Anywhere you go fishing there’s an “A-team.” The Roaring Fork Valley is no exception. There’s nothing worse as a guide to end up on a group trip with another slappy who’s a complete hack. Certain guides are not team players, and it’s a drag to spend the day with them. They’re either trying to “out fish” you, if there is such a thing, or they’re far from competent. Both scenarios are a waste of time. As Tony used to say, “Everybody plays, everybody loses.” At the top of my list of favorite “A-team” members to guide with is “Big” Steve Avery. He’s been driven into property management but still can be talked into a guide trip from time to time. Avery invented the “triple-trouble” fly rig, which was, and still is, a boon to retailers valley wide. A few years back, Kid Super and I launched mid-morning at Bonedale and broke off our bugs before the Kelso bridge. Avery drifted by with clients who happened to have three doubles in a hundred yards of river, so, of course, we were watching his rigs with glazed eyes. I could see a big Stimi dancing above the water with a fish in tow, then we saw a nymph pop up without a fish, and we knew–three flies. Avery described the revelation this way, “I woke up in a cold sweat last night , I don’t know if it was a dream or vision, but I heard a voice in the distance say, ‘three flies…’” And so it’s been three flies ever since. Every day with Avery is running blind channels into the abyss, flipping boats, using his body to free anchors, and one morning backing his dory directly through the window of a movie rental store. My hope is that this economy forces Avery back into guiding full time, but we can only hope. Mr. T and the rest of the “A-Team” are waiting.

Live from the World Headquarters
Kea C. Hause esq.


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