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Alaska Rainbow Lodge

Posted by on Oct 10, 2016 in Conservation, Fish Porn, Homepage Slider, steelhead, Trout, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Alaska Rainbow Lodge

It was somewhere on my second of four flights for the day when it truly set in that I was going to Alaska.  Looking out the window from my middle seat, I was not shy in my wanting of the guy in the window seat to lean back so that I could have a better view of the terrain outside.  The steep mountains dropped directly into the dark waters below.  Last minute trips like this usually lead to being stuck in a middle seat but none of that mattered.  Our plane was descending into the Anchorage airport and for the first time in my life, I was about to set foot in Alaska.  I have been very fortunate to do some traveling with a fly rod in hand but somehow had yet to visit “The Last Frontier” and one of fly fishing’s most iconic destinations.  Next up on my itinerary was an hour flight into the appropriately named town of “King Salmon.”  Upon walking off the plane into this Alaskan Metropolis, we were met by representatives of the Alaska Rainbow Lodge. Alaska Rainbow Lodge, ARL for short, is located in the beautiful Bristol Bay on the banks of the world renowned Kvichak River.  I was traveling on assignment for Tailwaters Travel with my good friend and celebrated photographer, Matt Jones.  From King Salmon we boarded a small float plane, “Beaver,” and were just a quick 30 minute flight from our home for the week.  A soft touchdown into the waters outside the lodge was the first of the many water plane landings I would experience in the next few days.  Idling up to the dock, I am shocked to see that the lodge has three of these Beavers, ready to serve as our mode of transportation for the week.  The thought of having our own personal fishing taxis that fly through the sky really help to set in the uniqueness of the trip I was about to experience. ARL was built in 1982 by Alaskan Legend Ron Hayes.  Ron was known as one of the top big game hunting guides in the world and became (in)famous for his unconventional techniques using his airplane to aid in the hunting of grizzly bears.  After being convicted of illegally hunting grizzlies, he began to assist the Alaskan Department of Fish and Game in their anti-poaching efforts before building the lodge. After 32 years of running the lodge, Ron sold ARL to a former lodge guide and pilot, Chip Ferguson.  Chip and his wife Amanda, continue to run one of the finest lodges in all of Alaska that offers an all inclusive experience to go along with a top notch fishing program. It was September so the majority of our fishing was focused on rainbow trout.  These trout behave like a completely different species when compared to classic western trout. They are following the salmon migrations, fattening up on eggs and decaying flesh.  It confuses me how these fish are not considered steelhead as I caught multiple with sea lice on their fins. But that debate in nomenclature is not one I care to get into.  Regardless, Alaskan Rainbows are the most powerful freshwater fish I have ever encountered.  They also average over 20 inches in most rivers with some consistently boasting fish in the 26-30″...

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Santa’s Workshop

Posted by on Aug 21, 2016 in Fish Porn, Flicks, Homepage Slider, Saltwater, warm water | 1 comment

Santa’s Workshop

Coming in hot from the equator. The DTF crew visits the South Pacific in search of zombies, boners, and gangsters. Some might say it was worth the trek. For the full trip report, check out, http://www.deltatroutforce.com/deltatriggerforce-a-co-lab/ Please enjoy the movie in HD and full screen. Featuring: Justin Crump, Kate Taylor, Josh and Casi Tarr, Cooper Hopkins, Will Knight, Jack Reis, Tommy Appert, Pete Kemper, Moana Kofe. Drone Footage: Jack Reis Edited By: Danny Frank Santa’s Workshop from DeltaTroutForce on...

