Are you the one family member who doesn’t ski? Or perhaps after 1-2 days on the slope, you’re ready for a new adventure. Try fly fishing in the winter? Didn’t know that was possible? Follow along with our Gone Fishing Colorado guided fly fishing adventure with tips to entice you to take the whole family.
Who knew? Fly Fishing in the Winter!
Winter in Colorado is pretty awesome, with so many outdoors things to do including skiing and snowboarding. It’s not that I don’t LIKE to ski — I have gotten my ski mojo in the past at Granby Ranch. But I don’t LOVE to ski. I do, however, love to fish, yet I had no idea that fly fishing in the winter was even possible!
With a little help (okay a lot of help) from our Guide Raphael “Raph” Fasi at Gone Fishing Colorado, even through the chill of a January winter, we were hooked on fly fishing in the winter. Literally! We fished in the Roaring Fork Valley at one of Raph’s favorite fishing holes near a bridge in the Roaring Fork River, below the convergence of the Crystal River.
After a few practice fly casting, our guide set up me and my husband’s fishing spot, and we were ready to catch fish! And boy did we!
Within the first 2-3 casts, I snagged my first brown trout. My hubby caught the next brown a few minutes later, followed by one more for each of us — all within the first 10 minutes of fly fishing. Yes, we were hooked on fly fishing in the winter, even though what followed was a couple of hours of quiet casting without success.
Part of the amazing-ness of fishing is the beauty of Mother Nature around you, and we were fishing in the Roaring Fork Valley in Carbondale – Basalt, near Aspen. With the snow-capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains surrounding us? How can you not love that?
Tips for Fly Fishing with Your Family
After our fly fishing adventure, I chatted with our fly fishing guide to get some tips for fly fishing with your family. Is it a family-friendly activity? Gone Fishing Colorado Guide Raph Fasi gave me an emphatic YES, along with these tips to fly fishing with the family:
1. What are the main differences between fly fishing in the winter and the summer?
The primary difference is that the weather is more predictable in the summer and more comfortable. A 36/38 degree sunny day is AMAZING to fish in but tough to predict during the winter.
2. Families love to travel and enjoy experiences together. For guided fly fishing trips (either summer or winter), what is the youngest age and why?
It is tough to place a certain age limit. I usually prefer to stay around 9 years of age and up. However the primary determination is the child’s attention span. I have fished with amazing 9-year-olds and had a tough time with 11-year-olds. We also have spinning rods. Bottom line is that our primary focus really is to show your family a good time. If you want to bring your 6-year-old child fishing, we will discuss our concerns, evaluate each situation, and gladly still take them fishing.
3. What tip might you offer for someone going on their first guided fly fishing trip? What about a tip for the more experienced fly fisher?
No matter your level of experience, really listen to the guide and trust in his or her expertise. All Gone Fishing Colorado guides (and most guides in the Roaring Fork Valley) are true leaders in the fly fishing industry with years of knowledge.
For the more experienced fisherman, I would suggest really expressing to the guide what you are looking for in terms of a fishing day. If you only want to fish with streamers or dry flies, letting the guide know this ahead of the scheduled date will help create a better experience. The guide will be more prepared to choose the correct spots and times to insure it is a productive day.
4. When you have a family fly fishing together with various levels of experience, how do you balance between the needs of the inexperienced or newbie and the experienced fly fisher, yet still manage to give them all the best experience ever?
When it is 4+ people, we always assign multiple guides. This allows for the group to be split up. And allows for more direct catering to individual skill levels.
5. What is your favorite part of guiding fly fishing trips?
My favorite part is that I get to show others something that is very special to me. The outdoors is a large part of my life and sharing this with others is what it is all about. Our mission statement ” to offer an experience through our love for the outdoors,” and that’s exactly what I love to do.
6. Where is your favorite fishing holes in Basalt / Carbondale, Colorado, to fly fish and why?
My favorite area to fish is off of Two Rivers Road. You’ll discover over two miles of public fishing access and, in my opinion, some of the most beautiful landscape in the Roaring Fork Valley.
7. What do you feel sets the Guides at Gone Fishing Colorado apart?
We are young and fun. Not the old grumpy guides! (Big Smile!) We invite you to come join us in Colorado anytime — and bring your family!
Where to Stay? Family-friendly Elements Basalt-Aspen!
Gone Fishing Colorado and Elements Basalt-Aspen provided the guided fly fishing trip for our review; opinions expressed are our own.