Written by: Mike Mazzoni
What were you doing at age 14? Two weeks ago, we had the pleasure of working with a young man by the name of Alex Gottlieb, visiting from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, as a short-term intern. This was his introduction to western trout fly fishing and the fishing service industry from a lodging standpoint, just as I had the opportunity to experience last season. Don’t be fooled though: at 14, Alex may be one of the most well versed people I’ve met, on subjects such as entomology, flies, tackle, tyin,g and fishing destinations. His mission in Utah: pursuing spooky, trophy browns in some of the most technical, clear waters we have to offer.
Beyond this youngster’s extraordinary knowledge of fly-fishing products and techniques, he has a dogged determination and a calculated precision with fly placement–a guide’s dream client. After Scott Pizza guided Alex and his father, Andrew Gottlieb, to the Utah high country for wild cutthroats, grayling, and brookies, I got the pleasure of taking the two out on one of my favorite, yet most technical rivers this area has to offer.
Scott and I had been fishing the stream regularly, and between that research and this youngster’s perseverance, both Alex and Andrew got into some incredible fish, experiencing fantastic aerial displays and powerful runs during a heavy PMD and Yellow Sally hatch. The cherry on top of it all: Tom Rosenbauer happened to be staying at the lodge and Alex got to show off pictures and discuss his knowledge of chasing stripers and bluefish off the Massachusetts coast with the man who helped build his interest in the sport.
Mike Mazzoni is Guest Relations/Facilities Manager at Falcon’s Ledge in Altamont, Utah.