On the Fly column: Tough decision — ski or fish (or both) | PostIndependent.com

On the Fly column: Tough decision — ski or fish (or both)

Mike Thomas clutches a Roaring Fork River brown trout.
Eric Oliver

First World problems plague residents and visitors this week: ski or fish? My answer is a resounding both. After a bone-dry summer in 2018, we are all thankful for the deep snow this winter. As of now, we are sitting comfortably above 100 percent of average snow pack, although we’ve got a bit of a hole to dig out of considering the drought conditions over the last few years. Keep it coming, Ullr.

Nights have been trending much warmer lately, which has vastly improved river conditions out there. Yes, ice dams have broken on the Roaring Fork here and there this winter, but here’s a little secret — the fishing has been extraordinary after these events. As we yo-yo with warm and cold snaps, all anglers should keep exercising caution onstream, but a bit of mud and ice really mixes up the bugs and makes for some outstanding fishing after things clear up.

Guides and residents are already enjoying prime float fishing conditions after warm evenings, plus the midge hatches up on the Fryingpan have been lights out on the cloudy days. The Fryingpan was significantly iced up a few weeks ago but has significantly melted along the edges after you get a few miles above Basalt now. The best hatches have been found midday around mile markers 8, 10 and 12 as of late.

If you’re agonizing about which of your winter hobbies should take center stage this week, I’d recommend getting in a few turns in the morning and heading to the river later in the day when it warms up. Grab a few midge dry flies and small pheasant tails nymphs before you head up the river, and go see what all the fuss is about.

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 taylorcreek.com.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User