On the fly: Stop and smell the roses | AspenTimes.com

On the fly: Stop and smell the roses

Scott Spooner
On the Fly
Jack, a local youth, with a plump Fryingpan River brown trout. Courtesy of Brandon Soucie

If you are visiting the Roaring Fork Valley this week, why not give fly fishing a try? You’ve probably heard that there are a few challenges out there in regards to water temperatures down-valley on the Colorado and below the Crystal in the afternoons, but if you fish early in the day down-valley or concentrate on higher-elevation spots (like Basalt, Aspen and the high country), you can fish with a clear conscience. If you left all your gear at home or have never fished before, most local fly shops are itching to help you out.

If you have never fly fished here, hiring a guide for your first outing makes a lot of sense. Guides know these rivers intimately, and will be able to find a piece of water that is appropriate for you and your family. Most guided trips are fishing deep (nymphing) in the morning hours and transitioning to dry flies as the sun climbs a little higher or the clouds roll in later in the afternoon.

There are options for wade fishing as well as float fishing from a drift boat or raft. Floats have been a bit challenging this past week, considering the amount of discoloration the Crystal River has pumped into the Roaring Fork in addition to those previously mentioned concerning temperatures. Guide services are still floating, but collectively limiting to mornings below Carbondale and fishing from rafts above the Crystal later into the day. Wade fishing is usually more appropriate for beginners, and float fishing is a little more fast-paced. If you swing by your local fly shop, they would be happy to let you know where and what they recommend.

If you are here doing a little DIY, look for green drakes, pale morning duns, craneflies and caddis up the Fryingpan. The Roaring Fork has some caddis, golden stones, PMDs and drakes hatching from Basalt to Aspen, and our high mountain lakes always offer up terrific damselfly fishing throughout the summer. Wherever you end up, we hope you have some fun and get a chance to stop and smell the roses!

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 TaylorCreek.com.