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Hey guys, I've never fly fished in my life. However, I grew up fishing for bass, catfish and still do today. But, I'm in the process of buying fly fishing equipment.

I've bought a Redington Crosswater set up and I'm in the process of buying all the other "stuff" that I'll need.

Every year I make a trip to the area north of Granite and south of Leadville to camp out, hike, sightsee and whatever. Love that area.

As I drive out to Salida on Hwy. 50 and then up past Buena Vista on hwy. 24 and further north, I always see people fly fishing and so I've decided to give it a go.

My questions are: How does a guy know if he is trespassing when he pulls off to the side of the Hwy. to walk to the river? I know there are designated trout waters like the stretch just north of Balltown (near twin lakes) going into Hayden Ranch area then up to the bridge south of Leadville. Is it legal to just pull over, where there is room and just walk to the river? I guess I haven't paid real close attention, are there designated parking places?

Also, I'm not really flush with cash, but I may have to hire a guide for a day...there goes $3-400 bucks. :( Would you recommend a guide or would I survive without one?

In all the years of visiting Colorado I've always considered myself a visitor (since I'm from sw Kansas) and I respect the beautiful outdoors of Colorado. I know there are people who don't like out-of-state fishermen so I'm always careful to follow every rule and regulation and tread lightly when visiting.

Thanks in advance for your help.
 

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Leaving giant Crappies, Walleyes, Bass, and Wipers to flail a rivulet for minnow slimers?

You gotta be high-
 

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I don't know about the private stuff, but if you think it's suspect, it's best to find someone around that may know.

Regarding a guide, if it were me, I'd ask around for a fishing partner for a day. You can learn a lot from someone that already knows how to fish. You'll likely have better success getting someone to fish with you and show you a few things if YOU invite THEM to fish with you at your destination of choice. Meaning, most people are willing to help, if they don't perceive you wanting to leech off of their spots.

Good luck, tight lines.
 

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Practice lawn casting first with your new fly rod. Watch some videos on youtube about fishing the Arkansas. Learn how to set up a nymph rig (videos on youtube about this too). The upper Arkanasas is really not that technical IMHO. Get some bead head pheasant tails and stonefly nymphs and have at it. Pocket water is your friend. Tight lines!!
 

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Hamburger Mary's on Wednesday night has a fly fisherman meetup. Perhaps you can learn from the pros who frequent and exchange tips.
 

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Maps are a good place to start. There are Colorado Fishing books with info on public access points. There are parking areas in public access areas. I believe all of Browns Canyon is public.
 

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Most of the private stuff is signed. There will be signs saying when you enter or exit private and public stretches. Lots of designated pulloffs where there is a fee, and often an outhouse. There are some free public pulloffs.

Here is a good guide/shop with lots of info on their site. Throw'em some business while you are in the area.

http://www.arkanglers.com/
 

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Hamburger Mary's on Wednesday night has a fly fisherman meetup. Perhaps you can learn from the pros who frequent and exchange tips.
You have to forgive Dave his fly of choice is obviously a meat whistle...
 

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I don't know about the private stuff, but if you think it's suspect, it's best to find someone around that may know.

Regarding a guide, if it were me, I'd ask around for a fishing partner for a day. You can learn a lot from someone that already knows how to fish. You'll likely have better success getting someone to fish with you and show you a few things if YOU invite THEM to fish with you at your destination of choice. Meaning, most people are willing to help, if they don't perceive you wanting to leech off of their spots.

Good luck, tight lines.
i made a post about what i tried at rampart etc and made a few report posts. then i lucked into having a laker dude take me in under his wing. i caught an 12 pounder laker on my first trip with him. Cant really even count all the hogs i caught with him. folks also like a little extra beer in the cooler or nugs in the jar depending on what floats their boat... or some juicy steaks for lunch or a bit of both etc... we also out fished a guide a time or two in said friends boat. it was pretty funny having a pro guide and their clients that everyone fluffs over on the other site watch us reel em in. even after they tried to fish in the middle of our troll!!! which made us lunk up cuz we had to veer around them straight into the fish.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I really appreciate all the help and suggestions. I was planning on stopping at ArkAnglers in Buena Vista since I've driven by them quite often in the past.

I'll also check out Browns canyon, my older bro who fly fishes in the Sierra Nevadas mentioned it to me also.

I'm sure I'll have a lot of other questions as I start this...so I'll be around.

Thanks again.
 

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You have to forgive Dave his fly of choice is obviously a meat whistle...
It's a long black wooly bugger, get it right.

I'm just trying to help the guy out by introducing him to the legit fly guys. I know the Denver fly fishing community also meets at Charlie's on colfax on Friday nights to discuss nymphing and wet flies.
 

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You'll learn more from a day with a guide than what you could on your own in a whole season, IF you tell him that your goal is to learn rather than just hook fish. There is a great map out there that shows property boundaries fairly well along the Ark. I forget the name, but they print similar maps for a bunch of different rivers in the state, most shops carry them.
 

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There's a lot of water North of BV that is public. Just watch out for the No Trespassing signs, they're usually pretty well placed.

Grab a few #16 Elk Hair Caddis and some floatant and work your way up the banks... It's a LOT of fun through there.
 

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You'll learn more from a day with a guide than what you could on your own in a whole season, IF you tell him that your goal is to learn rather than just hook fish. There is a great map out there that shows property boundaries fairly well along the Ark. I forget the name, but they print similar maps for a bunch of different rivers in the state, most shops carry them.
X2 ... wish I had when I first started but was too tight to spend what seemed to be a huge amount of money, therefore decided that I would teach myself, but the problem was in doing so, I chose a bad teacher.

In actual fact hiring a guide could be viewed as an investment rather than an expense that is ultimately going to save you money in the long run, if you calculate what you will spend on transport, accommodation etc. in futile attempts to develop the techniques required plus the loss of confidence.

My first time out with a guide the conditions were far from ideal so instructed him that altho it would be nice to do so, the prime objective
was to learn the required techniques & as it happens did not hookup but by the end of the session had semi mastered the essentials.

This really paid off inasmuch from thereon I began catching on almost every day spent fishing at an ever increasing rate as my technique became more refined with practice.

Would imagine there would be many forum members who could relate similar experiences.
 
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