The Fly Fishing Obsession that Happened by Accident

Part 1: Once I meet someone new it becomes apparent to them quite quickly that I have a lot of hobbies, like to stay busy and might be classified as having an “Type A” personality. I have a hard time sitting still and am always up for trying something new.

I rock climb, mountain bike, road bike, hike, camp, backpack, travel, hangout with my dog and am an avid photographer. Sometimes the better question is what don’t I do? For the longest time one of those hobbies was fly fishing.

I am coming up on my 1 year anniversary of catching my first fish on the fly. The only reason I know this is due to my Instagram post from that Labor Day weekend of 2017, when I was backpacking by myself outside Telluride. Many people may know the lake from photographs in Outside Magazine. Thanks to the help of my dog sniffing around other people’s camp one night a group of people around my age invited me to hang with them for the weekend. It just so happened that one of those people had brought his fly rod with him. He offered to let me cast it a few times which I didn’t find to be too difficult.

Fly Fishing at Blue Lake
Backpacking with my dog Nati (National Park) at Blue Lakes
Fly Fishing in Telluride
Nati looking back at the Mt. Sneffels Wilderness in Telluride Colorado

Later that night we hung out and I took a picture of his set-up as well as a few more photos in a whiskey state. I thought that this fly fishing thing might be a good idea for when I went backpacking. Then I wouldn’t be bored hanging out at camp. I remembered that I had seen some big fish (now I know they were trout) swimming in lakes earlier that summer and it would have been amazing to have caught one.

Once I was back at work I went to a co-worker who I knew fly fished and asked him what I would need to get into the sport. He helped me put together a fly rod (Redington Classic Trout), fly line (Rio Gold) and a fly fishing reel (Redington ID). After seeing the final price, I wasn’t so sure. He told me he would leave it in his shopping cart and I could think it over as one of the larger fly fishing retailers was having a weekend fly fishing clearance sale. I told him I would let him know sometime over the weekend and got his phone number. After thinking about the purchase, all my other activities and finally my budget I messaged him and said that I would wait until another sale came along. I had already had too many hobbies as it was!

Happy with my decision although slightly disappointed that I wouldn’t be getting a new toy I went into work on Monday. I stopped by his desk once he got in with the intention to thank him for his time and help however before I could get there these words came out of his mouth “I didn’t hear from you this weekend, so I ordered everything”. Rather than freak out I accepted that I was now going to get into another hobby! From then on everything went downhill, or uphill into a exciting new passion!

Fly Fishing Catch
My first fish on the fly! I lost around 8 of my friend’s elk hair caddis before finally hooking it! Thank goodness I learned to tie them later.

Written by Libby Schultz

Originally from Iowa, I now call Colorado my home. I love to enjoy all that Colorado has to offer from hiking to breweries. Fly fishing has truly helped me find my place and community in the hectic city of Denver. Please feel free to follow me on Instagram: @Elizc45

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Let’s hear some of your thoughts in the comments! Do you have a favorite fishing memory or experience?

2 thoughts on “The Fly Fishing Obsession that Happened by Accident

  1. So Libby… Hi and please tell me how many fly rod/reel setups do you own today? Fly fishing is addictive (LOL). I’ve been an avid fisherman all my life so relatively speaking, fly fishing is new to me at under four years. I tie flies too and if you don’t yet, buckle up! Yep – another hobby.

    I liked your story and since you might need flies, I’d like to bless you with 6 of your choice from my Instagram page. You pick a fly and I’ll get you 6 of them just for asking. But “please” tell me how the fish feel on your Redington Classic Trout as I’ve been thinking of one in a 3 wt for trout and panfish. You have a great setup from what you wrote – just great!

    And those images are AWESOME – thanks for sharing! I want to be there and take all that in! Those blue lakes are amazing and as am ametuer photographer know we cannot get that all in an image, that is, you cannot beat “being there!”

    Welcome to fly fishing!!

    All the best and many a tight line! – Freddy

    1. From Libby: I currently have 6 set-ups! So much for my plan to only have 1!

      Thank you for your offer on the flies! I will definitely check them out.

      I think a 3 wt in the classic trout would be super fun. It’s a slower casting rod so playing them would be really fun. I have a friend that has a 3 wt classic trout and has nothing but good things to say. For the money you can’t go wrong.

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