Fly Fishing on the Roaring Fork, Colorado

June 4, 2009 by admin Leave a reply »


I would like to tell you a little about fishing the Roaring Fork last week…

We arrived in Aspen on Tuesday morning and went straight to one of my favorite fishing spots; it is located in the “canyon” directly across from the Aspen Airport. The hike down to the river is steep and dangerous. I learned that the harder it is to get to a river in Colorado, the better the fishing. The Roaring Fork was flat-out moving. Its flows were almost double the average for this time of year.

The fishing was extremely difficult but we managed to pull out 3 nice rainbows each; all on size 12 caddis or Royal Wulffs. I inquired about the Dart Easement at the Taylor Creek Fly Shop and they told us the fishing was no good due to high flows. Unfortunately, I believed them so we tried other spots down valley the next couple of days. Our last full day my friend and I decided to call the fly shop’s bluff and try the Dart Easement. If nothing else we would get to see the water. We signed up at the fly shop and were handed permits #1 and #2 of the season. To our surprise it was some of the best water I have seen on the Fork; even with the high flows. The water had cleared up by this time and as I looked upstream I noticed pool after pool.

The picture above is of two browns my friend and I landed on the first 3 casts. He was throwing a size 12 caddis. I was throwing a size 12 Royal with a flashback pheasant tail dropper. We managed to pull large trout out of every pool. The second picture is of an average size rainbow. I missed one rainbow twice that would have gone over 20” and I hooked one brown that was 22” which took me to my backing before spitting my fly out in some strong current.

I have fly-fished in most western states, but this river is still my favorite. Maybe it is just sentimental because I lived there for 3 months and was able to fish it every day. Or, maybe it’s because you can spot a rainbow feeding in a lane upstream and throw a huge dry fly (Caddis, Royal Wulff or Green Drake) 3 feet in front of it and watch as it absolutely devours your fly off the top?

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