In our exclusive series Adventures with Alan, we’ll travel across Southern Colorado week-by-week to show you thrills and chills, hidden gems and well-known spots.
For this adventure, we’re channeling our inner Brad Pitt from the 90s movie classic, “A River Runs Through it.”
But instead of Montana, our sights are set on the South Platte River in scenic Eleven Mile Canyon.
It’s time for fly fishing
Our guide for this adventure is Phil Tereyla, with Angler’s Covey in Colorado Springs.
After suiting up with boots and waders to help keep us dry, we get in the river.
The water is crystal clear and chilly on this beautiful fall morning…and that’s where our instruction begins.
In fly fishing, fish are caught using artificial flies.
Tereyla tells us that this allows them to eat as they normally would in a more natural environment.
“All these fish do is they sit faced upstream. They just do this…open and close their mouths and let the current deliver food to them,” said Tereyla.
It’s adventurous and relaxing, yet requires patience like all other forms of fishing.
“(If) that indicator goes all the way under, if it winks at you funny…anything that looks like it’s just not floating on top of the water, we’re gonna set that hook,” said Tereyla.
By setting the hook, he’s referring to the action of quickly pulling the rod in a downstream direction.
This will set the fly into the corner of the fish’s mouth.
Shortly after learning the basics and scoping out a few spots, we hook our first fish.
However, thanks to a slow set, the fish got away.
After that initial strike, we hit a dry spell.
Cool and overcast conditions maybe partly to blame.
Staying put, we keep on casting until…we hook another fish!
Once I get to cranking on this guy…he gets away.
To update you, that would be:
At this point, I check in with Tereyla to find out what I did right, and what I did wrong.
“So the cast was awesome. Your hook set was great, in the right direction. We were maybe just a little slow on our hook set,” said Tereyla.
As we near the lunch hour, sunshine and warmer temperatures are helping to bring out more flies.
Tereyla tells us the more flies the better, and he’s right!
With more flies landing on the water, the fish seem more alert, and we start to see more action.
And after a few more close calls (hooks), we reel in our first cutbow of the day!
After posing a few celebratory high fives and a picture with the fish, it’s time to release it back into the river.
That’s the rule around here on this section of the South Platte.
Not wanting to quit, we keep going for a little longer until we reel in our second fish of the day, and it’s even bigger than the first!
Final score at the end of our day:
And just like that, I’m hooked…
For a first timer, I cannot say enough about how much fun I had my first time fly fishing.
I want to thank our guide Phil Tereyla from Angler’s Covey for taking us out on the river and showing us a great time.
For everything from guided fly fishing and ice fishing trips to equipment rentals to fishing classes, you can check out their website: https://anglerscovey.com/.
Fly fishing rating
Now it’s time to rate my latest adventure.
For difficulty, the process of learning to fly fish properly with a good solid cast took a little bit of time. Once I got it, we ended up hooking at least two fish and catching two. 3.5 out of 5.
For fun level, I think that the natural beauty of the experience on top of fly fishing for my first time resulted in a perfect day of fun. 5 out of 5.
Now for my final score…let’s rate this one 5 stars out of 5.
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