Theo & Alex with Trout

Why spend all day on the piste when you can catch trout too?

Trout in the powder: ski-ing with a fly-rod

First published in Fly Fishing & Fly Tying magazine, March 2006

"You wanna fish the Frying Pan?" repeats the ski-bum at the flyshop, his expression clearly betraying his incredulity.

He's got a point. Fresh from Hawaii, the biggest "pineapple effect" storm of the winter is still dumping three and a half feet of perfect powder right across the Rockies. On- or off-piste, most of the dudes he knows are far away, carving down the drifts. And here's this crazy English guy who says he wants to go fishing.

Sure he does.

To paraphrase John Gierach, that disputatious "undisputed bard of American flyfishing", he's read the books, he's been there in his head, he's lugged his fly-rod halfway round the world to this upscale ski resort with legendary rivers almost running through it."

And he is, by God, gonna fish."

...Which is how, three days later and still slightly unbelieving, I'm standing in a genuine Colorado river waving a stick. Not the Frying Pan - in the end that's too far, given the state of the roads, and maybe local enthusiasms. Not my own stick, either - that's still in six pieces, seven if you count the reel, while

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