On The Fly: It’s a rare catch to find a great fishing buddy
On The Fly
Like most relationships, finding the perfect fishing partner can be an exhausting enterprise.
Over the years I’ve had fishing buddies come and go, most often due to girlfriends, wives, jobs, work, children, jail and death often shifting the balance of life and fishing.
I’ve seen several of my friends get into and out of fly fishing like a tide coming in and going out with regularity. Often times, it’s heartache that brings them back into the fold, while at other times it’s due to a rare positive life change such as retirement or a job relocation to a new fishy destination that reinvigorates their simple need to just be around water.
An ideal fishing companion should have similar (but not the same) fishing motives and preferences, temperaments, humor and angst that you have.
It’s more than okay. In fact, it’s ideal to have some differences of opinion with your partner, as long as you both can work amicably together through them.
More often than not, you just kind of “fall-in” with your companion. I can’t exactly remember the first time I met my main fishing buddy Travis Lyons, but I remember that we instantly clicked when we talked about fishing, music and girls. We’ve been fishing long enough together that we both know what we’re thinking on the water, as well as off the water.
We have that innate sensibility of just knowing each other that well. We can have conversations without talking by just looking and reading each other.
We have both spent so much time in the outdoors together that we know what to expect from one another.
For example, during our fall fishing outings, I know that Lyons will be tying on a big articulated streamer and gets first dibs fishing the prime water. He knows that I’ll play cleanup behind him, picking off the less aggressive fish with nymphs — and hopefully some dry flies.
One of my longtime friends, Kevin Blanchard, has recently come back into the fold, too.
Having first fished together about 15 years ago on a trip to Walden, Colorado, Blanchard went through the usual ups and downs in the job and life market, quit fishing, had a mid-life crisis and, like myself, found that his calling was to be where he loved: away from the big city and near the trout streams nestled in the mountains of our quaint Roaring Fork Valley.
Rekindling a friendship and having another trusted fishing partner is not something that anyone should ever take for granted.
Tides come and go, and so do friends and fishing partners, but they always make it back. Some just figure it out sooner than others.
This column is provided weekly by Taylor Creek Fly Shops in Aspen and Basalt. Taylor Creek can be reached at 970-927-4374.
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New hiking and biking trail at Sutey Ranch could ease pressure at main Red Hill trailhead later this summer.