When it comes to the next generation of fly fishers, the Roaring Fork Valley is uniquely situated. There are four major rivers, a bunch of lakes and ponds, and plenty of anglers and guides who love to share their knowledge with young people. Nothing compares to seeing a child start to catch fish, understand the hatch, and tying the proper fly on by themselves. Young people often don’t bring their problems and egos to the river like their grown-up counterparts, and the joy they bring is quite contagious. Most kids don’t have bad fly fishing habits to break, so setting them on the right path is usually a cinch.
We sometimes wonder where the next Joan Wulff, Lefty Kreh or Tim Heng is going to spring up from, and I’m willing to bet she or he is right under our collective noses. These kids (and us older kids, too) have a lifetime’s worth of waters to explore in one of the most beautiful places in the country. How lucky is that? Most young people who are interested in this sport are just dying to learn, they just need a good neighbor, parent or any fishy and responsible adult to show them how we do what we do.
If you know a local youngster interested in fly fishing, there is a youth fly tying division in the fifth annual Iron Fly Competition at 4 p.m. Feb. 1 at the Tipsy Trout in Basalt. You can register your little fly tyer at www.roaringfork.org/events and the big kids start tying around 6 pm. You can also take your aspiring angler to your local fly shop — let them ask some questions, make a new friend, get some advice, rummage through the fly bins, or perhaps cast a rod. Shop gurus love meeting and encouraging the “next gen,” and hopefully we can all foster the next great ambassador of our sport together!
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 taylorcreek.com.