Aspen Times Weekly: Lured in on the Tarryall
IF YOU GO ...
Broadmoor’s Fishing Camp
Open until Nov. 1; it will reopen next spring on April 1.
Rates start at $780 per night and include accommodations, guiding, equipment, meals and alcohol.
There is a point on Colorado Highway 24, approaching Buena Vista, when there are only two choices on the radio (yes, I still listen to the radio). Those music choices are country and Christian. The music seems to complement the scenery – wide open spaces of rolling fields. Hay, cattle, roadside gas stations separated by miles and miles of tawny landscape. And then things begin to turn green again, and the mountains start to emerge, slowly. These aren’t great peaks, but they are tall enough to funnel its rain over millennia to what is now the Tarryall River and Lost Creek Wilderness. This river created the Tarryall Valley, which has been long been home to private fishing cabins and dude ranches, each with its own private water access, and it is here at a historic homestead and fishing outfit that The Broadmoor has opened its Fishing Camp.
With five miles total of private fishing – three canyon miles on site, just steps from the seven cabins, bathhouse and main lodge, and two miles upstream at Eagle Rock Ranch – it is a simple but luxurious resort for those who are just learning or already have mastered their casts.
This is the third property in the Broadmoor’s Wilderness Adventure Collection joining Cloud Camp and The Ranch at Emerald Valley, each providing unique wilderness settings and accommodations as well as activities. At Fishing Camp, well, it’s about the fish.
I set out with my guide Blake Brenner to a portion of the river that gently snakes through Fishing Camp’s property. It was early morning in this Indian Summer September and the sun had not had a chance to heat the water, but as it was almost autumn, the water was low. Surprisingly there were a lot of fish biting, as Brenner loaded my rod with a Red Copper John. We worked several areas of the river until we ended up at a sharp bend in the river where it had created a deep pool. I love the sounds of the river falling over rocks, the whip of the line and learning how to place your fly just in the right spot to lure the fish from beneath rocks or felled trees, and that can sustain me for hours. But as every fisherwoman or man knows, whether you are a novice or expert, it is the thrill of the hook that keeps you there daylong.
After several hours, and hundreds if not thousands of casts, I finally landed a rainbow trout – 26 inches and almost 10 pounds, according to my guide. He took my picture and we immediately got the old girl back into water. Although I spent that afternoon casting again upriver, and had some great bites and catches, nothing compared to the thrill of bringing that one into my net.
After the day was done, all of the guests at Fishing Camp retreated to the restored Main Lodge with its wraparound deck and firepit on the lawn. We poured drinks and sat by the fire, and then gathered around the community table and shared plates of roasted vegetables and steaks, followed by chocolate pot de crème prepared by chefs from the Broadmoor, paired with endless cabernet.
Afterward we brought our drinks to the Fishing Cabin, where the guides tied flies for the next day, and we watched and learned late into the night, not a television or iPad in sight.
Amiee White Beazley writes about travel for the Aspen Times Weekly. Reach her at email@example.com or follow her @awbeazley1.