Things have been a bit busy around the shop this summer. So much so, that we've neglected to formally introduce Matt Todd, our new Regional Store Manager at Trouts Denver. Matt started with us in June, so I'm sure many of you have become acquainted with Matt and his approach to fly fishing. An experienced angler who hails from Missouri, Matt is armed with one of the driest senses of humor known to man. It is popular belief around the shop that Matt Todd is somehow related to Ron Swanson (a belief that is supported by his answers to many of our questions in the following interview). While we are excited to have Matt on board, please forgive him for his love of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Read on to get know a little more about Matt and be sure to say hi next time you're in the shop!
Trouts: How did you get your start fly-fishing and what keeps you heading back to the river every chance you get?
MT: I started fly fishing when I was seven. Growing up, ever since I can remember, I'd fish with my grandparents and dad the conventional way, like kids do. When my dad would go fly fishing, I would tag along with my spin rod and constantly annoy him with questions about fly fishing. One day we traded while on the river and I caught two very sizable rainbows right off the bat. 36 years later it's what I do for a living. I'm 43. Math.
Trouts: Describe your perfect day on the water?
MT: A perfect day on the water can be broken down by these steps:
* A hearty breakfast that includes, but is not limited to, black coffee, fried meats, several eggs, and country gravy. I understand that you want to get on the water ASAP, but you're body and mind will thank you for this later in the day.
* A "movement". It's something that no one wants to address, but a proper 15 in the library not only clears your innards, but also clears your mind. There will be far less worries about dropping your waders and finding a fallen limb to lean over in the middle of a caddis hatch.
* Get there early. Yes, waking up at 4am is not fun. But fishing is better than sleeping, and it is most certainly going to be better than anything else you were going to do today anyway. Plus, fishing should just start in the morning. Cool, crisp air and dew-laden foliage go hand-in-hand with rigging up a fly rod over a thermos of coffee.
* Have an idea of what the hell you're doing. Do a little research and get a game plan in order. A perfect day does not include changing flies every 10 minutes, trying to figure out what the fish are hungry for.
* If I were to construct my perfect day on the water, the meat of it would include few to no people, aside from possibly the one (or maybe even two) people that I invited. It would include a late morning hatch, preferably PMDs in a size 22-24, because that is what I have in my box because I researched it. It would include big fish eating big, ugly, articulated streamers later in the day. And it would include a decent number of fish caught, with some braggable sizes, but fish that I had to work for.
* To end the perfect day on the water, there would be whiskey shared on the tailgate of my truck. A short drive back to the cabin, where I'm rewarded with ham and beans, and more whiskey. The next day I smoke ribs.
Trouts: If you could only fish one fly in Colorado for the next 365 days, what would it be and why?
MT: I'd fish the Waylon Jennings. It's a nymph that I tie. It's ugly and good...just like Waylon Jennings.
Trouts: Favorite place you have ever fished?
MT: My favorite places tend to have the words "river" and/or "fork" in them.
Trouts: Favorite river in Colorado?
MT: The Cache le South Roaring Colorado Fork Frying Williams Pan.
Trouts: Are there any dream fly fishing trips you’d like to make?
Trouts: What is the best piece of fishing advice you’ve ever been given?
MT: I've never been given any good advice. But I'll give you some: Stop and enjoy where you're at and what you're doing. Take a second to appreciate and be grateful. You're fishing...most likely in a beautiful place. Most other people aren't.
Trouts: When not fishing, what are we most likely to find you doing?
MT: Smoking meats, wrangling my children, drinking scotch or gin, working at Trouts.
The man's dry delivery cannot be contained by the format of the blog. If you need more Matt Todd in your life, check in on his blog Ramblin' Earl.