River Guide/Orvis Casting Instructor
My name is Bill Anderson and I’m a River Guide/Orvis Casting Instructor. I have been with Fly Fishing Outfitters for one year now. I am originally from upstate New York but have lived in the mountains of Colorado for over 35 years.
I enjoy teaching men and ladies who always wanted to try fly fishing, and kids who are eager to catch a trout on a fly rod for the first time. I have many hobbies, including woodworking, home remodeling, building out Sprinter vans, building and playing guitars, and hiking and mountain biking with my dogs.
I got started flyfishing through my dad, who taught me how to fish and tie flies at an early age in upstate New York. I particularly enjoy the Eagle and Frying Pan Rivers near my home in Edwards. I also very much enjoy the Taylor River near Gunnison and have a fishing cabin on a lake on Tennessee Pass near Leadville. We catch rainbows, cutthroats, and brookies in a network of lakes, as it is a 100-year-old trout club.
The Vail Valley is a great place to fish because these local rivers receive a continuous flow of beautiful water from the peaks up above-very clear and clean. That makes for healthier rivers that support a healthy fish habitat. We also have wonderful diversity with the many rivers near us: The Colorado, Frying Pan, Roaring Fork, Arkansas, Yampa River, and others, all just a bit different than the other.
This area is also a great place to get started as there exist all kinds of rivers with differing water structures and conditions to enable one to work on various angling techniques. It is also an excellent place to float the rivers and experience the beauty and abundant wildlife that can be observed from the comfort of a boat. Plus, fishing from a boat is a blast!
I am a passionate person, and I love helping people learn, and have some fun while building on a skill. In fact, my first real job out of college was as a high school teacher and coaching football team, baseball, and the ski team. I also enjoy meeting new people. Being a patient person who really enjoys connecting with others and helping people is an attribute to teaching and understanding the challenge of the learning curve for the student from their perspective. I was also a hotel/hospitality executive managing large full-service hotels for many years in ski country before retirement. I lived in a world where customer service was paramount and critical on a day-to-day basis.
This is also the case when it comes to the problems I consistently solve for my clients. Simplifying the process is where I like to start, as I find that most people are needlessly intimidated by the idea of flyfishing. I like to keep it fun and simple. Take the learning curve one step at a time.
My ideal customer is very excited to be on the river and is very eager to learn. To help new fishermen on guided trips, I like to be sure their casting techniques are efficient and graceful, introduce them to basic knots and entomology, and be sure they understand the basic techniques with the rod and reel that will allow them to hook and catch a fish successfully.
The best part of sharing my knowledge and experience with others is seeing the excitement of someone hooking into a nice fish on a fly rod—it puts a smile on my face. And when it is a young person or someone who has really worked hard to refine their skills, and they catch a fish they are proud of—that is a great feeling. But perhaps the best aspect is showing them the natural beauty that can be enjoyed while fishing.
My advice to a struggling fly fisherman would be to go back to the basics of what they were taught over the years. Take your time and observe the river before getting started, think through what the best approach would be on the river on that particular day. Slow down and observe what the fish are doing, where they are sitting, along with practice sound knot tying…. that sort of thing to avoid or discontinue any sloppy habits.