Guide Highlight - Colby Crossland

Channel your inner moustache

Every February Curtis and I make a trek to Utah's green river to celebrate our birthdays (he's a LOT older than me.)  These trips usually consist of waking up at 4:30, driving for about 4 hours to the river, fishing midges until we either get bored of catching fish or get frozen to the core, and then head back home.  Some years it's midge fishing bliss in moderate winter temperatures, while other years it's filled with snow wind and Curtis crying himself to sleep on the way home.  This year it was an especially great trip, not because the midge fishing was insane, or the temperatures were speedo
Colby with a meat eater
worthy.  It was great because we finally got to float the river with our buddy Colby Crossland.  It's kind of one of those things where you always talk about fishing, but life happens and stuff...  Well, we finally made it happen.

We have known Colby (who is now a d-list celebrity due to his moustache and swimsuit photo spreads in RV Weekly magazine) for a number of years just through the Utah fly fishing community, and for the past several years he has been making clients happy by helping them hook fish on the green river.  He guides for Spinner Fall Guide Service, who employs many of the top guides on the river and has a reputation for fishing dry flies a lot.

We kind of wanted to fish for a mixed bag of active fish (risers and meat eaters) so we decided to float the A scetion of the green river, which is located directly beneath the Flaming Gorge Dam.  Due to the nature of the constant cool water year round, it is a great trout habitat that allows you to see fish everywhere, almost like you are in an aquarium.  Right from the start of this trip we saw how intimate he was with all of the "micro drifts," "new rocks," and areas that held fish vs areas that didn't.  I could tell that Colby is a true ambassador of the river, and his hundreds of days floating the river showed.  Just like his overall easy going demeanor, he likes to guide in a way that is maybe unique in his own way.  Instead of just getting clients into fish, he'll teach them some of the intricacies of drifting a tiny dry fly right down feeder alley, or throwing a beefy streamer at a meat eater.  Curtis and I have fished the Green River quite a lot, but it's amazing what you can learn if you have an open mind, and someone who is willing to share fishy knowledge with you.

Cheech and Colby playing musical chairs
Colby knew that I had just gotten a drift boat, and he was even gracious enough to help me with some of the trickier parts of rowing the river.  A good guide should leave a client a better angler, not just a person who has caught 5 more fish in his life.  For the majority of this trip Curtis was searching for the subtle noses in the back eddies while I focused on plopping meat down in hopes of enticing the carnivores.  While we were flailing and doing our best to sink his fancy Stealthcraft, Colby made sure to always have his eyes open to the risers, while putting me in the best position to huck the meat.   The risers were deciding not to play very much, but we found some hungry fish that wanted to eat the meat - so we fed it to them.  Perhaps the most memorable "eat" of the trip was when we were anchored next to shore for a quick lunch and we spotted a mid sized rainbow "trying" to hide in the weeds.  I actually didn't see it until Colby and Curtis pointed it out.  I put a mini belly scratcher in front of it in the sand, and we watched it slowly swim over and toilet bowl flush it into it's mouth.  That was pretty rewarding, because he sucked it in like he was basically trying to digest it before he even ate it!
Little Fatty with a soft gut.  It ate the belly scratcher.

Here is Colby's profile page to Spinner Fall Guide Service.  If you are looking for a great guide on the Green River, give them a call!