Event Details

Join us for the first meeting of 2023! Mark and Judy Cole will talk about the Western Native Trout challenge.

Mark & Judy Cole bio:

After retiring from Texaco where he worked as an exploration and commercial development geologist and manager Mark and Judy Cole moved to Leadville, Colorado. He is an adjunct professor at Colorado Mountain College, where he taught Physical and Historical Geology, Fly Fishing, and Fly-Tying beginning in 2003. In 2007, Mark, designed, implemented, and co-founded the Fly-Fishing Guide Certificate Program at the CMC Timberline Campus in Leadville, Colorado. Mark currently teaches the Professional Fly-Fishing Guide Skills I and Fly-Tying courses in the guide program. Mark is a past board member, Vice- president, and President of the Chapter.

Judy W. Cole has worked as a geologist, stay-at-home mother, and teacher. She, like her husband, is heavily involved with the Friends of the Leadville National Fish Hatchery.

Mark and Judy were drawn to and adopted Tenkara fly-fishing in 2009 shortly after it was introduced to the United States. They like its simplicity – a rod, line, tippet, and fly – and how effective it is. The Coles have pursued various trout challenges over the years including the Wyoming Cutt-slam, the Utah Cutthroat Slam, and challenged themselves with a goal of catching all the existing native Colorado trout lineages. They thought that this objective had been accomplished until the CPW discovered that the San Juan Cutthroat Trout still existed. Mark and Judy are waiting for fishable populations to become established to complete this goal.

In 2019, when the Coles first became aware of the Western Native Trout Challenge, they immediately paid the twenty-five dollars entry fee and started their adventure in July with a trip to New Mexico seeking the Gila Trout. Four years, 18 fish and 12 states later they completed the Challenge. Judy and Mark are the first folks from Colorado to complete the Challenge and the first to do it with Tenkara gear. The Challenge was a great experience and took the Coles to states and streams that they would have never visited otherwise. It introduced them to an amazing variety of salmonids that they would not have encountered. They highly recommend the experience.

Come to the Chapter meeting to hear about the Cole’s adventures and learn from their experiences, where and how they caught the Challenge fish, resources used, and some tips on completing the experience.