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Subscriber Jim Aylsworth has noth¬ing but good things to say about his recent float trip on the Colorado River with Vail Valley Anglers (www.vailval¬ in Edwards, Colorado. He writes:
“In early July I spent the entire day float fishing the Colorado River with Vail Valley Anglers. Due to regulations about private property in Colorado, floating was our only option. You can’t anchor or walk/wade the river. We floated about 12 miles in all, putting in at the public access called Two Bridges near Bond and State bridges on High¬way 131. Our catch for the day totaled 38, and that included both rainbow and brown trout. Most of the fish were over 14 inches and two were over 20 inches.
“I fished exclusively with my Or¬vis Helios 6 wt. rod, equipped with a floating line, casting a #12 grasshopper pattern from the bow of the boat. At the half-way point, we switched over to a size #14 dry stonefly imitation with a yellow body. All 36 trout were caught on the surface with large flies! The trick was to be a ‘bank robber’—you had to cast and get a drift within inches of the bank because that is where most of the trout were holed up in undercuts. If I cast more than six inches from the bank, the chance of catching a trout went down significantly. All I had to do, though, was pick up, cast right next to the grass, and WHAM! A big trout would swallow the fly with reckless abandon, the way a bass would take a popper.
“The day we fished, the weather was perfect. It began in the upper 40s and ended in the mid 70s. The sky was partly cloudy and there was a light wind. In the afternoon there were a few gusts of wind, but they all died down quickly. The water was a little high, which is a good thing on this part of the Colorado because it meant the water was the right temperature—that is, be¬tween about 58 and 62 degrees). I was told that later in the year, after runoff, the water often gets too warm because less cold water is released then from the lakes that feed the Colorado.
“The quality of my guide, Alvin Dedeaux, was what made my trip great. He was one of the best guides I have fished with in my life, and I am a 60-year-old world-traveling fly fisher¬man. Be sure to ask for Alvin if you make arrangements to fish with this outfitter. He is a joy to fish with, and he and I connected on several levels. I don’t know how to prove one guide is better than another, but the other boat in our party caught fewer than half the fish I caught with Alvin. He is truly first class.

Postscript: Jim gives the cost of his day of guided fishing as $500, not includ¬ing tip.

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