Second homebuyers lured by fly fishing paradise in Steamboat Springs
- Alpine Mountain Ranch & Club is a 1,216-acre land preservation community with 63 five-acre homesites and 900 acres dedicated to wildlife preserve and open space.
- It also features a lake stocked with trout, perfect for people to learn or hone the artful skill of fly-casting.
- Other amenities include an owners’ lodge, guest cabin, concierge services, equestrian facilities, a private backcountry retreat, and five miles of trails.
- Steamboat Ski Resort borders the Ranch, which offers exclusive membership opportunities at the slope-side Alpine Mountain Summit Club.
While netting a fish in Steamboat Springs can’t necessarily be guaranteed, it would be difficult not to in this alpine angling paradise.
It’s a place where a river – the Yampa – literally runs right through it. Add in the nearby Elk River and numerous mountain lakes, and Steamboat is a bona fide fly fishing hotbed.
Trout-rich water awaits
“The Yampa is a blast to fish,” says Johnny Spillane, owner and guide at Steamboat Flyfisher. “It’s one of the best ‘big-fish’ rivers in Colorado.”
Spillane – a Steamboat native and three-time Olympic silver medalist in Nordic Combined – has more than three decades of experience fishing the area and has been named on of his hometown’s best guide.
He says the Yampa has great bug life along the entire river, which meanders 250 miles throughout northwest Colorado, flowing freely from its source in the Flat Tops Wilderness to the Green River near Utah. That ecosystem, he says, keeps the fish healthy and hearty.
One of the most active tracts of the Yampa Spillane gets to guide sits merely minutes away from Alpine Mountain Ranch & Club (AMRC), which offers homeowners exclusive access to this incredible 1.5-mile stretch of prized fishery.
“It’s productive,” Spillane says simply, and confidently. “We’ve gotten into some big fish there.”
With private access, Alpine Mountain Ranch & Club owners are assured a unique, serene experience on water rarely fished. From the seasoned fly-fisherman to the novice seeking her first trout, this stretch delivers.
“It’s world-class,” says Bob Dapper, AMRC’s director of development. “And you won’t see anyone on this part of the river. It’s basically out the back door. The fish are bigger, and they fight. And that’s fun.”
Homeowners have the choice to hire a guide if needed, but it’s definitely not necessary – especially for the experienced angler.
“I always hear the fishing is good to great,” Dapper says. “It’s rare to hear that a person got skunked. I’ve never heard it, anyway.”
An angling hotbed
The fishing scene in Steamboat is best described as user-friendly and welcoming, Dapper says.
“It’s not intimidating at all,” he says. “You can see people fishing right downtown and all along the river throughout the year. Steamboat’s become a Mecca for fishing in Colorado.”
The Yampa is the main draw, luring in fishermen and women with its trout-rich water, home to sizable rainbows and browns. Cutthroats, brookies and pike can also be caught (and released). Wade fishing is the name of the game here, so be prepared to get your feet wet. Float trips are available, however, for a limited time of the year.
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