As dusk descends on the Crystal River Valley, the subtle alpenglow on the surrounding peaks turns an evening fishing trip into a magical setting. As I make my way from the marble steps of historic Redstone Castle down towards the banks of the river, I am overcome by a sense of complete calm.
This valley has that effect on most, and tonight I feel grateful to be unplugged from the stresses of the day and surrounded by nature at its best. I am greeted by DJ, the longtime local owner and operator of Crystal Fly Shop out of Redstone, who also happens to be our dedicated Redstone Castle fly-fishing guide, available to all our guests for fly fishing instruction and excursions.
Waders in hand, he smiles and remarks on how the perfect conditions for a dry fly are sure to yield excellent results. The air is cool and the water is moving swiftly yet crystal clear. As I make my way upstream, the current pushing against my legs, I toss my first cast toward a small eddy pool about 10 yards out.
The fly lands softly on the water, attracting no attention, and floats quickly by me. As I pull the line back through my fingers, I begin what DJ describes as a sidearm motion, back and forth, ten-and-two. He reminds me not to allow the fly to touch the water as I let out the line. Prior to release, the purpose of this cast is simply to tease the fish — rainbow trout, brown trout, and whitefish.
By allowing the fly to barely skim the surface, I can attract just the right amount of attention to keep the fish entertained. Once the line has extended far enough, I release the fly to the water and wait. Patiently. This dance with the rod between the water and the fish continues as I move upstream looking for the perfect, slow-moving swell of the river.
At last, a bite. The rod pulls ever so slightly up and away from me as an overly enthusiastic sound escapes my mouth. The trout is beautiful. Deep yellow, dotted black, with a bright red belly. It’s a small cutthroat trout, about nine inches in length and no more than a pound. I gently removed the midge fly from its mouth and release it back to the river.
As it moves across my hands and swims away, I’m as hooked as that trout just was. This sport is sure to become a favorite and lasting pastime, complete with endless new stretches of our beautiful river to escape to and enjoy.
Stay at Redstone Castle
Private river access at The Redstone Castle is just one of the unique amenities afforded to guests who stay with us. Whether you identify as a novice angler, accomplished expert, or somewhere in between, the waters of the Crystal River are sure to keep you entertained. We look forward to customizing a fly-fishing experience exclusively for you. If you’re interested in fishing Colorado’s Gold Medal waters, contact Redstone Castle today.