Soft Chamois All-Season Weight Cabela's long-sleeve shirt. A gift from my father when I first got into fly fishing, it sat in my closet for a couple of years. But, when I discovered the joy of carping this summer, I figured what better time to wear a thick, warm, and rainbow trout-ed long sleeve shirt when on the warm water flats chasing common carp. It has served me well and has brought me some of my larger carp this summer. Sometimes the least comfortable fishing shirts are the best.

Favorite Carping Shirt - photo courtesy of SchnitzerPHOTO

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Glass Carp - New YGF Video

GLASS IS NOT DEAD. Went after some Colorado carp with a Kabuto 805 fiberglass fly rod courtesy of The Fiberglass Manifesto's Rod Loan Program. If you haven't fished glass before, try it.


Glass Carp from Yukon Goes Fishing on Vimeo.

Watch in HD on vimeo.

Friday, August 30, 2013

I hate Fly Fishing Memes

Memes on their own are relatively harmless. Some of them make me chuckle...sometimes. But, fly fishing memes are the worst. I find them insufferable. As the proverbial "They" always says, you have to fight fire with fire. So, here are my anti-fly fishing meme memes. I get that this is ironic. Enjoy???

This post is dedicated to FISH JERKS. RIP.

Monday, August 12, 2013

New YGF Video - Cielo Grande

Cielo Grande. Large Air. Big Sky. After almost a year away from Montana's waters, I took a whirlwind tour of some new waters and old favorites. It felt good to be back in the land of big water and wild trout.

Cielo Grande from Yukon Goes Fishing on Vimeo.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Frogs are worse for your heart than bacon

When walking the flats for carp, beware of frogs. They wait until the time is right (usually mid-stalk and deep in concentration) to squeel and jump into the water mere inches from your legs.

It usually is a surprise and an unwelcome jolt out of a concentrated carp trance. Just ask Jay Zimmerman.

Side note: Bacon is great for the soul...which is basically your heart.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Convert

The first time I fished with pinchetruta, he didn't see the appeal of carp. He said he welcomed fly fisherman to fish for carp because it meant more trout for him.

Fast forward eight months. He has converted. He's seen the light.

Maybe it was the regular trips to his backing. Maybe it was solving the puzzle that is getting a carp to eat.

Whatever it was, he is all in.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Old friend.

I have something shameful to admit. During my time in Montana, I fell in and eventually out of love with the Westslope Cutthroat. I fell in love with a larger, more piscivorous non-native in the form of brown trout.

Maybe love is a strong word. I became jaded. Westslopes came easily and when their genetics were mixed with the non-native rainbows, it sometimes resulted in a dull appearance. I still respected their place in the larger native ecosystem, but I wasn't overjoyed when I caught one.

I was underwhelmed by their appearance. After nearly a year away from waters that hold westies, I am back on the Westslope bandwagon. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. It's true.

I love you, Westslope Cutthroat.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Late Pass: Revive - A Fly Fishing Journal

Admittedly, Revive Fly Fishing's ezine "Revive - A Fly Fishing Journal" has been out for nearly two months. But, better late than never. I urge you to check it out. There are a lot of fly fishing ezines out there, Revive is one of the good ones.

Check it out.

Fitting squares into circles

One of the many reasons (although not the primary reason) I rarely nymphed when I lived back in Montana was avoiding the dreaded headshake of the native mountain whitefish. Whitefish don't eat dry flies and streamers...usually. There are always exceptions to the rule. Early fall is whitefish dry fly time. And sometimes whitefish eat streamers.

This aggressive, tiny mouthed whitefish followed my streamer downstream a good 10 feet before it did it's best to defy the laws of physics and geometry by fitting a square in the tiny tiny circle.

Monday, August 5, 2013

If I've learned one thing from Brown Trout....

It's always eat the head first.

Apparently, it has something to do with the spiny dorsal fin of the potential meal. If the brown trout eats a fish with a spiny dorsal tail first, it would most likely get stuck in the brown trout's gullet. That may be the logical explanation, I like to think it's because they are mean, ruthless predators. Whatever.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Cielo Grande

After nearly losing the YGF GoPro in the Boulder, I figured that there were uglier places to lose YGFs moneymaker. Thankfully, I found it a full day later and I am currently sifting through 32 GBs of video.

