Behind the Fin: Blake Fanning

How long have you been a TU member?I’ve been a member for 8 years, joining after moving to Colorado.  However, I really only started getting active in the past few years.

Why did you become a member and what chapter are you involved with? My grandfather taught me to fly fish when I was 8, learning on the streams in the Silverton, CO area. And my mother taught me to be in tune with the environment and how harshly man has treated it.  So TU was a natural fit with those passions.  I’m a member of the Collegiate Peaks Chapter in the Arkansas valley.

What made you want to become involved with TU? In addition to my lifelong pursuit of fly fishing for trout, and love of mother nature, it was a selfish reason. I wanted to learn how to fish the Arkansas river and figured the folks at our chapter could show me how to do so.  It’s not the easiest of rivers to catch fish on.

What is your favorite activity or project that you have done with TU? I’m going to the CTU youth conservation and fly fishing camp in June as a volunteer. I think it will be awesome learning from many experts on river ecology, as well as helping excite the next generation on river conservation and fly fishing.

I know you won’t tell me your top spot, so what is your second favorite fishing spot or favorite fishing story? I’ve really started to love high alpine lakes, particularly backpacking into them. The solitude and natural beauty always recharges my batteries.  Plus I have learned enough to usually catch some wild trout for supper.  My favorite river fishing is on a stretch of the Colorado River, where my brother and I catch 18-20+ inch rainbow and brown trout.  I will leave that stretch unidentified per my brother’s request.

What does being a part of TU mean to you? It means being involved in a community of men and women whom share the common goals of conservation and fly fishing. Youth education and teaching kids to fish is a definite plus.

What else do you do in your spare time or for work? Since moving into the mountains, I have started a new career in elder care, trying to keep folks in their homes.  A new focus of my fishing is the 9 wt rod I recently purchased.  I’m getting into kayak fly fishing for larger fish in the Florida flats and will be fishing for some pike this summer on the Rio Grande.  Love new adventures.