Gunpowder Stream Report and Great Feathers Fly Shop Blog

Great Feathers is a Baltimore and Gunpowder River area brick and mortar fly shop staffed by fly fishermen and fly tiers with a passion for the sport. Our blog posts provide you with the latest stream reports on the Gunpowder and interesting posts on fly fishing anf fly tying information.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

 

New Fly Fishing Challenges at Roaring Fork River



Here’s another episode of a fly fishing trip in Colorado with my favorite fly fishing guide; David!

Minturn Anglers offers a variety of Vail fly fishing trips in the surrounding waters about the Vail Valley. It’s time for me to explore another of Colorado’s famed trout streams. This time I’m eyeing the Roaring Fork River. I am told that this is indeed a “roaring” river, as it descends from its headwaters at 12,000 feet just below Independence Pass to join up with the Colorado River some 790 miles away at Glenwood Springs. In fact, the original Ute name for this mountain flow is Thunder River.

The river passes through canyons most of its route. Flows are swift, deep and powerful, and the water is clear. A mean annual flow of about 1,200 cubic feet per second creates for challenging river fly fishing. Swift flows means that resident trout are strong and healthy, and even the small fry provide a strong pull. Cutthroat, Brown, Rainbow and Brook trout are on the menu. These fish have a reputation! The stretch from Aspen to Basalt is designated as Wild Trout Water, and the 28 mile stretch from Basalt is designated Gold Medal Trout Water. I can’t wait to try my hand.

A few minutes on the computer shows that Highway 82 parallels the entire river and offers easy access in many places. However, much of river frontage property is privately owned, and anglers are cautioned to avoid trespassing. Apparently popular wade access points are located on the stretch near the Aspen airport, and in Glenwood Springs at the Sunset Bridge.

The beginning of July is always a popular time on the Roaring Fork, as this is the beginning of the famous Green Drake hatch. Caddis and streamers are almost always present, and I’m planning on being prepared for Blue Winged Olives, Red Quills and Golden Stoneflies.

Because the Roaring Fork River is so long, it presents many different water types. You can choose to work pocket waters in canyon portions of the river, or try float fishing in parts of the lower river. However, finding a productive location can be a challenge, especially when private property is involved. I intend to drop into my favorite fly fishing shop, Minturn Anglers in Vail, and spend a few minutes talking to their friendly staff and any available fly fishing guides to get their advice. I will also follow their recommendations and pick up a few new flies to match current hatch conditions. 

Looking forward to new challenges and exciting experiences fly fishing the Roaring Fork River!   


 

Fly Fishing Denver - Really in the City




Not all fishing in in the Gunpowder.!  Here's our fishing adventure in Denver, Colorado.

Fly fishing the South Platte River in downtown Denver should be on your bucket list! More and more residents and visitors to Denver are realizing that there is exciting fishing only minutes away from their backdoor or hotel. The South Platte River flows from the Chatfield Reservoir right through downtown Denver.

The South Platte has a reputation as a challenging river for massive carp. There is even an annual pro-am Carp Slam tournament. Besides carp, these urban Denver waters are also home to rainbows and browns, bass, perch and walleye. Stable water flows and the warmer summer months are best for fishing these waters.  

The last time I was in the Minturn Anglers fly shop in Denver, I spent some talking to another customer who says that he typically fishes the South Platte 3 or 4 times a week. He enjoys the serenity of the water as counterpoint to the overhead bridge traffic at Florida Avenue. The surprisingly clear and clean river flows quietly, unaffected by the surge of cars on South Santa Fe Drive. 

One of the friendly fishing guides at Minturn Anglers overheard our conversation, and suggested a few other spots (they have a few Denver fly fishing trips). There is an eddy at the railroad trestle on the northwest side that offers interesting challenges. Access is easy, walking past the 6th Avenue Bridge to Phil Milstein Park’s southern end. Another location to try is at the southern end of South Platte Park. He suggested using weighted flies cast into the whitewaters and deep holes in the area. Another option is to find your own new fishing spot by trekking the 30 miles of the South Platte Greenway Trail which follows the river through the city. 

The possibility of catching a 5 to 40 pound carp is something I want to try, so I stocked up on some flies recommended by very knowledgeable Minturn Angler staff. I chose a Crazy Dad 8, a Swimming Carp Nymph and Morlock’s Carp Breakfast to start. I am looking forward to this new fly fishing adventure! 



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