Monday, July 21, 2008

Gone Fishin'

Summer Trout by Judy Haas, a local artist
Excerpt from Fabulous Fly Fishing Near Aspen by Al Marlowe:
“The Ute Indians were among the earliest recorded people to inhabit the area around Glenwood Springs. They named the Roaring Fork "Thunder River" with good reason. The Roaring Fork is a boisterous river. Even from a distance, its current is audible.

From the headwaters near Independence Pass to the confluence with the Colorado the Roaring Fork is a free-flowing river, making it unique. Few rivers in the state are completely free of dams, though the Fork does have many irrigation diversions. It's one of the few floatable rivers in the state. From its beginnings to the Colorado River the Fork is only about 70 miles long. It has big fish, too.

If you're not accustomed to fishing large streams, the Fork can intimidate you. Its current is strong. The water is often slightly off-color, hiding deep holes. Footing can be tricky on its rocky bottom. One thing in its favor is that the river fishes well nearly all year.

Rainbows and browns are the predominant species in the Roaring Fork. The upper stretches have small brookies: According to the Colorado Division of Wildlife, they average 12 to 18 inches. From my experience this is no bureaucratic exaggeration. In the river upstream of Glenwood Springs to around Carbondale you'll find many whitefish and suckers. They also readily take a fly and fight well.”

For more information on Al Marlowe (an expert on recreation in the Colorado Rockies) and fly fishing in the Rockies, please visit his Hidden Lakes Press website:

Yes, folks. Whether you’re an experienced angler or a complete beginner, the Roaring Fork Valley is a truly incredible place to, as Aspen Fly Fishing says, "wet a line" in one of our Gold Medal Rivers.

Following are details on several favorite fishin’ guides.

Aspen Anglers
(This is an excellent site, by the way—very well-written and loaded with fascinating information.)
Jay says, “Hello and thanks for visiting my web site. I’m a fly fishing guide and FFF certified Master Fly-casting Instructor ( Aspen Anglers is located in the beautiful Roaring Fork Valley of western Colorado, between Glenwood Springs and Aspen.
I serve as a fly-fishing guide for two well-known local shops - Roaring Fork Anglers and Alpine Angling. We have access to four great rivers including the Colorado, Roaring Fork, Frying Pan and Crystal. We offer float fishing from drift boats and rafts as well as guided wade trips.
My other passion is fly casting with both single-hand and two-hand (spey) fly rods. I teach one-on-one and group lessons to all levels of fly casters and guarantee that I can help you perfect the art of fly casting... and have fun while doing it!
I’m fortunate to be one of only twelve instructors in the world who is certified by the Federation of Fly Fishers to teach spey, or two-handed fly casting. Spey casting is a very effective method to fish for sea-run fish, and many of my students come to me to prepare for a trip to the rivers of the world to fish for steelhead trout, Atlantic salmon, and sea-run trout. I also have private access to Gold Medal waters along the Roaring Fork River and can offer you the opportunity to learn to spey cast on a large western river instead of on a pond or dry land.
I’d be delighted to help you learn to spey cast or to “tune up” for that trip of a lifetime. Contact me to discuss your casting and fishing goals, and come visit us in the Rockies!”
(970) 274-1391

Aspen Fly Fishing
LAMPTON LAKES TRIP: Lampton Lakes hold some of the largest trout in Colorado. These privately maintained lakes are at the base of ragged mountain, about a 90-minute drive from Aspen. This trip is ideal for the angler searching for “the big one.”
MOON RUN RANCH POND/½ DAY FAMILY TRIP: Moon Run is a working horse ranch located in pristine Old Snowmass, just a 25-minute drive from Aspen. All family members will enjoy fishing for eager, 12 - 20 inch rainbow trout in a safe, shallow farm pond. A picnic blanket in a shady Cottonwood grove, or a short nature walk will provide peaceful entertainment for our non-fishing guests.
Located in the Gondola Plaza
601 E. Dean St.
Aspen, CO 81611
Office: 970.920.6886

