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Fly Fishing in Summit County

Published: July 19, 2023

Home to rivers, creeks, ponds and reservoirs, fly fishing in Summit County is the perfect place for any angler.

Anglers new and experienced enjoy the pastime for various reasons. From discovering one’s creative side by tying flies to studying the etymology of flies, fly-fishing appeals to a wide demographic.

Fly fishing in Summit County is peaceful and offers an unmatched intimacy with nature.

“It truly is therapy,” Ben McCormick, owner of Cutthroat Anglers in Silverthorne said in a Summit Daily News article. “In the sense that all your thoughts, worries, stressors in life — they go away when you’re fishing. That’s really all you think about.”

Get started

The best way to start fly fishing in Summit County is to either find a friend who is experienced in the sport or to hire a professional guide.

McCormick added that the benefit of hiring a guide is they know where the fish are and can also serve as an instructor. A guide can teach different ways to cast the line, can retie lines when they get tangled and can help figure out how much tension there should be in the line when fighting to reel in a fish.

“We’re talking to people as we’re booking trips, and we’re starting our day on the water,” West said. “We’ll ask people: What are your goals for the day? What do you want out of your day?”

According to the experts McCormick and Tim West, owner of Breckenridge Outfitters, it is best to start in areas with still water such as a pond, lake or reservoir.

Areas for fly fishing in Summit County perfectly suited for beginner anglers include the Dillion Reservoir, Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center Pond, Officers Gulch Pond and Mohawk Lakes.

Lakes, ponds and reservoirs tend to have less brush and fewer branches near the water’s edge, meaning there is less to get the line tangled in. There can also be more fish per square foot in these areas. Additionally, the fish in still water aren’t as used to anglers, so they can be easier to catch.

Anyone who frequents passing through Silverthorne has noticed anglers enjoying their sport of choice along the Blue River. McCormick says fishing along the Blue is considered territory for advanced anglers.

“Fish that get fished every day are very, very smart,” McCormick said. “Typically, water that has big fish, it’s highly pressured. So try to pick a small lake.”

Something for everyone

Once viewed as a prestigious sport that could feel exclusive and intimidating to beginners, West said that perception is changing in part due to how accessible the sport really is.

“That’s not how it is anymore. We’re trying to break that,” West said. He added that the fastest growing sector in fly-fishing right now is women and children. “We’re trying to make sure that everyone knows that this is so fun.”

Increasing popularity and accessibility also means the sport is attainable within any budget.

“You don’t necessarily need to come in and drop $5,000 getting into a new sport,” West said. “You can get into this sport with a few hundred dollars: a fishing license, a rod, a reel, a couple flies, and some accessories.”

McCormick agreed. He says fly-fishing can be great for all age groups, from children to those in their elder years.

One thing West doesn’t recommend for beginning anglers is learning to fly-fish from YouTube videos. Hiring a guide or going out with a friend is going to get a beginner through the steepest parts of the learning curve faster, he said.

“Do not try to watch a YouTube video and teach yourself,” West said. “It would take us twice as long to unlearn anything you think you learned just so you can learn it correctly.”

Just like it is suggested to not learn how to fly fish from a YouTube video, we suggest the same for your next real estate transaction. The experienced professionals at Real Estate of the Summit are here to guide you!  



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