Your name or any nicknames you have?

I definitely have a few nicknames but I always just introduce myself as Mathew or Mat, for short.

Where are you at in the world? Where will you be fishing this year?

I currently live in Golden, Colorado. This year, I have been fishing all over Colorado and have some plans to fish in New Mexico and Arizona.

Mat holds up a nice brown trout

What river(s) and lake(s) do you guide/fish?

You can usually find me fishing the South Platte, Colorado, Fraser, Yampa and Blue Rivers along with Bear Creek and Clear Creek.

How long have you been guiding/fly fishing?

I first picked up a fly rod when I was 11 years old. Throughout my life, I’ve spent time both flyfishing and spincasting and over the past couple years I’ve been exclusively flyfishing while doing my best to teach my girlfriend the art.

What got you into fly fishing? When did you start? 

When I was 11 years old, I used to enjoy watching all the fishing television shows on the Outdoor Life Network. One day after school, I stumbled upon Andy Mill’s program on fly fishing for Tarpon in Florida. I was completely astonished. Up until that point I had only done spincast fishing and had never seen fly fishing before. After renting every book on fly fishing the local library had in stock, I somehow convinced my parents to get me my first 9ft 5wt fly rod. As soon as I got it out of the case, I immediately started practicing my casts into a 5 gallon bucket in the backyard. The very next weekend my father took me up to Clear Creek and I caught my first trout. The rest is history.

Mat fishes in a river

Why do you fly fish?  What does it “do” for you?

I’ve actually been asking myself this very question for awhile now. If you ask this to any person who loves the sport, you’ll hear things like it’s meditative, connects you to nature, the amazing community of like-minded enthusiasts, the challenge and skill development along with the obvious thrill of hooking and landing a trophy fish. Now I’m not saying that I don’t completely agree with those points because they are definitely some of the amazing aspects that makes flyfishing special, but for me, I honestly find it strange that I love it so much. It’s challenging to describe why I choose to wake up at 4am on a Saturday, drive to a river in the bitter cold, rig up my rod and fish all day until the sun disappears. Flyfishing has become one of the most intense obsessions I’ve ever experienced and the actual origin of any kind of passion is a difficult concept to fully understand. Maybe it all has to do with some kind of evolutionary reward system that’s hardwired into us. All that I know is that when you find something that you are truly passionate about, no matter what it is, you owe it to yourself to make time to do more of it. 

If you own and use a Rod Vault, what do you like about you Rod Vault?

I was recently gifted a preordered Rod Vault as an anniversary present from my incredible girlfriend. It’s currently being assembled and should be installed in the next month or so. I can’t wait to have my rods all rigged up and ready to go at all times, especially with winter coming. 

What is a piece of advice you want to give to other anglers or a tip/trick that has helped you grow as an angler?

The most effective piece of advice I could give would be to spend as much time on the water practicing as you can. I truly believe that the amount of time it takes to master anything is dependant on the intensity of your focus. You gotta stay hungry for new information and realize that there’s always more to learn about flyfishing, no matter how long you do it.

mat holds up a rainbow trout

Who has influenced you most as an angler?

Even though I’ve never met the man, I would have to say that Pat Dorsey has been one of my biggest influencers in flyfishing. He has published some of the best content in books and articles that have really helped me learn the art.

What’s your favorite new piece of gear?

Without a doubt, my new 5/6wt Redington Rise 3 reel. I literally just spooled it up last night and can’t wait to break it in this weekend!

What is your favorite fly? (To tie, or catch fish on?)

My recent favorite fly has been a size 14 Amy’s Ant. It’s been the most productive dry fly I’ve used all summer. I had a blast setting the hook on those explosive top water takes.

Mat holds up a nice small trout in a canyon

Best catch of all time?

My all time best catch was a 24″ lake-run brown trout. I was fishing alone in a section of the South Platte River during a total downpour. It was a great battle that I’ll never forget.

What’s your “Dream Trip”? 

New Zealand, Patagonia and Iceland are a few places on my dream trip list. 

What are some of the best places you’ve been fishing?

Definitely the many alpine glacier lakes in Colorado. There’s nothing I’ve experienced quite like catching native cutthroat trout in that scenery. At 12,000+ feet in elevation, it’s literally breathtaking up there. 

mat holds up a brown trout

How do people follow you on social media or reach you? 

You can find me on Instagram @high.flyr

About The Author

Jill Kana

Jill is in charge of a great deal of our web content here at Denver Outfitters and is always looking for potential blog contributors, content, and #FlyGalFridays. If you have any desire to say hello or have an idea, please touch base with her at jill@denveroutfitters.com

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