Knee deep in a clear rushing Colorado river lined with conifers reaching toward the sky, Cole Glenn is fixated on a particular eddy, a deep pool of still water. His eyes are locked, his nine-foot fishing rod is held level and high as his line drifts slowly down river.
With an all consuming anticipation, he waits.
Glenn is a fly fisherman. It's a lifestyle that defines him. Flies hang from the fabric of his car ceiling. A few are stuck in his cap. He calls it an active pursuit.
“You're able to experience nature,” he said. “Trout don't live in ugly places.”
His fishing partner, Brian Capsay, is upstream, lost in his own trance of trying to lure a fish onto his line. His cap says Fly Fishing Team USA, a membership that has carried him around the world, although he says it's on his home rivers, creeks and streams where he finds pleasing distraction.
“I get into a place where I can relax,” he said. “I'm in the water, I'm one with nature. I don't have to worry about things, I focus on what I'm doing.”
The two anglers begin their day together, talk about flies and share insights, but soon drift apart.
Before long they blend within the rocks and running water in an unspoken effort to find their own experience. There are similarities, but they each break into their own style.
Glenn guides clients from all over the country into mountain waters, sharing his passion for the river with those new to the sport drives him,
Capsay called it a simple art: how to fool a fish.
“It's a learning game,” he said. “Always changing. Every cast is different.”
And it's about more that the catch.
“Catching fish is certainly the focus,” Glenn said, “but being outside, walking through water, hearing the birds and seeing the fish, it all cumulates into a special experience.”