Run. Catch. No cheating.

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REPOST from The Dirtbag Diaries Podcast:

"There are a lot of serious problems in this world, but the solutions don’t always have to be serious. Fly-fisherman and trail-runner Andrew Todd channeled his concern for Colorado’s native trout and the watersheds that support them into the creation of a joyful, irreverent, event: The Flyathlon.

The rules:

  1. Run 10-miles
  2. Catch a fish
  3. Don’t be a jack-donkey
  4. No fish in your Camelbak that you brought from somewhere else.

Cordelia Zars–and a group of Flyathletes–on Gunnison, Colorado’s Lake Fork River joined Dirtbag Diaries for an interview, listen below. 

Learn more and register for a Flyathlon at flyathlon.com or check out Andrew’s non-profit at runningrivers.org "

Fishing with Kids: 5 tips to keep them coming back

 Courtesy of Trout Unlimited/Joshua Duplechain

Courtesy of Trout Unlimited/Joshua Duplechain

Learning a new activity when you are younger can go two ways: amazing or not so great. That probably is still true as an adult, but when taking a child fishing, having a great time or not can make all the difference. Obviously, every child is different, but if there was one thing to keep in mind? Stay excited and someone HAS to catch a fish.

1. Patience and Understanding

 Courtesy of Trout Unlimited/Joshua Duplechain

Courtesy of Trout Unlimited/Joshua Duplechain

It goes without saying that most people respond well to learning a new skill if the teacher is patient in the process and understands that mistakes will happen. Having a chill attitude and rolling with the punches will ensure that everyone will have a good time! You might not get to fish much, but there will always be a chance to go out yourself another time. This outing is about the child.

2. Excitement is Contagious

We feed off of each other's excitement, and kids do the same! If you are excited for them to catch a fish or learn how to cast, then that energy can help keep them going even when the struggles of fishing are real! It's easy to become disappointed when someone isn't as receptive to one of your favorite pastimes. When all else fails, snacks help!

3. Perfection is not the goal

We are not perfect, so there is no reason to expect that of a kid. We all mess up. Someone might get hooked (barbless hooks help with this), the line will get tangled, the knots will not hold, snags will happen, and fish might never bite. Sometimes the best thing about fishing is sharing the stories of never catching a fish, and the funny things that happened along the way. Laughing or shrugging off the mishaps makes coming back, much more likely. 

4. Increase Your Chances for Success

 Creative Commons. 

Creative Commons. 

One of the best ways to make the experience a great one is to use kid-friendly equipment. A full setup on the fly rod might be too much at once for beginners, so using a closed spin cast rod or simpler setups (possibly Tenkara) which are much less intimidating. Yes, this might also include using scented bait or fishing in well-stocked ponds, but fishing with kids is about getting them excited and hopefully want to learn the more advanced stuff later on. Also, if you're right there next to them and you just happen to hook a fish, it's a great opportunity to pass off the rod for them to reel it in.

With kids, the simpler the better. Check out this great write up about teaching kids how to fly fish with kid-friendly Tenkara setups. Who knows, you might even end up liking it too!

CPW Getting Started Fishing Gear (Spincast)

101 Places to take a Kid Fishing In Colorado

5. Take a Break

If there is one thing that anglers and fly fishers are, that is persistent. "One more cast, one more fly combo, one more location" is the drive for many to keep going till the sun goes down. Kids might not share that same enthusiasm from the get go and even though we would all like to at least catch a fish, it's easier to leave before the frustration sets in. There’s always next time!

There are so many great resources out there with ideas and tips on getting young ones outside and on the water. We've listed a few below. Feel free to leave a comment on your best tips and tricks to keep beginners coming back for more! 

Other great reads

Fishing Tips From a Parent - with age groups

Introducing Kids to Flyfishing

 

 

Behind the Fin with Josh Anaya

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Join us "Behind the Fin" with Josh Anaya, Secretary, Frostbite Fishoff Chair, Communications, and Webmaster for the Southern Greenbacks Trout Unlimited Chapter

How long have you been a member?

I've been a member for almost two years. My first meeting was our chapter's election meeting, and we still had a couple of board positions open -- one of them being chairman of our annual fundraiser, the Frostbite Fish-Off. I thought it sounded fun and interesting, and I had some similar previous experience in cyberspace, and figured I'd try it out "in real life". By the end of the year, I also absorbed the positions of Secretary, and Communications/Web Guy.


