On the fly: River limousines
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
BASALT – There’s no doubt that the walk-and-wade fishing is great at this time of year, but the float fishing can only be described as sensational.
The larger waters of the Roaring Fork and Colorado Rivers are more suited to fishing from a boat, due to the rivers’ large size and volume of water. Wade-fishing these sections of river vastly limits the overall area a person can comfortably fish. Floating the river opens up the entire river to the angler, instead of just a spot here and a spot there, including private water.
We often refer to our float trips as the Roaring Fork Limo Ride. MacKenzie-style drift boats are a pure joy to fish out of. They are extremely comfortable, quiet, maneuverable and spacious. Fishing out of a drift boat can only be described as posh.
In a drift boat, the guide keeps you at a set distance away from the bank, allowing you to make short, precise casts into the key pockets, seams and pools. Nymphing these areas using two or three fly setups under split shot and an indicator are best.
Now that spring is here, expect the rivers to literally explode with insect life. Midges and Blue Wing Olive mayflies dominate the early season, while Caddis and Stoneflies become active in April and May. I prefer to fish a Caddis or Stonefly imitation as my lead/point fly, and then follow this up with either a Blue Wing Olive or Midge imitation trailing behind.
Short, heavy nymph rigs are generally used when floating, as you’ll need your flies to sink quickly into the swift waters to reach the fish. Don’t be bashful with your tippet size. When floating the river we are able to get by using heavier tippets of 3x, 4x and 5x. If you want to spoil yourself for a day, then take a limo ride with one of the valley’s fishing guide services. You won’t regret it.
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It’s that time of year — hikers and mountain bikers must be aware that seasonal closures are taking effect on multiple trails in the area today for the winter for the benefit of wildlife.