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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Fly-Fishing Instruction: Look Down!

When we're too excited to catch fish we miss opportunities! Fish are often in very shallow water close to the bank. Look down!

Hopefully, this brief instructional video will help you catch more fish.

Filmed on the Arkansas River near Salida, Colorado. Cameo appearance by fly-fisher Jared Griswold.

Tight Lines,

Sean Wallentine

Friday, December 12, 2014

Colorado's Arkansas River

I wasn't expecting to catch a 20" natural Colorado Cutthroat Trout in the upper reaches of Colorado's Arkansas River. We were up in the headwaters, above Leadville, not down in the "big river" around Salida. The headwaters of the Arkansas is more of a stream than a river, holding mostly 12" and smaller Rainbows, Browns and Brook Trout.

So, when this beauty took my #12 rubber-legged Stimulator off the surface I just about jumped out of the river in fear! The fish was SO much larger than anything I expected to draw out of the water we were fishing. And, hey, it could be a mix. Perhaps a CutBow. But who cares?

Fortunately, I had my iPhone to take a picture and catch a short video before safely releasing this beauty. Unfortunately, my fishing buddies Christian Hill and Jared Griswold were way upstream trying to run up the score on me...grabbing up all the pristine, unfished water. I got the last laugh! But, I didn't get a portrait with this biggie since I was alone.

I won't try to pinpoint where I caught this fish. No need! Just telling you to fish the headwaters of the Arkansas River above Leadville will put you into some really nice fish. The date of this catch was July 24, 2014.

Tight Lines,

Sean Wallentine

Monday, September 2, 2013

Father and Son Fly-Fishing: Silver Creek, Alpine Co., CA

I took my youngest son, Ezra, on a father/son camping trip to Alpine County a couple weeks ago. We had a fantastic time! Among other things, he caught a Brook Trout on a dry fly...all by himself...on his first cast of the day!

We fished Silver Creek, which feeds the East Fork of the Carson River off Highway 4 in Alpine County, California. Markleeville is the nearest town...about 11 miles to the north.

We fished for about a 1 hour two days in a row. We both caught fish each day on a #10 Stimulator; both Brook Trout and Rainbows. I didn't make him cast for too long. I want his first impressions of fly-fishing to fun, not frustrating. Here are some pics.

-Sean Wallentine

Saturday, August 31, 2013

East Carson River, California

My dad and I went fishing for a day on the East Carson River in Alpine County, California. It was overcast with a drizzle now and then. The water was off-color due to rains the night before. However, the fish didn't seem to mind.

We caught 20+ Rainbows. Mostly on nymphs and a few on larger dry flies.

Love this river!

Me and a 15" East Carson Rainbow Trout
Dad working one of the best runs on the river.

Date: July 27, 2013
Fish Caught: 23
Species: All Rainbow Trout
Best Flies: #16 Green BH Pulsating Caddis, #16 Red Copper John, #10 Royal Stimulator
Location: East Carson River in Alpine County, CA

-Sean Wallentine

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Christmas Tree Lake, AZ

Wind 30+, rough to find right fly. 
Caught this one on Black Wooley green tail #16
Apache 16.5" in the net measure.
First time using a boat....back to the float tube.
Several other bumps....AND someday I'll hold a dang fish right for a photo op. No matter...X Mas tree is takes and gives....I gave a blown tire, and a broken rear back up lamp.....all for this fish....worth it!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Eagle Canyon Trophy Trout Lakes

If you are planning to fly-fish in in northern California try out the private fishery at It's a fun place to fish for anglers of all skill levels.

There are two connected lakes that offer up very large Rainbow Trout. If you want to catch some picture-worthy trophy trout on a fly then give it a try.

Here is a fish from a recent trip to Eagle Canyon.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

If you get a chance, check out Cabo San Lucas.

Among the safest locations for tourists in Mexico these days, Cabo is host to many guides and charter boats. You can choose a larger boat or a "panga," which is a smaller boat many fly-fishers prefer.

We had great success recently catching bunches of Dorado there. While it was cold at home, it was nice and warm in Mexico!

Tight Lines,

Sean Wallentine
Co-Founder, The Virtual Fly Guides

Monday, November 19, 2012

Putah Creek

Putah Creek in Northern California is a great winter fishery. But, make sure you don't fish on the redds (where the fish are spawning). Otherwise, enjoy catching big Rainbows and if you're lucky you'll catch a monster Brown.

Here's a big buck I caught a few years ago on the creek. It took an olive bead head Woolley Bugger. Honestly, I can't believe I actually landed this fish. It was massive! And, no, it wasn't a Steelhead or a Salmon. It was a Rainbow.

Don't stop fishing just because it's fall and winter is on the way. Just get your warm clothes out and find some fish.

-Sean Wallentine

Monday, October 1, 2012

Back to the Future: Wading Into Northern California's Blue Ribbon Waters...Again

Eight years ago my dad, brother and I fished the McCloud River, Upper Sacramento River, Burney Creek and Squaw Valley Creek. It was an awesome trip!

Next week we're going back. Hopefully, we'll relive some memories from 2004 and make some new for trout with more experience these days, and better digital camera equipment.

Here are a few pictures from our 2004 trip. Maybe we'll be fortunate enough on this trip to catch some 20+ inch fish.

My 19 1/2-inch McCloud River Brown Trout on a PT Nymph Darin (right) tied.

Darin's fat 18-inch McCloud River Rainbow Trout.

Beautiful Burney Creek

 My dad with a nice Upper Sacramento Rainbow Trout

Getting nymphs to the bottom of the water column and into the feeding lanes should do the trick. Anything from Copper Johns to Bird's Nests to Prince Nymphs and Pheasant Tails (add some red Brassies to the mix). We will be hunting for trout. And, maybe we'll drag some streamers for the BIG fish. Not maybe, for sure!

Anyway, we'll post our fishing reports here on the Virtual Fly Guides website. Stay tuned...not just for pictures of fish and reports on what we caught them on, but for some nature photography, too.

Tight Lines,

Sean Wallentine
Co-Founder, The Virtual Fly Guides

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mono Lake: Stop Fishing and Start Shooting!

The only thing you're going to catch at Mono Lake is a good picture. And, that was exactly my plan while on a fishing trip in California's Eastern Sierra a few years ago.

It was an oddly calm day. No wind! It's usually very windy in the afternoon on Mono Lake, but not on this specific day. I had my Nikon DSLR in hand and the sun was setting. I was able to capture some pretty good images of the Tufa formations that make Mono Lake such a unique place.

Join us in sharing YOUR favorite nature photos here on the Virtual Fly Guides website. My brother Darin and I have developed quite a love affair with photography. If you share the same love for fly-fishing and photography, start sharing both experiences here on the Virtual Fly Guides website.

If you have any questions about these images or want to discuss photography and/or fly-fishing the Eastern Sierra (or anywhere else for that matter) feel free to comment below and I'll respond as time allows.


Sean Wallentine
Co-Founder, The Virtual Fly Guides