Last weekend, college students traveled to Steamboat, Colorado for the annual TU Costa 5 Rivers Rendezvous. The event brings college fly fishing clubs together to learn, fish, and bond with other like-minded individuals. Andrew Loffredo and Franklin Tate have grown the 5 Rivers program over the last 5 years to over 100 college clubs, which is a pretty incredible number. Students wait for these events all year, and when they come together it’s not about catching fish, but about spending time with other “fishy” students – learning, teaching and maybe a little beer drinking (for students over 21).

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Another big part of the Rendezvous is the Pig Farm Ink Get Trashed and Iron Fly event. The legendary Jay Johnson makes an appearance every year and does an incredible job inspiring students to clean up the local rivers. Prizes are given to the most peculiar pieces of trash and the most amount of trashed picked up on the river. If you are not familiar with @pigfarmink check em out!!

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We sat down with a few students from Colorado State University to ask them what their favorite part of the event was.

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First up with talked with Ben – a 7ft tall trout bum who has attended several 5 rivers events:

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“Being around so many like-minded people is really awesome. Most the people I hang out with on a daily basis aren’t serious about fishing, so it’s dope to be able to meet up and hang out with so many trout bums. I’ve always fished and fly fishing was a more intriguing technical way of fishing which got me hooked. The whole process of taking string and wire and making something that I can then go fool a wild fish on is the ultimate. And the tug is the drug which I’m severely addicted to.”

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Next, we asked Shelen, a young lady from Colorado State, what made the event special for her:

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“My favorite thing about the Rendezvous is definitely the atmosphere. Last year the rendezvous was one of the first fly fishing events I ever attended and it set the tone for the way I felt about the community I wanted to be a part of. There aren’t many events that are focused specifically towards connecting college students and people in the industry, and to get to meet everyone and connect with them on a level other than just a love for fly fishing makes it really unique. The environment is great for being able to ask questions and learn from others, as well as doing your part by participating in conservation projects and river etiquette. Stoked to have taken part in this event and to come away with memories of getting into some fish with my fellow trout bums.”

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The 5 rivers program grows every year, and it truly inspires the next generation of anglers to not only continue fishing but set the right example on and off the water. We can’t thank Costa Sunglasses and Trout Unlimited enough for helping put on the event. We look forward to covering it again next year!

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Be sure to check out @tucosta5rivers on Instagram to follow along with new events. And if you are interested in starting a college club at your school email us theflylords@gmail.com