Maximizing Your Fly Fishing Investment


By Guide Tom Caprio

The author and client at Boxwood Gulch Ranch

Just as you have financial investment advisors that guide your portfolio choices, a fly fishing guide can help you make the most of your investment of fishing time and gear.

Where’s the best return?

The answer to the most popular question in fly fishing: ‘What fly is working’ is usually not an exact fly as much as it is ‘a quality presentation’.  That is why two people standing next to each other using the same flies can have dramatically different results.

Presentation means the type of ‘drift’- whether it is a ‘dead’ drift, swinging the flies, stripping at the right speed, or skating dry flies. Presentation means fishing at the right depth and in the right place.  Presentation also means being good at various techniques so you can easily adjust to fishing situations.   Learn nymphing with and without an indicator, dry fly and dry droppers, streamers, and lake fishing techniques.

Making the most of popular investments:  Deckers, the Lower Arkansas, Dream Stream, and the Blue River are “well-loved” by anglers (aka “pressured”). They are great fisheries but can be demanding.   Learning how to best fish and beat the crowds at these destinations will test your skills, and make you a better fisherman.

Colorado River Rainbow

Lesser known investments with high returns:  What about fishing some new, less-crowded, water within a couple hours of Denver?  Places like the upper Colorado, Williams Fork, upper Arkansas, lower Blue, Fraser, Big Thompson, or Eagle offer excellent fishing. Learning new water to which you can return later on your own is a great investment

Economies of ‘scale’:  Fish destinations you can’t access on your own, such as the ranches on the North Fork of the South Platte that are home to fish up to 10 pounds! Or, explore Rocky Mtn Angling Club’s private ranches without having to buy a membership. These ranches offer a peaceful quiet environment with less pressured fish – the way most people picture fly fishing!

Invest in your friends & family portfolio:  Taking family or friends fly fishing can be very rewarding. But, teaching folks you know can also be difficult and stressful.  Let your guide assist the less-experienced anglers or those that need more help in your group- it makes for a more enjoyable day on the water. The investment in creating new fishing buddies is a gift that keeps on giving!

Tom enjoying a winter;s day on the Upper Arkansas River, Gold Camp

Next time you’re buying more rods or flies, think about where you’ll get the most return on your investment.  Investing in skills or learning new water while spending a day with a pro will likely make the biggest difference in your fly fishing success and enjoyment!

Follow Tom on Instagram @tomcaprioflyfishing