Top 5 most-read stories: Fly fishing company connects anglers and landowners; An 86th hike for an 81st birthday |

Top 5 most-read stories: Fly fishing company connects anglers and landowners; An 86th hike for an 81st birthday

Staff Report

We’ve rounded up the top five most-read stories on from last week.

1.) How a new fly fishing company connects anglers and landowners on private land

Coloradans wrestle with the public water versus private land conundrum regularly. Stream access laws aim to protect property owners from — among other things — outdoor enthusiasts trespassing on private land to fish in the public water. It leaves swaths of river nearly untouched, but a new company is working to connect private landowners with anglers in a mutually beneficial relationship.

RareWaters fashions themselves as the “Airbnb of fly fishing.” The company, launched in 2020, connects landowners with river access to fly fishers eager to find a stretch of river less crowded than somewhere publicly accessible.

“Public watersheds (are) getting a little overcrowded, overpressured and overrun, which isn’t good for the fish, it’s not good for the habitat, and not good for the water,” said Denver-based RareWaters founder Brenden Stucky. “And it’s not good for the angling experience. So we’re trying to kind of flip the script and provide special experiences at an affordable rate.”

Josie Taris

2.) 86th Highland Bowl hike for an 81st birthday; Niklaus Kuhn gets after it

At the beginning of the ski season, Aspenite Niklaus Kuhn set out with the goal of hiking the Highland Bowl at least 81 times in his 81st year of life. He planned to do his 81st hike and ski lap on Sunday, his 81st birthday, but ended up doing his 86th. An overachiever by any standards. 

The wind was howling on the way up as hikers trekked up to the pole covered in prayer flags, which resembles a toothpick when you are staring at it from the bottom of the hill. While many opt to take the snow cat a portion of the way up, Kuhn chooses to hike the entire way. Every time. He views the ride as cheating, basically. 

Strapped to his back are bright yellow skis and a sign that reads “80+ please pass.” He’s in no rush to get to the top, he’s taking in the views with his friends and family as he makes his way up to Highland Peak this special day.

Audrey Ryan

3.) Remembering Chuck Maple, a long-time Aspen resident who lived many lives

Chuck Maple, a longtime resident of Aspen for 55 years, passed away March 15 at the age of 91. He was surrounded by loved ones who held his hand even after he took his final breath.

Maple was a father, grandfather, husband, ski enthusiast, and a champion of the American Dream. One of his grandchildren, Wiley Maple, is a World Cup and Olympic skier.

“Not a lot of kids get to spend 30-plus years with their grandparents,” said Wiley. “I’ve been lucky enough to have known mine for my whole life and got to know them as best as possible.”

Kristen Mohammadi

4.) Globe-trotting architect takes aim at climate change

Sarah Broughton – who with partner John Rowland launched Rowland + Broughton 20 years ago in Aspen – is on a four-month whirlwind across the nation and world to showcase Colorado’s architectural solutions to climate change and use of sustainability in design.

She’s also the president of the American Institute of Architects’ Colorado Chapter, which has 2,500 members, and recently returned from a conference in Washington, D.C. Soon, she’ll be off to Italy.

“It was an incredible experience. We were lobbying on the hill and really talking about what it means to be a citizen architect,” she said.

Julie Bielenberg

5.) Basalt permaculture farm will stay open, legal access on the road up remains in question

The legal access “can of worms” remains open on Cedar Drive in Basalt after the Eagle County Board of County Commissioners denied a special use-permit for a permaculture farm when the applicant could not definitively prove they had legal access on Upper Cedar Drive.  

The Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute will stay open and continue to offer the majority of its agriculture programming. Camping on the property and the two-week overnight permaculture design course will not be allowed. 

Jerome Ostentowski has taught sustainable farming practices at CRMPI for nearly four decades and said he has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the effort to keep it open after his retirement. After the commissioners denied the application, he felt dejected.

Josie Taris


Local 14 year old writes young adult novels

Nyala Honey has done more in her 14 years on this earth than many people accomplish in decades. The 14-year-old Basalt resident has published two young adult novels, which she’ll talk about and read from at Explore Booksellers at 2 p.m. on June 8.

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