Needless to say business in the world of fly fishing hasn't necessarily slowed down. Sure without any foot traffic in our Denver and Frisco stores things slow and a bit, well, off, but we're certainly not struggling to keep ourselves busy given the amount of emails, LiveChat's and phone calls we're fielding daily. As one can imagine, one of the "hot topics" right now is whether or not you can fish during the COVID-19 outbreak. The short answer is YES, but there is more to it than just a simple yes or no. So to offer a more thorough answer to this question, I have put together a mock phone call that I think covers this subject pretty thoroughly.
Customer - Can I go fishing at this time?
Trouts - Yes! The State Stay In Place Order encouraged people to get outside, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife has noted that fishing is still an acceptable recreational activity. Currently, most fishing is open, but you should check with the managing agency (Forest Service, BLM, CPW, etc.) to ensure where you are going is currently open.
Customer - Is anything not open?
Trouts - To our knowledge current closures include Waterton Canyon, ALL trailheads, picnic areas and campgrounds in the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests, as well as all CPW campgrounds and picnic areas.
Customer - Where should I go fishing then?
Trouts - We are encouraging people to choose fishing locations that are close to their homes, as unnecessary travel isn’t currently recommended. When preparing to head out fishing, we strongly recommend filling your gas tank at your neighborhood gas station and be sure to have all the food, drink and supplies you need to go from your house to the river, and directly back home again. In essence, just be sure not to have interactions with people or businesses during your trip. If you do this, you are not putting yourself, or others at risk.
Customer - Is it okay to go fishing with friends?
Trouts - Absolutely, but be sure you are practicing proper social distancing. So maybe pass on the grip and grin photos for a while, but being a fly rods length away from your fishing buddy is safe and acceptable. We also recommend taking separate cars, unless the person you are fishing with is someone whom you are living with.
Customer - Is it safe to go float fishing right now?
Trouts - If you are going with someone who you live with, then yes. But if not, then float fishing is not suggested as you cannot practice proper social distancing while in a raft or drift boat.
At the end of the day, it is up to all of us to help beat COVID-19 down, and we implore that everyone does their part. And while fishing IS an acceptable form of recreation at this time, let's all remember that it is up to all of us anglers to ensure it stays that way. This means that while it's totally acceptable to go fishing right now, it's probably not the time to be planning your next epic fishing adventure. We all have a desire to spend a day on the water to clear our heads and find some peace during a chaotic time. This can be accomplished in many venues, so don't feel the need to venture too far. We hope all of our customers stay safe and healthy, and we look forward to seeing you all back in the shop soon.