The Yampa Valley is a little cooler this morning than we’ve experienced over the last week. This is great news for our precious snow. Groomers are skiing oh so fast, and it’s forecast we’ll received a couple inches of snow today. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the groomers this morning, both on the top and lower halves of the mountain.

For those who know me well, I am an over-the-top adventure enthusiast. Why only do one adventure/activity each day when you can do two, or three, or five? I’d like to introduce you to one of my favorite springtime adventure-packed days: Ski in the morning. Catch fish in the afternoon!

The other day, I had a great adventure day. I hit the mountain at 9 a.m., skied till noon, grabbed a bite to eat and a cup of coffee, and was on the river by 1 p.m.

Sure looks fishy to me

The snow has just melted off the river in the last couple of weeks. This is that magical time of year for fishing: The water is cold, fish are active, and the temps are barely staying cold enough to not make the river a full-blown runoff with banks overflowing. This short window to fish in town only lasts a couple of weeks before the river is blown out and unfishable due to too much snowmelt in too short a time.

Crystal clear water off Mt. Werner exit

The sun felt amazing on my face. It made me daydream of summertime, when I mountain bike in the morning followed by tubing down the Yampa in the afternoon. Today, I worked a couple sections of the river ranging from off the Mt. Werner exit to downtown. All I wanted to do was catch just one fish, one fish is all I ask for!

Here fishy, fishy!
Icebergs on the mighty Yampa River

I started to run out of time as I had some late afternoon meetings I needed to get going to. I decided to abandon the bugs the fly shops in town recommended (small and black, RS2s, etc.) and go with my staple red San Juan worm as my bottom fly. BOOM, first cast, hooked a little rainbow.

First fish of 2018 for me and certainly not the last!

My day was now officially complete: Ski in the morning. Fish in the afternoon.


Life is good,

Byron Carney, Alpine skier

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