Vail Valley Fishing report
Vail, CO Colorado
If there is one thing that I know about women; when it comes to guiding and fly fishing they listen.
And because of this they learn exponentially quicker than men do. When you offer advice on improvement, nine out of 10 women will listen and try what you said. Whereas offering advice to men who have been fishing longer than I have been alive, but still can’t make a 20-foot cast, will reiterate the fact that they have been fishing longer than I have been alive.
Therefore negating any improvement and making a lousy day on the water.
How do you expect to catch the healthy rainbow gingerly sipping blue wings when your cast looks like you’re throwing a water hose? You don’t.
Henry David Thoreau said “Many men go fishing all their lives without knowing it’s not the fish they are after.” I’m not saying all men are like this and that all women are examples of the perfect angler. In a sport dominated by men, chalked full of machismo and testosterone, women tend to remember one of the main reasons we all started fishing.
We all started fishing because it got us outside and put us in places that were amazing and beautiful. Some so remote and wild it was scary.
In the beginning it was not all ways about catching fish. It was learning the art of casting a fly, reading water, the abundance of wildlife around me and the water rushing around my legs while wet wading on a hot summer day on the Madison.
Over the years, in my eyes, I have become 10 times the angler I was when I started. I feel that I learn something new every time I hit the water. And I expect myself to catch fish and land them all.
Obviously this is unrealistic. You can’t catch them all and there are days where you get skunked, rarely, but it happens. That’s why it’s called fishing, not catching.
Recently, I was fishing the Gore, it started off slow but quickly warmed up. After an hour, I landed two large cutthroats in the 14- to 16-inch range and was completely pumped.
I continued to work my way up stream and picked off some little browns and another cutthroat within another hour. At about noon, I saw a large fish sipping and crashing the surface 10 feet behind a boulder.
I tossed my foam PMX into the slack water where she was and after three or four casts she was on. She took me down stream and pulled me 20 yards through the willows, made me weave through the boulders, slip on a rock and fall in the water – she was still on, a foot from the bank with my net in hand. And then she decided to take one more run right into the fast water and she was gone.
I probably threw the biggest hissy fit I have thrown in years, it might have been the biggest rainbow I have ever hooked on the Gore, but I still had the fit of a lifetime. And it wasn’t until after I calmed down that I realized, it wasn’t the fish I was after, it was the rush and excitement of catching the fish.
As I was basking in the sun looking at mountains while thunderclouds rolled in and hit me that was one of the best fights I’ve ever had.
I’ve never guided a woman who threw a fit. After being broken off she looks at you with wild eyes and says “let’s get another!” Then smiles and gets right back to the point, the reason we all started fishing.
Miles Comeau is a guide for Alpine River Outfitters in Edwards. He can be reached at 970-926-0900.