Wyatt Webb was stationed in Korea when the fly fishing bug bit him. And he wasn’t even near a river or high mountain lake. His roommate, a soldier from Loveland, Colorado, told Wyatt that when he got back stateside, he should check out Angler’s Covey if he was interested in pursuing this fly fishing adventure. And he did. Here’s Wyatt’s experience.
Angler’s Covey: What was your introduction to fly fishing?
Wyatt Webb: In June of 2015, I took the Orvis Fly Fishing 101 class with (Angler’s Covey Guides) Jamie Roth and Bob Taylor. Those guys were great. I got the basics down and then started spending time up at Rampart Reservoir to work on my skills.
AC: What was your learning curve like?
WW: My learning curve has been pretty fast -- mostly due to the people in the shop and the way they set me in the right direction from the start.
AC: You put in time on the water, too, right?
WW: Oh yeah. I’d put in a lot of hours up on Rampart Reservoir when I was first learning. And I get out just about every week now.
AC: There’s a lot of places to get fly fishing information. Youtube, blogs, books, internet sites, classes. What’s been the most effective resource?
WW: It’s the human element that helps with learning. Getting tips and techniques from guys. Fishing with guys and they drop some little tips. I’m a visual learner, so just watching what the guides do.
AC: What has been the biggest surprise as you’ve been on this journey?
WW: Learning the fish behavior. Where they can be found. What they eat. Fish have this whole life underwater and we live above it. It’s like God created this whole life underwater. And as a fly fisher, you have to become completely focused on the life in the river.
AC: When do you feel like things shifted for you?
WW: After a few months, maybe about five months in, I lost all that focus on “you have to catch fish.” My focus shifted to learning more and enjoying the experience.
AC: That shift happened fast!
WW: I really think anybody can catch fish. The beautiful thing is knowing HOW you caught that fish. It’s knowing how to play and handle the fish.
AC: What else has changed over the last couple of years?
WW: Well, I started tying my own flies. It just seemed like the next step. Tying has increased my knowledge about fish. I took Jon Kleis’s tying class and I don’t think I have missed an open tying night here (on Tuesday nights). Those are amazing!
I also started sight fishing way more this past fall on the Dream Stream. I went out targeting big browns. That was a big shift. Little stuff like changing to fluorocarbon tippet. Walking the bank, searching. One trip out was sort of surreal. I was walking to the Dream from the parking lot. The sun was just coming up and steam was coming up off of the river. Amazing. We need to protect that. I don’t want to come back in five years and all that is gone because of pressure.
AC: What would you tell a person who was in your shoes 18 months ago thinking about exploring fly fishing?
WW: I know that a big concern is the cost of getting started. Don’t let the cost stop you from exploring this! You don’t need all top of the line gear. And it’s so worth it.
AC: So, in March, you are leaving the military. Then what?
WW: My wife and I will be moving back to my home state, Washington. I’ve already begun to make plans to guide and to teach people. I’ve learned a lot from fishing with guys like Justin (Brenner), Jon (Easdon) … Scott (Voyles). How to protect the redds. How to respect others on the water. Tips to get an edge. Jon taught me to think out of the box. Angler’s Covey has helped me grow up as a responsible angler. I want to share that and protect our fisheries in my home state.
Orvis 101 Introduction to Fly Fishing
Early season stillwater Fundamentals-Classroom