Trouts: Let's start from the beginning. When and where did you pick up your first fly rod?
TB: After going on a fly fishing trip with some of his friends, my dad gave me my first fly rod on my 11th birthday. I lived in Park Hill (Denver) at the time. It was an el-cheapo special, and probably cost under $35 at Gart Bros., but it got me started. I got a kit to build my first quality rod exactly three years later.
Trouts: Why do you guide? How did you get your start and what keeps you motivated to hit the river again?
TB: I love being outdoors and sharing my knowledge and passion for fishing with others. I’ve worked in the outdoor industry for years including many with the Orvis Company, but finally had the guts this year to give up my steady income and corporate benefits in order to spend more of my days on the river. It’s easy for me to get motivated to go fishing because every day brings a new challenge, learning experience, and adventure.
Trouts: Describe your perfect day both A) Guiding B) Fishing for fun?
TB: My perfect day guiding includes laid back fun clients, seeing lots of wildlife, and finding rising fish. I really like getting the opportunity to share the awesome experience of dry fly fishing with someone. I also love being able to get someone his/her first fish into the net and seeing the excitement on their face! My perfect fun-fishing day is in the high country, my only company being my fishing companions, elk, marmots, and giant finicky cutthroat trout.
Trouts: What is your favorite species to target?
TB: I love all kinds of fish, but my favorite fish to target is any species that I’ve never caught before. I like challenge of figuring out the puzzle, the thrill of exploration, and the feeling of accomplishment that I get from adding a specie to my “caught” list. That being said, I cherish the experience that pristine high country cutthroat trout offer.
Trouts: If you were allowed to fish 1 fly in Colorado for 365 what would it be?
TB: I would have to go with a personal tie of mine. I call it the Tucker's Trico, Black
Trouts: Got any fun destination trips on the books for 2017 or at least one you’d like to take?
TB: I think I’ll have to do another road trip to Oregon and Idaho this fall for Bull Trout and Steelhead. I spent some time there last year with no success for my target species, but I learned a lot so I’m eager to give it another shot.
Trouts: Of all your world travels, is there 1 trip that sticks out above the rest?
TB: The strangest and most memorable trip was definitely the White River in Arkansas. I had great dry fly fishing, witnessed a brown trout eat a small rainbow, and the layer of dense fog that hangs over that river is absolutely intense! It was like nothing I’ve ever seen before or since. If you want to experience real fear, go night fishing there. I did, it was like something out of a horror flick. I lasted about 45 minutes. I’m not sure I’d do it again.
Trouts: Lastly, what else would you like people to know about Tucker Bamford?
TB: I think of myself as a relaxed easy-going guy who loves to fish. I’m a Colorado native, and though I just started guiding recently, I've been fly fishing and tying flies for the local rivers and lakes for over 25 years. And my experience extends to destinations all across the country from Alaska to Florida.