Keri + Sam, Pretty Fly in Colorado

Photography by Jeff Cooke + Jenn Nauss

I don’t know how old I was, but it somewhere between seeing Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back. My uncle took me fly fishing for the first time, and I vividly remember the stream, the rocks and that beautiful morning. Sadly at that age, I had no interest in fly fishing. I was way more into exploring the world around me. So lost in a world of male believe, I wasn’t paying attention to whatever my uncle was doing, and as he casted back, I bounced directly into his line. He didn’t catch any fish, but managed to catch my earlobe (thankfully not my eye), resulting in a perfectly pierced ear, abruptly ending the day. This would be the only time that I ever experienced fly fishing … until visiting Keri and Sam in Colorado.

I’ve known Keri for years. We’ve ran marathons together and I photographed their wedding a few years ago, getting to know Sam (while “extreme” skiing for the first time), and they’ve become the type of friends who you might only see once a year but can easily pick up right where you left off. And, there’s never a dull moment when visiting them because they’re always up for something adventurous. So when I found out fly fishing is one of their many hobbies, I told them my story, explained how I’d love to go and asked Keri + Sam if they’d be up for me documenting one of their “fly fishing” dates to a place known as “The Dream Stream”.

Under the setting sun, Sam was our guide. He explained how to tie a fly, how to cast, how to pick the perfect spot, how to spot fish, and although no fish were caught I’m happy to report that no ears were pierced either. I guess you could say that it’s all catch and release until you find a keeper … and according to Keri, Sam is pretty fly. I couldn’t agree more.

– Written by Jeff