Justin Brenner was supposed to be born in a hospital in Englewood, Colorado. His mother, along with Mother Nature, had different plans. Because of a snowstorm that prevented his mom and dad to get back to Denver, Justin was born in Alma, Colorado. No wonder that he has Colorado mountains in his blood.
Justin is one of the new guides at Covey and brings a passion for teaching this adventure to others. Over breakfast the other day, Justin shared the story of one of his most recent clients, an older man who was taking up fly fishing at the young age of 68 (never too young or old to start!). They made a trip up to the Dream Stream and, well, let’s just say the man had a great introduction to fly fishing. Two days after their trip, he called Justin to schedule another outing.
Good guide trips are an opportunity to learn so that anglers can, as Justin says, “build confidence and have success” when they are fishing on their own. Before going out on a trip, Justin asks his anglers what sort of trip they are interested in getting into. Fishing with family or friends? Want to get into some big fish? Interested in taking on a new challenge and learning something new? The answers, of course, help Justin shape the trip to the client’s interests.
Justin and I talked about fishing in the next month, when flows are up and fishing presents different challenges. “Go bigger” seems to be the answer. Bigger tippet – go to a 2x or 3x. Fish big worms. One of his go-to flies is a Girdle Bug Stonefly. “Fish aren’t shy with high flows. They aren’t leader shy. Not indicator shy. And you’ll need a lot of weight to get the fly down quickly enough.” The thing is, if the water is discolored, you’ll need to move the fly more and use a little more color. But high water does not always mean off-color, and when the high flows stabilize you can begin to sight fish even with the high flows.
“I love stalking fish and sight fishing. I always take an extra pair of Smith optics with me when guiding. Clients are amazed at the difference in visibility when you have a great pair of glasses – and it becomes even more important when flows are up.”
Whether you want a guide trip on the Dream Stream or up in Elevenmile Canyon, or maybe a stillwater experience, give the Shop a call and schedule a trip with Justin. Oh, and on the drive up, ask him about his bonefish adventure in Cozumel or the permit fish he brought to the net. Read more about Justin on his guide page.
Orvis 101 Introduction to Fly Fishing
Early season stillwater Fundamentals-Classroom