Fall Fly Fishing on The Roaring Fork River

Jarrod HollingerFly FishingLeave a Comment

Golden Leaves Fly Fishing

‘Change is hard, but for autumn anglers it is also good…”

We saw the first snow of the season in our valley yesterday morning. The transition into fall is always bittersweet – but I find it especially hard to swallow when Mother Nature mixes in an unexpected dusting of winter so early. Wasn’t it just summer?

The snow continued to accumulate off and on throughout the day, with the ski area eventually announcing a total of more than six inches. As excited as I have been for the lead-up to ski season, I was a little grumpy to hear those stats. It’s still too early for ski industry propaganda; I have many more summer things that I want to do, dammit!

I grumbled along these lines, through several extra layers of clothing, for my entire morning at the fly shop. Then, around midday, I brightened. I realized that this early storm was the perfect prelude to some Classic Fall Fly Fishing!

Fall Fly Fishing in Aspen, CO
Golden Leaves on a backdrop of fresh, white snow.
Photo: Anna Stonehouse | Stonehouse Pictures

Classic Fall Fly Fishing.

Big, pre-spawn Brown Trout slashing at streamers. Fat, flashing Rainbow Trout aggressively eating egg patterns, midges and Baetis. Sunny punctuated by the intermittent kaleidoscope of fast-moving clouds. It’s actually one of the best times of year for fly fishing mountains! With visions of golden leaves against a backdrop of fresh, white snow, I decided to venture out. To the river! Let’s see what we can see!

I planned to meet my friend Anna at a favorite spot on The Roaring Fork, just downstream from our fly shop in Woody Creek. She sounded game over the phone, but I’m pretty sure I saw her roll her eyes as we gingerly put on our waders over layers of fleece and down. I concentrated on tying my wading boots, pretending not to see. The air was cold, and I was still unconvinced at this point. It wouldn’t have taken much to talk me into cancelling the whole thing.

Fall afternoon Fly Fishing in Aspen, CO
Blue sky above The Roaring Fork River.
Photo: Anna Stonehouse | Stonehouse Pictures

…a little change isn’t so bad!

Our tune changed as soon as we stepped into the river. The autumn colors were riveting. The blue sky soared above and the crystal clear water whispered at our feet. It is often said that, “trout only live in beautiful places” but this was simply breathtaking. After a few moments of quietly taking it all in, Anna smiled and said that it wasn’t nearly as cold as she had thought it was going to be. I agreed. I was happy we had come, and excited to see what the fish thought of the change in weather.

Blue sky on The Roaring Fork River
The crystal clear Roaring Fork River.
Photo: Anna Stonehouse | Stonehouse Pictures

Fortune Favors the Brave.

It turns out that a little change isn’t so bad! I landed a nice brown after just a few casts. And that was just the start. The leaders are thinner in the fall (down to 6X) and the flies are smaller (sizes 18, 20 & 22), but the afternoon provided great fishing. In addition to the excitement of landing pumpkin colored Brown Trout and jewel-faceted Rainbows, the afternoon served as a good reminder about the nature of being outside. After all, the old anglers always say that, “Fortune favors the brave” and “You don’t know unless you go…”

Brown Trout outside Aspen, CO
The author, all smiles with at Roaring Fork Brown Trout.
Photo: Anna Stonehouse | Stonehouse Pictures

Let us take you out and show you what Fall & Winter Fly Fishing is all about! Call us at 970-925-3406 or book online

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