Fly-Fishing In The Rockies


Scott Tarrant is the fly-fishing manager at the Broadmoor resort and hotel in Colorado Springs. Credit Ryan David Brown for The New York Times

We always think we have the best occupations, but occasionally we see what someone else is doing and start having second thoughts. But, as we know, there is a reason why it is called work:

The Curative Power of Water, Waders and a Fly Rod

 As told to

Scott Tarrant, 46, is manager of fly-fishing at the Broadmoor, a resort and hotel in Colorado Springs.

Q. What do you do as manager of fly-fishing?

A. I manage all things associated with fly-fishing at the Broadmoor, and I oversee daily operations at our separate fishing camp, 75 miles from the resort. I also provide fly-fishing lessons and am a guide on trips.

How did you become interested in fly-fishing?

I was brought up in the Rocky Mountains and was always outdoors. My father died when I was 2, and when I was about 6 a cranky but kind neighbor gave me a fly rod and some flies (the fly-fishing version of lures) and told me to stay off his front porch. I pretty much taught myself to fish by age 8. Even that young, I felt a strong attraction to streams. I have a bit of a stutter, and for some reason it disappeared when I was in the water. It still does.

Do you teach things other than technique?

You have to know the water, how it moves and how fish react to it. It’s not about the size of a fish or the quantity caught, it’s meditating about the process.

Do you have much time to fish yourself?

Some. But when I first started guiding years ago, I found it was even more enjoyable than fishing. It enhances all the things I love about the sport. I have the opportunity to be part of people’s first experience and relive some of my firsts: first fish caught with a fly rod, first fish using a dry fly — one that rides on the surface of the water — and so on.

Do people’s technological devices interrupt your lessons?

The fishing camp is high on a mountain, in the wilderness, and there’s no cellphone reception. For most visitors, their phones are only cameras up here anyway, used to capture memories. People become transfixed when they’re in the water here…

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