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Top Five Fly Fishing Spots in the Valley

BY Hayden Gamble | July 7, 2017 | Feature Features

A guide for all anglers of the Roaring Fork.
Colorado waters bode excellent fly fishing year-round.

Roaring Fork River
The Roaring Fork River runs 70 miles from its headwaters on Independence Pass to its confluence with the Colorado River in Glenwood Springs. Brimming with browns and rainbows, the stretch from Basalt to Carbondale is first-rate for float fishing in the early summer season. Or, if you’re looking for something a little more up close and personal, grab your waders and swim with the fish.

Fryingpan River
This 14-mile stretch from Ruedi Reservoir to Basalt is dubbed “Gold Medal Water” meaning it’s some of the best in the state. Chock full with massive rainbow trout, the fishing hotspot has two sections; find trophy fish in the frequented lower part, or for a little more seclusion, head to the upper stretch for a classic high-mountain stream experience.

Snowmass Lake
If you’re in the mood for a nice 8.5-mile hike and little fishing to go along, Snowmass Lake is next on your list. Hike along the Maroon-Snowmass trail and arrive at the glistening lake in the morning or evening for your best bet at a catch. Since this spot runs along the trail, June through September is the recommended time to check it out.

Maroon Creek
Less than 2 ½ miles from Aspen, Colorado’s most photographed spot also doubles as a good catch for brook and cutthroat trout. Found in the Maroon Bells scenic area, this creek begins high in the peaks and breaks off into an east and west branch, with the most-recommended western branch flowing into Maroon Lake and the eastern one bypassing it.

Crystal River
This river earned its name from the crystal clear and fast-moving waters running from McClure to Carbondale. Offering excellent pocket water, great riffles and deep runs, Crystal River is the go-to spot for fly-fisherman year-round. This quiet and non-crowded area is surrounded by the Elk Mountains and makes for a beautiful backdrop while casting lines. Mid-summer is the best time to check out this spot for some high-quality dry fly fishing.

Let the professionals show you some of their own secret spots. Book your guided tour:
Aspen Guide Service, 970.948.7675,
Taylor Creek Fly Shop, 183 Basalt Center Cir, Basalt, 970.927.4374,
Roaring Fork Anglers, 2205 S Grand Ave, Glenwood Springs, 970.945.0180,
Crystal Fly Shop, 1087 CO-122, Carbondale, 970.963.5741,

Photography Courtesy Of: