Hometown: Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Favorite River To Fish: Blue River
Favorite Species To Fish For: Brown Trout
Instagram: @DailyRiseProductions @JoshDiller
"Originally from the rolling hills of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, my name is Josh Diller. I am a 29 year old who grew up on fishing, hunting, and roaming the fields on our farm when I was younger. As I got a little older, I got heavy into the party scene. I was going out in the city, a lot. I got deep into drinking and selling drugs. Basically living life in the fast lane, you could say."
"But in Pennsylvania, there is what they call an 'opening trout day.' I decided in the spring of 2013 that I would pick up a fishing pole, go out with the crowds, and try to catch a couple fish instead of going out to the clubs and selling drugs. One thing led to another and I really started to enjoy this fishing thing and being outside again. I have this impulse or drive in me always wanting to take the next step or try to better what I’ve already done. After slaying them day in and out on a spin rod I decided I would try to do it with a fly rod. I never got the opportunity to try fly fishing growing up. Living in Lancaster, fly fishing wasn't really much of a thing. Everyone used spin casters and 'bait-dunkers'. The closest thing I had to a fly shop, without driving over an hour, was this Orvis outlet store. They mostly carry clothing and such but they have a corner in the store about the size of your bathroom dedicated to fly fishing. On June 21, 2013 I met Derrick Eberly in that little corner.
At the time, I had a pool stick of a rod that I found in our basement from when we were kids. Probably picked up from a yard sale and never touched it since. Derrick gave me some casting instructions behind the outlet mall. He sold me a leader, tippet and a few bass flies and I was headed on my way to try and figure out this whole fly fishing thing. That first night I went to a local golf course pond to work on my casting and try to catch a large mouth bass. I didn't hook into anything but in the days to come I picked it up more and more. I started fishing for small mouth on the rivers and within a few months of fly fishing, I decided I wanted to move to where I could really learn how to fish and for big wild trout. Colorado was in my sights so I packed my bags and hit the road."
"I ended up in Summit County. Turns out this place is a MECA for fly fishing! There's so much water to fish with in a short drive with an abundance of fly shops and information at your fingertips. Not to mention the nicest people you will ever meet. At first I couldn't catch a trout to save my life. I actually gave up after getting skunked my first few weeks in Colorado. I spent some time riding my bike and snowboarding that winter, living the Colorado lifestyle. The next summer I was taking the bus home when I struck up a conversation with this fishy lookin’ fella who had flies in his hat. His name was Keegan Axtel. I was telling him I had been trying to learn to fly fish but couldn't figure it out. We exchanged numbers and I went on my day. In the next few days, I got a call from Keegan. The dude asked if I wanted to join him and his buddies on a float down the Colorado River to catch some trout. I jumped at the opportunity! That day we ended up floating pump house to rancho (10 miles) twice in one day! It was such a sick day on the river. Keegan showed me the basics of a hopper dropper set up as well as streamer fishing. Till this point I had never thrown a nymph rig or more than one fly. I can remember thinking, ‘man these guys are on to something or this is just cheating.’ We caught so many fish, I had a thrill. Thinking back, you could say it was on that day that I had been ‘hooked’ or ‘caught the bug’."
"That fall I scored a job as a hunting guide in Livingston Montana. I spent three months exploring the foot hills of the Crazy Mountain range and the rivers around learning and experiencing new things each time I got the opportunity to fish. In the winter I returned to Summit County and made friends with this guy named Nick McDonald. Nick worked as a guide at the Colorado Angler in Summit County and to say the least "the kid" knew it all. From fishing spots to just about every nymph and what the fish were going to eat that day. I spent that winter fishing all over Colorado with Nick taking in every piece of advice that I could while watching him like a hawk! It was around that time, when I was finally getting a real grip on this fly fishing thing that I decided to start Daily Rise Productions."
"I was having such a blast with all the places fly fishing was taking me. The people I was meeting. The breath taking scenery I was exploring. The gold metal rivers I was fishing and the wild life I was experiencing I had never seen before. I had to share the experience with others! I guess you could say my goal or drive with Daily Rise is to inspire others to go out and enjoy the outdoors and the opportunities that are right out your back door. Most people will never get the chance or opportunity to experience some of the adventures and times that I have had on god’s creation. From the adrenaline rush of that next big eat or seeing your life flashing before your eyes standing face to face with a moose only steps away. I would like to be able, with the best of my abilities, share these moments with others and hope that my life changing events will inspire! I can honestly say I am where I am today because of the people I have met along the way and that consistent drive to better myself day after day. Always having the urge to check out new water or catch a bigger fish than the last."
"I currently am in Summit County living in a house with two other trout bums. Most of our evenings are spent at the vice tying flies for the next day and living life adventure to adventure. Is this ‘tunnel vision fly fishing’ lifestyle unhealthy? Maybe. But in my book I’ve come a long way."
"BlackStrap makes some pretty sweet products without a doubt! With some sick fishy-deigns, they have the option for a summer time breathable tube protecting you from the sun reflection all the way to providing something to keep your face warm during the cold winter months here at 10,000 feet in Colorado Rockies!" - Joshua Diller
Click the links below to view the products Josh trusts on the Colorado Rivers: