On the Fly: Labor of love | AspenTimes.com

On the Fly: Labor of love

Scott Spooner
On the Fly

Our valley attracts certain types of people, people who are far more obsessed with their passions than about what they "do" for a living. Luckily, many of us get the rare chance to combine the two, which most folks in the "keeping up with the Joneses" lifestyle never get to realize. I actually get paid to teach and talk about my fly-fishing passion, which makes me and those I work with very lucky people.

At this point in my life, I'd rather spend a day on the Fryingpan tailwater than hit the slopes, but many of the fishing guides I work with are also experts on the mountain and augment their income by patrolling, instructing or working in tune shops. This valley truly has the best of both (fishing and skiing) worlds.

The icing on the cake is that we have ample opportunities in the winter to enjoy both endeavors in the same day. In the fall we enjoy "cast and blast" days, which are fishing and waterfowling or upland bird hunting combined. In winter, these become "backcountry and back-eddies" days. Many unique fishing spots are literally a few minutes from the bases of our mountains, and it is quite easy to get a few casts in after an epic powder day. Or the other way around!

If you are river-bound after getting off the mountain this winter, the fly selection is much more simplified compared with complex-hatch summer days. Midges and egg patterns are almost all you need to hook a few fish, and don't forget the mysis shrimp flies if you are heading to the upper reaches of the Fryingpan. Give your favorite fly shop or guide a call if you can spare a little time over the holidays; they will appreciate it, and so will you.

"On the Fly" is provided weekly by the staff at Taylor Creek Fly Shop in Basalt.

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