Aspen Outfitting
Aspen Outfitting Company offers the area's only Certified Guide Program, ensuring that the most knowledgeable and attentive guides in the area will share their intimate understanding of the beautiful local streams to provide a fly fishing experience long to be remembered.
Aspen Outfitting Company also holds exclusive leases on the area's largest selection of private water. We invite you to join us at any time of the year, for a truly exceptional Colorado outdoor experience.
FAMILY POND FISHING: Private pond fishing is a wonderful outing for kids and family alike. This type of venue provides a fishing experience that is both exciting and private, perfect for gatherings and small parties. These beautifully secluded ponds are privately owned and stocked with rainbow trout up to 20 inches. Natural bait of fly-fishing is permitted and no license is required.
FLOAT TRIPS/ROARING FORK RIVER: Guided float trips (Spring, Summer and Fall only) can provide a truly spectacular day of fishing! Advanced anglers enjoy the experience because it puts them on sections of the river that can only be accessed by boat.
FLOAT TRIPS/GUNNISON RIVER: The Gunnison River is recognized as one of the best rivers in North America, and fishing the Gunnison is certainly one of the most productive float trips in all of Colorado.
In addition to sensational fishing, anglers will find that the awe-inspiring views, abundant wildlife and adventurous white water make for a truly unparalleled fishing experience!
315 East Dean Street
Aspen, CO 81611
(970) 925-3406
(800) 784-2140

Aspen Trout Guides
Since 1981, Aspen Trout Guides has taught thousands of visitors the art of fly and spin fishing in the high streams, rivers and lakes of the Aspen area. Our guides will take you off the beaten path to waters unavailable to other guide services. Our philosophy is to teach you skills in angling that you will use the rest of your life!
GO FISHING IN ASPEN: Let our fun and knowledgeable guides take you to some of the best trout fishing spots in the world. Fish for beautiful native Cutthroat, Rainbow, German Brown, and Brook Trout in exclusive locations available only to select guide services.
LEARN FLY FISHING FROM THE PROS: Go one-on-one with an experienced guide to the Roaring Fork and Frying Pan rivers for specialized fly casting instruction. Learn from the best at some of the finest fishing spots in the country.
FAMILY FISHING TRIPS & TROPHY FISHING: Bring the kids for a fun afternoon of spin fishing at one of our local mountain lakes. Or take a full-day trip to a private lake or spring creek to fish for trophy Rainbow and Brown Trout.
Located in the Hamilton Sports Shop
520 E Durant Ave. Aspen, CO 81611
(970) 379-7963

Frying Pan Anglers
(This is another exceptional website. It includes an up-to-date fishing report, as well as lots of information, photos, etc.)
WADE TRIPS: Given that most wades are in the warmer months, we will outline aspects of a full-day outing. Generally we like to meet the client at the shop first thing in the morning to make sure that all the relevant paperwork is completed. That will include a license and relevant releases. If you have your own equipment, then you don't need much more. On the other hand, we have an extensive range of equipment depending on the weather and the fishing conditions. On a full day wade you will enjoy at least 8 hours on the water. In summer the evening fishing can be fantastic so if you want to fish a little later, you can make the relevant arrangements with your guide.
FLOAT TRIPS: One gets to take a nature ride down the river far from the madding crowd. In fact, if your partner is not so keen on fishing, take along a book and a camera, a sun hat and sun-block and enjoy the view. There is room in the boat for two, so couples can enjoy the day even though only one likes to fish.
132 Basalt Center Circle
Basalt, CO 81621
(970) 927-3441

Taylor Creek Fly Shop (on the Cooper Avenue Mall/Aspen & the Frying Pan River/Basalt)
(Another great site. Features river reports and access to fishing licenses online.)
Colorado Fly Fishing at its best. Join us for guided fly fishing trips on Colorado's finest fly fishing rivers. From the Frying Pan River, Roaring Fork, Colorado and Crystal Rivers you can enjoy the best Fly Fishing Colorado offers all within the Roaring Fork Valley. Join us for information or guided fly fishing trips. The Taylor Creek Fly Shop, located less than 30 minutes from Aspen on the banks of the Frying Pan River in Basalt, is western Colorado's oldest guide service and specialty fly fishing shop.
We are very fortunate to have many different and varied fishing options within a short drive from our store in Basalt, Colorado. One can experience everything from small and intimate high-country streams filled with brookies or cutthroats to the huge brawling runs of the lower Colorado and all choices in between.
Our experienced guides make their selection of water based on angler preference, level of experience, water conditions, and current hatches. Guide wade trips are taken on all local waters and guided float trips utilizing McKenzie River dories are done on the lower Roaring Fork and Colorado rivers.
We welcome beginners and experts alike to join the Taylor Creek staff, which has the well earned reputation as being the most experienced guide service in the Roaring Fork Valley. Love for and commitment to fly fishing has motivated our guides for over three decades!

Incidentally, Taylor Creek in Basalt offers a series of Saturday Free Clinics beginning around April 15 and continuing through the last Saturday in June. The clinics cover intro/equipment set-up, casting, entymology and reading the water. Dave and I attended a few last year, and very much enjoyed them.

Taylor Creek Fly Shop on the Frying Pan River
183 Basalt Center Circle
Basalt, CO 81621
(970) 927-4374
Taylor Creek Fly Shop on the Cooper Avenue Mall
(970) 920-1128

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