Full disclosure: by money maker, I mean it makes YGF zero dollars.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Chaco tans and brush cuts

After one look at my legs and feet, I feel like I got the most out of this past week in Montana. More pictures and a video from my brief time under the Big Sky to follow.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Redington Vapen Red - A YGF First Look

For those of you plugged into the fly fishing blogosphere, you have probably read, seen, or heard about Redington's new Vapen rod series (here, here, here, here, here, or here). You might have read that the Vapen Red recently won the Best Fly Rod award at the EFFTEX show. You may have already formed your opinion about it's less than traditional grip. Maybe you're completely Vapen-ed out.
The 9 foot 8 weight variety of the Redington Vapen Red. It weighs 4.1 oz.

The Vapen rod series is composed of the Vapen (which has a traditional cork grip) and the Vapen Red (which has the much publicized PowerGrip.) Both the Vapen and the Vapen Red feature Redington's X-Wrap Blank Technology.

According to Redington, "the X-Wrap construction method involves wrapping one layer of super-high density carbon ribbon inside the blank and another counter-wrapped on the exterior surface. X-Wrap construction provides surprising power with little effort."

The Vapen Red bends well.
With the Vapen Red, anglers have the choice to pair the X-Wrap Blank Technology with the PowerGrip handle. According to Redington, the PowerGrip was created as a collaboration "with renowned golf club grip company, Winn Grips. Together they developed an advanced polymer grip that won't slip when wet, feels soft in the hand and reduces fatigue."

The Vapen rod series will be available in August 2013 and Redington is offering both the Vapen and Vapen Red in three through twelve weights.

Redington provided me with the opportunity to test an 9 foot 8 weight Vapen Red. Recently (and by recently, I mean the last three months), I have been focusing my angling efforts on carp. Fly fishing for carp requires several skills including the ability to present a fly extremely accurately and deftly, the ability to detect and capitalize on subtle takes, and the ability to withstand impressive and powerful runs.

In many ways, fly fishing for carp provides an excellent opportunity to fully test the capabilities of a rod. So, instead of blindly tossing streamers for toothy critters or big browns, I decided to take this red-gripped wonder onto the freshwater flats and let some of Colorado's finest golden ghosts do their best.

If you don't like reading, I'll save you some pain. In short, I like this rod, a lot. The more I use it, the more I like it.
If you like reading, on.

The Rod Performance

While the PowerGrip has seemingly drawn the most attention to the Vapen Red, I would like to discuss the performance of the rod itself first. Why? Because it is impressive. I find myself planning fishing outings around using the Vapen Red. Bottom line: It can shoot a lot of line (accurately) and handles shorter (more fishy) casts well. It does it's job. Very well.
The Vapen Red corralled my first mirror carp.

For the purposes of the review, I paired the 9 foot 8 weight Vapen Red with a Redington Delta 7/8 Reel and Rio Grand 7 Weight line. The rod is surprisingly light in hand, but also has a great deal of backbone. That is to say, you don't feel as though you might break the rod when your casting it. Sometimes, I get that feeling with lighter rods.

As a general rule, I prefer a medium action or mid-flex rod. I have found that some fast-action rods feel like broomsticks when casting or fighting fish. I don't like that feeling. The Vapen Red is fast, but it is not a broomstick. That's a good thing.

Redington's David Visnack said "You don't cast this rod, you fire it." I am not one for cheesy marketing jargon. In fact, sometimes I find it to be somewhat off-putting. However, Visnack's statement is spot on. During one of my many days on the carp flats with this rod, I had threw several tight-looped and accurate 60-70 foot casts with one false cast.

The Vapen Red presented this dry fly delicately enough to
fool a finicky carp on the surface.
But, it was obvious the rod could do more. When the carp flats were deserted, I looked to test Visnack's statement as much as my somewhat inconsistent casting stroke could.  With an entire fly line at my feet, I threw two false casts and fired. All 90 feet of the Rio Grand fired past me and unfurled perfectly. The Vapen Red's guides were left hugging neon yellow backing. The loop didn't collapse. The leader didn't bunch up on itself or throw the fly off to a side. Everything worked as it should. My jaw dropped. I couldn't believe how accurately I just casted 90 feet of line. I did it again. The rod performed consistently. I did it two more times, just to make sure it wasn't dumb luck.

