For some, to catch a trout in Colorado on a fly is a bucket list item, while others harbor the desire to delve deep into this art and make it their passion. I have never personally experienced a day on the river with aspirations of hooking a fish. Luckily Mike Weist, angler and guide at Telluride Outside, was able to enlighten me on core fundamentals and some small nuances of the sport. It quickly became clear that there is a lot to process.
Most of us live plugged into the grid and in the driver’s seat of our lives. Fly fishing goes back to the age of being engaged with nature.
What do the fish eat, when do they eat, how do they eat it. What is the water temperature, how is it flowing, what time of year is it? What kind of bugs are flying about, is it sunny or cloudy, was there a full moon last night? These sensory observations are clues and connection with the river. Listening to nature’s clues allows you to formulate a strategy for success.
You are competing with nature while working in harmony with it. There are many of levels of frustration and gratification. Mike summed it up best: “One of the great things is you aren’t in control. Mother nature and the trout are in control. We try to be in constant control of our expectations and life outcomes but when you are on the river you have to abandon all of that. Just because you are the CEO of a company, doesn’t mean the trout are going to eat your fly. You have to stop fighting that and be accepting of letting go.”
Anyone can go out the river and get skunked. The hard part is picking the right spots and the right flies. Casting isn’t as important as the presentation, the drift and playing the fish. When attempting fishing in a new area, whether a beginner or seasoned vet, it is usually in your best interest to hire a guide, and request Mike. Catch my drift?
Everytime you go out, you don’t want to go out the same place. Go out and explore. That’s part of the sport, discovering new places. You may know exactly where that trout is, but if you don't branch out you may be missing out on walking around a bend and seeing a magical new part of the river.
Just as the river changes, we should allow for our own reinvention. As a fisherman, if you approach with fear of not catching a fish you are missing out on the greatest aspect of fishing, your surroundings. Telluride in particular doesn’t feel a lot of human pressure and is hence one of the most beautiful places in Colorado. So sink your beer, tie your knots, turn your phone off and connect with the river and the trout. Actually catching fish only enhances the experience. No time like the present to come get hooked, book your adventure with us!