Hooked on flies: Silverthorne’s Chris Hall wants to help people uncover the mysteries of fly fishing | SummitDaily.com

Hooked on flies: Silverthorne’s Chris Hall wants to help people uncover the mysteries of fly fishing

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Summit County, Colorado
Special to the DailyCutthroat Anglers' Chris Hall displays a trout he snagged on local waters.

SILVERTHORNE – On first glance, fly fishing seems intimidating, mysterious and difficult to master. This assumption is a hindrance, and simply not true, said Chris Hall, a local fisherman and manager of Cutthroat Anglers in Silverthorne.

“It is overwhelming to see 1,600 different flies in front of you, or to walk up to a big river and figure out where a fish is,” he said. “We do our best to break that down and simplify that for people. Most people put in a lot of years before they’re pros. … But it’s not as mysterious and complicated as it’s made out to be.”

Despite the sport having a lot of accessory options, Hall said people wanting to learn shouldn’t be nervous. Cutthroat Anglers has a staff of more than 20 guides, all experienced and chomping at the bit to fish. Besides organizing free casting clinics on the lawn outside the store, Cutthroat Anglers also leads guided trips for all fishing levels. Free casting clinics happen on Mondays and Wednesdays at 6 p.m.

Powder days weren’t the draw when Hall moved to Silverthorne seven years ago. It was his desire to pursue his own addiction – fly fishing.

“It’s a great excuse to hang out in pretty places,” Hall said of his favored pastime, noting that Silverthorne’s central location makes the town appealing to passionate fishermen. “We can go anywhere where the fishing’s good from here.”

Summit County and the surrounding areas have it all, he said – small creeks to big rivers, lakes and ponds. Some places are challenging, others are more forgiving. The whole area is a huge draw for locals, Denver residents and visitors from farther afield who hope to catch the next big one.

“You can come here 25 years in a row and never see the same piece of water twice,” he added.

Hall first laid his hands on a fly fishing rod as an 18-year-old college student in Indiana. After more than a decade of fishing, his desire to find new water remains strong.

“It’s a great escape,” Hall said. “It’s peaceful and it’s a lifetime sport that you can do at 75.”

Plus, avid fishermen get to do “arts and crafts.” Hall said many do-it-yourselfers like to tie their own flies and fish with them.

A perfect example: A Cutthroat Anglers employee was tying his own flies while waiting for customers, surrounded by colorful fluff, brushes and other necessary accouterments.

“Man, this thing is ugly,” he said, glaring at his fly supposed to resemble a grasshopper. Another staff member pacified him by saying the ugly ones catch the most fish.

“It gives you something to do on a rainy day,” Hall said of tying flies. Cutthroat Anglers also carries 1,600 different pre-made flies, for fisherman less inclined to make their own.

Cutthroat Anglers isn’t the only fly-fishing store that offers free casting clinics, guided tours and knowledgeable staff.

Blue River Anglers in Frisco offers free casting clinics with appointments on Wednesdays or on other days by interest. Call

(970) 668-2583 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. for more information.

Breckenridge Outfitters runs free casting clinics on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. at Maggie Pond, and Thursdays from 2-4 p.m. at the Riverwalk Center. Call (970) 453-4135 for more info.

Mountain Angler in Breckenridge doesn’t have a set day for free casting clinics, but if anyone needs help, they can come in and ask staff for tips. Call (970) 453-4665 for more info.

Longtime local Char Bloom, an avid fly fisherwoman, runs women’s-only fly fishing clinics. Though it’s not free, proceeds benefit nonprofit organizations. For more information, e-mail Bloom at char@charbloom.com or call her at (970) 262-CHAR (2427). For more information about her line of women’s fly fishing gear, visit http://www.charbloom.com.

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