On the fly: Good fishing in the forecast
December 28, 2011
BASALT – Fly fishing is certainly not the most popular winter activity here in our valley, but I believe it to be perhaps the most serene and easily the most fun.
Warm winter weather is expected for the next few days, which may not thrill skiers but does signal some of the year’s best fishing opportunities.
As long as you dress appropriately, you’ll stay plenty warm out there. Dress in layers as the days often start out on the cold side but rapidly heat up by 11 a.m. Most local fly shops still offer guided fishing trips at this time of year, too. Float trips in particular are a warm and exciting way to see the Roaring Fork Valley. Fishing in a river dory boat allows you to see miles of river while catching breathtakingly beautiful trout without having to even get your waders wet. Many float guides even put propane heaters in their boats to keep you extra toasty warm while on your adventure.
Many people prefer to be more at the fish’s level and opt to wade instead of floating. The benefit here is that you are able to more thoroughly cover and fish to specific fish and areas. The Fryingpan river is particular is one of America’s most well-known winter tailwater fisheries, where water temperatures stay consistently warm. Don’t be too surprised if you happen to hook into the largest trout of your life up here. Big fish are more common at this time of year than any other.
Keep a thermos of hot soup, tea or coffee with you. It will warm your hands and your soul. We’re expecting warm overnight temperatures this week, which will give anglers more water at their disposal to fish for longer periods of time. Remember, there’s no need to get up at the crack of dawn at this time of year to go fishing. Look for the best fishing to be when the day is at its warmest – from 11a.m. to 4 p.m. You want the water to warm up a bit, before the bugs and then, obviously, the fish even really get going for the day.
Try something new this winter and get a line wet. I can assure you that it will be the highlight of your ski vacation.