Hi, I’m Ed Engle. I got into fly fishing the same way a lot of you did. My parents gave me a “starter” kit that included a rod, reel, backing, line, and leader. There weren't a lot of people teaching fly casting at the time, so I pretty much taught myself. I paid for that later on, too. Fortunately, I was lucky to make friends with some great casters who helped me correct some of my idiosyncrasies. My first fly fishing trips were to the South Platte River which was about a 45 minute drive from my house. Even then the South Platte was known nationally as a “technical” river. Catching trout required small flies and good presentations. I’d go up to the river by myself and flail around trying to learn as much as I could. Once in awhile I’d run into a more experienced angler who would give me a tip. I fished the river for four months before I caught a trout. By that time I was tying my own flies because I couldn’t afford to keep replacing all the store-bought ones I was losing. I actually caught my first trout with a fly I’d tied.
I didn’t stop with just catching some trout on a fly rod. The next thing I knew I was working part time for Kent Brekke at the old Angler’s Covey in Colorado Springs, Colorado and writing a fly fishing newspaper column for the Colorado Springs Sun. Before long I was writing magazine stories for most of the fly fishing publications and guiding fly fishers on the South Platte River. Next came my first book, Fly Fishing the Tailwaters. After that I started giving slide shows to fly fishing clubs and all of a sudden I was a struggling “professional” fly fisherman. It had never been my plan to be a full time fly fisher, but here I am.
A lot of water has gone down the river since those early days. I still think the point of fishing is to catch fish, but I’m not as possessed by it now as I was when I started out. I like everything about fly fishing—the water, the places I go to catch fish, the casts, flies, boats and the friends I’ve made. And more than anything, it has always come down to the fish themselves for me. Whether it’s a trout, king salmon, bonefish, permit or bluegill---I just like looking at them, watching them swim, seeing what they do and how they act. And I like sharing all of this with others through my books, magazine stories, PowerPoint presentations and classes.