Author: Will Rice
Dave Lovell (Right) with a happy client
Dave Lovell was born and raised in Colorado and has been fly fishing for 27 years and is the Head Guide at Trout's Guide Service. Although Dave has fished extensively in his home state, he is also a well-traveled angler with plenty of fishing stories and experience from abroad. In addition to being one of our most sought after guides, he is also a Federation of Fly Fishers Certified Casting Instructor and also spends time off the water helping our customers improve and perfect their casting abilities. Dave’s passion, energy, knowledge and sense of humor make for a memorable, instructive, and valuable day – on or off the river.
We were able to catch up with Dave a few days before he packed his bags and left the good ‘ol US of A bound for the shores of Honduras. Here is the interview, raw and unedited.
Trout’s Fly Fishing: what was your most memorable moment from the 2012 fishing/guiding season?
Dave Lovell: I was guiding two first-time fly fishers at Deckers and the fishing was light’s out - noses coming up everywhere. I’m usually religious about pinching down the barbs but a young client kept hooking fish on dries and giving it the Hank Patterson set. She broke off three or four fish and while I just finished tying on yet another fly and adding 4X, her boyfriend hooked up and I headed down to net his fish. Her first cast she put the fly right in my cheek. She thought she was snagged and kept pulling…I was hoping for a long distance release but that didn’t happen. We had a good laugh and I made her take a picture with me with the fly stuck in my face with blood running down my cheek. I told her she just set a new IFGA world record catching a 150lb White Fish on 4x.
Trout’s Fly Fishing: it sounds like you legitimately enjoy teaching people how to fish and how to fish more effectively. Not a lot of people can say that. What is your approach to teaching people at different levels about different aspects of fly fishing?
Dave Lovell: I love teaching people to cast and fish! The beauty about our sport is that everyone has to learn. True, there are some folks that learn quicker than others but casting is like a musical instrument, you never fully master it. Too often, people want to turn casting into a math equation. It’s all about having fun and improving. People want to make it harder than it needs to be. Don’t you hate when you ask someone what time it is and they tell you how to build a watch? My approach… keep it simple and just have fun. Remember, fish don’t care what our cast looks like but they do know a good presentation when they see one!
Trout’s Fly Fishing: when you are working with people who are trying to improve their casting skills, what are the one or two biggest mistakes you see and how do you correct them?
Dave Lovell: The most common casting mistake I see is trying to overpower the rod. I know… I know. I made the same mistake. I was right there with the best of them. Guys are famous for bringing a bigger hammer when we can’t get something to work for us. I tell people to think of a fly rod as an 8 week old lab puppy…they want to please, you just have to train it. Let the rod do the work for you.
Trout’s Fly Fishing: if you had to guide on one stretch of water from here to eternity (I know… super long time) what river would it be?
Dave Lovell: No question our YR Ranch property on the lower Blue River. The spring and fall fishing is amazing. Big, strong wild fish move up out of the Colorado from Gore Canyon and head up the lower Blue. I think these fish are on the same program Lance Armstrong was on…they have another gear. You have to fish this once and you’ll agree with me. You’ll also need eyes on the back of your head, the moose think it’s a pretty sweet place as well. I do very much enjoy the entire Platte drainage. I gets busy and the fishing pressure can get intense but, I love the challenge of making fish eat. Public water keeps me on my game.
Trout’s Fly Fishing: Let’s talk about 2013. You are just about out the door for a trip to Honduras with a bunch of your coworkers/fishing buddies, any aspirations for this excursion? Any other big goals for the 2013 guiding season or things you are looking forward to?
Dave Lovell: I’m pretty “geeked” up about our upcoming trip to Honduras. There are some pretty unique opportunities to be had down there and I’m looking forward to hanging out and fishing with a great crew and a much needed salt trip. I’m also hoping I can hook my first permit somewhere along the way.
Interested to book a guided fly fishing trip with Dave Lovell? Give the shop a call at 877.464.0034 for dates and availability.