Head Guide Gene Rea is a dedicated, slightly obsessed fly fisherman who enjoys good conversation as much as he enjoys fishing. He has over forty years of fly fishing experience, starting at a young age when his dad taught him to fly fish on the fabled waters of the Ausable and Battenkill Rivers near his upstate New York hometown. Later, serving twenty plus years in the military enabled him to not only serve his country but also pursue his fly fishing passion by rounding out his experience in storied places such as Alaska and Montana.
A Colorado Spring’s resident since 2002, he has explored much of Colorado, and since arriving has fine-tuned his talents on some of Colorado’s most notable Gold-Medal waters. An avid fly fisherman, he doesn’t believe in limiting oneself to just one type of fly-fishing, taking time to learn how to use streamers, terrestrials, dry flies, and nymphs in pursuit of all freshwater species available in Colorado.
His drive for pursuing and catching fish is rivaled only by his enthusiasm for teaching others the sport he loves so dearly. As much as he loves guiding the seasoned angler into big, wary fish, or helping diminish the barrier separating “good from great,” he equally loves teaching new fly fishers the joy of casting, reading the stream, and entomology. Gene strives to make each day on the water with his clients not only a day of fun but also a learning experience. One of his biggest thrills is getting someone their first trout on a dry fly.
My knowledge of the river and of fish behavior. Being able to read water, understand the fish and their habits, and how to find them is the most essential element for me and helps me to do my best to make your day on the water a memorable one.
Other gear I find most useful:
- A good pair of polarized sunglasses
- Any hat that will keep the sun out of your eyes
- A good waterproof rain jacket
ONE WORD TO DESCRIBE YOUR FISHING STYLE
Persistent – I don’t give up! I am persistent and methodical in my approach. I take the time to read the water then plan a strategy on how to most effectively fish that piece of water. This is the same technique I use to teach clients.
A week with friends on the Ozernaya, and/or Ouzel Rivers in the Russian far east on the Kamchatka Peninsula. Giant sea run rainbow trout and Arctic char as well as big Arctic grayling. This is what Alaskan fishing used to be 80 years ago.
- Black or Pearl Rainbow Warriors in sizes #18 – #22
- Black/Grey/Olive RS II’s in sizes #18 – #28
- Black Puterbaugh Foam Caddis in sizes #14 – #20
- Parachute Adams in sizes #14 – #28
- Red/Green Amy’s Ant in sizes #10 – #12
CELEB YOU’D MOST LIKE TO GUIDE
I would love to guide Clint Eastwood – the man represents good values and we share a similar point of view. I like his dry sense of humor. Afterwards we would go shooting then drink beer – lots of beer!
WHEN NOT FISHING
I fish vicariously when I guide. But, on days when I am not with clients I am behind the rod fishing myself. My passion is the smaller venues, going up into the high country to remote locations where I am reasonably sure I won’t see anyone else during the day. I love an ultra-light 1 or 2 weight rod with a small box of dries fooling those elusive high alpine rainbows, cutthroats, and brookies.
Sunflower Seeds!!! Bacon flavored rules, but the Cracked Pepper and Dill Pickle are close seconds. Yes, I do share!
THING YOU TELL YOURSELF WHEN THE FISH AREN’T EATING
That’s fishing! Sometimes they just aren’t on the feed. We know this but we keep trying anyway. This goes back to persistence – I don’t quit, even on slow days. Also, I’m thinking how nice that cold beer in the cooler is going to taste when we get back.
FAVORITE SUGGESTION FOR CLIENTS
Relax, and don’t let yourself get frustrated. Frustration will kill you. It’s fishing – it’s supposed to be fun!
Of course we want to catch fish but in addition to that my goal is to help make you a better angler. By the end of the day it is my hope that you will have had not only fun day on the water, but learned a few pointers that will enhance your next outing on the river – to make you a better fly fisherman is my goal.