Tad has chosen a career path that defies tradition. After completing an undergraduate degree in business, at a well known east coast university and completing a J.D. at the University of Denver’s Law School, he made the decision to turn his passion into his profession.
Tad has been fly-fishing for 22 years and guiding professionally for 16 years. A native of western New York, he completed undergrad with dual degrees in business as well as fly fishing!! We do consider the thousands of hours spent fly-fishing and guiding for monster Great Lake steelhead, brown trout, and salmon enough to warrant an honorary degree.
After graduation, the lure of the Colorado Rocky Mountains called. Every summer during law school, and full time since completing law school, Tad has found nothing as fulfilling as fishing and guiding for trout. His love for the sport has made it possible to guide, fish, or hunt nearly everyday. Of all the time spent on the water each year, Tad is pressed to think of a single hour that would have been better spent behind a desk.
Introducing novice fisherman to fly-fishing is probably the most rewarding for Tad. Watching students grow into accomplished fly-fishermen and fishing buddies is the ultimate compliment for this easygoing guide.
Also an accomplished hunter, Tad hunts everything from upland birds to big game. Comfortable calling ducks and turkey as well as stalking whitetail deer and elk, character traits that make Tad a successful hunter (patience, acute observation, and a love for the outdoors) are invaluable when it comes to stalking and catching big trout.
Tad is at his best guiding on the South Platte. The North Fork of the South Platte and the Dream Stream are two of his favorites. Figuring out stillwater lakes, ponds and reservoirs is always a fun experience. Spend a day with Tad and you too will become one of his many repeat clients!
Fly Rods: "It is hard to pick a favorite. Sage always stands out, but the new Winston BIIX is the first rod I grab when I'm heading out the door."
Reels: ”It’s a coin flip between Galvin's OB series and Ross Evolution.”
Thoughts: "Fishing is meant to be FUN! Going the extra mile to make sure everyone has fun, whether catering to a particular style, stalking huge fish, or catching brookies and browns on dry's, teaching is where I find my greatest enjoyment."
Waders: "Whatever keeps me dry, but it must be Gortex."
On the water, Tad prefers the G-3 Simms fishing vest. It is very well-designed and has a slot for everything.
Flies: "One of my favorite parts of fly fishing is altering existing fly patterns and developing new patterns to consistently fool the wary fish on our streams! Old standby patterns like Parachute Adams, stimulators, and PT's will always have a place in my fly box. The patterns I like most are my own including Clear Creek Special, 2 Tone Sparkle Wing RS2, crystal buckskin, and the red headed stepchild."
Favorite Locations: ”The South Platte will always have a soft spot with me because it is close and there are so many quality fish. The huge lake run fish of the Great Lakes are also hard to beat. Once you learn to beat the crowds, the fishing is amazing.”
"I just wanted to thank you again for a great day of fishing. We all had a great time. My hope is that I can have you take me and my two boys fly fishing sometime. My youngest son might be too young to fish the river, but I am sure that he would love to go fishing with you." - Rich
"Thanks again for a great day out on the North Fork! It was really great to learn so much from you and land all those fat fish. I look forward to the next time I can get out with you. Thanks again!!! You did a great job!" – John R.
"Thanks for the pix! For some reason, pictures never do justice to the image I have in my head - but what great fish they were! I really appreciate the great trip as it was one of the best days of hookie I've had out here fishing. Thanks for the great time and the incredible fishing!" – Mike T.
"Thanks again for everything yesterday. I've been dreaming of getting into monsters like that for a while. As much as we've been fishing together, I'm amazed that I keep coming away from each day having learned so much. I don't know how you keep opening so many new dimensions of fly fishing. It's truly amazing!" – Luther B.
“Thanks for all your good advice on the river. It amazed me that we could keep on catching trout on small nymphs in the leaf-filled water. You never stop learning, I guess. And that is part of the charm of the sport. Thanks for a great day!” – Eric P.
“Man you get with it right away!! Thanks for a great day!! This was one of the best ever. I'm surely going to come back to Colorado. The day couldn't have ended any better, then I see the pictures!!! Take good care of yourself and I hope to go fishing with you again sometime.” -- Darral
"What a day!! We quit counting after 30 monster cut, brook and bow trout and my master angler certificate just added to the excitement and pleasure of fishing with you in many different types of environments, using every method of fly fishing...To all who read this review, a guided trip with Colorado Trout Hunters and especially Tad Howard is truly the Super Bowl of fly fishing, something really not to be missed...After many trips with Tad, I can say he is the TOTAL class act and a great friend...Book a trip with him, find out for yourself, you WON'T BE SORRY !!!!!" Thanks again --Marty Jasion Westminster, CO
"Thank you again for an amazing time on Thursday. Larry and I had an amazing time and look forward to fishing with you in the future. I will gladly pass your name along and feel free to use me as a fly fishing trip reference if it helps at all." -Mike
Tad uses equipment from the following manufacturers.