Fly fishing fever

Posted 7/15/18

I caught a bug when I was in Telluride, Colorado several years ago. It’s rarely fatal, but I’ve found it’s incurable. Professionals call it “fly fishing fever.” Jilda and I were …

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Fly fishing fever

Posted

I caught a bug when I was in Telluride, Colorado several years ago. It’s rarely fatal, but I’ve found it’s incurable. Professionals call it “fly fishing fever.” 

Jilda and I were surprised when our friend Wes and his wife Deidra asked us to spend the first week of July in the Mountains. But it was hotter than Satan’s sauna here in Empire, and we both feared that if we didn’t get away, we’d melt like a candle on asphalt in August. 

So, when our friend offered us free room and board for a week, we jumped at the chance. I wasn’t sure what to pack for the trip, but I put long-sleeved shirts, and blue jeans in my bag. 

Soon, we were winging our way over Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Kansas before touching down in Denver. From there we took a crop duster to Durango, Co and a shuttle picked us up at the airport and drove us the last few hours to the resort.

The mountain air was thin but much cooler. It made me feel taller. 

Our friends had several things on the agenda for the week. The next day was the 4th of July. We ate ourselves silly, watched a parade, and that evening we went to a fireworks show in the park. 

Watching the fireworks explode against a backdrop of the Rocky Mountains is a site I will never forget. While standing there in the park, it started snowing. It was only a few flurries, but enough for me to catch flakes on my tongue. 

The next morning, Jilda, Deidra, and their girls headed to the spa while Wes and I headed for the water. He’d hired a local fly-fishing guide to take us fishing. It was cool that morning. We stood on the water’s edge listening to the guide’s safety briefing. My breath came out in clouds. As I looked around at the water, and the mountains in the distance, I thought to myself, “I could get used to this.”

I thought I knew how to use a flyrod, but I spent the first half hour untangling my line and fetching flies from nearby bushes. 

There’s an art to casting a lure which weighs less than a sneeze. It took a while to get the hang of it, but I soon fell into the rhythm. After a few hours, I could put a fly almost anywhere I wanted in the range of my fly line. 

The fish were a little slow to come to the fly, but as I’ve said before, fly fishing is not about the fish. I got several strikes, but my timing was wrong when I tried setting the tiny hook. I learned that there’s an art to that too. 

We ate a sack lunch as we changed locations. Coming to an old farm, we parked near a pond fed by a cold mountain stream. The first cast, I caught a rainbow trout. It wasn’t a big fish, but in retrospect, I realize that’s where I caught the “fly fishing fever.” 


Rick Watson is a columnist and author. His latest book Life Goes On is available on Amazon.com. You can contact him via email at rick@rickwatson-writer.com.