Dave Hill guides out of San Miguel Anglers, where he is a sort of legend. Hailing from southern Missouri, Dave has touched hands with the likes of Oprah and Rosalyn and Jimmy Carter. A former oil man he found his way to Telluride to fly-fish.
Colorful stories highlighted my day with Dave and included such characters as “Rattlesnake Jim” and a Kosher Caterer who weighed 400 pounds and sported an oxygen tank and a cigarette at the same time.
Dave worries about the health of the San Miguel and Dolores Rivers near Telluride for several reasons. The water flows have been extremely low for many years now, but most importantly there is no catch and release policy (at least above the McPhee dam on the Dolores) and there is most certainly a paucity of fish.
Dave is responsible for helping me find my first Brookie up in one of the tributaries to the Dolores. As my year continues, I find myself leaning more and more towards the smaller mountain streams where the fish may not be “hawgs” but they are so satisfying to catch as you figure out where they are hiding and throw just the right fly such that they rise to the surface in a frenzy oftentimes catching you off guard.
It was a day on the hunt and determinedly successful with the Brookie catch.