Why did you become a member and what chapter are you involved with?

Curiosity, mostly. In January 2017, I joined both Trout Unlimited, and Fly Fishers International. A friend at one of my local fly shops suggested I check out TU, and see if it was something I'd be interested in. I was (and still am) pretty new to fly fishing, and it seemed like a great way to immerse myself in the community, and accelerate the learning process. Our chapter is the Southern Colorado Greenbacks, Chapter 509. We have members from Custer, Fremont, and Pueblo Counties. 

What made you want to become involved with TU?

Again, curiosity, but I also have some legitimate concerns over the future of the Stream Protection Rule under the current administration, and where the planet in general is headed environmentally. I thought I'd see what TU was all about, and see what I could contribute to the organization.


What is your favorite activity or project that you have done with TU?

I'd have to say it was the Frostbite Fish-Off -- our chapter's annual fundraiser. This year we had fifteen teams of two anglers each competing for some great prizes, with a party and raffle afterward. All in all, we had about seventy people involved. I've signed on to be the chairman of the event for at least another year, but I'm also working on getting a Trout in the Classroom project going at my son's middle school for the 2018-2019 school year. 

Our chapter also has a lot of cross-pollination with our local Fly Fishers International chapter (shout out to the Pueblo Tailwater Renegades!), and we've had river cleanups, and planted willows along the Arkansas River with Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The Renegades also host a Thursday evening "Bluegill Bash" at the ponds next to the Arkansas Tailwater, and that's been pretty fun, too.

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What is your favorite activity or project that you have done with TU?

I'd have to say it was the Frostbite Fish-Off -- our chapter's annual fundraiser. This year we had fifteen teams of two anglers each competing for some great prizes, with a party and raffle afterward. All in all, we had about seventy people involved. I've signed on to be the chairman of the event for at least another year, but I'm also working on getting a Trout in the Classroom project going at my son's middle school for the 2018-2019 school year. 

Our chapter also has a lot of cross-pollination with our local Fly Fishers International chapter (shout out to the Pueblo Tailwater Renegades!), and we've had river cleanups, and planted willows along the Arkansas River with Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The Renegades also host a Thursday evening "Bluegill Bash" at the ponds next to the Arkansas Tailwater, and that's been pretty fun, too.
 

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I know you won’t tell me your top spot, so what is your second favorite fishing spot or favorite fishing story?

My second favorite fishing spot would be pretty much anywhere in the World of Warcraft. I've been playing on and off for about twelve years now -- mostly to keep in touch with friends (big /cheer to my friends in the Bloodbath & Beyond guild). I haven't had the time to do all the cool end-game stuff for quite a few years, but every once in a while I'll log in, play for a night or two, and sneak in some fishing. That's actually where I got my start fishing -- I've always been a video gamer, and have played online games for about 20 years, and many of the bigger online games have fishing systems built into them. Two years ago, though, I had fished all there was to fish in Warcraft, and I was looking at about four months before the newest version would be out. I'd always see people fishing along the Arkansas whenever I'd ride that route, and one day I thought, "A lot of my gamer buddies like fishing in real life. I'mma learn2fish." I found a class at one of my local fly shops that was actually happening that weekend, and I jumped right in. 


What does being a part of TU mean to you?

After only a year or so, I'm still defining what I want that to be. I'll help with TU's mission where I can, and when I can. I'd like to be more active at the State level, but I'm still figuring out what kind of impact I can have at the local level, especially with working with local businesses and government entities.


Beyond being an awesome angler, what else do you do in your spare time or for work?

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I wouldn't exactly call myself an awesome angler...yet. Professionally, though, I'm a software developer, but I have a lot of other things going on the side. My evenings are usually spent playing games with my kids, or helping them with their homework. Once everybody's asleep, I'm usually working on some art project or another, whether it's digital like 3d modeling, or something more traditional like painting and sculpting. I picked up fish carving after this year's Western Rendezvous after I stumbled across Bill Rottman's artwork in a shop, and then met him a month later at the Annual Woodcarving & Woodworking Show in Colorado Springs, hosted by the Pikes Peak Whittlers. I'm also working on a couple independent video game projects. 

I tie, too! The shop I learned to fly fish at -- The Drift Fly Shop in Pueblo -- has classes on tying, and I jumped into that, too. I love the art, and I was just awarded my bronze level award in fly tying from Fly Fishers International. Next on my project list are to complete the silver and gold levels of the award.