Welcome to the sixth interview with the author/contributors of the December 1 release of the anthology, The Water Holds No Scars: Fly Fishing Stories of Rivers & Rejuvenation, published by Tulip Tree Publishing, LLC. Discounted pre-release sales information is posted below.

Today’s contributing author is Vince Puzick.  Puzick spent much of his childhood and adolescence fishing, hiking, and backpacking in the Colorado mountains, he feels most at home and most connected to the world when he is somewhere in thin, pine-scented air with a river nearby. As a recovering alcoholic, he turns to the natural world as a foundation of his recovery and to rejuvenate his spirit.


You can connect with Vincent at his blog HERE.

He also maintains the blog for Angler’s Covey Fly Shop HERE.

Vince’s essay in the anthology is titled, Return and Release.


1)      Tell us about your first fly fishing rod and where you used it.

My first fly rod was the Sage Launch.  The best and most memorable early experience with it was in Elevenmile Canyon on an early July morning.  The Trico hatch happened.  Need I say more?  It was probably the morning I became addicted.

2)      You get the chance to write (but no fishing!) near a stream or pond.  Your choice: Write with uninterrupted silence wondering if there are fish nearby, or; Write with fish constantly rising, slurping, and popping the surface the entire time. Which do you choose and why?

Despite how torturous it may be, I would choose to write where I could see the rising fish.  The rising action, sometimes in a rhythm and sometimes more sporadic, the movement of the rises from near the bank to behind a rock or in a seam, the different rise forms – all of it would be so interesting to watch.   I’m guessing I could learn a lot about fish behavior even from a distance and get to know that stretch of stream pretty well.  (Who am I kidding – I’m ready to go fish it right now.)

3)      Do you have a favorite fly and/or a favorite writing pen (or place to write)? Tell us about it/them.

Since I love fishing late July and August in some certain stretches of the South Platte,  my favorite fly would be either an Amy’s Ant or the The Hopper Juan.  Love the action of grasshopper and terrestrial patterns when fish really slam them.  My favorite place to write is actually my writing desk in my current home and between 4:30 and 6:00 a.m.  I look out over a huge open space – lots of trees, great sunrise to view, and often times deer and fox to watch.

4)      Every fly fisherman/woman has a favorite fishing story (other than the one in the book.) Tell us yours (succinctly as possible.)

I was fishing the Animas River upstream from Durango in June of 2014.  The flows were still a little high and the water was off-color.  I threw everything – streamers, San Juan Worms, a variety of nymphs and midges.  Nothing.  Around last light, I tied on a #10 red Amy’s Ant.  A fish rose to it first cast.  A little later, after I moved upstream a bit further, I tossed it out about 25 yards.  Bang.  The fish ran upstream, then turned to the bank and slowed down.  I stripped him in.  He ran again to the middle.  I turned him again.  About 7 yards from the bank, he turned upstream again and – much to my surprise, dismay, disappointment – right under a submerged tree limb arching down from the bank.  The line went slack.  My heart pounded.  And, to paraphrase Hemingway in “Big Two-Hearted River,” I felt sick and had to sit down for a minute.  That was a fish.

5)      Let’s test your writing skills. Write a standard haiku about fly fishing (3 lines: 5 syllables for Line1, 7 syllables for line 2, 5 syllables for line 3.)

1) Shadow becomes movement
Along the river bottom.
Rainbow trout flashes.

2) Winter’s dark water
River rimmed by deep blue ice
A fish hugs the bank.

3) Fish rise, hide again,
Behind the black submerged rock.
The river’s rhythm.

6)      Your final choice: You get to fish one place whenever you want, but only that place for the rest of your fishing days. Friends/family can come to fish with you, but cannot fish anywhere else. Where do you fish and why? 

Even though I love the year-round opportunities of tailwaters, I would have to choose the Arkansas River near Cotopaxi – well, all the way along Bighorn Sheep Canyon from west of Canon City to east of Salida.  That’s a great stretch of the Gold Medal Waters of the Ark. What’s not to love about this freestone river?  From streamers, to stoneflies, to the great caddis hatch in the early spring – this is a great place to fish.


Thanks, Vince for being here today and we look forward to reading your essay Return And Release  along with the other great submissions soon.


Friday’s interview, 11/27/15  is with Kerrie Flanagan, an avid fly fisherwoman, prolifically published author, owner of Hot Chocolate Press, and  Northern Colorado Writers.

Remember to leave a comment below to be entered in the free book giveaway!


Pre-Release sale is on now. Until December 1, 2015 you can order The Water Holds No Scars: Fly Fishing Stories of Rivers & Rejuvenation for $17.95 + $4.00 shipping. That’s a savings of $7.00 off the cover price. This offer is only valid through Tulip Tree Publishing HERE.