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Cast by cast by cast

Matthew Bernhardt
Special to Summertime Guide
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The West’s mighty rivers breathe life in every season, being the causeway of survival for many specimens of plants and wildlife. And among these wonders lie the trout fish. The Western Slope’s primitive, yet cunning, fish species has become the formidable nemesis in a game we call fly-fishing.

Fly-fishing on the Western Slope has developed rapidly over the years. At one time you would be the only one on the river, now many people have found the joy of the fine art of casting.

Colorado once had only a handful of guides, now there are numerous companies that can help you learn the excitement of fly-fishing.



Growing up on the upper Colorado, I was immersed in the art of fly-fishing. As a child, I enjoyed learning all there was to know about fly-fishing ” everything from tying my first knot to searching for the perfect fly to use for different seasons. There is dry fly, which floats above the water, or the nymph, which acts like a larva, floating underneath the surface.

In recent years, I have started experimenting with a fly called a streamer, which mimics other fish. Throughout life, I have enjoyed learning about all of the possible tools a fisherman uses to land that perfect fish.



As a kid, fishing was a huge part of life. It was a wonderful game that my family and I would enjoy. Along with my three siblings, I would always try to out-fish my father. We acted as a team, helping each other out and trying to find the perfect combination of lure and line.

We would enjoy every moment fishing in

Colorado’s breathtaking surroundings, listening to nature and the calmness of the ripples.



Now those days are past. I’m older with more commitments. I wish I could go back to the days when all there was to do was fish.

But even with the daily routines and constant deadlines, I find time to slip away into the calmness of the river. Time to let go of all the things on my mind and go searching for that new hatch and that perfect hour, as the sun sets into the west.

Slowly finding myself, cast by cast.

“Mountain Grown” Matthew Bernhardt is the assistant art director at the Vail Daily. He is currently chasing the perfect sunset.


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