Have you ever had one of those expiriences where you only have one day in a month to fish, you wake up early, grab your gear, get some coffee and a bagel, then head to your favorite spot on the river. When you arrive at the spot you were planning to fish there is already someone there. You thought for sure you were going to be the first person there! That guy might just have been Kevin Price. Kevin is the guys who got there first, stuck ten fish, got board and left, before you even got your coffee. Kevin is a fishing fiend. He lives, eats, breaths, and sleeps fly fishing. If Kevin isn't out fishing, he's tying flies, wrapping rods, or studying maps and articles on the internet. If he isn't doing one of those activities, chances are he is asleep and dreaming about fish.
One thing that really stands out about Kevin is that he is a very well rounded angler. He is a bit of a master of all species. When he puts his mind to chasing and catching a species of fish, he goes all out. Kevin grew up here in California and has been fishing just about everywhere. He can catch a bass just as good as a trout and a salmon just as good as a perch. He studies each species like a college class. If some bass get word that Kevin is on a bass kick that week, fins start shaking all around the state. They know they won't be able to resist his home tied flies. Each one looks like a perfectly replicated clone of an insect or bait fish. It's like moma's home cooking for fish. When they see it they have no other choice but to chase it down and much it.
Kevin isn't the most social person i know. You won't catch him out at the bar getting wasted. You won't see him at parties picking up on chicks. You won't ever see him shopping at the mall. You won't see him following the latest trend. Trying to dress like the cool kids on M T.V., or be one of the gang. Kevin likes what he likes and he wont front and try to tell you different to fit in. Kevin likes fishing and chances are if you aren't out on the river you won't see him at all. Kevin is a true and dedicated angler and the passion really shows in his work. He is the kind of guy who doesn't need his friends to go every time he goes out. He often goes on long solo missions. Like me he knows that sometimes the best sessions are when you go out by yourself. Kevin's photos are testament to the time he has spent on the water. He has been able to capture some of the most unique and artfully images i have seen lately. His love of the sport really shows through.
This past september we had one of the most memorable sessions of the year. From his pad near Chico we headed for the feather river. Kevin claimed he had been scopeing out a few places that supposedly held some nice trout and small mouth bass. He said the fishing would be good, but i could tell he was holding back form hyping it too much because he is so modest. He knew if it was slow that day i would ride him about it the whole way home. We stopped at the first spot and immediately spotted some fish holding in and eddy along a cliffy bank. Some were big but we couldn't tell if they were squaw fish or trout. I stood on the bank to spot fish while he took first shot. His second cast he caught me in the leg with his size ten stone fly. It made a good hole in my waders and pricked my leg. I told him to watch the F out and he better catch that fish or i was leaving. After catching a couple pinner trout he said lets go down river to this other spot. When we arrived at this new riffle it looked O. K. but wouldn't have my first choice of a place to pull over. He said better roll the camera because i'm going to catch one on the first cast. Then another on the second cast, then they will let a couple go through, but i should be able to get at least 10 out of here. At first i thought, it isn't like kevin to be so full of shit, but sure enough, first cast. Then again on the second. He proceeded to pillage one after another for over an hour. It was like he knew each one of their names and had them trained. Kevin said "That one that sits on the far seem likes this caddis pupa. These two on this seem are after those drake nymphs. The two in the back are sick of this pattern so i'll have to show them my new M.F.I.L.F. may fly pattern".He treated them like they were his children that needed to be taught a lessons. You see this stretch is open to bait fishing and keeping fish is allowed. All it would have taken is two fishermen with some good bait and all ten of those trout would have been a flash in the pan dinner. We felt we were doing them a service by educating them. I almost fell a little guilty about the 100 or so trout we "Educated" over the course of that afternoon and the next day.
Kevin is the real deal. Not only is he an amazing angler, but he really cares about fish and the fisheries. He is the kind of guy who isn't going to come up to you and show you what fly he is using, but he will definitely yell at you if he sees you drop a piece of trash. I've seen him go from 0 to ballistic in a few seconds. Next time you are thinking about littering you better think twice, or at least have a good look around. You might just end up with a river rock heading for your head at terminal velocity.