Trout Bum 101 | PostIndependent.com

Trout Bum 101

Kara Lewis holds up her catch on the Roaring Fork river last week. (JUSTIN MOORE)

Local anglers are an eclectic bunch. Some are itinerant couch surfers, others live life high on the hog. Some are teens, others are “trustafarians,” and many are retirees. There are commonalities they share, regardless of how well-appointed they are, as well as big time differences.

They are a secretive bunch. You might ask how anything fishing-related can be kept on the down low in this brave new world of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, but it’s true. They may share spots or off-cycle hatches they’ve encountered with you, but it’ll be a week after it’s over. A gentleman never tells, I heard somewhere.

Most get their hair cut by Lonnie or Chad at the barber shack. They eat gas station culinary delicacies on frenetic fishing days more than they’d like to admit. With the less monetarily fortunate crowd, they have multiple jobs. They guide in the summer, hang lights before Christmas, tune skis, plow parking lots, tend bar or ski patrol through the winter to get by. If you only have one job here in this Valley, you’re an oddity.

Many anglers disappear in spring and fall for a few weeks. Some are tarpon fishing in the Keys, others are roaming Utah, Wyoming and Montana searching for fish and rivers that, with 20/20 hindsight, are no better than they regularly find right here in their backyard. Some anglers have to save for a year to go to Christmas Island or the Bahamas, others can go any time the mood strikes.

Some hang out at the Riverside Grill so often their mail gets forwarded there, others guide in Florida, Louisiana or Chile in our off-season and live a never-winter lifestyle. Many fish as much as they can, by whatever means necessary. It’s just that some have more “means” than others. Whether you’re decked out in thousands of dollars of gear or wet-wading with your roommate’s rod, you are part of the club, and membership has its privileges.

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.