WEB MASTER TUCKER HOTTES is trading his smartphone for a fishing rod
Headed for the Rockies
It seems like only last week, the summer was still something to look forward to. I was enjoying the early season fishing on the Lackawanna River in unseasonably warm weather back in March and April, while making big plans for a summer filled with fishing, camping and relaxation. Unfortunately, as it tends to do, life got in the way and the summer has been a whirlwind of traveling and weather very disagreeable to cold-water fly fishing. I was able to sneak a few trips in on cooler evenings midweek here and there, but fishing when the water is too warm can be dangerous for the fish; and as we all are too aware, “cooler evenings” have been few and far between lately.
At the beginning of the year, I had never held a fly rod in my life. My crash course in the sport stems from an invitation to join my uncles’ trip to the Canadian Rockies in September (three weeks and counting, to be precise), and while I still feel underprepared, I don’t feel like I’m going to come across as a complete jackass. I’ve gotten a good feel for the basics, and I’ll be lucky enough to have a few experienced, wise elders to guide me through the wilderness. (For the record, that comment will probably cost me a round or two of “using the hose” at the RV water and sewage facility).
The RV is a serious luxury on a trip like this. We’ll be loading the gear into a large SUV to take us to and from the fishing destinations, while using the RV as home base for the trip. Rather than book a room or two and experience a couple of major rivers, the plan is to travel between Alberta and British Columbia to reach some more out-of-the-way destinations. Some of the rivers we’ll be fishing require their own separate licenses and limit the number of anglers per day. It’s real exclusive kind of stuff, and I’m lucky to be tagging along with my meager set of skills.
Although I haven’t been able to get in as much actual fishing as I’d have liked up to this point, I’ve tried to compensate in my quest for gear and researching. I’m borrowing a few key items like my reel, fly line, and waders, but I’ve amassed a decent collection of my own stuff — most recently, some really nice wading boots with interchangeable soles (protecting my investment in case Pennsylvania goes for a felt ban to combat invasive slime mold). I’ve got a very nice fly rod, a decent assortment of dry flies, and a menagerie of gadgets and devices like zingers, nippers and other awesomely named things.
Staring at unused gear isn’t nearly as fun as actually getting out on the water, no matter how many cool things come home from the fly shop or arrive on the doorstep. Next year, I’ll probably take my fishing buddies up on their various offers of warm water trips and big fish on spinning rods to fill the gap when the cold-water fishing isn’t kicking. I’ll definitely get my fill in a couple weeks, though — and I’ll likely have to dress warm. I hear the Rockies can get chilly in mid-September…