On the fly: Local angler nets another victory | AspenTimes.com

On the fly: Local angler nets another victory

Kirk Webb
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT – Competitive fly fishing has a new hometown hero in Brandon Soucie of Basalt.

Soucie, 25, is the latest fly fishing phenom to cut his teeth into the sport of competitive fly fishing. This past weekend, Soucie and his partner, Theo Anest of Parker, Colo., took home the gold at the second annual Pueblo Frostbite Fish-Off fly fishing competition on the tailwaters of the Arkansas River below Pueblo Reservoir.

The competition consisted of two-person teams that measure the total number of inches of trout caught and then safely released. Soucie and his partner caught a record of 406 total inches of fish. The next closest team yielded just over 200 inches of fish to give you some perspective of their incredible accomplishment. Soucie also won the award for biggest fish caught during the tournament, a massive 21-inch rainbow trout, which netted him an additional $250 in prize winnings to expound on his team’s $1,000 in first-prize team winnings.

No strangers to the competitive fly fishing scene, Soucie and Anest placed second in last year’s inaugural Frostbite Fish-Off. Anest, who owns Colorado Skies Outfitters in Parker, and Soucie who guides for Taylor Creek Fly Shop in Basalt, have also won back-to-back gold medals in the 2011 and 2010 Teva Mountain Games in Vail. Soucie was also the big winner at last year’s Golden Games fishing competition in Golden on Clear Creek.

A Basalt native, Soucie seemingly lives in his fishing waders and boots. You can often find him teaching his devoted following of clients on the waters of the Fryingpan and Roaring Fork rivers. When asked about his secret to his success, he humbly replies, “time on the water.” Between fishing and guiding, Soucie spends more than 250 days a year on the water.

Having spent countless hours on the water with Soucie, I can personally tell you that his real secret to success is having that innate sixth sense that very few anglers are blessed with. He simply thinks like a fish. I have fished side by side with Brandon, using an identical setup and have watched him catch trout over trout in water that I just fished. While basking in his latest win, Soucie is already practicing and gearing up for two more fly fishing competitions, in May and June.