Words by Will Rice, Editor of The CURRENT
Photos by Ivan Orsic
Curating content for the CURRENT is a year-round exercise. The planning for story ideas, content contributors, locations, and photography began in the Spring of 2020. One fishery and topic that we’re going to cover in the 2021 issue is the mighty Colorado River. If you’re not familiar with the “CO”, it’s expansive – flowing from high elevations in Rocky Mountain National Park to the desert-like border of Utah.
As part of my research for the article, I wanted to spend time on the water with someone who has intimate knowledge and experience with this river. I’ve spent years wading and floating different sections of the Colorado and even after all that time, I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface. And what’s worse, I find myself continually going back to familiar zones. I don’t have as much time as I’d like to explore new access, I want to catch fish, so I return to sections where I’ve had success before – and I neglect to venture into new waters.
Not an uncommon dilemma.
Zeke Hersh is the Regional Outfitting Manager at Trouts and I figured there would be no one better to spend a day on the river with to learn more about his home water. The plan was pretty simple: float a section of river, pick Zeke’s brain for article ideas and information that will help fellow anglers, and maybe pick up a fish or two. We decided to invite Ivan Orsic along to document the day as there was a rumor that he enjoyed throwing big streamers in the early days of fall.
Zeke is a native of Washington State but moved to Colorado in the early 1990s. Not only does Zeke love to fish and guide but he is a patient instructor – not always a trait found in the guiding ranks.
On game day, we didn’t start with much of a plan but met at a crossroads not far from the riverbank.
“Well, we can go up river and the fishing should be really good but we’ll probably see some people. We’ll definitely have more consistent fishing and probably get more fish to the boat,” said Zeke as we discussed our options.
Lots of fish sounded good to me.
“Or… We could go down river and take a shot at a couple of big fish. We probably won’t see as many people but you never know what we’ll run into down there,” continued Hersch.
I hadn’t fished many of the different sections of the lower Colorado River. For me, it’s a puzzle yet to be solved. One of the things I want to do in the 2021 article about the Colorado River is to provide a good overview for readers to help people begin to explore on their own.
“It’s a big drive and a big float and we probably won’t get off the river until dark,” Zeke said, covering the logistics of the day.
“I don’t have anywhere to be today or tonight – I don’t mind fishing in the dark,” I said. And as we talked I thought back to a similar float trip I took higher up the river years ago, throwing a mouse pattern after the sunset and hearing brown trout explode on the water’s surface.
So down river we went.
The short story here for this blog entry is that the Colorado River has a ton of options for all levels of anglers and the sheer volume of river miles will keep you busy for years throughout our different and varied seasons. You’ll see more details from our trip in next year’s issue of the CURRENT.
Enjoy a few images from our day and stay tuned for the 2021 issue of the CURRENT and know that the staff of Trouts Fly Fishing and Professional anglers and writers are hard at work to bring you the best fly fishing information, stories, and photography we can deliver.