Holden Asmus is an Iowa man with a fly fishing problem. His addiction began 14 years ago on his first fly fishing trip out to Montana with his father and grandfather. Since then it has taken hold of his life…for the better. Holden recalls landing over 20 fish that day, “and [he] was hooked!”
He took some time away from the sport while attending college but as soon as that was over his fly rod was back in his hands this time for his local warm water species Holden says he quickly “came to realize that fly fishing doesn’t have to be reserved for the elite waters of the West. You can catch literally anything on a fly rod, and it can be an experience for anyone.” Since that revelation, large predatory warm water species have become his obsession pursuing bass, pike, walleye and muskie on the fly. But he says trout are still in the mix without a doubt.
You can typically find Holden fishing in his home state of Iowa or the bordering waters of Wisconsin. But once the summer heats up, he’ll be out pounding banks and working structure in search of big toothy fish. Or volunteering as the head of Iowa’s first ever, Mayfly Project, a nonprofit organization that strives to help foster children escape their hectic lives by connecting them to fly fishing.
But Holden’s favorite aspect of the sport is its ability to help him relax. Holden works in Agriculture and in the spring and fall, his work schedule is based on the weather. Sometimes, running 24 hours straight to get the crops in or out of the fields.
“It’s a pretty stressful time of year, and I needed an escape from it. That’s why I enjoy tying so much. There have been times where I’ve come home around midnight and sat down at my vise to decompress.”
Holden tied his first fly on a vise his mother used to make jewelry before he even picked up a fly rod. But Holden says the obsession really didn’t kick in until about 3 years ago when he dove back in and picked up a Postfly Tying Subscription. He focuses most of his tying on warm water and is working on perfecting his muskie tying game.
If you’re familiar with Holden from our Facebook Group, The Tribe, you know he recently tied the knot, and as you may guess, fly fishing was involved. Holden even hooked and landed a pike during his Groomsmen photoshoot before his wedding, but his soon-to-be wife wouldn’t let him pick it up for a grip-and-grin, so he wouldn’t slime-up his wedding suit (We’ve all been there).
Holden recalls the experience saying, “To relieve some nerves, I decided to take the fly rod down to the dock in front of our Groomsmen Cabin. I wasn’t expecting to catch anything, but a small, 20” pike hit the wooly bugger I was fishing with. I like to think that this was a sign of approval from both her grandfather and mine. It was a pretty emotional experience.”
Dan Zazworsky’s passion is sharing his love of fly fishing with anyone that will listen, read or watch. You can find him exploring new waters every day while chasing any fish that will eat a fly!