Sunday, March 16, 2014

Roaring Fork Valley- 3/13/14- 3/14/14

Continuing to start to the 2014 year off with a bang, with a couple days of new adventures over the weekend in the Roaring Fork Valley, fishing the Frying Pan and Roaring Fork Rivers.  One of my goals for 2014 was to continue to fish new waters and have new experiences, and this weekend was no exception.  Enjoyed sharing the adventure with my buddy JP, as we always find a way to keep the trips interesting.

3/13/14- Frying Pan River

Everyone knows about the Frying Pan River below Ruedi Reservoir, as it could quite possibly be the most famous trout stream in the world.  Ever since I started fly fishing, I knew that I had to get up there to try my hand on the large trout that call it home, and it did not disappoint during my first day on the river.  After a late night tying session in Silverthorne, we left early high with anticipation for a memorable day of fly fishing on the Pan.  Surprisingly there were not many other anglers, so we were free to fish all of the well known holes from the Toilet Bowl down to Bridge Hole.  The action was fairly consistent all day long, with fish eating midge and mysis patterns all up and down the river.  While feisty, little Brownies were the norm, we did find a few of the larger Bows that were willing to eat a well presented fly.  Even found some nice fish in Bridge Hole that were willing to rise to small midge dries.

After fishing this water, I was able to see the magnificence of this legendary water, and understand why fly fishermen from all over the world are drawn to fish the Pan.  It would be very difficult to find a more stunning canyon, with red walls and absolutely perfect trout water.  I look forward to coming back to this canyon, year after year to try my hand at these fish, and continuing to learn more about the fish that swim in its depths.

On fishing trips like this,  the actual fishing only amounts to part of the overall experience, and we continued to have a great time in Basalt after we had stored our waders and packed our rods.  We met a new friend in the Riverside Grill, talking about fly fishing and tying for hours as we drank beers and watched the hockey game.  It's awesome that this sport can bring together anglers from different backgrounds and age ranges, sharing fly fishing secrets and tips with total strangers.  Finished the day exchanging knowledge and flies with our new friend.

Late night tying session

Hooked up at the Guaging Station
Bend Hole Rainbow

Fat Frying Pan Rainbow
3/14/14- Roaring Fork River

We decided to keep the adventure going on Saturday, setting up an all day float trip with Taylor Creek Fly Shop on the Roaring Fork River.  Since the first time I cast a fly rod, I've always wanted to do a float trip, and this early season float seemed like the perfect time to give it a try.  The Roaring Fork was where I first landed a trout on a fly, so it seemed fitting that it would be the first time I fished out of a drift boat.  Our guide for the float was Taylor Creek head guide Kyle Holt, and he did an outstanding job on the sticks, rowing us upstream time and time again to hit the most productive holes.  Kyle's extensive knowledge of this river and the fish that call it home guaranteed that we were into fish from beginning to end.

Fishing from a boat was a complete new experience for me, but one that I look forward to doing more in the coming years.  Floating through 7 miles of the best Gold Medal waters that Colorado has to offer was quite the experience, floating through miles of amazing fishing that can only be accessed from a boat. The midge hatch didn't come off as strong as it had been, but the baetis hatch in the afternoon made up for the slow midge activity.  The Roaring Fork is packed full of strong, nasty trout, and landing them from a boat made it all the more exciting.  We caught many of the wild browns that the river is known for, but also had our shot at some of the bigger Rainbows that call this river home.  Best part of the day was the sheer solitude of it all, not seeing another boat or angler until the very last holes in Glenwood near the takeout.

Put In for the float
Hard charging Roaring Fork Rainbow
Canadian Swans

Floating through Glenwood Spring


  1. Mark! Thanks for sharing an amazing early season trip! Awesome post, images and that fat pan bow you were holding is amazing! The read was well written and cant wait to hear about your 2014 adventures! Glad you were able to take your first float trip buddy! Love the images!

    1. Someone does read this stuff!! Thanks for checking it out and hope you get in some awesome spring fishing! Have fun in FOCO, man I miss that town!