On the Fly column: The world is your oyster

Scoot Spooner On the Fly
Barkley Wedemeyer holds a Fryingpan rainbow trout.
Justin Moore

If you are visiting the Roaring Fork Valley this week, excellent fishing opportunities await. Even if you left all your gear at home or have never fished before, don’t despair — many fly shops up and down the valley are itching to help you out. Most shops offer rental gear as well as guide services, and there are hundreds of miles of rivers to choose from, including high mountain lakes and smaller streams.

If you have never fly fished here in the valley, hiring a guide for your first outing makes a lot of sense. Guides know these rivers like the backs of their hands, and they will be able to find a piece of water that is appropriate for your skill level and physical abilities. Most guided trips are fishing deep (nymphing) in the morning hours and transitioning to dry flies as the river warms and the sun climbs a little higher in the afternoon.

There are also options for walk and wade fishing or float fishing from a drift boat or raft. Wade fishing is usually more appropriate for beginners, and float fishing is a little more fast-paced. When you fish with guides, all of your gear is usually provided as well. If you swing by your local fly shop, they would be happy to let you know what they’re fishing as well as where and how.

If you are here doing a little DIY, look for midges, pale morning duns, craneflies, blue winged olives and caddis up the Fryingpan. The Roaring Fork has some drakes hatching in Aspen and down valley to Carbondale, and the Colorado has been fishing quite well with yellow sallies, caddis and stoneflies. High mountain lakes always offer up terrific damselfly fishing throughout the summer. Wherever you end up on our rivers, we hope you have some fun and get a chance to stop and smell the roses.

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

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