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In Episode 171 we WadeOutThere with Tim Hepworth, from Central Alberta. Tim was raised in a pastor’s home with nine siblings. Hunting and fishing was a way of life and a source of sustinance. He picked up fly fishing as a teenager, and used the sport to help him find balance in his job as a paramedic. But it wasn’t until the birth of his daughter, that Tim dove deep into fly fishing.
They learned together, and eventually, Tim became a guide on the Bow River Fly Fishing Bow River Outfitters and instructor at the same school that taught him Western Canadian Fly Fishing Guide School.
We discuss learning and teaching fly fishing with your daughter, late summer on the Bow River, and tying flies on Thursday nights.
So I think for us, the keys to success, not necessarily the catching of the fish, but the keeping her out there. Those are three huge things. Keep ’em warm, keep ’em in good gear, feed ’em, feed ’em well, and just follow their timeline.Tim Hepworth
Tim decided he wasn’t going to let the birth of his daughter stop him from the life he loved on the river. Selfish? I don’t know. At first glance perhaps. I certainly see a part of my own motives for taking my kids to the river as a teeny bit selfish. After all, I do want them to enjoy it. But there’s more isn’t there? There’s another reason why we take our kids fly fishing.
I can’t speak for Tim, but what I do know is that the time he spends fishing with his daughter is also a wonderful and selfless gift. Or more like many gifts. The gift of time with her father. The gift of a love of the outdoors. The gift of beautiful memories, in beautiful places. Trout don’t live in… you get the idea.
And, as Tim reminds us, if you’re doing it right, it’s really all about the child’s experience. Keep ’em fed. Keep ’em warm. Follow their timeline.
Yeah. That’s sound advice. Even if it means your day shakes out different than you planned. You might just get some surprises in there. In fact, I’d bet on it.
What is it about fly tying that brings people together. Tim started tying flies over beers with friend and fly fishers in his community every Thursday night and it took off. More and more people showed up and then, after COVID, they started tying their flies more and more on YouTube. Result? Even more people tuned in.
It’s a combination of many things if I had to guess. Camaraderie. Good times. Desire to learn. And the people. Tim is someone I would definitely love to tie flies with and I’d bet that is why his Thursday Night Fly Tying was so successful. That… and it is super well organized and produced. Tim gives that credit to his fellow guide at Fly Fishing Bow River Outfitters, Dana Lattery (don’t worry, we’ll talk to him soon too).
Tim says that many of the flies that work well on the Bow are simple patterns and not too small. That’s always refreshing. Flies like the CDC Caddis, Copper John, Pats Rubber Legs, Hoppers, and of course the simplest of patterns. The San Juan Worm. Can’t beat a worm, just don’t make it squirmy. At least not on the bow.
Oh, and if you have a favorite Hopper pattern, take it along. There’s always room to see if something new will work, although they’ve got things pretty wired. My favorite is a yellow Chubby Chernobyl, but that’s because its fast and easy. What’s yours?
So, our river isn’t unique in that it has all these weird, different hatches. It’s very, it’s very consistent. Throughout our year, we, you know, we have our caddis that hatch almost all year. We have midges that hatch almost all year. We have a short stonefly window, which can be great. And on either side of that, we fish a lot of, pats rubber legs, things like that.Tim Hepworth
I love talking with folks like Tim that have so much love not only for fly fishing, but for sharing it with children. I always learn something and I’m always reminded of how precious our time is. With the river and with them. I hope you’re reminded as well, and I hope you enjoy my conversation with Tim as much as I enjoyed talking with him.