Winter, spring, summer or fall - fishing is perhaps the one sport you can enjoy in Aspen year-round! Cast a line on a high-alpine lake in summer, or hit the Gold Medal AND Blue Ribbon waters of the Roaring Fork and Frying Pan rivers in just about any season. World-renowned fly fishing is technically as close as Mill Street in Aspen, but most travel just ten minutes outside of downtown on the Roaring Fork River. And if you're feeling like a drive, the Frying Pan and Crystal Rivers also hold fantastic fly-fishing a bit further afield.
What are Gold Medal waters anyway? These fishing areas have been designated by the Colorado Wildlife Commission as providing great spots to catch large trout. Only about 168 miles of Colorado's 9000 miles of trout streams, and three lakes, carry the "Gold Medal" signature. You heard correctly, Aspen's got good fishing!
The higher the quality of the habitat the greater the number of fish in that locale, and because so many of the streams on the Upper Roaring Fork are privately permitted that means the fish WILL be biting when your guide takes you out. You'll find mainly Cutthroat, Rainbow, Brown and Speckled Trout, along with a few Sculpin and Whitefish. There are three main fly hatches that occur on the area waters - Caddis, Stonefly and Baetis/Mayfly. These insect hatches are the driving force behind hours of joyful fly-fishing.
Local outfitting services are available to get you going with gear, the inside scoop on what the fish are biting, or - better yet - a guided tour to some of the local fishing hotspots. This is one fish tale you'll be proud to tell!
Aspen Outfitting Company happens to have over 40 years experience as a local outfitter, so to say they know our area streams is an understatement. They also have several privately leased sections of river at their fingertips too. And if lavish offerings are what you're in search of The Little Nell has a fly-fishing special available to guests who stay three nights or more, with available add-ons such as gourmet lunches and wine pairings!
All of the Roaring Fork River is catch and release. Also, be aware that any venture to the river requires a fishing license. If you've never been, a guided trip is the best way to get your feet wet. We've got plenty from which to choose!
Get a taste of what it is like to be on the water here in Aspen...