There aren’t many four-season sports in the Roaring Fork Valley. But one local pastime that can be enjoyed rain or shine, or even in a blizzard, is fishing in the Gold Medal waters of the Roaring Fork River and Fryingpan River. Regardless of the season, the resident trout are hungry. And, along with the guidance of locals like Shyanne Orvis, it is a sport for men and women of all skill levels.
Orvis’ grandfather taught her to fly-fish at a young age (no, not that Orvis). She dove into the sport after moving to Colorado and being surrounded by world-class fishing. Soon, Orvis wanted to share that passion with other aspiring anglers and started guiding in 2016. Now, the river is Orvis’ world. She guides for Roaring Fork Club (roaringforkclub.com) in Basalt. The offseason takes her to foreign fishing waters for personal trips and clinics in Mexico, Honduras and Alaska. She also teaches women’s fishing clinics locally. “By offering women’s-only clinics, it gives women the opportunity to learn the basics of fly- fishing in a comfortable learning environment,” she says. “The purpose of the class is to inspire and empower these women by giving them the tools and resources to get out on the water and fish by themselves. Not only that, the class is an amazing place to meet other aspiring female anglers and build a community around women in the sport of fly-fishing.”
Orvis adds that guiding is one of the most demanding yet rewarding jobs she has experienced. But long days on the water reward her with the ability to share her passion with people from around the world. It is more than a job for her; it is a lifestyle.And what keeps bringing her back to the river? “It’s the calmness to the chaos, my own version of meditation when I’m out in the river, or it’s the thrill when I’m standing on the bow of a skiff hunting and chasing a new species on fly,” she says. “Or when I watch a little girl light up with joy after hooking into her first fish on a fly rod. It’s finding passion in all the small moments.”