Monday, June 4, 2012

TLTFF/KAVU Day Contest 2nd Place Winner Entry - Philip Smith

Philip is an awesome angler from WV who not only fishes some amazing water (as seen through his Instagram, @wvangler), but also plays a huge role in Trout Unlimited. Excellent submission definitely deserving of a top five selection in our latest contest.

"My KAVU Story: in 2008 my bud Chris and I flew to Colorado for a week for the task of catching, photographing and releasing all three subspecies of cutthroat trout indigenous to that state. After the first five days and 1,300 rental car miles we'd more than accomplished our mission. So we celebrated by climbing the biggest friggin' mountain in the Rockies - Mt. Elbert. 

A pre-dawn start from the trailhead found us in ├╝ber high spirits. Chris had logged a handful of 14'ers, but this was my first so I was a touch more anxious about it than him. By mid morning we were well above timberline and the pace was slowing. As oxygen ran thin so did my ability. Being an east coast guy I was not accustomed to not being able to breathe! I could've turned back several times. Even Chris said there's no shame in it. But this was my one chance to conquer the mountain. I just had to eat the elephant one bite at a time. Just below the peak two trails converge from either side of the mountain. We met another hiker at the junction who was wearing a WVU hat - my "home team"! The stranger and I hit it off and not only discovered that we had some mutual friends, but we became new friends that day as well. By 11 am we summited. The hour spent on top of that mountain was so KAVU that no outdoor inclined person could not enjoy such a moment. That is a high more exhilarating than any drug.

I can't wait for my next 14'er."

You can check out Philip on his super gnarly Instagram account, be prepared for some amazing shots. 



  1. Man, I didn't know I was that awesome! lol. Thanks for the props, but I'm just another fired up angler like the rest. Thanks Morgan, for keeping a fine blog...and maybe the promo might help me publish more photos that I don't get paid for ha ha.

    KAVU-up and Tight Lines, P.