Drake Roskelley — On the Fly
Drake Roskelley (@drdrake.onthefly on Instagram) grew up in Orem, Utah. Although he’s been fishing since he was four years old, he didn’t pick up a fly rod until three years ago.
“And I haven’t looked back,” Drake says.
Currently, he’s studying public health at Utah State University in Logan, a hotbed for trout and fly fishing.
“I got started about three years ago when my neighbor took me out,” Drake says. “He’s a feather merchant for the fly tying community. I caught 6 trout on my first day out and I was hooked.”
After that first day in the water, Drake immersed himself in fly fishing culture.
“I got a job at Cabela’s fly shop, which helped me learn a lot and get the gear that I needed,” he says. “Going to school in Logan puts me right on some awesome trout waters like Black River, Bear Lake and the Logan River.”
The area is home to rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout.
“I’d say my favorites to catch are browns and bull trout,” Drake says. “But I have to go to Idaho or Canada to find bulls.”
Although he doesn’t do so regularly, Drake sometimes guides in the Provo area. He also travels quite a bit to fish.
“I went to Iceland and got on some huge browns,” he says.
Drake is predominantly a catch-and-release angler.
“Although, if I’m backpacking or something like that, I will occasionally harvest a trout for a meal,” he says.
Drake’s go-to gear is a 10-foot, 4-weight Loomis rod and a Nautilus reel.
“Combined, it’s a well put together rig that roll casts well with good reach and cast length,” he says. “I’ll usually try an arrangement of streamers first, or for local browns, I like the flugenzombie, which is an articulated streamer developed by Fly Fish Food.”
As much as he loves the fishing, itself, the community is what holds the most attraction for Drake.
“Once you get past being a rookie, you really start learning a lot from everyone in the fly fishing community,” he says. “Like the biology of bugs and what fish eat and when they eat them, how to tie flies that work in the local waters.”
Drake also enjoys tying his own flies.
“What’s nice is that the fly itself doesn’t have to be perfectly accurate,” he says. “The pattern you present is more important than the fly itself.”
From the tying to the fishing to the community, the fly fishing hook is set deep in Drake.
“It’s an escape from real life: School, work, worries,” he says. “Plus, there’s a tremendous adrenaline rush when you hook up.”