Sawyer Connelly

Guest Writer

Low-flying Bald Eagles and Rainbow and Brown Trout with beautiful colors were a few of the highlights from the fly-fishing clubs inaugural trip of 2014.

On a gray, cold and sleet filled Saturday, ten sluggish students and seven leaders headed to Lake George and made their way into 11-Mile Canyon for a day of instruction in the art of fly-fishing.

Club Founder and President Brooks Pinnick came into the trip with a main goal of “mak[ing] sure the students were comfortable and learning how to fly fish.”

Beyond the instruction of beginning anglers, the excursion was a learning experience for the leaders of the club.

“I learned a lot about the organization and what does and does not work for taking out beginning anglers,” said Pinnick.

Even with some disorganization, like leaking waders and lots of tangled lines, students still had a blast.

“The trip was a lot of fun. It was a bit cold, but it was a great day on the river,” first-year Xiaoling Keller said. “I learned how to fly-fish… I learned how to cast.”

Junior Madde Burnham was on the river for her first time and even in the cold. “It was a great day spent enjoying what Colorado has to offer and going to new places. Being outdoors is awesome especially when trying new things,” she said.

Thanks to the amount of volunteers, the instructor to student ratio was low, and students felt good about the instruction.

“The instruction was wonderful,” said Keller. “The guys from the fly fishing club set the rods up, showed me where fish would most likely be in the river, and taught me how to fish. They stayed by my side and made sure I understood how to cast correctly, in addition to being very encouraging.”

“I’m hoping in the future to have one-on-one instructor to student ratios next trip for Blocks 7 and 8,” said Pinnick.

“[The trip leaders] really know what they are doing and are super easy to ask questions,” said Burnham. “[They are] great guys who just want to help! They love the sport and just want to share it with other people.”

A few students caught fish and for Pinnick, “a favorite part was seeing some of the beginner anglers catch their first fish!”

“In the end, these trips are designed to promote fly-fishing in a fun and educational way. [They are] a chance for students to explore Colorado and its beauty in a completely new way,” says Pinnick.

The club hopes to run a few more of these trips later this year, so keep your eyes out for these opportunities, and sign up for guaranteed fun!

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