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  • How 4 of the State’s Most Colorful Fishing Flies Got Their Names

    Intricately designed flies aren't the only way Colorado tiers show off their imaginations.


    The Dad Bod

    Illustration by Kellan Stover

    Peter Stitcher’s mayfly pattern consists of two different-size metal beads. When he first came up with the design in 2019, he noticed those proportions made it look like the fly had a “big ol’ beer belly,” Stitcher says, which brought to mind the fading physique of the middle-aged man. “The jokes kind of write themselves,” says Stitcher, who owns Ascent Fly Fishing in Littleton. “Sometimes you’re catching a lot of fish and someone yells down the river, ‘What’s working?’ And you say, ‘The Dad Bod’s hot right now.’”

    Darth Baetis

    Illustration by Kellan Stover

    Greg Garcia, a signature fly tier for Umpqua Feather Merchants, spent five years teaching this mayfly impostor the ways of the water. Only then did he realize that its seemingly unnatural powers to mind-trick trout everywhere meant his padawan had already joined the Dark Side. (Plus, the Latin name for mayfly is baetis, a distinctly Sith-ian surname.)

    The Belly Flop

    Illustration by Kellan Stover

    With a heavy, flat midsection that always finds a way to be the first thing that hits the water, this fly enters the drink like a 12-year-old all hopped up on Coca-Cola and Skittles. The stomach-first approach inspired Dave Student, a former fly specialist at Louisville’s Umpqua Feather Merchants, to christen his creation after summer’s painful rite of passage.

    The Dirty Hippy

    Illustration by Kellan Stover

    After Charlie Craven fell in love with his wife, Lisa, her free spirit, peace-loving ways, and wild red hair inspired a nickname: “dirty hippy.” While the moniker may not sound endearing to some, Lisa enjoyed it so much she even put it on her license plate. But Craven, who owns Charlie’s Fly Box in Arvada, did her one better. When he realized he’d created a fly with a mane as untamed as his wife’s—it features fox fur—he passed the pet name on, forever linking Lisa with one of his most beloved decoys.

    The Year That Changed Everything


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