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On the fly: Best of both worlds

Scott Spooner
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

BASALT – The best of both worlds exists right here and right now, everyone: world-class skiing and riding paired with world-class fishing opportunities from the top of this valley all the way down to Glenwood Springs.

It’s all about the water, and whether it’s in fluffy form or liquid, our rivers benefit. The recent warming trend paired with all the moisture we have been receiving is the perfect cocktail for powder mornings and dry-fly afternoons.

Cool water running over sore calves and knees (which are snug and dry inside waders) is heavenly after a morning of bumps, and tricking trout before heading back up for an afternoon of back bowls can seriously help lower your blood pressure. These warm and snowy days create perfect conditions for trout as well as for anglers with the itch to get back on the water.

When it comes to fly selection, each river has a slightly different menu right now. If you’re unfamiliar with our waters, this region has myriad guide services that can provide you and your family with a half or full day of fun on the river.

If you plan to head up the Fryingpan, be sure to bring midge and blue-wing olive dry flies and nymphs. The hatches have been getting heavy, and there are good numbers of mysis shrimp pouring out of the dam right now. Bill’s adult midge and Collett’s parachute BWO will cover you for dries, with the best nymphs being TC red midge larvae and RS2s. Mysis shrimp and eggs patterns also are a must-have in this famous tailwater, so be sure you have Tim Heng’s TC mysis and an assortment of eggs in peach, yellow, orange and chartreuse.

There are 70 miles of water in the Roaring Fork, flowing from Aspen to Glenwood Springs. The best spots to check out will be in Basalt going on downriver. The channels along Two Rivers Road in Basalt are fishing well, as is Catherine Store, Aspen Glen and Veltus Park down in Glenwood Springs.

Wading as well as floating this river have been terrific and are improving on a daily basis. Fly selection is primarily nymphs, such as stoneflies, eggs, baetis and midges. The flies to carry right now are champagne cat poohs, chartreuse and orange eggs, rainbow warriors, prince nymphs, Bobby Knights and jujubees.

Whether you’ve fly-fished all over the world or are considering trying our unique sport for the first time, now is a great time to be on the water. You can have your cake and eat it, too!


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