Tight Lines: Hello to all – an introduction
special to the daily
Summit County, Colorado
It all started when I was four years old. I found a few feet of monofilament with a deer hair popper attached to it and I immediately ran down to the pond on my family’s property. I wrapped the end of the line around my index finger, flung it out into the water and began to play with it.
I started tugging the fly to see the rings in the water. I was simply a kid with a new toy. Well, after some time of playing with my new toy in the water, a large mouth bass smashed the fly. I jumped back and the monofilament tore into the skin of my finger.
I ran back home bleeding profusely on my right hand, tears streaming from my eyes – and the bass hanging in my left hand.
I still carry that scar. After that my mom told my grandfather about it and he took special interest in teaching all he knew of tying and fishing. He was my first mentor.
Hello to all, my name is Kevan Evans. I am a third-generation fly fishing guide.
I am honored to be a Pro-Staff tyer for the 720 vice company, a “royalty tyer” for Brookside Flies and a contributing author/fly designer in Rick Takahashi’s new book “Modern Midges.”
My achievements in this industry were driven by Summit County. I believe this place has more guiding, tying and fly fishing talent per capita than any other place in the country.
Since moving here in my early 20s, I have always endeavored to shine light on the talent here, and I swear to keep trying.
That’s where this column will come in.
In order to introduce myself, I figured I’d tell a bit of my history and why I’m so passionate about fly fishing and fly tying.
I’ve been a fly fishing guide in the state of Colorado since 1995. Although most of my experience stems from Summit, the guard rails of life – as I like to call them – have railroaded me to different areas of the state.
Growing up in Shasta County, Calif., I used to ride my bike to the Fly Shop of Redding after school and watch whoever was tying at the time. I was blessed to find that famous fly tyers like Mike Mercer and Randall Kaufman worked there.
I’d watch them work and then I’d go back home each time and try to tie these masterpieces myself. These two men are my two greatest influences in tying to this day, and I still judge each of my patterns by their creative works.
I love fly fishing for the moments of perfection, the times when fishing becomes equal to, well, you know (and if you don’t, you should find out). I love it for watching water peel off my line as I set the hook from across the river, for listening to the sounds of moving water, birds singing, an eagle perched in a tree above after the same catch as I am. I love sitting at the tying bench, dreaming up new concoctions made of fur and feathers just to fool a fish into eating it. I love it for the people I meet on the river. I really dig stalking large, easy-to-spook fish. I love watching nature at work, while I get to participate.
Best of all, its cheaper and way more fun than therapy, and you can just let your problems wash right on down the river.
Kevan Evans is a local guide and fly tying expert. This is the first of a weekly column on fly fishing in Summit County.
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