Kristen Lodge: Learning to fly fish on the Colorado, with a little help from a friend
June 11, 2012
When Kymmie Scott, 31, of Granby decided to learn how to fly-fish this year, she wanted to learn from a friend. She asked Elliot Voecks, 30, of Granby, who has spent the last 10 years perfecting his fly-fishing skills on Colorado’s rivers for help.
“I’ve always been interested in fishing, and this year I decided to just do it,” said Scott.
Voecks learned to fish when his friends took him to the Gold Medal waters near Parshall, and other places on the Colorado River.
“My friends showed me how and after that, it’s just practice,” he said.
On a Sunday afternoon I drive to Hot Sulphur Springs with these two friends to find out how the lessons are progressing. Scott has been reading books, watching videos, and spending time on the river this month to increase her skills with a fly-fishing rod. We drive into the Hot Sulphur Springs disc golf area and park. There isn’t much activity, and no one else is fishing.
What’s in the river? Rainbow, brown, and brook trout, said Voecks. This afternoon he is going to use a small blue winged olive for his fly. Scott is trying an Adams.
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It is calming to sit on the river bank, and after a busy week it’s relaxing to sit here and watch these two fly fishermen sit and tie flies onto their leaders, and then cast them into the river. A few fish jump and I thinking they just may catch something.
“I like being outside, it’s so peaceful near a river. You have to slow down and be patient,” said Voecks.
“I’m rushing around all week, and to sit down by the water, it’s nice and relaxing. You never know what you are going to see.”
A few days ago he watched stoneflies hatch while fishing in Fraser Canyon. It is part of fly-fishing to know what the fish are feeding on, he said.
“You look at the water and watch for what is hatching and try to mimic it with flies,” said Voecks.
They continue to cast and watch each other. Thunder clouds start to roll in and there is some rumbling in the distance.
“Sometimes when the weather moves in the fishing can be good,” he said.
It is 5:30 p.m. and I ask them what time of day they are most successful at catching a fish. Mornings and afternoons are best but there are no hard and fast rules. Fish and insects are more active this time of day, he said.
Sometimes Voecks will wade into the river, but not today since we are on the bank close to a deeper section.
Scott occasionally catches her line on a tree trunk. This happens a lot when you’re learning, she said.
“I spent a majority of my first year untying line,” he said.
The secret to not getting tied up: practice.
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