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DeltaTriggerForce, a Co-Lab

Posted by on May 30, 2016 in Fish Porn, Homepage Slider, Saltwater, Uncategorized, warm water | 4 comments

DeltaTriggerForce, a Co-Lab

It was our last night in Christmas Island and a familiar face was about to take a seat in a surprising spot.  It was the first time all week he has sat at the table with us.  A leafy cigarette press between his lips while his leathered up feet support his thin frame.  As the legend began to speak, we all quiet our conversations and lean in.  Moana, the head guide and 35 year veteran of the Ikari House was about to drop some knowledge. In between stories of past clients and personal fishing experiences, he reminds us, “When you fish, you need to use all of your senses.”  He explains how he trusts his instincts when on the flats, that he can almost hear when a bonefish sneaks up behind him or feel when a far off GT is on the hunt.  After a certain amount of time spent on the water, things start to work out.  Fishing is funny like that.  I have never been a superstitious or religious person but have always believed in a Fishing God.  It is the only way I have been able to explain some events that have happened on the water. Crazy stuff just seems to occur when you are fishing with certain people and it is no surprise that someone like Moana is always in the Fishing God’s good graces.  They respect a man who invests more time on the water than anyone.  A person that is rumored to have seaweed growing out of his wading boots. Another, often forgotten way to keep the Fishing Gods smiling is by simply having fun.  It is actually quite straightforward, the more fun you have on the water the more fish you catch.  Lucky for me, our trip to Kiribati and the world’s largest coral atoll was with nine of my best friends.  I don’t want to try and make some outrageous internet claim like “best crew ever” or anything but this group of people could of had fun on a fishing trip to Iraq.  I can confidently say this was one of the most enjoyable trips of my life which we now know equates to excited Fishing Gods and an awesome adventure.  From the start of the trip, Trigger Fish were our target species and remain one of the most exciting fish I have ever had the privilege of chasing.  It is an incredibly visual experience fishing for them. As the Triggers dig around coral looking for crabs, their bodies become vertical, causing their tails to stick straight out of the water.  It almost looks as if the fish is trying to wave at you with its tail.  Ease in finding these fish is the only advantage the angler has in this game.  Everything else is in the Trigger’s favor.  First you must sneak up on the fish and make sure they do not become aware of your presence.  Easier said than done when you are stumbling through crunchy coral and approaching a fish that I am convinced routinely scare themselves.  If the Trigger doesn’t spook, it helps to get as close to the target as possible.  Your cast will need to be accurate and delicate.  Any loud splash on the water will send the Trigger to the deep and a cast...

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BelizeDat

Posted by on Apr 26, 2016 in Conservation, Homepage Slider, Saltwater, warm water | 1 comment

BelizeDat

A Permit will test everything from your sanity to your bank account.  When I got the invitation to Belize this winter, my first thought was unfinished business. A previous trip to Mexico during hurricane season saw rough conditions and few shots but all it took was one look at the black tail of a Permit feeding on the flats to plant a seed that I needed to pick.  Thankfully my opportunity to scratch this itch came sooner rather than later.  My good friend Mike Roche has been fishing Southern Belize for the last decade and when an invitation to tag along on one of his annual trips was extended my way, I immediately jumped on the opportunity. Last week Mike and I left the rising rivers of Colorado and traveled three flights to Southern Belize, one of the best places in the world to target Permit, Tarpon, and the elusive Saltwater Grand Slam.      When saltwater fly fishing, there are many outside factors influencing your success.  Tides, wind (both speed and direction), sunlight, bait numbers, and time of day are all elements that can make or break a trip.  Regardless of the variable, our guide Eworth Garbutt knew what adjustments to make in order to put a bend in the rod.  My favorite example of this was our time spent fishing the lagoons just off the flats.  Tarpon would roll in a way that was surprisingly graceful knowing their reputation.  An occasional gulp from a bucket of a mouth would break the surface as the silver king inhaled small baitfish.  As this went on Pelicans were attacking the dense schools of bait by diving straight into the water, injuring many missed fish in the process.  The event was a free meal the tarpon could not pass up.  Eworth could tell which Pelicans had a hungry fish sitting below them, and would instruct us where to cast. This is actually how I caught my first Pelican.  I have hooked birds before and seen them try and fly off but this time was different.  The bird knew we were just trying to help him and I am convinced it could understand Eworth’s calming words.  We simply pulled him in and popped the hook out. Without a doubt the highlight of my trip was Eworth Garbutt.  He is one of the best fishing guides and human beings I have ever met.  If you have been as fortunate as I was and had the opportunity to fish with Eworth, I know you would agree with me in saying that he has a special connection with his homewater.  He and his family were essential in achieving the catch and release regulations of all Permit, Tarpon, and Bonefish of Belize.  His eye site and knowledge would always have you in the best position to catch your target species.  He walked this world with a sense of gratitude — knowing how lucky he was to be able to “wake up everyday just three casts away from a grandslam.”  He possessed an attitude that could keep even the Debbyest of Downers optimistic while also always teaching, informing you what the fish was going to do and how we were going to fool it.  What was most impressive to me was his passion towards the fish.  This...

