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Guide Lines Tips and Talk with Featured Guides

Passion. That’s what you hear most from this month’s featured guide, Greg Blessing.  Oh, you hear it in his words, for sure, but you mostly hear it in the excitement in his voice when he talks about clients he has guided or locations he has fished.  Passion.


I asked Greg what tips he would give for the flyfisher heading out in the next week. What should we pay attention to as we head into April fishing? 


With flows being increased in some of our local waters, due in part to Denver Water dumping the water from Antero Reservoir, conditions are getting good.  In Elevenmile Canyon, the increased flow has blown the ice out of the Canyon which is making for great early Spring conditions right now.  Deckers, too, is fishing well.  Pueblo is heating up with its increased flow.  In short, the water is rising and the fish are hungry … and they’re hitting midges and baetis. 


Speaking of Antero, you should plan on heading up to that Reservoir, too, in April to harvest some of the fish there as they continue to drain it.


One of the things you’ll first realize when you sit down over a cup of coffee with Greg is that you need to pay attention.  He’s a teacher at heart and flyfishing is his subject.  If you listen, each of his comments can be a mini-lesson about some aspect of the sport:

  • Presentation, of course, is the most important aspect.  But fly selection — size and silhouette — are right there with presentation.  
  • “Foam is home.”  If you can, seine the water further out in the riffles to see what is in the water.  Don’t just check under the rocks by the bank or look at what’s in the air.  The bugs in the foam are important to match and they look different than the others you may find submerged or in flight.
  • Love the golfers in your life.  The more they golf, the less time they’ll be on the river.

Greg’s been at this a long time.  How does he maintain his own passion?  “This sport is always evolving.  You can always learn something whether you’re new or if you’ve been fishing for awhile.”  Greg has been heading to Montana to guide on the Bighorn – or to just fish it himself – for over 17 years.  “It makes me an all-around better guide.  You have to take on new challenges so it puts you back at the beginning, back to learning.  Then I can return to Colorado with a fresh outlook for our rivers.” 

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