Anglers: don’t let the run-off run you off
Stretches of the Roaring Fork River are running dangerously high, but there is still some decent fishing if you’re careful, as well as in the gentler high-country lakes.
“On the Roaring Fork, you’ve got to know your way around,” said Chris Lemons, owner of Aspen Flyfishing.
With water flows reaching levels of 1,200 cubic feet per second on the Roaring Fork this week, Lemons said anglers can still fish the river where pockets of water are harboring trout.
Likewise, Grant Nissen of Taylor Creek Flyshop said most fish are staying in pools along the Roaring Fork. You just have to know where to look, what to throw and avoid the rough waters.
“Stay on the shore with the high water,” he said.
There’s also the Fryingpan River, which on Thursday was running at 200 cfs, more than manageable conditions for anglers.
Alternative fishing spots can be found in the mountains’ high lakes.
Those looking for the best lake access can try Dinkle Lake. Coming from Basalt, take West Sopris Creek Road. If you’re headed upvalley from Carbondale, use Prince Creek Road.
“Dinkle is easy to get to and it’s self-sustaining because the fish reproduce,” Nissen said.
Rainbow trout range from 10 to 14 inches long, with the average cutthroat spanning 6 to 10 inches.
The guides at Taylor Creek recommend throwing small scuds in orange and olive, or flies and generic nymphs.
For the spin fishermen and women, Panther Martin lures can do the trick, or there’s always Power Bait and the old-fashioned worm.
Other nearby lakes accessible by vehicle include Ruedi Reservoir above the Fryingpan, Maroon Lake at the end of Maroon Creek Road, and Beaver and Lizard lakes in Marble.
If you’re willing to exercise the legs and lungs, American and Cathedral lakes are popular spots, but there’s still some snow near the end of each 3.5-mile hike.
Nissen advised that the best time to fish the high lakes is between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when the water is warmest. If you’re hiking to a lake, leave earlier in the day because the weather can change fast.
For the next few weeks, the Bureau of Land Management is asking for public comment regarding its decision to evaluate its oil and gas program and other management decisions across the state to promote the conservation of big game habitat.
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