British Columbia is famous for its beautiful scenery. One can find oneself feeling at home in the province’s unique mix of high alpine lakes and anadromous rivers surrounded by forests. Even in Vancouver, the province’s largest city, you can find the scenery switch from urban streets and multistory buildings to towering trees and coldwater rivers within a twenty minute drive.
When he’s not working as a university professor in Vancouver, Teddy Cosco can be found somewhere in British Columbia’s wide expanse of public lands and provincial parks.
Growing up in Whitehorse, Yukon, Teddy spent his childhood fishing with his two younger brothers. On his family-owned-and-operated hunting outfit, young Teddy had a fly fisherman’s heaven for a backyard. He attended Oxford University in the United Kingdom, and although he was receiving an excellent education, he fell out of fly fishing.
“The fishing scene’s just different in the U.K,” Cosco explains. “You pay over a hundred dollars to have your own reserved spot on the river, and it’s usually not that much water to cover.”
During his spare time, what he did do more of was hunting. Cosco hunted frequently and would cook his kills. This is when he began experimenting with recipes.
After graduating from Oxford, he settled in Vancouver. He talks about how he fishes for all five species of salmon, steelhead, cutthroats and rainbow trout. His stories are descriptive, each one unique. He explains that his favorite fish to target is the winter-run steelhead, and as he talks about it I envision the rivers the steelhead frequent; miles of forests, moving water and the occasional angler performing a two-handed cast over and over again until they find themselves a steelhead.
“My wife is a vegetarian so she doesn’t eat the animals I bring home.” They found common ground in their weekend bike rides and backpacking trips, which allowed Teddy to continue his fishing. “We always prepare food that can be its own meal without the fish. That way we don’t depend on catching what we eat.”
Cosco elaborates on why this idea is crucial to the success of their weekend trips: “One time in the spring, we hiked around 700 meters up in elevation to find this backcountry lake and when we got there it was still frozen over, so it’s really nice to have a backup meal plan.”
Cosco’s adventures have been shared with the world on his Instagram platform @castandiron, and have been for just over a year. His trips are impressive and may inspire some to get more creative with their camp cooking, as well as with their travels.
You’re living the dream Teddy!
Ryan Rintala | Social Media @mattheronflyfishing