Every spring and summer, there is a pilgrimage of anglers heading west to the famous trout streams of the Rockies, from Colorado to Montana and beyond. Within every state and every fishery, there are countless guides who make a living giving people the best possible experience they can have on the water. From introducing people to fly fishing to meeting the same people every year, these guides are the reason so many of us love fly fishing the way we do.
What happens when you leave and your guide says goodbye after a long day on the river? We can usually find the local crew at our favorite spot, the Tipsy Trout (I know, it’s a great name for a riverside bar and grill). From the bar you can hear stories from the day, stories from years ago from older guides, and the Coors Light tap is almost always flowing.
These are some fishing folks, and we’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Shannon Outing, an Elite Sage Ambassador, mostly from sharing beers at Tipsy Trout. You can’t forget Ruby (her and Beck’s black-tip lab) making her rounds trying to find someone with a stray French fry.
From our time with Shannon, we’ve learned that the day doesn’t end there. In early summer, while the water continues to maintain its cool temperatures, a special hatch occurs at dusk. While it’s always fun to hear stories from yesteryear and yesteryear, green lunches and caddis were calling us on the road.
As we pull into our spot for the evening, we can start to see caddis and some green flounder starting to come out of the water. We pulled out the rods from the rod rack that needed some new flies after the great day they had with their clients earlier. Shannon rigged up the Sage R8 CORE 590, her go-to rod for all conditions, whether she’s guiding or fishing for herself. With drakes and caddis hatching in unison, the question was which one to hook. The final decision was both. With Ruby (her trusty river companion in tow) we all headed down the river to find the rising fish we were looking for.
With the brush close behind, a good spinning cast was needed to add our flies to the insect conveyor belt in the water. Unsurprisingly, Shannon was hooked after just a few casts. This trend continued but the night was new.
As the sun went down the bugs thickened and the fish were rising for our drying almost every cast. When it got so dark we could barely see, the best way to know if you had eaten was to hear the faintest splash in the direction of the fly. As our view was limited to only a few feet in front of us, you had to feel the rod in your hand as the line rolled off its loop.
The headlights were out and the cooler was broken. Suddenly we hear a splash that was different… We scrambled in the dark for the net as the rod had bent a bit further than the previous fish we had hooked that evening. We scrambled, somehow kept our feet and netted the biggest fish of the night as the opening slowed. It was a special moment to admire the fish under the lanterns and moonlight.
With the celebratory beers popping, we called it a night. Shannon left the rods, ready to be rigged again in the morning for her next batch of eager customers.
Thanks to Shannon for sharing her after hours routine with us and Sage Fly Fishing for making it possible. If you’re looking for the best rod to suit your after-hours fishing excursions, be sure to check out the new Sage R8 CORE HERE or at your local Sage dealer!
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