Every year in March a guy walks into the shop to buy hooks or fly tying materials and I ask him the standard shop question. “Have you been out lately?” He looks up from his bundle of materials clenched in his hand. “Oh no,” he replies. “I don’t do my fishing until summertime. My wife has a long list of duties for me to catch up on and fishing isn’t one of em. I’ll be calling you guys in July when the weather is warm.” He smiles. Fishing is a summer sport.”
“You know”, I say, “the best fishing of the year starts about now and lasts until the weather gets warm enough to start the runoff. You could go out this week and your guide could put you in a really good position to catch fish.”
“Really? He asks. People go trout fishing in March? Isn’t there a season in Colorado? “No season.” I reply. “You can fly fish 12 months out of the year here and as you have experienced, the weather can be spectacular and warm, even in March.” We finish up the transaction and he goes on his way. This same conversation happens in fly shops all across the Rockies every spring and guides are left wondering to themselves, why don’t more beginners take advantage of spring fly fishing?
In my mind though I feel bad for the guy. He will call the shop a day or two before his trip, sometime around the 4th of July, and ask for a guide. His guide will be good, but young, as all the top guides will have been booked for months in advance at that time of year. He will get out on the river and right away he will notice that there are rafters and fisherman at nearly every spot.
Rivers are less crowded, hatches are prolific, fish are the most aggressive and least educated of the year. Add to that the fact that you can usually hire some of the top guides in the shop on short notice and you have a recipe for a more than memorable trip.