Now, a fair point can be raised. When will I need to cast 90 feet of line when fishing? Probably never. But, it's nice to have in the toolbox. Additionally, the power displayed when casting an entire line has it's advantages on the freshwater flats. The rod could pick up 40 to 50 feet of fly line extremely efficiently, which allowed me to quickly re-target a fish that may have changed directions after I attempted to present a fly.

So how did it fish?

In the situations I encountered on the flats, shots at cruising or mudding fish were typically between 15 and 45 feet away. After my first experience with the Vapen Red, I was of the opinion that the rod generated impressive line speeds, was very accurate on casts from 30 to 70 feet in length, and struggled with some of the shorter casts that were required. However, with a little bit of time, I adjusted my casting stroke and the Vapen Red performed very well in close quarters.

I am prone to throwing tailing loops, especially on longer casts. When casting the Vapen Red, the loop stability was very impressive. I rarely threw a tailing loop and most of the loops were particularly compact, which allowed for very accurate presentations. Additionally, the rod seemed to dampen vibration while casting, which allowed the casts to shoot straighter. There is nothing worse than a rod vibrating side-to-side as line shoots through it's guides. Maybe there are worse things. But, the result is a less accurate and efficient cast. That can be frustrating.

15 second @redingtongear Vapen Red carp test. #carp #carpamateur #carponthefly #redingtongear #video #onthedry #flyfishing #colorado by @yukongoesfishing

The Grip:

The grip obviously stood out when I first laid eyes on the rod. But, like Moms worldwide always say "Don't judge a book by it's cover." Good or bad. I didn't want to rush to judgement on either side. Playing tennis in high school, I am familiar with similarly textured grips. So, while it was certainly a different feel for a fly rod,  the grip wasn't all together unfamiliar.

A YGF personal best Common. Vapen Red.
During my first day on the water with the Vapen Red, there was a noticeable difference in how the grip felt in hand. Obviously. Did I like it more than cork? No. Did I like it less than cork? No. I was undecided. At times with a wet hand, the grip seemed to feel slippery. But, with time, the grip has become more and more comfortable and performs quite well when damp or downright wet. Ultimately, it will come down to angler preference. However, I would recommend the grip to others. It is my opinion that it provided more feel when casting and fighting fish.


Redington hit their mark with the Vapen Red. The Vapen Red passed the Colorado carp test with flying colors and has earned the much heralded imaginary YGF seal of approval. A rod that displays this level of accuracy and power, as well as versatility is hard to find. One in the $300 range is that much harder. The Vapen (the cork grip) will retail for $299.95, while the Vapen Red (with the PowerGrip) will retail for $349.95. A deal at both price points, give the Vapen or Vapen Red a serious look if you are in the market for a new fly rod, regardless of your chosen quarry.

This carp required a short, delicate, and precise presentation as it cruised directly towards me. The Vapen Red performed very well.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

40 MPH and RISING - New YGF Video

Not all days are great. Conditions aren't always perfect. Sometimes it's windy. This was one of those days in South Park on the Dream Stream. I was joined by Andrew Burgos (aka pinchetruta on instagram), his dog Ethel, and YGF's official canine mascot Bosley dog. While it was a little windy, we still managed to have a good day on the Dream. Watch it on Vimeo in HD.

40 MPH AND RISING from Yukon Goes Fishing on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Scales, Tail, and Whiskers

Not cat whiskers. Cats are the worst. Carp on the other hand....

After plying the urban waters of Denver on the warmer winter days in search of carp, I finally found some that were cruising, mudding, and eating. After missing two hooksets on some slightly larger carp, I finally connected with a 4 to 5 pound common carp. After a couple smaller runs, it found it's way into my Nomad. The next one will be 20 pounds....

Monday, March 18, 2013

A New Addition to the YGF family

YGF has been a little quiet of late. Between working on videos for The Fly Collective, fishing, and taking care a new addition, coming up with new content for the blog has been a slight issue. Said new addition is a now four-month old Border Collie-Lab/German Shepherd-Lab/German Shepherd-Border Collie/Kelpie-Lab/Kelpie-Border Collie (take your pick...only time will tell) mix, my girlfriend and I picked up from a local rescue group in late January. For at least five years, I have been the dog equivalent to the stereotypical baby-crazy woman (or man, I guess) who greets and engages with every random strangers' dog within 500 feet of my person for awkward lengths of dog-Ivan interaction.

