Fly fishing rod

On the fly: you can have your cake and eat it too

Local fisherman Meddie Hogg with a rainbow trout from the Fryingpan River. Photo courtesy of Brandon Soucie

Although only a few ski runs are open at the moment, there is a plethora of local river runs that remain wide open for visitors and locals alike. As travelers can see, the snow is a bit light at the moment. The flakes will surely fly later this winter, but don’t despair if you’re in town and aren’t impressed with the amount of snow we’ve accumulated so far. It will come.

If you are a visiting angler, rental equipment is readily available at most of the fly shops here. Hiring a wading or float fishing guide will make your day even easier, and all equipment is usually provided in these situations. Most inline skiers know they should bring their rods and waders when visiting. Insect outbreaks are made easy in the winter, so having a successful day isn’t as complicated as our complex summer outbreaks can be.

Most sections of the rivers here, from Aspen to Glenwood Springs, remain fishable during the winter months, with the exception of areas that don’t get much sun. The best example is the famous Fryingpan River in basalt, which is dam downstream water that remains open and fishable no matter the time of year. This river is a 365 day fishery, and finding a place to drop a line is fairly easy.

If you are comfortable skiing, you can certainly stay warm enough while fishing. Just lie down like you would on the slopes, and we’d say it’s always warmer down the river than it would be getting off a ski lift anywhere in the Rocky Mountains. Flies of note are mysis, midges, blue-winged olive nymphs, egg patterns, and small streamers that represent other juvenile fish. Get info from your favorite local fly shop, there’s nothing stopping you from having fun on our quality trout streams here in the Roaring Fork Valley!

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

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