Lessons Learned Behind the Fly

Latest posts by A.J. Fick (see all)

Darland Fishing

This post was contributed by our new Pro Staff Writer and Photographer J. Darland who hails out of Southern Colorado. We are all excited to hear the stories of his hunting and fishing adventures abroad. Welcome aboard!


Looking back to when I first starting fly fishing seems like a long time ago. I guess 13 years counts as a long time ago. I had fly fished off and on earlier in my childhood. It seemed like when I moved to Colorado in 2010 that I became more involved. I remember being caught up in wanting to get all the right gear when I first began seriously fishing. I wanted the flashy gear, the gear that was way out of my price range. I think we are all gear junkies at heart or at least I am anyway. I laugh at those decisions that were made as I reflect back.

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It has been a solid four years since I began fishing here in Colorado and I know what I want. I know what’s important. I understand the goal of going to fly fish. I recognize, at the end of the day, it will never be about the gear being flashy, new, or top quality. It will never be about your image in the woods or your fashion statement.

The world may have taught my generation that self-image is everything but thankfully nature doesn’t care. Nature doesn’t care about self-image. Like I said before, I now know what’s important. What’s important is to park that Xterra, grab my reel and pack, and head for the river. It is important to leave all worldly distractions behind and become one with my surroundings within nature.

I judge a trip successful if I have allowed myself to enjoy the surroundings of the river and fish that I may or may not have caught. I don’t get caught up though in just the catch. It’s called fishing, not catching. If it was called catching everybody would be doing it. Here is a piece of advice, take pride in competing against the wild in order to hopefully go home with a stringer full of rainbows. You won’t catch ’em every time and that’s okay. What’s more important is that you are out there enjoying nature for the right reasons.

Continue your harvest, nature awaits your next move.



A.J. Fick

Born and raised in northeast Pennsylvania, I’ve lived in southern California, central Texas, and currently reside in western Idaho. I consider myself a western hunter at heart, enjoying being part of vast landscapes and the thrill of the stalk. One of my hunting mottos is “stretch the stalk, not the shot”. My motivations as an outdoorsman are rooted in the sustenance, independence, and challenging physical aspects. In fact, my largest driving factor for physical fitness is preparing for upcoming hunts and ensuring I’m well-prepared to climb mountains and cover ground with a heavy pack. I also recognize and respect the importance of conservation efforts for our wild animals and wild places and the close connection to hunting and fishing. If we want future generations to experience the wonder and adventure of the outdoors, and gain the countless benefits, we must continue to make wildlife conservation today’s priority to ensure continued opportunity.

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