Behind the Fin: John Bocchino

  • Name: John Bocchino
  • Fly Fishing Guide for Rifle and Rise Outfitters in Gunnison
  • Life time member of TU
  • Web designer and communications for Gunnison Angling Society 
  • Best Quote from John: “I really wanted to contribute in any way I could to protecting our coldwater fisheries. We face constant challenges and I believe TU plays a major role in protecting what I love the most. I just want to do my part."

Member of the Gunnison Angling Society Chapter of TU, John Bocchino lives for fishing. His passion for fly fishing has led to the creation of a successful business, Rifle and Rise Outfitters. John has been a board member, vice president, and president of his chapter and currently works on the website and communications. The term Good Enough may fit nicely with his band name, but as a volunteer and member of TU, John is so much more than just "good enough."

- How long have you been a TU member?

I joined TU sometime in the 90s and then became a life member shortly after that. My business, Riffle and Rise Outfitters, is a registered TU endorsed business as well.

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

I joined TU and got involved because I wanted to try to make a difference with regard to coldwater conservation efforts. Fly Fishing is my passion, and I wanted to do my part totaylor_bow1_blog_060415 protect the resource. I was getting back into fly fishing in a big way while living in northern VA in the 90's. I became very involved at the state level in Virginia and helped with web development efforts and other projects for the VA Council of TU. In 2006, I moved to the Colorado Rockies for the mountains, rivers, and trout. I am an active member of our Gunnison Chapter of TU, the Gunnison Angling Society. I served on the Board, and was also VP and President. I built a new website for the chapter and continue to manage that, as well as chapter communications. - What made you want to become more involved with TU?

I really wanted to contribute in any way I could to protecting our coldwater fisheries. We face constant challenges and I believe TU plays a major role in protecting what I love the most. I just want to do my part.

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

I enjoy the web development work I’ve done for my local chapter, and I also enjoy helping to promote youth education as it relates to TU. I’ve been very involved in helping to raise funds and send kids to the CTU youth camp for several years now. I also recently managed two college interns from Western State Colorado University here in Gunnison, who worked for our chapter this past spring.taylor_bow1_blog_030215

- What is a favorite fishing spot and favorite fishing story?

It’s tough to identify just one favorite spot for fishing. My favorite river here in Colorado is the Lake Fork of the Gunnison River. Between guiding and fishing, I probably spend about 150 days per year on the water. I remember my early days fishing the Catskills back in the 90s and early 2000s, where my friends and I would spend a week up on the Beaverkill and the West Branch during May, June, and September. We called it fish camp and really looked forward to those trips. I got into the hatches in a big way and started tying flies and calling out bug names in Latin while on the river. One day, one of my buddies came up to fish with us and he was just a beginner. He really didn’t fish much. Well, he proceeded to out-fish us in a major way and when I asked him what he was using, he said, “I don’t know. A big gray fuzzy thing.” So much for all the years of studying hatches and learning Latin.

brown1_era_blog_082515- To you, what is the best tactic or fly for catching trout? The most important thing is patience. That is the key word for fishing and definitely for guiding as well. You need to move slow, concentrate, and have a lot of patience and just enjoy the ride. It’s not brain surgery. We’re just catching fish. I definitely don’t have just one top fly that I use. I enjoy dry fly fishing the most, and when I can’t do that, I love to streamer fish. So chasing big trout with a streamer is one of my favorite things to do. And for that, I like a size 4 Sculpzilla.

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

I have an outfitting business, Riffle and Rise Outfitters, which I set up last year so I could work for myself. This was my second season on my own and it was great. I like guiding for myself and having total control over what I do and how I can take care of my clients.  When I’m not working/guiding or fishing, I enjoy playing music. I play guitars, dobro, and harmonicas, and I’ve been playing in a little band here for the past few months. I have a small recording studio in my house and we get together to record music every now and then. We’ve also performed live a few times this year. We’re not all that great and try not to take it too seriously, but we have a good time messing around with music. (I’m a fly fishing guide, not a rock star!) We go by the name Good Enough. I guess that says it all!