This past winter, I won a trip with Alan Peak
of 719 Fly
in the FishExplorer Winter Giveaway. I canít express enough gratitude both to FishExplorer.com and to Alan with 719 Fly for providing such a great prize and opportunity. My dad and I had a blast, and we are so thankful for this great community that made it all possible!
This trip was especially valuable and exciting because we would be hitting some new water for me: the Dream Stream
. Crowds had always spooked me from fishing this section, but Alan assured us a mid-week trip would mean a more open river. My dad, a novice flyfisherman, joined us and I was excited to have him learn more about the sport. Guides always significantly shorten the learning curve, especially on new water or with unfamiliar techniques. I was going to learn all about the Dream, and my dad was going to learn more about flyfishing. In March we settled on April 23 as the day to fish. I started counting down the days until go time, eagerly awaiting what was surely going to be a great time!
We met Alan at the South Platte Fly Shop
in Woodland Park at 8:30 AM and we followed him up to the first spot of the day, a super-ultra-top-secret section of public water he calls ďSection XĒ. Section X was gorgeous, and it fished very well with the barbless flies Alan provided. Both my dad and I managed to rustle up some decent resident fish around 15Ē, and we caught countless small fish between 4 and 12 inches in length. Seriously countless. Probably 20 or 25 for both of us. So no trophies, but after a winter away from flyfishing for me and a year or more since the last time my dad went fly fishing, it was great to shake off the rust. And in a beautiful location to boot. Alan really helped with getting us both up to speed, too. He loved talking about the river, the flies he liked to use, how he tied his flies, and numerous other details. An open, honest, and enthusiastic guide like Alan is a great asset on the water, thatís for sure!
I was feeling pretty good when we decided to pack up and move to the Dream Stream. At the Dream, some fish were slapping at midges when we walked up so I fished some dries while my dad kept plugging away with the shot-and-indicator rig. We saw some nice fish but didnít move any until my dad hooked a nice, probably 20 inch or so fish in a cutbank. He lost her, unfortunately. Even more unfortunately, I did exactly the same thing with another 18 incher or so a few minutes later. Still, hooking trout that big on a fly rod isnít something I often do. Without a great guide like Alan, I definitely wouldnít have hooked fish like that, especially when you consider Iíd never seen that river before. It takes a great guide to put clueless people on nice fish, and thatís exactly what Alan did.
Alan was very conversational and super friendly the entire time. He always helped both my dad and me when we needed it, and Iím very grateful for him taking some time to give away a trip. Heís also a fantastic photographer, as you can see in the pics below! If you want to learn a ton about South Park Rivers, as well as other sections of the South Platte like Elevenmile Canyon
, give him a call or visit his website and book a trip! Itís worth it! I loved it and Iím looking forward to my next trip with Alan.
Enjoy Alanís pics below, then head over to his website
Thanks again Alan and FxR! Tight lines!