On the Fly column: Be a fly-fishing ambassador

Scott Spooner
On the Fly

The spirit of fly-fishing moves people in different ways. I know more than one person who swears they wouldn’t be around anymore without the intricacies of the sport to occupy their mind, giving them something to look forward to in this life. For others, it is about the constant search of seeking out new waters, across this valley and across the globe. For myself, it is paying forward the kindness I’ve experienced as I’ve come to learn a bit about all of the ins-and-outs of casting flies at wary fish.

When I first picked up a fly rod, I was flailing about with the best of them. I mean really, really struggling. I learn by doing and wasn’t doing myself any favors fishing the wrong fly, in the wrong place, in the wrong way, at the wrong time. One lucky day, someone saw me in the struggle box and sauntered over. A quick casting tune up, downsizing of tippet and attaching the correct fly (fished in the zone where fish were actually hanging out) had me feeling like the scales fell from my eyes in regards to actually catching a fish.

Most of us are in the unique position to be that angler. The one who helps instead of snickering at that newbie standing in the middle of all the fish, casting away without a clue. Selfishness and competition on the river doesn’t do anyone any favors, especially if we plan on banking some positive fishing karma. I don’t know who that helpful angler was that turned my day around, but I strive to be him and make a difference in someone else’s fishing life. Fly-fishing needs to be less snobbish, elitist and intimidating and become more accessible, inclusive and welcoming. Who’s with me?

This report is provided every week by Taylor Creek Fly Shops in Aspen and Basalt. Taylor Creek can be reached at 970-927-4374 or


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