Interview with Tim Harden
Tim grew up conventional fishing for bass. Farm pond largemouth in Southern Maryland and smallmouth in Western Maryland and West Virginia rivers were his favorite pursuits. He attended college in Colorado and graduate school in California due to their proximity to nature. Tim has worked in the fly fishing industry since 2000 in a number of capacities. He was a guide and worked in fly shops before working for two magazines and eventually creating The Venturing Angler.
Rapid Fire Questions
What types of fly fishing experiences do you all enjoy?
“For me, a good day of fishing or a good trip is one in which the fishing is secondary. I was recently in Patagonia for a week but maybe only fished for about an hour or so. When I went steelheading in the Tongass, the highlight for me was long walks in the wilderness. I’ve fished in Colorado more days than I can remember, but the most memorable was a day Cheesman Canyon when it had just snowed, and it was well below zero degrees. I had the place to myself. I saw mountain lion tracks and nothing else as I hiked the canyon completely alone. Near the end of the day, I remembered I’d been holding a fly rod all day. I didn’t fish, but it was a special day in a beautiful canyon. Don’t get me wrong, I will get obsessed and fish hard. But generally, fishing is something that takes me to special places, and those experiences in nature are what I enjoy the most.”
If you had a post-fishing cocktail named after them, what would it be?
“Whiskey — neat. I was once asked to provide my favorite fly for a book. I chose a pheasant tail. Similar rationale — simple and almost always works.”
What are a few pieces of gear, besides Hatch products, that you never leave home without?
“I always travel with a camera, my Van Staal pliers, a water bottle, a waterproof bag, and a Patagonia Nano Puff jacket. If I have those things, I’ll be all set.”
What are Your Favorite Fly Fishing Destinations?
“I love mountains. Patagonia, the Sierras, and the Rockies are my favorite places to be. I don’t know what it is about Argentine Patagonia. It always feels like home. It keeps calling me back. Three out of my last four international trips were to Argentina, and I plan to go back every year.”
What are trips that are on your bucket list?
“New Zealand, Iceland, the Himalayas — I want to see more mountains. Mongolia is also high on the list, but more for the overall experience than the fishing.”
Why Fly Fishing Destination Travel?
“I like exploration. This is maybe why I love Patagonia so much. In many ways, it’s as far as you can go, and there’s that spirit there. It’s where restless people go. It’s for people who want to go farther and explore. I like a variety of music, but bands like Phish and the Grateful Dead take you on a journey of exploration, and the musicians themselves might not even know where they’re going. I’m not an art expert, but abstract expressionism interests me for the same reason. Photographer Jimmy Chin takes a lot of photos of tents in the mountains. I tend to always be drawn to these photos for some reason.”
What's New with you?
“I now reside in Livingston, Montana. Don’t mind the wind and cold at all. Nighttime walks in sub-zero temps is a new favorite activity. It feels pretty good — especially after being glued to a computer all day.”
Check out The Venturing Angler and Tim’s podcast!