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The Hope of a New Season

Guest blogger Joel Walker considers the hope of spring and the hope of a new season.

The hope of spring invites us into another season of great fly fishing adventures. Spring is a very, very special time for the fly angler. Hope is possibly our greatest power as fly fishers. It is a secret and silent thing that motivates us to make the drive up the mountain. As Andy Dufresne said in Shawshank Redemption, “Hope is good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” Yes, hope and fly fishing are surely the best of things. Here are some of my hopes for all of us for this new season.

The Fish

I hope that all of us will have big fish days. This is the most common desire for the fly angler. Let’s not deny it, rationalize it, or minimize it. It’s so good to want this and allow it to live in you. It drives us to not be lazy on the water and forces us to hike, hunt, and stalk fishy waters. The hard to get at holes, seams, and far banks push us in the hope that a big fish will be looking for a meal. Is there anything better than knowing that you’ve got a huge lunker on the line? Is there anything better than actually netting that huge lunker on a size 22 midge that you tied yourself? 

I hope that all of us have no fish days. There is one thing that deeply haunts the fly angler. Of course, it’s the dreaded no bueno skunk day. If you have fished for trout in our beautiful waters, you know the smell. This inevitable reality is something that good fishermen learn to accept and understand. They embrace it with a better ease. Good anglers don’t use these days as an indictment on their fly fishing ability. They use these days as opportunities to explore, be silent, pray, try new techniques, take a deep breath, or take a needed nap in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Think Cheesman Canyon. Think that small stream that you want to keep secret for just a little while longer.

The Camaraderie

I hope that all of us fish with good friends. Fly fishing with good friends is another one of those “best of things.”  The joy of having a friend who loves what you love is intoxicating. Standing next to a friend in the South Platte is the best of therapies. The talking, the silence, the strategizing, and the laughter are medicine for the soul. I was fishing with a fellow guide, my friend, a few weeks ago. I had a nice fish on and he  stopped his fishing to happily net my fish. He was so overjoyed with my catch. Both things were a gift to me. I was grateful. Fly fishing does that.

I hope that all of us fish alone. I believe that one of the most important things that I can do is spend time alone in God’s creation. The noise and grind of this world can sometimes be crippling to my soul. Fly fishing at its core offers silence, contemplation, and meditation. Being alone fishing while the morning fog still clings forces me to slow down. Nature beckons me to wonder at the moving water, nudges me to consider the hummingbirds along the banks of the South Platte, makes me hold in awe the sunlight spreading into the canyon. But most of all, fishing alone commands me to be grateful for my life and to be thankful that I get to do it all again tomorrow.

Here’s hoping for promising days and tight lines.

Joel Walker is a fly fishing guide with Angler’s Covey. You can read a blog about Joel here or read a short bio here.


  1. Dean on April 10, 2022 at 10:20 am

    Yes, the attitude of gratitude 😊

  2. fisherman on May 4, 2022 at 12:34 pm

    Spending time in god’s creation – very well said! Most of the times I also enjoy fishing alone. Great photos!

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