Photos of the Day: A Young Man Tries to Master His Home Water

Written by: Austin Manthey

Austin Manthey

The fish of Waterton Canyon aren’t large, but they’re educated and wary.

photo courtesy Austin Manthey

Editor’s note: Austin Manthey is a young angler from Colorado whose videos have been featured in the F5 a couple of times. (See here and here.) So I asked him to start contributing to the Fly Fishing blog, as a way to get a young voice on fly fishing. Here is his first entry. I hope there will be more. Check out his blog, Manthey Fly Fishing

Colorado is a fly-fishing paradise, and living in this state provides epic angling opportunities every single day of the year. I am fortunate enough to live within about five miles of the South Platte River, and I spend as much time out on the water as I can. My home water is a smaller section of river known as Waterton Canyon.

Austin Manthey

Just 15 minutes from Denver, the canyon sees a fair amount of angling pressure.

photo courtesy Austin Manthey

Being so close to Denver (about a 15-minute drive), the canyon sees its fair share of pressure, making it one of the hardest places to fish on the South Platte, in my opinion. The fish are much smaller and less numerous than in other sections, but catching these wary fish can be very rewarding. I typically have to spot and stalk trout, especially during low-water conditions. These fish are well educated and spook at any shadow or movement, so I often find myself casting from my knees or even crawling into position.

Austin Manthey

The author finds great satisfaction in fooling these tough trout.

photo courtesy Austin Manthey

Summer and fall bring some incredibly fun dry-fly fishing, and it’s not uncommon to fish all day with just a Charlie Boy Hopper or a Parachute Adams. But my favorite days in the canyon are those that most other anglers avoid, such as extremely windy days or a when there’s a snowstorm. Here are just a few images of my winter adventures in Waterton.

Austin Manthey

A winter fly box features a plethora of subsurface offerings.

photo courtesy Austin Manthey

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