Little did I know that fly fishing would be my rock when my fiancé broke up with me for the last time in December. He had told me on multiple occasions that I needed to go out and do more things by myself as I was too dependent on him for my happiness (not sure that was entirely accurate). This may have been the reason that I jumped 100% into fly fishing as Nati, the Goldendoodle and I could do it by ourselves. Leaving him to sit on the couch being introverted.
It took that moment in December to realize just how lucky I had been to stumble into an amazing community.
Enter Roman. I am not sure if this Ukrainian from Queens, NY knew what he was getting into when he helped me pick out my first rod (Redington classic trout), Reel (Redington ID) and Line (RIO Intouch Gold). Or that I would lose so many of his flies (the elk hair caddis in particular) that he carried around in his Umpqua sling pack, that I would potentially give away some of his spots… oops! I learned my lesson but none of them where THAT good. He was with me when I caught my first fish, a Brown Trout, my first and so far, only Kokanee. A Snake River Cutthroat and my first time on a fly fishing raft. He encouraged me (impatiently) to tie my knots faster and to learn to do things myself. I truly owe getting started to him.
Then came Brian. Brian and I met at a Saturday fly tying class at a local shop in Boulder, CO. We got to talking. Somehow and he mentioned he fished Boulder Creek a lot. I been trying to figure it out. Picture a girl with a rod and a 1-year old goldendoodle slipping and almost falling trying to retrieve flies that were stuck in trees. I have since gotten some Rocktreads to better help with traction and so far I still haven’t gone for a swim. After that class we decided that we should fish together. I drug him along to Colorado Trout Unlimited board meetings and fly fishing shows and he took me to high alpine lakes. Not sure who got the better end of that deal. I am not sure how he was so patient with Nati but the 3 of us would fish a lot together. She has now become the perfect fishing dog minus when she decides she wants to help me bring them in and accidentally breaks them off. He works 3 jobs and has a side hustle called Pack Llama which is a guiding service that takes people too hard to get fishing spots in the mountains by 4×4. He always found the time to hang out or go to Bugs and Brews fly tying events. His baby is a Sage Mod fly rod and if he can fish a dry fly he most certainly will.
Then enter Kayla. We met a women’s night and definitely were the disruptive attendees in the back. When there’s free beer … things happen. Our conversation began around gear, specifically the Patagonia Woman’s Salt River Jacket which I wanted to buy. After that we became friends. We went to a few more fishing events, but it wasn’t until a year later we finally went fly fishing together. It still drives me nuts that she caught the biggest brown out of one of my favorite fishing spots (I’m so happy for her). She would come over occasionally and we would tie flies, or I would teach her how to tie flies, or we would start tying flies and then turn it into pizza and drinks.
Throughout the last year my fly fishing gear collection has drastically grown too! I’ve added a Redington Hydrogen (5wt), Sage Pulse (7wt), Sage Approach (3wt), Hardy Glass (4wt), Sage Accel (9wt) and Redington Fiberglass Butterstick (3wt). I also am enjoying using Fishponds Thunderhead Submersible Sling and Thunderhead Submersible Backpack. Waterproof is key when you are only 5 ft 1.5 in. As well as boxes of flies have been added!
All throughout the last year I’ve had some amazing experiences all thanks to fly fishing. What could have been one of the most devastating times in my life was made better by the friends that I have made along the way. If you remember from Part 1 the whole point of fly fishing was for something to do when I backpacked. It now has turned into a every weekend kind of thing and took me to new parts of Colorado I never would have explored.
New adventures are waiting! Tight lines!
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!
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