I had a chance to chat for a few minutes with Josh Gribble, the winner of our Mother’s Day contest back in May. Josh won a guided trip with his entry, and he recently took that trip. Here is our brief interview.

VP: We thought your entry in the contest was just very inspirational and moving. It really captured what we were after: the support and encouragement from our mothers as we pursue outdoor adventures.

In 2019 I thru-hiked 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada via the Pacific Crest Trail. There were times where I felt absolutely defeated and missed home. When I would start to feel like this, I would call my mom (when I had phone service). She always knows how to lift my spirits. One particular time I felt ultra defeated she said to me, “I’ll just come out there and hike with you till you feel better.” The next town I walked to she was there backpack ready, and she spent the next two weeks crushing miles with me! Best two weeks I ever spent with my mom.

— Josh’s winning mother’s day entry

Josh: I was so excited when I heard that I won. My mom has always had my back and always been supportive of all these abnormal things that I like to do.

VP: So tell me about the time on the water after winning the Mother’s Day Contest back in May.

Josh: My mom, Rhonda, loved it. My family was in town for a long weekend, so my dad, Don, tagged along to take photos and hang out. Aaron, my best friend from childhood was in town, too. And he fished along with us.

We just had a fantastic time. It was probably one of the best fishing experiences I have ever had. It was just an all-around good time to be with family and friends. 

Jesse (Wittry), our guide, was just phenomenal. 

Josh, Rhonda, Don, and Aaron

VP: It sounds like you have had a whole variety of outdoor experiences, too, with your family.

Josh: My family in general is pretty outdoorsy. I grew up in Wichita, Kansas, and as soon as I could walk, I was walking pheasant fields with my father for miles and miles. I grew up hunting, fishing, and camping and blossomed into a backpacking nerd.

Moving out here to Colorado, I just fell in love with fly fishing. I’ve been fly fishing for several years, but moving out here to Colorado about two years ago is what I call real fly fishing. Because the fish are more native and not just stocked, it is more of an art to catch them. 

Monday, during the guide trip with Jesse, I have never been into that many fish before.  I learned so much from him. My approach will be so different now. It was an educational and super fun experience. 

Aaron with one to be proud of! Jesse with the net work.

VP: What did your mother think of her day on the water?

Josh: My mother has never gone fly fishing. Ever. Not really any fishing, in general! So this was really her first time trying to get a fish on the line.  She told me after the trip, “ya know, Josh, I didn’t know, really, if I was going to like it, but after being out there, I really enjoyed it.” She’s now going to buy a fly rod!

VP: Any final thoughts?

Josh: Now that I have tapped into this new-found passion of fly fishing, I just don’t ever want to leave Colorado. It’s only my second year here in Colorado fishing, and I feel like I have barely scratched the surface of places to go.

Something tells me that Josh will be handling more quality fish like this in the future.