I’m going to be very honest, I’m not the world’s greatest dad! I’m basically a workaholic. I have a real-life job and a lot of you know what that is. I’m a fly fishing guide, and I try to keep this business thing going. I’m ashamed to say I don’t get my girls out fly fishing nearly enough. Just like everyone out there I’m trying to do the best I can and still enjoy life. Well, I will tell you taking these two wonderful girls out on the water is pure joy and I’m planning to do it a lot more. Delaney and Ella have both been fly fishing since they were three. I started them early so they would have a love for the outdoors and fly fishing, just like my grandma did for me many years ago. Laney, is now twelve and Ella is eight. The girls ask me to go fly fishing all the time. So, I set up a trip on a great property that I am very fortunate to guide on, Hidden Valley Lake or what us guides call the Pepsi Pond. This property is one of my favorites to guide on and Dean does a fantastic job managing this property. The girls where very excited because they have seen my client’s pictures from this property many times. I’ll walk you through our day and tell you more about this fantastic property as we go.
I’m an early morning person, Laney is as well and Ella is not. So, I tried to leave a little later in the morning so they could get some good rest. I knew It would be cold in the morning up in Kremmling, I didn’t want to get them there to early because they would just be miserable. We stopped in Silverthorne and I picked them up some breakfast so they would have energy for the day. We arrived at Hidden Valley Lake around 8:30. The temperature outside was about forty degrees and I told the girls it was too cold to get out of the car. I had them stay in the car to stay warm while I got everything ready for them. With kids, it’s better to have everything ready so they are not standing around getting board. I this case the weather played a factor so I didn’t want them getting bored out in the cold, it would just cause other issues. A quick tip for you if you’re taking kids fly fishing, try and eliminate anything that will take their attention off having fun and fishing. This is not easy to do, planning is very important. I got everything ready and helped them get their waders on. Another good thing to remember here is, make sure all their equipment fits before the trip. Don’t do what this damn idiot did and not have the kids try their wader boots on. Laney has freakishly huge feet and they grew. Her boots did not fit, good thing I brought extra pairs just in case. Ella’s equipment fit perfect then I noticed she wasn’t wearing her glasses. So, dad in his usual form got after her. Ella’s very sensitive and she got upset and started to cry. Yes, I’m an asshole the one thing you don’t want to do is have the kids have a terrible experience and I already fucking blew that in the first thirty minutes. Well after some talking and everyone calming down we all recovered and it was time to catch some fish.
When you take, kids fly fishing it’s best to keep your rigs as simple as possible. I started the girls off with simple indicator nymph rigs. Seven and a half foot leaders work well for kids because they are pretty easy for them to cast. I know in this lake, you don’t need to be much deeper than four to six feet so they work perfect. The flies of choice where Shafer’s Ella’s beast witch by the way is named after Ella and pine squirrel leaches. On this day, we would never have to change that fly combination it worked all day. After a quick talk about what was going to happen on the lake and some quick casting instruction it was time for them to get after it. Best not to put kids through a bunch of bullshit before they start fishing. Just get them fishing as quick as possible and adjust from there. I have learned this over the years guiding kids on regular guided trips. Within two minutes Laney had a nice 19-inch Bow on the line. Within ten minutes the girls had their first double going. The fishing was fast and the girls where having a wonderful time. When the fishing slowed down I would move them around the shoreline to a new spot and they would stick some more fish. Now this is a damn good lake to fish but on this day the girls where really getting after it like I have never seen before. In fact, the girls where laughing that the fish where hurting their arms. There was several times the fish almost yanked the rods right out of their hands. Both girls fought these fish by themselves I would not help them. I wanted them to experience the whole thing and it was so much fun to watch. You could see the veins in their heads popping out, they were concentrating so hard and putting all they had into getting the fish to the net. On this day the trout where in pres-pawn mode lots of males cruising looking to eat. This made for explosive action and the girls took full advantage of it. They worked so hard to stick these fish it was truly an impressive site to see the joy and excitement on their faces throughout the day. Even brought a tear to the old mans eye a couple times throughout the day. Maybe I’m getting fucking soft in my old age but it was a feeling that is damn hard to explain.
One of the coolest things I have ever had the privilege to observe was Laney and Ella working a fish together. Ella got hooked up with a nice bow and Laney wanted to net it for her. I handed the net to Laney and her and Ella battled this fish. Ella was working the fish on the stick and Laney was the net minder. It was a thing of beauty I have never been so proud to watch those girls work together to get that fish to the net. Dad got the whole damn thing on video. It was one of those rare times when everything went perfect, it was a thing of beauty. The pure excitement they both had was outstanding and I will never forget that moment. You can Check that video soon I will be posting it on social media it’s pretty cool.
After countless fish and some super big dogs the girls where beat. They were so excited all they could talk about was how big the fish where and how much fun they had. They told some great fishing stories all the way home. Made their dad very proud. We stopped and got some lunch in Silverthorne. My girls eat a lot, growing kids as we all know will eat you out of house and home. They both downed their whoppers and onion rings like gorilla’s. Now I have seen them eat but never like that before. The entire day was just a wonderful experience and many memories made. As I write this I can hardly wait for the next trip with those two awesome girls. I’m lucky I get to experience a lot of great times out on the water with clients but it is a whole different thing when those clients are your girls. I love you Laney and Ella thank you for giving your dad such wonderful memories from our trip together.
If you would like to experience this outstanding property we can book it through the shop The Blue Quill Angler. Like I said in the opening it is rare to find places with such beauty. Especially ones that you can fish fantastic still water and river all in the same day. A lot of my trips to this property will start off at the Pepsi pond in the morning. Then we will fish the river in the afternoon and then return to the lake in the early evening. Hope you enjoyed this post please leave me any questions or comments. Look for more pictures on my Facebook, Instagram and twitter pages links at the top of the page. Take care!