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another episode of a fly fishing trip in Colorado with my favorite fly fishing guide;
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
forward to new challenges and exciting experiences fly fishing the Roaring Fork