In The Field: Plan the perfect Colorado fly-fishing vacation on ‘Summit time’

One should never complain about having too many choices of what to do on a July day in Summit County. Climb out of bed early and walk to the window, pull open the blinds, and somewhere out there are hundreds of miles of trails to hike, rivers to fish, lakes to explore and mountains to climb.

This should be the easiest decision of the day. Pick up that rod tube and a box of flies, and then step out the door. The work comes once an angler is on the water, but everything that comes before is worth appreciating as well.

Slower in Summit

“Summit time” is different than normal time: slower, more visceral somehow, each moment to be appreciated. The sun and the trout have a singular relationship so high in elevation. It is a relationship quite opposite from the streams of the lowlands, where fishing is best in the mornings and evenings. The hot afternoons there are meant for naps along the river’s edge, perhaps with a book over the face to cover the eyes.

Here, the temperatures of the rivers must be noted. It can take time for these rivers to warm, for the fish to turn on and feed. It depends on myriad variables and the fly shops know these specific variables best.

Luckily, there is one shop in every direction when leaving the county. Just remember that guided trips are going out from the moment they open their doors at 5 a.m. or 6 a.m., so even though it may seem unlikely, the shop has been busy since you were still dreaming of trout.

Main Street feed

A good breakfast serves all anglers well. Again, in any direction, folks will find a hearty plate of huevos rancheros and a fine cup of coffee: Bread and Salt on Main Street in Frisco if heading West, Columbine Café in Breckenridge if heading south, The Mountain Lion Café in Silverthorne if going north. The service is fast at all three and each is a two-minute walk from a fly shop. After picking a well-informed brain in a fly shop, buying a few flies is customary in exchange for information. It also…

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