Just outside of Aspen, seated between the Roaring Fork and Crystal Rivers, is Carbondale, Colorado. John and I traveled to this quaint mountain "suburb" one weekend in April to visit some friends and cast our fly lines in both of the town's rivers.
If you want to see more from our trip please check out our YouTube video - here!
On Friday afternoon, we drove down into the mountain valley ready to start our weekend. After we celebrated our arrival with our good friends, we called it a night in hopes of hitting the water early. Not surprisingly, I was the first to wake up, so I headed out of the apartment and started my search for a fishing spot.
I easily found a spot near town, across the water from the Days Inn, on Google Maps. My goal was to try to park near a boat ramp and explore the banks from there. I was so excited to find that I was all alone in the parking lot when I pulled up around 7:30 a.m. I grabbed all of my gear and headed under the bridge to wade up the Roaring Fork River for the first time.
You can find the exact location, here.
I walked in and out of trees, sandy areas, and the shallow water until I found a nice little island that created a split in the water. I knew this was the perfect place, and it had a great view of the mighty Mount Sopris.
I walked up and down the grassy island trying to find my first spot. I eventually found it where some tree limbs created a small riffle in the water. I knew this was a great spot, and I caught a beautiful rainbow trout. It was by far the largest fish I had caught to date.
I was overjoyed with the morning's surprise, and during my celebratory picture snapping, I received a message from the house saying everyone else was ready to join me on the water and catch something just as nice.
I quickly packed up and headed home to share my success and help everyone find a new place to check out. We chose to head down Highway 133 and try the Crystal River. The first pull off was just inside of the White River National Forest. You can see the exact location on Google Maps.
As soon as we set up chairs and our fly rigs, quite literally on one of his first casts, John caught a small trout! It was his first catch on a fly line, but the tiny trout wiggled off the hook before I could scoop it with the net.
We spent most of the morning hanging out in this spot taking in all of the mountain views and warm, sunny rays. Unfortunately, the sunny rays kept the fish from biting and that first fish was the only one we caught in this spot.
After a while, we grabbed our gear and headed out to spend the afternoon back on the Roaring Fork River. We chose to go to a different spot than where I had been earlier that morning and drove up toward Glenwood Springs.
We arrived at Veltus Park around 3:30 in the afternoon just in time to see hundreds of bugs hatching on the water. Though they were somewhat annoying to those of us not fishing, we didn't let the little bugs get in our way and spent hours casting here.
You can visit Veltus Park's website here!
I had about six or so hooks, but all of them got away. John chose to stand on the other side of the water and didn't have as much luck as I did. We stayed until the bugs died down and the fish stopped biting. It was the most fun day fishing yet, and we got plenty of practice matching our flies to the new surroundings every time we moved.
The next morning, I was able to wake John up early to join me on the water. We scouted out a new spot at the Blue Creek Ranch Open Space. We arrived at the Angler Parking Lot around 7:30 a.m. and were on the water shortly after. You can see the exact location on Google Maps.
We knew we had chosen a good spot, because in later conversations, this exact location kept coming up as a great place to wet a line. We didn't quite have the flies we needed and didn't get any bites. We didn't stay terribly long, because we were ready to find a new place to reunite with our fiends.
We all met back up at the same spot on the Crystal River as the day before. Just as the day before, the spot was unproductive, and even though we could see fish, we could not get them to bite.
Before long, the rest of the group was ready to call it a day, but since this was mine and John's last opportunity to fish for the weekend, we stayed on the water and drove up to a new spot.
Just a few miles up the river, we found a calm spot with a few large boulders at the mouth of a waterfall. We decided this was a perfect spot to toss, and we were correct. In the few hours we fished here, I caught two fish and John had a few bites! The spot was fairly secluded and had even better views than the previous spot. We were so happy we stuck it out and found this honey hole.
If you want to see roughly where we fished, you can find the nearest Google Maps location here!
Once some clouds rolled in, we had to call it a day and make the long journey back home to Denver. We went back by our friend's house to say goodbye. Overall, it was a tremendously successful weekend for a couple of beginner fly fishers!
Talkin' 'bout Tacos:
I'm Taylor, aka Tacos! I am sharing my journeys and experiences from across the world hoping to inspire travel and adventure in all who read!