Free Fly Ambassador Caroline Irwin shares a tale from her recent trip out west as she shows her best friend a few of the reasons why she loves fly fishing:

“Now I see why you like fly fishing so much!” Said my best friend, Rachel on our Colorado adventure.

Usually we spend the Fourth of July with family, grilling burgers, surf fishing, watching fireworks, and doing cannon balls into the pool.

This year, however, Rachel and I decided to plan a trip to Denver to see our favorite band, The Avett Brothers, play at Red Rocks Amphitheater. Holy smokes, it was the most amazing, emotional experience hearing them play in that special venue. 

Rachel was all about it, so the second day, after brewery hopping and shopping, we found ourselves at Blue Quill Fly Shop in Evergreen, CO for some pointers. Ultimately this led Rachel to three reasons to love fly fishing so much…

Moving Up From Novice Fly Angler 


1) The Outfitter

They have everything, from the waders and flies for the season, to the shop boys telling us which streams to fish. Rachel absolutely loved hearing them talk their talk, and show me which flies, out of my own box, would work in the area. It was humbling to realize how much my fly-fishing-vernacular, if that is a thing, has evolved over the past eight years.



2) Getting Outside in Nature

Rachel absolutely loves living in the city and working with the children she sees on a weekly basis as a speech pathologist, however getting outside takes us both to a place where we breathe the fresh air of freedom and open our minds to all possibilities. Specifically, as it relates to fly fishing, she said it’s so peaceful watching me on the river, mend my line and watch the dry fly as it fades into the ripples downstream. There is a serenity in it, and a beauty Rachel said she never quite understood before.



3) The Hunt

We explored Bear Creek from bends with multiple anglers, to a park area with tourists picnicking, and tight spots surrounded with trees too tight for more than a roll cast. It was there, opposite side of the river, we saw huge trout rising and eating, moment upon moment, they seemed so happy.

Rachel said she loved the hunt for the spot, and once we saw fish, made it impossible to want to leave.

From standing upon beautiful river pebbles, to climbing trees in our path to new spots, we explored the unknown of our destination. I am so grateful Rachel was willing to go fishing and experience something new and unfamiliar. It turned out to be one of the great highlights of our trip, next to hearing the entire album of ‘I And Love And You’ performed at God’s amazing amphitheater.


About the Author:

Caroline is married to her adventure partner and best friend (Captain John Irwin) in Charleston, South Carolina. They have two children, and she has found a career that she loves in medical device sales. When her and John aren’t working, they’re fly fishing and traveling as a family to places they can take our wading boots. Caroline also enjoys teaching other women how to cast a fly, cooking, music, and painting. Her parents raised her to know she can do anything without barriers - and she aspire to have my children know the same thing.