SOUTH PARK — It's a gorgeous day on the South Platte River, one of dozens of great fly fishing spots within an hour of Colorado Springs.
Angler's Covey Director of Services and local fishing guide Jon Easdon lives for these moments. The Woodland Park native grew up in the area and has been fishing these spots for as long as he can remember.
"We're trying to imitate what's in the water," Easdon said.
On this day, the longtime fisherman's job is two fold: To teach the basics to a journalist curious about the sport and dispel the preconceived notion that only the wealthy can enjoy this type of fishing.
"Maybe at one point in time and history that was the case but not anymore," Easdon said.
Before you hit the water you'll need some essentials, which you can buy or rent at any outdoor store or bait and tackle shop.
A 9-foot, 5-weight fly rod, with a comparable reel, 5-pound test, terminal tackle and flies is essentially what you'll need to start.
Take the time to talk to experts at the shops, they'll often have key information on where to fish and what flies have been working in a particular area.
In terms of what to wear, boots and water resistant materials such as waders are key, as are learning to tie your basic knots and paying attention to the etymology of a specific destination.
"These bugs that you see came from the bottom of the river," Easdon said.
A good cast comes up to about noon and then finishes with a natural and clean release to allow the line to even out upon hitting the water.
Make sure to give plenty of room to your fellow anglers, fly fishing is a peaceful process and many common to that body of water will move up and down the river.
"Fish are always facing upstream, so when I walk the river I try and always walk upstream," Easdon said.
If you're lucky enough to get a bite: Set the hook and let the fish do the work, it's ultimately a give and take relationship.
Always use soft nets to scoop up any fish on the line and wet your hands upon their release.