Nothing quite compares to the beauty, solitude, and world-class fishing of the Rocky Mountains’ famed trout waters, and Aspen, Colorado lies at the epicenter of it all. Aspen and the surrounding vistas of snow-capped peaks and wilderness are paradise for the outdoor enthusiast. The town itself also harbors some of the best lodging, boutiques, and dining establishments in the world. Whether you’re simply visiting to fish — or want to hit the slopes, catch some live music, hunt, or just hang out — Aspen has something for everyone, making it an ideal sportsman’s getaway regardless of your experience and schedule. The Aspen area also boasts some of the best fly fishing guides in the entire west. Whether you're looking for a beginner's float trip on the Colorado river or hyper-technical dry fly fishing, find the best guided experiences on AnyCreek and ensure you're fishing with the best.
The summer fly fishing season officially kicks off in June, as the intensity of the spring snowmelt gradually subsides and the rivers return to peak fishing flows. This does depend somewhat on how much it snowed during the winter. For the first few weeks of this fishing season, use dry flies, wet flies, or streamers to catch brown trout, rainbow trout, and cutthroat trout throughout the area’s vast network of small streams and large rivers. As summer sets in, temperatures rise and bug activity increases. In Aspen, summer insect hatches pull trout to the water’s surface — where they hold in feeding lanes sipping from a conveyor belt of abundant aquatic invertebrates like mayflies, stoneflies, and caddis. Our expert Aspen trout fishing guides are on the water every day of the season and can help you get on fish, dial in the best tackle to use, and navigate the fishery by raft, drift boat, or on foot.
Dry fly hatches extend through summer into the late fall, keeping trout and anglers busy on the river. As temperatures drop, bug life tapers off and the trout switch their focus to meatier morsels to pack on the pounds before the winter. A number of our Aspen fly fishing guides consider the fall to be peak season for throwing large streamers, targeting trophy brown trout as they pack on the pounds and color up for their annual spawn.
The colder months of the year may still yield midge and baetis hatches on warmer sunny days, while subsurface nymphs and streamers can produce throughout the fall and winter. Winter fishing in Aspen, Colorado offers a nice break from the ski vacation. Nymph hatches are activated on warmer days, offering worthy opportunities to fish while it’s still in the 30s, 40s, and 50s outside. This region’s rivers hold staggering numbers of trout, all well-fed by the rivers’ abundant large insects.
The region surrounding the city of Aspen, Colorado is part of a healthy watershed fed by snowmelt. This region is home to three river drainages that supply the waters around Aspen: the Roaring Fork River, the Colorado River, and the Frying Pan River. Most boat ramps and notable fly fishing stretches are within an hour of the town of Aspen. The Roaring Fork River, Frying Pan River, and the Crystal River boast nutrient-rich habitats for an array of trout, whitefish, sculpin, and darters.
Adventure seekers in Aspen, Colorado can experience world-class cycling, mountain biking, day hiking, backpacking, rafting, camping, upland and big game hunting, rock climbing, and so much more. There really is an activity for everyone in the mountains of Western Colorado! Aspen’s local hikes dish out some of the best views in the entire region. Several peaks surpass the 10,000-foot mark and are great ways to test your limits and reward yourself with breathtaking scenery.
Ski season often extends into late May, when the snow hasn’t entirely melted but the rivers are starting to reach peak runoff flow. If you’re looking for the best of both worlds, allot some time to hit the slopes at Aspen Snowmass or do some Nordic skiing in the many wilderness areas and trails nearby. Aspen is also home to some excellent wild grouse and upland bird hunting. Join Wild Willow Outfitters for a hunt or fly fishing excursion to discover the beauty of wild Western Colorado!
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