Does anyone here have any experience/knowledge of flies tied by Rich Osthoff? What are some opinions? I just ordered a few of his scud and dun patterns. I am mainly a backpacker angler and he has tons of knowledge and experience in the high country of the Rockies so I thought he would be a good source.
Any other sources for flies for the high altitude lakes and/or back country moving water?
countr21: I have never heard of Rich Osthoff so I took a look at his web site. It looks like his flies are tied very well (from the photos), but to me the prices are kind of high and most of his flies are general purpose flies: Adams, Royal Wulff, antron spinner, foam ant, emerging caddis, griffith's gnat, hare's ear, pheasant tail nymph, etc. that you could buy anywhere.
For example, take a look at the flies on Big Horn Flies web site. You will find most of the flies that you will need. Eric's flies are all excellent quality and his prices are much more reasonable and besides he is a member of this forum, so I like to support his business. Bighorn Flies
As Larry said, Rich's flies look fine-- but not necessarily specific to high mountain lakes and streams --- and prices seem comparable or higher than what you would find in CO local shops. (And I'll second Eric's flies)
You might also consider some of the excellent shops out your way in Colorado too. I think they'd be in a much better position to give you advice on conditions, hot patterns for specific lakes, hatches taking place at the time you're heading out, etc. Here are a few excellent ones that I've had some experience with, I'm sure the CO folks can suggest many more:
I went to Charlie's place today in Arvada (I live in Arvada) and was impressed with the quality of the shop. Unfortunately, I felt like it was the typical example of a shop that markets to Gapers. Gapers are guys that spend more time worrying about gear than time actually spent on the water.
I need sources that have actually been in the backcountry.
countr21: Just curious. Are you finding in your back packing trips that you need special patterns to catch trout, or do the general purpose patterns work well, for example: Adams, Royal Wulff, antron spinner, foam ant, emerging caddis, griffith's gnat, hare's ear, pheasant tail nymph?
Actually, general patterns work very well. I hate to say it but a lot of high country trout are more gullible than their heavily-fished brethren. And there are many trout that are extremely elusive.
It's just the guy working the shop only had experience fishing roadside waters......just very typical of my situation I guess. It's just so hard to find people that actually have experience fishing off the beaten path. I try to avoid the areas that have fishing pressure like Waterton, South Platte, the Colorado, Eagle, Antero, Spinney, etc.
Charlie's was nice. But his prices were quite high and the look and style of the shop reflected that. I guess my reasoning is that I would rather buy flys from the guy who has spent the time and effort hiking and fishing the areas I'll be going to. If he says a scud took a trophy golden from this or that lake, that's what I'll buy and try. If his caddis took an 18" Yellowstone cutt from that creek, I'll try it.
And I'm definitely one of those guys that peruses local shops all the time. I will surely be back at Charlie's and Roaring Fork Anglers in Glenwood. Thanks for the heads up. I've been looking for some local shops but did not know of any until your post.
Josh: OK, I can certainly respect that you want to buy from folks that fish the off the beaten path areas like you do. I'm getting too old to hike into the areas you like, so I took a different path and bought a drift boat. I also don't like to fish the few public access points in CO and WY, but a drift boat can get me into some pristine water that separates me from the crowds at the public access points.
That's awesome, Larry. I envy the drift boaters. As you well know, they have the best of both worlds (or three worlds really).
#1 - You can get into beautiful, lightly fished areas
#2 - When floating, one can cover tons more water than a hiker could ever dream of
#3 - You can fish on waters that are otherwise unreachable because being on private property
And another added bonus is that you have all the backcasting room one could hope for. When hiking in, you have to worry about thick brush and timber when fishing from shore. Or you have to pack in 5-10lbs worth of wader gear.
Josh: Take a look at this post on small streams, it talks about small streams (not necessarily mountain streams), but I thought his trimmed down fly selection was very interesting: Article on Fishing Small Streams
You have described floating fishing to a T, the other thing I like is that you can get incrediblly long drag free drifts from a drift boat. On top of all that, rowing a drift boat down a river can get very addictive. If you want to come drift boat fishing with me sometime this summer, just give me a shout. Futuramille (JJ) was coming out for a reunion in Sheridan so we were planning a trip up to the Bighorn in July, but that fell through with a project that came up at work and then Lambster was planning on coming out to fish the small streams in the Snowies and then to do some floating on the Green River below Flaming Gorge, but that also fell through when his house burnt down. Flytyer_neal and I are going to try a float on the Colorado River this summer. I'm always looking for a fishing partner. The one guy I fish with here in Laramie also travels a lot so he isn't always in town, besides the boat will fit three.