On the fly: Colorado River love | AspenTimes.com

On the fly: Colorado River love

Kirk Webb
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado
Kirk WebbA Colorado River brown trout caught last week near Glenwood Springs.

BASALT – Of the four major rivers within the Roaring Fork Valley, the Colorado River is perhaps the most overlooked by anglers.

The river’s large size intimidates many wading anglers and spending a day rock hopping along its cobbled boulders is surely not for the weak. Anglers must be proficient at slinging heavily weighted nymph rigs, making stealthy casts with small midge dry flies and properly fighting and subduing the often large and aggressive fish. The reward of wading the river is that it allows you methodically cover each given area in more detail. Dry-fly fishing is especially more effective on foot than in a boat in most situations.

For anglers less adept at fly-fishing, don’t fret: You still have options in the form of floating this renowned river that serves as the lifeblood of the West. Float-fishing guides keep their anglers at a set distance away from the bank, allowing for quick, short, precise casts that even rank beginners can easily handle.

Another advantage to floating the river is that you obviously don’t have the treachery of having to walk through boulder gardens along the riverbank. On colder days, it’s awfully nice to be sitting in the warmth of a drift boat with a cup of hot soup compared with shivering in knee-deep water, waiting on the next riser to make its presence known.

In a nutshell, you can’t go wrong either way. Younger and more adventurous anglers will relish stalking risers on foot, while floating anglers can cover water and whack the daylights out of fish while nymphing the frothy seams and deep pools. Have an arsenal of midges of various sizes, colors and stages of life. Additionally, egg, stonefly and BWO nymphs also will fish very well.

One of the best ways to kick off the spring fishing season is by hitting up the Fly Fishing Film Tour in Aspen at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Wheeler Opera House. Myriad films on subjects from trout to tarpon, comedy to documentary and more will be showcased. Get ready for lots of hooting and hollering from the audience as emotions feverishly run high during this endorphin-filled film tour.

“On the fly” is provided weekly by the staff members of Taylor Creek Flyshop in Basalt.