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“Destination Kokanee” by Kaylee Pacheco

By Guest Blogger, Kaylee Pacheco

(find her @kayleelovespugs on Instagram)

The Gunnison – Almont area has become one of my favorite destinations to pursue my fly fishing passion. Last weekend, Ryan and I traveled there on the mini-destination trip hosted by Angler’s Covey Director of Services, Jon Easdon, and Guide Justin Brenner. Three Rivers Resort provides the lodging, and the guides from Willowfly Anglers get the travelers on fish. The Gunnison and Taylor rivers serve up the great opportunities.

Ryan was the first person to take me out fly fishing. He was so patient to teach me –– especially because I can be stubborn sometimes. I caught my first fish on the fly at Deckers in April 2019.

Ryan booked a guide trip for both of us with Jon Eadson from the Covey. I can still hear Jon saying “Kaylee, hooksets are free.” We netted many fish that day. I knew I had found my new hobby.

Now, anytime the Covey offers a new class, Ryan and I sign up. I took both entomology classes with Robert Younghanz at the Covey to try and gain more knowledge about bugs. There is always so much to learn. I have also started going on trips with Pikes Peak Women Anglers. It was exciting to find women who enjoy fishing as much as I do.

And the mini-destination trip is on its way to becoming an annual event for us. This was Ryan’s third time on the mini-destination and my second. While he went last fall, I stayed home to take care of the dogs (you can follow me on Instagram @kayleelovespugs). When I saw Ryan’s pictures, I knew I had to go.

My first min-destination trip was this past May when I caught my personal best on the catch and release area of the Taylor. I had never had that much luck at the C and R! Audrey was such a great guide.

When I returned for the mini-destination trip last weekend, I told our guide, Holden from Willowfly Anglers, that I had one goal in mind: catch a Kokanee. I didn’t care if I caught just one fish. I wanted to catch a new species, and I had never caught a Kokanee before.

You have to be in the right place at the right time of the year – and we were.

The whole weekend of the mini-destination trip was great. The cabins are awesome. So spacious and clean. And I like the chance to get into the hot tub at the end of the day.

Saturday we had a nice dinner at the Almont Inn. I love hearing the stories over dinner and how others did on their day.

And I didn’t have to fight Jon for the last chicken fried steak this time.

Ryan and I have not done too much this summer because of the COVID, so the trip was really great.

(Editor’s note: we’ve all been there, fellas)

My favorite fishing companion is Ryan. I love being on the water with him, and I am so thankful to be able to spend time doing something we both love.

Our Guest Blogger column will be a regular feature on the last Sunday of the month. If you would like to share your passion for fly fishing in story or images, please contact

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