KUSA - Peter Sawtell has been letting fish off the hook for over 20 years.

He loves everything about fly fishing, except for what almost every angler would regard as the most rewarding part, catching the fish.

"My fly has no hook on it. It is impossible for it to hook my fingers, it's impossible for it to hook a fish, " Peter told 9NEWS. "It's a little ball of fluff on a piece of metal but there is no hook, no barb, it is simply something to float down the stream."

Peter said it's liberating to cut the hook off the fly knowing there's another fish that won't feel that pain. He also can't remember if his reasoning for cutting off the hook was because he didn't want to catch a fish, or if he didn't want to buy a fishing license.

"According to the laws of Colorado, fishing is when you're using a hook trying to catch a fish. I have no hook and no intention to catch a fish, so I'm not fishing. I'm fly casting."

It may sound crazy to most people, but that doesn't bother Peter. He just enjoys escaping the stress of everyday life and avoiding that waiting email from work. As long as he doesn't catch fish.

"I would love to see the trophy fish swimming around in one of those big pools and rising up to take my fly," Peter said. "Knowing that those fish are there, knowing that they are paying attention to my fly is a marvelous addition to the day, but it would be horrible thing for me if I actually caught one of those fish and had to try and remove it gently from the hook it and try to put it back into the water. That's no fun at all."