As an avid fly fisherman, I enjoy teaching others how to fish. But when my student is Denver Nuggets forward Darrell Arthur, it can be an intimidating experience. At 6-foot-9, Arthur is an imposing figure. Put a 9-foot fly rod in his hand and we’re talking nearly 16 feet of line-slinging, fly-fishing fury. Yet, despite his massive stature, Arthur is one of the nicest, most humble people I’ve ever met.
In April I had the opportunity to spend an afternoon fishing with Arthur and the crew from Mile High Sports magazine. Our outing together was part of “Gone Fishin’,” a sports-celebrity promotion managed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and the Wildlife Council.
As you can read here in the May issue of Mile High Sports, reporter Julie Browman did a superb job capturing Arthur’s first-ever attempt at fly fishing, as well as my once-in-a-lifetime experience fishing with an NBA star.
Browman’s description of me as the “Yoda of fly fishing,” however, is certainly a bit of a fish story. Although I started fly fishing at a very young age, I’m constantly improving my skills every time I’m on the water. One of the great things about fly fishing is that you never stop learning, and I haven’t reached “Jedi” status quite yet. Nevertheless, I appreciate Browman taking some creative liberties with her writing to make me sound much better than I truly am.
In addition, unlike what’s presented in the article, fly fishing is not “very difficult” per se. But like other sports, it takes practice and dedication to become proficient. If you want to learn how to fly fish, my best advice is to take a lesson from an experienced fishing guide or attend one of Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s many fishing clinics. Above all, don’t be intimidated by all of the highbrow fly-fishing jargon and fancy equipment. Just get out there this summer and give it a try. Or based on Browman’s reference of me, I’ll simply say, “do or do not, there is no try.”
Finally, I must give credit where credit is due. If someone here at CPW deserves the title of “Jedi Master” of angling, that person is Howard “Chito” Horton. Horton, who is CPW’s angler outreach coordinator, spends countless hours organizing fishing clinics and teaching the finer points of angling to hundreds of students every year. His passion and dedication for teaching others is unparalleled.
Earlier this spring, Horton joined Colorado Avalanche defenseman Nick Holden, and he more recently teamed up with Denver Bronco Malik Jackson for the upcoming “Gone Fishin’” series, which debuts in June.
You can check out all three of the “Gone Fishin'” stories with Arthur, Holden and Jackson in the latest issues of Mile High Sports magazine. While you’re at it, don’t miss your opportunity to register to win a fishing trip with a Colorado sports celebrity. It’s your chance to tell a once-in-a-lifetime fish story of your very own. Good luck!