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Reflections

Posted by on Mar 2, 2016 in Fish Porn, Homepage Slider, Trout | 2 comments

Reflections

It has been a weird offseason for me. The fact that I am even admitting to having an offseason is honestly what is the most alarming.  In the past, if I had a few free hours I would be in Cheesman, sight fishing to rainbows.  This year however my trout fishing stoke has been oddly low.  It is almost as if I have reached a saturation point with the fly fishing industry.  Mix that with the fact that few rivers are fishing well right now and you get one disappointed Danny. I hate admitting it but I have gotten spoiled.  Fishing tailwaters are no longer enough. Instead of focusing on the negatives here like I usually do, I am going to give us a much needed stoke shot by bringing up something we have to look forward to. Streamer fishing, one of my favorite ways to target trout.  There is a surprise factor associated with streamer fishing and it is very different from the what you see is what you get results of site fishing. One can get lost casting an 8 wt from a boat (yacht) only to be awakened by a pissed off brown trout chasing down a fly that imitates something with a backbone.  It is far from the most effective way to catch fish but that is why it is my favorite.  Everything is more fun when there are unknowns.  Lost among most anglers seems to be a desire to explore.  Having to work in order to achieve a goal.  I find my best friends in this industry are the ones who challenge themselves by chasing fish like wild steelhead or roosters, not the ones that feel the need to post Grip n Grins of 17 inch trout to instagram every day.  The internet could very well be the worst thing to ever happen to fly fishing.  At times I feel it has prevailed. The days of paper maps and secret spots are over. They have been replaced by a culture that is guided by facebook and personal egos.  Sure information now is easier to come by but doesn’t that also make it less fun? We are losing a tangible aspect of our existence by living our life on cheat codes.  To me everything will truly always be about the journey and what fun is a journey without unknowns.  That is why we continued to tow our boat past 3 flipped semi trucks and signs advising otherwise.  Why we float all those river miles instead of cramming below a dam.  Why we sacrifice landing extra fish because maybe we finally have learned that fly fishing is about more than just what you...

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A Year Review

Posted by on Dec 31, 2015 in Fish Porn, Flicks, Homepage Slider, Saltwater, steelhead, Trout | 7 comments

