On the fly: Floating has its advantages | AspenTimes.com

On the fly: Floating has its advantages

Kyle Holt
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT – The Roaring Fork Valley is famous for its skiing, hiking, biking and amazing mountain vistas. It is also a place where avid fly fishers gather to ply our famous waters in search of wild trout. The Roaring Fork Valley is also equally famous for its “big rivers.”

The Roaring Fork River flows from high on Independence Pass to its confluence with the other big river, the Colorado, in Glenwood Springs. Even with ample water for the masses on foot, fishing these stretches while floating in a drift boat or raft is unparalleled.

With numerous put-ins and take-outs on both rivers, you could float for a week and never see the same stretch of water. But, floating opens up opportunities that cannot be had while fishing on foot.

One of the main advantages is that we can access miles of private water. While we cannot anchor or get out of the boat in many of these spots, we do get to fish through this water and use our oars to circle an area, giving us numerous shots at otherwise very unpressured fishing holes. The scenery and water as you float through different sections of our rivers changes on each and every bend.

One other positive of being in a boat is that you do not have to wade. Wading on slippery, unstable rocks can be a big challenge for many, and can make some anglers uncomfortable. Rapids of up to Class 3-plus can put a little more excitement into a great day of fly fishing.

All types of fly fishing – from dry flies and streamers to traditional nymphing techniques – can be done from a boat. The one most outstanding advantage of floating is the amount of water you can cover on a given day. Just think about all the spots you get to throw a fly in that much river! If you have always been a “wade fisher,” try a float sometime. It very well may just show you fly fishing in a whole new light. From beginners to experts, a day in a boat on one of our rivers will not soon be forgotten.

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Regardless of whether you wade or float fish, having as much fun as humanly possible while on the water is the most important thing.