Trouts Journal

Meet the Trouts Crew || Tad Ingles

Ivan Orsic / Nov 2, 2020

With the move to the new and bigger shop, there are a lot of masked faces around the shop these days and we wanted to familiarize you with the team. We're interrupting the "introduction" of some of our more experienced employees to talk with the most recent addition to our team - our new Office Assistant - Tad Ingles.

With all that in mind, we wanted to give you the opportunity to get to know Tad. Now, keep in mind, Tad is an international man of mystery, so only a couple of cell phone photos exist of him fishing - certainly a unique trait these days. Without further adieu, let's see what makes Tad tick on the water.

Trouts: Let's start this from the top- how did you get your start fly-fishing and what keeps you heading back to the river every chance you get?

TI: I had spin fished for decades. My dad was on a trip to CO from KS and wanted to try fishing the lake the cabin was on. The local shop only had fly rods, so he gave it a go. He was hooked that day, and he started making annual trips to CO to fly-fish. A few years in, he decreed that my brother and I go with him. He geared us up and got us out to the Pan. We had no idea what we were doing, and all three of us got skunked two days in a row. Even then I felt like I had been missing out on something spiritual for my whole fishing career. It felt like I was a part of the landscape experiencing it. I was not just observing it, passively casting, or staring at a bobber.

We admitted our ignorance and had a guide join us for day three. We were instantly into fish. After learning the basics and gaining some confidence, the drakes started hatching. I landed a 20ish inch brown. I was in the mountains catching wild trout. Not bad for a KS boy. I have been chasing that feeling ever since.

Trouts: Describe your perfect day on the water?

TI: I like to get an early start. Sunrise on the bank with a cup of coffee is always my goal. I also prefer action over stalking the biggest I can find. It’s great to see some wildlife like deer or mink.

It’s a big win if I see something wild that I haven’t encountered before. When I daydream about it, I dream of getting strikes and landing fish throughout the day ending with a late hatch and leaving the river with the sun.

Trouts: If you could only fish one fly in Colorado for the next 365 days, what would it be and why?

TI: For me, it’s the flashback pheasant tail. I’ve gotten several species in several areas to take it. I just have a high confidence level in that fly. I like the problem-solving aspect of fishing. The pheasant tail helps me to focus on that. I can’t blame the fly for the fish not being interested. It eliminates some variables, and I usually say that I am doing something wrong when the fish aren’t taking it at all. It helps me diagnose my shortcomings as an angler.

Trouts: Favorite place you've ever fished?

TI: I got access to some private water on the pan above the Ruedi reservoir. It was just my fishing party on the water, and we all landed some great rainbows.

Trouts: Favorite river in Colorado?

TI: The Roaring Fork. It was the first fast water I fished. I had to figure a lot of things out that day. Gear selection, tippet size, flies, and presentation. I had to synthesize all the information I had gathered up to that point to work my way into the fish. I didn’t catch anything huge, but I figured it out on my own. That river made me a better angler. I’ll always love getting back to it to check on my progress.

Trouts: Destination to dream about?

TI: I want to fish Alaska. Isolation? Chasing fish in pristine American wilderness? Count me in. It just sparks something primal in my imagination.

Trouts: What is the best piece of fishing advice you've ever been given?

TI: Someone I trusted greatly spent half a day laughing at me while I crashed my way into the steak water.

He eventually spoke up and said, “Most people are standing where they should be fishing and fishing where they should be standing!”

He was trying to tell me to fish the potato water on the way into the steak water. I’ve caught some great fish working my way towards the pool that I picked out from the bank. I just try to cover water without getting too excited about the, “best,” riffle I can see.

Trouts: When not fishing, what are we most likely to find you doing?

TI: I was a chef for 16 years. I love to cook at home. I’m also pretty passionate about shooting sports. The best days that don’t involve fishing usually involve the gun range and BBQ.

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