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Aspen Alive Staff Report

For fishing in unparalleled splendor, pack your rod and head for Maroon Lake, framed by the towering Maroon Bells and Pyramid Peak. The scenery makes the experience memorable, even if you don’t manage to land a brook trout. Hint: Some of the best angling is found at the upper end of the lake, where the creek flows in. Keep in mind, though, that vehicle access to the lake is limited during the summer months. Throughout the day, you’ll have to take a bus to the lake.

Located off Highway 82 as it heads toward Independence Pass, east of Aspen, the reservoir offers opportunities for bait and fly-fishing. It’s a quick hike from the parking area to the lake — a short enough haul to bring along a lawn chair if you’re inclined to recline. Brook trout crowd the stream feeding the reservoir and stocked rainbows can make a rod tip bend.

In the upper Roaring Fork Valley, the Gold Medal waters of the Roaring Fork are most easily accessible from the Rio Grande Trail, which follows the river as it flows northwest out of town. Most stretches are fair game, but keep in mind, it remains fly-fishing, catch-and-release only.