Trout Season - Roaring Fork Valley

Sage January 30, 2020

This summer we took our ’85 VW Vanagon on a bit of a journey through the Rocky Mountain West. Between Montana, Idaho, and Colorado, we added a few thousand miles to the speedometer, replaced a few crucial parts, tilted *slightly* off axis, and even hosted a rodent companion for a night (sorry Andrew). In its most honest definition, we truly embraced the trout bum lifestyle. From fast-paced high mountain streams in Colorado, to the majestic Madison River in Montana, we got a taste of some of the finest trout fishing in the west. While the fishing was, well, incredible, it’s the people and communities whom we shared these experiences that made it not only possible, but unforgettable.


After a solid couple of days with Russ, we made our way over to the Roaring Fork Valley to Taylor Creek Fly Shop to meet up with our friends Matt Ippoliti and Shannon Outing. With a couple of ice cold beverages in us at the Tipsy Trout, conveniently just next door to the shop, we decided a sporty float on the Upper Roaring Fork was in order the next day. We enjoyed a good night's sleep camping just above the takeout ramp, and got the boat in the water in short order.

Shannon Outing, Photographer and guide for Taylor Creek Fly Shop.

Matt Ippoliti, Sage Elite Pro, nomadic guide, and multi-rig towing professional.

Shannon Outing, Photographer and guide for Taylor Creek Fly Shop.



Streamers were the name of the game, and thankfully Matt came prepared with a fine selection.

Matt clearly has is streamer game dialed in tight. What's also evident with a simple glance into Matt's boat bag is the nomadic lifestyle he takes on with his guiding career. You may have read in a previous blog post that Matt splits his time each year between Colorado, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and New York, and looking at each fly box with labels like "West Branch Hendrickson's", you know the guy gets around. Anyways, the water was clear and we started by experimenting with different fly sizes, colors, and flash. Oddly enough, they seemed to like big and flashy because it didn't take long before the rods were bent.



Casting big streamers all day can really take it out of you. Thankfully, the PAYLOAD's easy-loading blank allows us to enjoyably work big flies on the bank all day without issue; the 689-4 was the perfect tool for the job.


With Matt at the helm, Shannon and Alex got into a serious groove by the middle of the day. It was almost comical watching fish come out for such distinctly large flies, particularly after Shannon's "Drunk & Disorderly." Once you fish one, the name makes perfect sense. That, combined with the speedy nature of this particular float, made those moments of action particularly entertaining. Nevertheless, we continued to find fish throughout the day, never even touching the TROUT LL we had rigged for dries; and that's OK.




Ending the day at Taylor Creek Fly Shop is always a treat after a fun day on the water. A good burger and ice cold beer sits right next door at the Tipsy Trout, and a good number of the guide crew like to hang out and swap stories. It's a great community, and THE place to be in Basalt, CO. Thanks for following along, stay tuned for the next and final recap of our Trout Season 2019 where we switch gears and head north towards Rocky Mountain National Park.