7.25.2006

Natalie, The Gittelmans, and Big Trout

Natalie - One of AOC's Best

Just finished talking with Mr. Gittelman about his fishing trip with us yesterday. He came by just to let me know how much fun he had catching 20 inch trout with our guide Natalie on the Roaring Fork last night (he said that it was the highlight of his trip). The scenerio is pretty familiar to me, but I'll relate it for posterity...
The Gittelmans came to our shop at around 4:30PM, and after signing the waivers and getting fitted for Gore-tex waders and boots, they headed down valley. The drive lasted only about 15 minutes, and although it took only a couple of minutes to get the waders on and get rigged up, it was just after 5PM by the time they stepped into the water. Natalie is arguably our best guide, she fly fishes around the world to much acclaim, and it didn't take her long to help the Gittelmans get over their first-time jitters. She started them out nymphing (fishing sub-surface), and they got onto fish almost immediately. Mr. Gittelman was all smiles when he laughingly admitted that they didn't actually net the first few fish that they hooked. He continued to say that it didn't take long for him to understand the importance of letting the fish run, and keeping the rod vertical after hooking a fish. He was very complimentary of Natalie's netting skills, and he also mentioned how much he liked the actual net - which was handmade for Natalie by her boyfriend Matt.
As is typical this time of year on the upper Roaring Fork, the big fun came for the Gittelmans as dusk decended and the trout started to feed on dry flies. Natalie easily recognized the change of tempo on the river (this girl is a predator!), and she had both Gittelmans changed over to drys when the action started. Needless to say, many trout were caught in the increasing darkness, but the highlight was a 20+ inch rainbow that Mr. Gittelman landed in a big silky pool above the swinging bridge. When he told me this, I gave him a firm handshake and a pat on the back - a 20 inch fish is quite a milestone. As he headed out the door to hike Aspen Mountain, he assured me that on his next visit he would fish with us at least two nights. You know what? I don't doubt that he will.

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