On the Fly: There’s always somewhere to fish here in the Roaring Fork Valley

Scott Spooner
On the Fly
Lori Wedemeyer shows off a Fryingpan River brown trout.
Justin Moore/Courtesy photo

Prime fishing season is upon us, and with it come the multitudes. Locals tend to grumble a bit as their favorite pools and riffles fill with visitors, but I’d argue there is always somewhere to fish here in the Roaring Fork Valley.

In August, when everything from the brawling runs of the lower Colorado River up to the intimate high country streams and lakes are now on the fly fisher’s menu, you have a lot to choose from.

First of all, you don’t need a mile of river to yourself to have a great time, especially on the venerated Fryingpan River. Considering the fact we rarely fish this river with fly line on the water, you can pick a spot apart with just a fly and tippet on the surface. The hatches have been terrific on the Fryingpan, and just about every insect you can imagine is on the scene now.

If you hop in a drift boat or raft, as most locals do when they get the chance, it can feel pretty solitary after you get past the boat ramp scene. Most of us leave the wading spots on the floatable rivers to anglers on foot, and simply fish on the go. Putting on early or late can alleviate the people factor in float world, too.

My personal go-to during peak season is the high country, and I still haven’t fished every alpine lake or stream. It would probably take two or three lifetimes to fish them all in my estimation. Whether you head up the Fryingpan, Roaring Fork or Crystal River drainages, rivers get smaller and the fish get dumber (generally) as you ascend. If hiking and cutthroat fishing inspires you, head up to one of our multitude of alpine lakes.

I hope you find solitude where you can, and accept the fact that crowds are here for a reason; to take advantage of world-class fishing! That’s probably one of the many reasons you live here, right?

This report is provided every week by Taylor Creek Fly Shops in Aspen and Basalt. Taylor Creek can be reached at 970-927-4374 or


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