“Widen your peripheral vision,” Anthony Surage tells me when I ask for a tip to give fly fishers. “Focusing on where you are casting your fly is too narrow. Watch for rises on your periphery.”
Anthony has guided for Angler’s Covey the longest of any of our guides – ever since we were in a little Victorian house on Colorado Avenue. He can definitely find the fish and get his clients a “hook up” on a dry fly. He can get them casting more effectively and efficiently with a nice fly-first presentation. He has other tips: rest the hole if the fish isn’t taking the fly. “Fish the fish behind you” and then return to the hole with a next “first cast” as the fish gets back into its natural feeding rhythm. Cast “down and across” to get a better drift. Change the angle. Fly fishing is constant problem-solving; if what you are doing isn’t working, switch it up.
At this point in his guiding career, it’s no problem to get people to the fish. In the pictures below, he is helping a 5th grade student land a beautiful fish in the Pueblo tailwaters.
But when he is guiding, or even when he is talking over a cup of coffee about rivers and metaphors and the rhythm of fishing and of poetry, he wants you to widen your peripheral view. Get to the passion of fly fishing.
Then … widen your view even further. The time out on the river is one event in your life – what’s the wider perspective? Anthony sees the time out as an opportunity for connection with the natural world and for authentic conversation with another human being. He may ask you, on the drive up to Elevenmile Canyon or as you are hiking down to the river, “What’s your story? What’s your passion?” He may share a line or two of poetry with you. Storytelling and connection come easily with Anthony. At the end of the day, he wants his clients to have an experience that is beyond catching fish in one of our beautiful rivers in the Pikes Peak region.
Anthony writes more about fly fishing on his blog, Anthony Surage Christian Fly Fishing.
Orvis 101 Introduction to Fly Fishing
Orvis 201 Streamside