Real anglers don’t eat pate
June 6, 2011
As a former outdoors newspaper and magazine columnist, fly-fishing guide and current outdoor enthusiast, I have to say that I was surprised to read the article “Fly fishing trips with pate,” in Sunday’s Aspen Times.
I want to let summer visitors know how lucky anglers are in this valley to have a variety of fly shops, all with incredibly knowledgeable guides and plenty of world-class public and private water. You could fish a different stretch of water in this valley all summer and never cast to the same fish twice.
For those anglers who absolutely must fish private water to feel that they have obtained the fishing experience of their dreams, each and every fly shop in this valley has access to private land, not just the Little Nell. The problem is, people think private is better. When you live and fish in a place like this there is really no need to fish private. Even in the peak of summer when the rivers tend to get crowded. All it takes is a little effort to step off the beaten path and you can get in to plenty of fish and breathing room, yes folks … all on public water.
If you want an incredibly private adventure, ditch the helicopter and grab a pair of hiking boots and head for the high country. You too may honestly catch 50-plus fish and experience Colorado at its finest, even without the pate.
Mr. Doerr says, “Some people just want to be associated with the best of the best.” Well, anglers, you’re all in luck, because we just so happen to have the “best of the best” fishing opportunities right in our own backyard. Fishing doesn’t have to be associated as a rich man’s sport, reserved for helicopters and pate, to make it alluring. There is something here for kids, families, women, beginners and hard-core anglers alike.
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It is no secret that the Roaring Fork Valley is known worldwide for its angling opportunities. With over 35 species of warm and cold water species of fish, nearly 170 miles of gold medal water and over 2,000 lakes and reservoirs, people come to Colorado from near and far to experience angling at its finest and it’s the fish fighting hard on the end of your line that makes the fishing experience fine, not the delicate crostini and the bottle of perfectly aged wine on a linen table cloth in the wilderness.
If you want a true Rocky Mountain fishing experience to go home and brag to your buddies about, hire a guide, let him pick you up a guide lunch from Val’s Gourmet. Then sit on the bank and eat your sandwich and watch the fish rise as you plan your next cast.
As far as their Adventure Fridays go, instead of sitting indoors at 4 p.m. listening to the fineries of fly fishing, how about grabbing your rod and heading out to fish a lightning round until dark on the Fork. Hire a guide and take an evening float. Your arm will hurt from catching fish.
I guess if you absolutely must, grab your $3,000 Hardy bamboo with agate inlay rod and I’ll grab my $400 beat-up Sage and show you how to catch a fish.
Jenny Johnston Deutschendorf