Colorado native Dan Hoffman still recalls his boyhood days fishing with family in Rocky Mountain streams and lakes. Those early experiences kindled his lifelong affection for nature and his passionate love of flyfishing.
Colorado memories permeate the pages of Hoffman’s new book, “An Alaska Flyfisher’s Odyssey.” Though lavish in his praise of Alaskan fisheries, the avid outdoorsman and emerging author still returns each year to his Colorado roots “to chase rainbows and browns on the streams of my early childhood.”
Hoffman’s earliest memories include joining siblings to hunt and fish with parents and grandparents. From the time Dan was able to hold a fishing rod until age 12, the Hoffman clan roamed the Colorado wilderness, dipping lines in a variety of Western Slope streams including Cebolla, Vail, Quartz and Cement Creeks as well as the Lake Fork of the Gunnison River. He fondly recalls family outings on Sylvan Lake — a place which he describes as “a beautiful, trout-filled gem that’s nestled among the pine-forested mountains south of Eagle.”
The family moved to Alaska in the 1980s where Dan came of age angling for trophies in the big waters of the 49th state. Eventually his parents, Bill and Phyllis Hoffman, returned to Colorado, settling in Cedaredge. Dan comes to visit every autumn to fish the Gunnison and Uncompahgre Rivers, continuing to meld his Alaskan pursuits with his Colorado roots.
His book takes the reader on an angler’s journey through legendary Alaskan waters while his youthful adventures in his home state add a wistful undercurrent of nostalgia. It’s a combination which makes for an informative and heartfelt reading experience.
“Writing this book has been a very important and personal project for me,” Hoffman said. He credits his parents with raising him to become a fisherman — an upbringing which has had a profound impact on his life.
“It’s as much a ‘love letter’ to my parents as anything else.”
“An Alaska Flyfisher’s Odyssey: Seeking a Life of Drag-Free Drift in the Land of the Midnight Sun” is available from Sweetgrass Books, P.O. Box 5630, Helena, MT 59604; 800-821-3874. sweetgrassbooks.com. 50% of profit from Hoffman’s book sales goes to support the Alaska operations of Trout Unlimited.