Whatever breed Bosley is, he certainly is high energy, intelligent, and friendly. But, like all puppies he is a bit of a $hithead. I am looking forward to sharing the water with the Boz. In his first couple months with us, he has already made it out on the water a couple of times and met a trout or two. Each successive trip out, his interest in my pursuit of trout seems to strengthen. More importantly, he has already shown an impressive amount of respect/fear of the water. I will cultivate that. Here is an excessive photo dump of the Boz dog. Any tips or tricks are welcome in the comments or via email.

Bosley's first day as part of the YGF family
The dog enjoys snow days
Post snow day
One ear up, one ear down. The LL Cool J of ears.
Bosley meets his first trout courtesy of Pinchetruta
YGF and Jr. enjoy some of Colorado's best

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Fly Collective | "Cold Blue Nights"

I am honored to team up with Russell Schnitzer to form The Fly Collective. We have joined forces in an attempt to tell unique and compelling stories within the fly fishing community. One such story, winter night fishing on the Blue River through Silverthorne, is the focus of our first short. We were lucky enough to get connected with Ryan Henderson with Cutthroat Anglers and are proud to present "Cold Blue Nights." Enjoy.

Cold Blue Nights from The Fly Collective on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Blind Squirrel and Two Nuts

I am that Blind Squirrel. And these are the two nuts I found this past Super Bowl Sunday. As, said Blind Squirrel, I have been hopelessly digging around some of Colorado's productive waters trying to find a nut or two since I moved here in October. Well, with a little help from pinchetruta, I was able to land two nuts, which is one more than John Kruk has.

Nut 1
Nut 2
I'm on the board, Colorado.

Monday, January 28, 2013

22 Inches Short

Confession time: It has been a while since I put out a video. Why? Because I can't put together my very belated holiday/year-end video to my liking. So, with a YGF video drought on the horizon, I threw together this awkward 1980's VHS inspired short of day on the water with Russ of SchnitzerPHOTO fame. As detailed last week, we suffered some defeats at the mouths of some of the "Dream Streams" nicer fish. Here is my ode to that day and the more traditional YGF video that could have resulted from some skilled angling. We were 22 INCHES SHORT.

Watch it in HD on vimeo.

22 Inches Short from Yukon Goes Fishing on Vimeo.

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Anatomy of Defeat

There is a very well-proportioned rainbow trout that lives in the Dream Stream that has graced the end of my line for a combined 10 seconds on two separate occasions. It is quickly becoming my NEMESIS FISH. Below is a visual of my most recent defeat. I hope the third time is the charm...if only he liked streamers and not size 22 midges.

In pixelated GIF form, if you prefer.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Lip AIDS - A DSP Staple

On the lookout for Lip AIDS (photo credit: SchnitzerPHOTO)
By no means am I an experienced carper. I caught one on the Missouri. But, I am embracing the pursuit for the golden ghost, unlike some of Chum's commenters. Denver and it's hinterland have some great carp water including the misunderstood and often polluted South Platte through Denver. This month, Russell Schnitzer (of SchnitzerPHOTO) and I have tried our hand at catching the often invisible January Denver-South Platte (DSP) carp. While we haven't connected with a winter carp yet, we have experienced everything else that DSP has to offer, including a valuable life lesson (AKA Pro Tip).

Pre Lip AIDS - the good old days (photo credit: SchnitzerPHOTO)
DSP Pro Tip - Don't use textured fly lines while fishing for carp on the DSP. Textured fly lines have a habit of "grabbing" water. When double hauling textured fly line that is coated with the clear waters of the DSP, water shoots off the line and flies onto your lips and provides your lips with a burning sensation I like to call Lip AIDS.

Chemical makeup of DSP - Water, Steel Reserve, and Lip AIDS (photo credit: SchnitzerPHOTO)
DSP Pro Tip - Listen to the homeless. As we headed north towards Florida Avenue, a homeless man on the banks enjoying a taste told us "You're walking the wrong way, all the fish are south." We thanked him for his advice and continued north. We were wrong. He was right.

Winter Carping. (photo credit: SchnitzerPHOTO)

Check out SchnitzerPHOTO on facebook and instagram. Believe it or not, he takes amazing photos of things other than me.

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