Nick's Fly Fishing Story

Every year, Nick returns to the fish the waters where it all started.

In 2021, Nick decided to see if he could make a career out of his newly found passion, Fly Fishing. He attended Sweet Water Guide School in Montana that summer. A week of fishing the Big Horn River did some good for Nick and he returned to Colorado with the knowledge of what he needed to do, in order to become a fly fishing guide. 

Truth be told, Nick had a lot to work on after the guide school but he put his head down and got to work. He took every opportunity he could to get out and fish. Nick found himself river-side over 100 times during the second half of 2021. He would almost double that number the following year. 

However, Nick didn’t limit himself to the rivers of the west. He took his fly rod all over, including the Texas Coast. He caught his first redfish in the summer of 2021 and returned in the summer of 2022 and managed to snag a Texas Saltwater Slam, twice!! 

Speckled Trout 1/3 of the species in the Texas Salt Water Slam
Red Drum (Redfish) 2/3 of species of the Texas Salt Water Slam
Flounder 3/3 of the species of the Texas Salt Water Slam

Nick has also made a trip to the notorious White River of Northern Arkansas each year, since starting his fly fishing journey. His first trip there would be memorable, as he landed his personal best rainbow trout. The size of the fish in this river keep people coming back year after year. Nick is no different and has plans to guide trips on this big river in the future.

Among Nick’s other plans for the future are flats fishing for Red Fish on the Texas Coast (spring and fall) and float tips on the Big Horn River in Montana. 

Nick's personal best rainbow trout: 25" and ~9lbs caught on the White River (AR) in Sept '21

In the fall of 2021, Nick took the Colorado State Rowing Certification course with Colorado West Slope Fly Fishing (CWSFF). This 50-hour course is the bare minimum one needs to be able to guide (from a boat), in the state of Colorado. CO has some of the stricter regulations when it comes to commercial boating, requiring additional 250 commercial river miles and 250 private river miles in order to obtain “trip leader” status. 

“Trip Leader,” also known as TL, status allows you to run trips solo, without the need for a trip leader. Before obtaining your TL, you’ll have to run trips with someone who is a Trip Leader. Nick managed to get his 500 miles during his first summer working as a guide. 

As of May 2023, Nick has over 400 commercial miles and is well on his way to Guide Instructor status. His relationship with CWSFF would blossom and this mentorship would further help his career as a guide. 

Nick shows off a nice large mouth from one of the local resorvoirs
The Western Slope has a surpisingly good crappie popoulation
Western Colorado has several great trout fisheries

Nick now works full time as a fly fishing guide on the Western Slope of Colorado. He works for two of the areas best outfitters, Colorado West Slope Fly Fishing and Black Canyon Anglers (BCA). Late March / early April brings Nick back down from the snowy peaks to take advantage of hungry fish eager for the more comfortable temperatures of spring. 

Early spring is a great time to get on one of Nick’s favorite rivers, the mighty Colorado. The Colorado River is difficult to fish once the snowmelt is in full swing, as the river runs high and swift. During spring runoff, Nick’s focus shifts to local reservoirs and lakes that host many different species including bass, crappie, trout, and one of Nick’s newest targeted species: Northern Pike.

As Spring turns into Summer, you can find Nick on the Gunnison River where he does day trips on the “lower Gunnison” and multi-day trips through the Gunnison Gorge with BCA. The Gorge is a special place that not only hosts world class fishing but a true wilderness experience in one of the most unique places in North America. 

Ute Park in the Gunnison Gorge