Dave Herber, an Angler’s Covey guide for the past eight years or so, has had a connection with the shop for over 20 years. In fact, as a professional in the photography business in 1990, he was hired by the owner, David Leinweber, to do some marketing photographs for the shop. He wasn’t even a fly fisher yet, but that was going to change ... in a big way!
A short time after that photography work, Dave Herber went on a guided fly fishing trip with a friend and colleague. On the way back into town, the guide said that Dave needed to get his own rod. They swung by the Angler’s Covey shop in the old Victorian house on west Colorado Avenue. The guide said “develop a relationship with your local fly shop” and Dave definitely took that to heart!
(A side note: all of the photos here are taken by Dave! It's difficult to find a photo of him because he's usually behind the lens taking pics of his clients or fellow guides!)
Two events solidified his relationship with fly fishing, with guiding, and with Angler’s Covey. First, Dave was recruited to help launch the Colorado Springs’ chapter of Project Healing Waters. He was excited to be part of that group and its efforts to support veterans. “Water has its healing powers for all of us,” Dave says. Today, the Colorado Springs chapter is probably the most active of all 170 chapters of Project Healing Waters in the U.S. “Last year, we had over 400 soldier days on the water.”
At the same time, Dave began guiding for Angler’s Covey. While he likes all the opportunities to guide, he is particularly fond of the father-son trips. “Yeah, those are my favorites. They’re our next care-takers of our waters.” Over the July 4th weekend, he guided a father and son trip to Rainbow Falls Mountain Trout one day and the reservoirs on Pikes Peak South Slope the next. “I love the cutthroat trout in those lakes. Those fish are so colorful in their markings – probably my favorite fish. Although brown trout are beautiful, too.”
When he’s not guiding, Dave Herber is found in one of two places. If he’s home, he is making log furniture from his shop, a business he started several years ago. Or he’s tying flies. Dave got rid of cable TV, put in a wood-burning stove (and he turned off natural gas heating), and seems to be following Thoreau’s advice to “simplify, simplify, simplify.”
If he’s not home, Dave’s choice is to go hit a small stream somewhere. “It’s my first choice – small streams and creeks.” Dave's known for his passion for fishing with Amy's Ants, beetle patterns, caddis dry flies. It's all about presentation to those leery fish in the small streams.
But he quickly points out – “it’s all about the outdoors.” He recently started guiding on some of the stillwater opportunities and loves the beauty of those to teach and guide on those fisheries. Dave’s attitude is that he is taking his clients to a paradise that they may not get to the other eleven months of the year. “It’s about clear skies. The scent of the pine trees. Cold, fresh water.”
“For the anglers, the favorite part of a trip is probably landing a nice trout. For me, from the guide’s perspective, it’s watching their progression in skills. I like to watch how they learn from their ‘mistakes’ and improve. How they develop a healthy respect for the trout.”
Several years ago, as digital photography began to impact the kind of work that Dave did professionally, he made some major life changes. He set up his own furniture-making business. He became involved with Project Healing Waters. He began to guide. It was a huge financial change. But his smile and laugh seem to reflect his attitude: “It’s hard to put a monetary value on living a quality life.”
Book a guide trip with Dave Herber by clicking here.
Tuesday night tying night
101 Fly tying