A Year Review

It is a tale as old as fly fishing itself.  Why dedicate time on the water when we simply release the fish after catching them? Considering how often I do this, I am surprised I cannot come up with a good answer.  It goes without saying that people are drawn to fly fishing for many different reasons.  I have met individuals who fish as a way to spend time with a loved one.  Others who fish as an excuse to get outside or chase a specific size or species goal.  Some people fish because it relaxes them while others fish to experience a rush that can only be felt on the water.  A way to satisfy a competitive need, even if it is only a competition against yourself.  For me, fly fishing transcends all those things.  Fly fishing is not something I do, but who I am and I hope that helps validate my coming rant. There were times this past year when I felt a terrible shift in culture had occurred.  Those thoughts were usually followed by a disappointing realization that complaining about it isn’t going to help. Science has however proven that the squeaky wheel will occasionally get a little grease so I am going to throw some words at you here and see if they stick.. Do I think social media is the worst thing to happen to fly fishing?  Is everything posted on social media bad?  Is it weird that companies are trying to use sex to sell in this industry?  Are wayyy too many people fishing for followers/“sponsorships”?  Is it possible to fish for a “wrong” reason? Yes, No, Yes, Yes, Maybe? Those are my main concerns heading into 2016, but I remain cautiously optimistic.  I am not sure why but it probably has something to do with the realization that I will continue to fish regardless so there is no point in being a Debby about it.  Just holding out hope that certain people stop hot spotting all locations.  Not every river needs to be named in a post.  If someone recognizes the location from the background than they have already been to the spot so no biggie.  But specially naming the river or access point causes people to ask questions.  Research, time spent on the water and developing relationships in the industry should influence a river’s notoriety, not logging into Facebook to learn about a spot that was considered a secret just a few years ago.  Let’s hope we can leave some of that behind in 2015. Anyways, this wouldn’t be a year review if I didn’t post some of the highlights from it.  2015 saw 2 new DTF videos, A Hustler’s Anthem and Son of a F*sh, a new Yacht, and a few especially memorable fish. I’ll send you into 2016 with those highlights.  And just so I am practicing what I preach, note how photos can be posted without giving away the exact location. Christmas Island Photo: Jeff Feczko Christmas Island Photo: Danny Frank Coastal Oregon Photo: Danny Frank Wild Steelhead Photo: Kate Taylor Grande Rooster Photo: Danny Frank Photo: Danny Frank Photo: Wheeler Morris New Yacht. Photo: Danny Frank 28 in fly caught Laker. Photo: David Litten Catch of the Summer. Photo: Danny Frank Wild Rainbow. Photo: Will Knight Photo:...

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Son of a F*sh

Posted by on Nov 23, 2015 in Fish Porn, Homepage Slider, movie, Saltwater, Trout, warm water | 0 comments

Son of a F*sh

Diversity has always been the spice of life. Knowing this, its only accurate to say things are getting all sorts of zesty on the DTF front. Our most recent video covers Christmas Island, Baja, Colorado, and Wyoming with species ranging from Rooster Fish to Coral Trout. Please watch in HD with the volume on. Feel the rhythm, feel the ride, get on up, it’s Fishing Time!!!!   A Hustler’s Anthem from DeltaTroutForce on...

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Who!? Matt Jones..

Posted by on Oct 16, 2015 in Fish Porn, Homepage Slider, Trout | 0 comments

Who!? Matt Jones..

So much of fly fishing to me involves time spent off the water. There are some awesome individuals that I would have never met if not for this industry.  Because of our fly fishing commonality, I have friends all over the world. From guides to photographers to conservationists, the one thing we all share is a love for our wild fish and protecting the places they live. A couple weekends ago I was lucky to receive a visit from my good buddy and hopefully future Colorado resident, Matt Jones. Matt is one of the top photographers in the active lifestyle industry but has a special connection with fly fishing. What sets Matt’s photos apart to me is that he is not just a photographer, but a phenomenal fisherman and I feel his understanding of the sport shows in the images he leaves with.  Not many people can catch the biggest rooster of the trip then hand it off to take some photos.  On his last visit, I was only able to manage one day on the water with Matt.  Of course, he came away with some gold which is especially impressive considering his model.   Photo: Matt Jones Photo: Matt Jones Photo: Matt Jones Photo: Matt Jones Photo: Matt Jones Photo: Matt Jones Photo: Matt Jones Photo: Matt Jones Photo: Matt Jones Photo: Matt Jones Photo: Matt Jones Photo: Matt Jones Photo: Matt Jones Photo: Matt...

