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Fly Fishing Apprentice

My father-in-law happens to have a client (he’s a CPA) that owns a vacation home in Breckenridge Colorado. Oh to inherit oil rights. It’s amazingly common in Texas and parts of the South. My family goes there yearly as she lets us stay at the house when we want. It’s at the top of a mountain with beautiful views all around. Her little vacation home is bigger than my only house and I’m grateful to stay there gratis. Being in the mountains when Austin is in the middle of this awful heat wave and drought is like an oasis. It’s heaven on earth to me.

Although I just started a new role at a stealth Internet startup, my boss was nice enough to let me continue take a week off about 2 weeks after I started. I really thought I was just going to get to see my family’s pictures of the trip while I stayed home in Austin, but he said to go ahead and enjoy it so, I did.

The Blue River was blown out for the most part due to an unusually high runoff this year. My wife was cool with me taking a full day to go on a guided trip so I went back to Ned Parker at Breckenridge Outfitters to salvage some kind of fly fishing expedition. I can’t recommend Ned and Breckenridge Outfitters enough. He’s an awesome guide and a great guy overall. We ended up going south to get out of the runoff and spent some time on the South Platte.

Coyote Pup over the ridge

Although I didn’t have a lot of luck that day, I thoroughly enjoyed my time on the water with Ned. The one experience that I won’t forget was when I was able to cast a dry across the river to an actively feeding trout. My cast was perfect, within a couple of inches and it happened to land over a little twig that was extended over the water. The fly hit and then lifted up due to the stream’s current and then amazingly dropped right back to the feeding fish and it nailed it on impact the second time. Awesome.

I did get to go out to the convergence of the Blue River with Dillon a couple of times. I caught a few really nice Rainbows and Browns there on my own but the highlight of my trip was when I took my 9 yr old son. After fishing the morning on a little lake formed from the excess of the drainage of Montgomery reservoir outside of Alma with Parker, we headed to where the Blue River runs into Dillon. Parker had been very patient while I worked on his casting and stripping but he hadn’t been able to hook a fish yet. We got out to the lake around 11:00a and hiked to the first place where the water wouldn’t sweep us into the deep ridiculously cold depths. I cast an olive beaded wooly bugger into the feeding lane and showed him how to let the fly swing and then how to strip the fly back in. He did it a few times and the line when tight. He did even better than I could have hoped for. He set the hook, lifted the rod, held the line tight with his right hand while getting the line on the reel with his left, all the while making sure the line was tight. It was almost masterful. He’s a natural. And the whole time he had the biggest grin I had ever seen. He said multiple times, “Dad, Dad, you have to get a picture.” Amazingly, he was handling it so well, I was able to get out my iPhone and snap some pics. As I was netting the beautiful Colorado Rainbow trout, he said, “Dad, am I your apprentice?” Yes Parker, I am proud to have you as my apprentice.

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