With the help of the local guide, Max, from Trout Bum 2 fly shop, located right her in Park City, we finally checked Fly Fishing off our bucket lists. But not really check it off as in never do it again, more like now we’re set for life in a new sport. The saying, “The tug is the drug” is 100% correct. From the moment I hooked my first fish and fought it against the line til the moment angled it into the net, I was hooked.
After living in Utah for three years now, we’ve seen our fair share of people wading in the major rivers nearby, like the Middle Provo, Lower Provo, and the Weber River fishing the day away. Not to mention the in some even more scenic places like in Salmon River in Idaho and the Snake River in Jackson, Wyoming. Needless to say, it was always something we thought we’d try one day, as an alternative to the exhausting activities we do in the mountains. Well that day finally came after getting back from our wedding in April. We called up the Fly Shop on Friday, and booked a guide for the following day to teach us how to fly fish!
After meeting the guide, Max, in the parking lot. Courtney and I put on our waders, boots, and well that’s it. Max had all the rest of the gear for us, and we followed him down a narrow hiking path to the Lower Provo River. There was no instruction in the parking lot on how to cast or the components of a fly fishing rod, no, we simply jumped right into it. We waded across the thigh deep water to get to a spot that we would call “ours” for the day, away from other anglers on the river. He then explained we were going to be using a wet fly setup, where the flies actually sink after they are cast into the river, and will float downstream with the current. After that, he showed us how to cast the line upstream, mend the line to be more presentable to the fish, and then we hit the ground running. Of course, we were no professionals out of the gate, and he was there to help with suggestions and tips on how to cast better, how to get the line just right, and general tips on how to read the river and where the fish will be eating.
It didn’t take long after that for me to catch my first fish! A beautiful brown trout. I didn’t need to catch another fish that day to officially be addicted to fishing. I was once told, “The Tug is the Drug.” And now I completely understand. There is something deep inside of my brain that was woken up as soon as that first first ate that fly and put tension on the fly line. At that moment, we were, quite literally, connected, and I could not wait to catch another one.
Quickly after that, I pulled in my first Rainbow Trout. I’m not sure if a fish is more popular in the West than the Rainbow Trout, and I finally caught one! Then the fish stopped biting, to which, Court and I were thankful our guide was there to change up the flies on the line in hopes we could find out what the fish were hungry for. And like that, Court started hooking fish left and from this one spot in the river we kept referring to as the “honey hole.”
For the rest of the afternoon we spay casted away along the river, trying to find the perfect cast. Max explained to us how to read the river and where the fish would be eating from. We tried to present the flies perfectly over and over, but perfection really is never reached. And I think that is the beauty of it. No matter how good you threw your cast, or how perfect you lined the fly up on the river, or how well you presented the fly, sometimes the fish just don’t go for it. Other times, well they surprise the hell out of you, and that’s what makes fishing amazing. We can’t wait to get back on the river and try it without a guide to solve all of our problems.
My name is Zachary Kenney and I’m an adventure filmmaker & photographer. My passion is to tell stories that will hopefully motivate you to go live a more adventurous life. Whether that is to experience the view from the summit of a mountain, or wandering through a new town on a road trip. Currently based out of Park City, UT.