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Brown Trout Class of 2015

Posted by on Sep 29, 2015 in Fish Porn, Homepage Slider, Trout | 0 comments

Brown Trout Class of 2015

Coming soon to a river near you-the Brown Trout Class of 2015!  As anglers get excited for arguably their best opportunity of the year to land a trophy brown trout, I am here reminding people that we have a moral obligation to respect the fish during spawning season.  As everyone knows, September is national self improvement month and I think it is no coincidence that this occurs right before the Brown Trout begin to pair up.  We should honor this 30 day period by improving our fishing etiquette towards trout sitting on “redds”. As I have said before, I wish certain stretches of water were closed this time of year in order to protect spawning brown trout.  It is true that fishermen can go to spots holding migratory or spawning fish like the Dream Stream and catch those large fish in a way that will not interfere with upcoming reproduction rates.  My argument is that so few people follow those moral guidelines that I do not think it is fair to the trout that certain stretches of rivers remain open when fish are on redds.  I have witnessed countless people holding up a trophy trout shooting out eggs for a photo.  This culprit is not always a rookie or someone who does not know the impacts of their actions.  I have seen guides and industry pros pull this crap which completely blows me away.  As fishermen, our most valuable resource other than water is the fish.  Why do something that will lead to less wild ones?  Remember this when you see that big brown trout sitting in a shallow riffle—resist the temptation to cast.  If you witness someone else doing it, let them know what a redd is and explain why we need to avoid disturbing the fish sitting on them.  If we want to control the future of our fisheries, this is an essential step.  For more on what a redd looks like and how to avoid disturbing paired up fish, check out the following link, http://www.deltatroutforce.com/respect-the-redds/ Photo: Danny Frank Photo: Danny Frank Photo: Danny Frank Photo: Danny Frank Photo: Danny Frank Photo: Cooper...

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Dry shake that Wolly Bugger

Posted by on Aug 25, 2015 in Fish Porn, Homepage Featured, Homepage Slider, Trout | 0 comments

Dry shake that Wolly Bugger

I will never turn DTF into a “how to website” but when I do pick up a piece of information that will benefit others while not hindering my ability to fish in peace, I go ahead and share it-my way of rewarding you 14 readers who are not my mother.  It may be a common joke among fly fishermen, but who hasn’t been hucking streamers when a fish rises in the periphery? The natural joke that always follows is, “Should I throw a streamer at it?”  The common perception that such a ridiculous idea would never work causes laughter around the boat..  Well I am here to tell you to follow through with your sarcasm! A fish sipping on dries is still a feeding fish.  When I have my streamer rod in hand and spot a rising fish I almost always cast at it and (occasionally) find success.  A few weeks ago I was fishing in Idaho at the Casting4aCure annual event.  We were floating one of the state’s countless scenic rivers and sighted a cutty slowly feeding on the surface.  I was fishing my obnoxious dual streamer 8wt rig which initiated the obligatory “Cast a streamer at it!” comment.  I was already completing my 10-2 which saw a cast land a few feet in front of the cutthroat finishing his rise. One slow strip saw the fish break away from its current motion in the direction of my fly.  A second, quicker strip, and the fish charged my fly before engulfing it—giving me an incredibly visual eat in the process.  Preconceptions often get in the way of how we act/fish. We assume one thing so we always go with that same approach.  Well break away from the habit!  I may just be throwing words against a wall here but I am hoping some stick. Remember to mix it up while out there.  Diversity is the spice of life and if you are not having fun you are not doing it right.  Take the path less traveled and don’t just fish to fill a stat sheet. **drops the mic before walking off to throw mice on a sinking line.  Enjoy some photos. Photo: Danny Frank Photo: Dave Litten Photo: Danny Frank Photo: Brian Johnson Photo: Danny Frank Photo: Danny Frank Photo: Danny Frank Photo: Danny Frank Photo: Danny Frank Photo: Danny Frank Photo: Danny Frank Photo: Danny Frank Photo: Danny Frank Photo: Danny Frank Photo: Danny Frank Photo: Danny Frank Photo: Dave Litten Photo: Danny...

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