On the Fly: ‘Tis the Season to head to the salt

Justin Moore
On the Fly
Scott Spooner fishing in the Florida Keys.
Captain Richard Hastings photo

Old man winter is starting to settle in the Roaring Fork Valley, and fall conditions seem to have come and gone. For many local anglers this is what they’ve been waiting for — the river and fish all to themselves. For others this is the time to hit the vise, spinning up all the heavy hitters for the summer season.

For myself the winter is not only for skiing, tying flies and chasing trout, but also a time to plan and execute a trip to an exotic location with fly rod in hand. Most lean towards warmer locations, typically a place where we can feel the sand between our toes. Anyone who has been lucky enough to experience what saltwater fly fishing has to offer knows that scrimping and saving all year for a few days standing on skiff or in a sandy flat makes it all worth it.

Saltwater destination trips are not only for the rich and famous. Granted you can make a trip as expensive or cheap as you want, but if well-researched and planned accordingly, you will not have to spend your life savings.

Deciding where to go is the first part of enjoying this experience. Mexico, Belize, Florida Keys, Louisiana marsh, and the Bahamas are a few options for your first saltwater adventure. Not all of these places require staying at a lodge, with resources such as Airbnb and VRBO, you can find extremely inexpensive places to stay.

The preparation piece of the puzzle for me is nearly half the fun; nothing is sweeter than the feeling of anticipation before a trip. Getting geared up for a fishing adventure has most of us feeling like its Christmas morning. If you know your way around a vise, tying up baitfish, crabs, and shrimp for your salty adventure feels like it brings the whole experience together.

Next — cast, cast, and cast some more. It is not worth traveling thousands of miles to blow a shot at the opportunities the ocean throws at you. Traveling in general (not only for fly fishing) is such a healthy experience. It is truly eye opening, but getting out of our comfort zone and rising to challenges makes us well-rounded.

Do some research, take that fly rod, and go!

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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