From fly fishing to wine tasting, Aspen reveals its sunny side during the warmer months.
Wading up to my waist in Aspen’s Roaring Fork River, the current keeps my core and lower body working. It’s early May and prime fly fishing season, the forerunner to summer when white water rafting takes over as the river’s most popular past-time. Just upstream, my fiancé Mary receives expert tips from our guide, Karl Page, an Aspen guide extraordinaire who leads clients for the Aspen Outfitting Company. I can see her smile under the brilliant sunshine as she lets the mountain Zen of the Rockies and rushing river set in. Karl ably fills the role of our skilled master as he demonstrates the rhythmic motion of casting, using the line to mimic the water’s current. Mary and I follow suit. Similar to the practice of yoga, once the body relaxes, the rewards are revealed. Our trophies come in the form of several 16 to 17-inch brown and rainbow trout. And while they look mighty tasty, we release them and allow them to add a few more inches for next year as they make their way upriver against the current.
Our river adventure starts earlier that day at the offices of the Aspen Outfitting Company. Located in the prestigious St. Regis Hotel, Aspen Outfitting (“AO”) began servicing the mountain town and its visitors over 40 years ago. Founder Jon Hollinger blazed the trail, and now son Jarrod expands and refines it. We set out and within 15-minutes reach our fishing spot — one of the many privately leased properties utilized by AO for decades. The setting is spectacular. Cutting through the mountains, the Roaring Fork River is as picturesque a setting as anyone can escape to, even drawing the likes of celebrity chef Tom Colicchio. (While staying at the St. Regis last June during the wildly popular Aspen FOOD & WINE Classic, Chef Colicchio experienced an excursion with Karl).
Our only complaint about our river adventure with AO is it ends too soon. To amend the situation, Mary and I are already planning next year’s Aspen adventure – AO’s “Cast and Blast.” Offering multiple firearm options, AO can split up your day with 4-hours casting paired with a couple of hours blasting. If you’re more partial to mountain views and Merlot, the company also offers wine-tasting excursions June through August to local wineries and vineyards in the West Elks AVA (American Viticultural Area).
Another major part of the experience here is our three-day stay at Aspen’s St. Regis Hotel. The attention to detail impresses as does the results of last year’s $40 million renovation throughout the property, including guest rooms. In our case, our Junior Suite features two marble bathrooms and French doors that open to spectacular views of Aspen Mountain. We also savor the new Chef’s Club restaurant by FOOD & WINE where top young chefs and menus rotate each season to create delectable, locally sourced cuisine. And should you be lucky enough to be attending this weekend’s FOOD & WINE Classic, you might already know that the event marks summer’s official kick-off in the mountain town. Insiders know it’s actually the most active time in Aspen, when the town hits a high note with everything from mountain biking to the popular jazz fest, Jas Aspen Snowmass.
Couple and editorial partners, Victor and Mary, manage their own site 2Sense-LA.com, providing unabashed reviews, entertaining stories, recipes and videos on all things Los Angeles. Both transplants to LA from the East Coast, Victor and Mary are avid eaters, travelers and outdoor-enthusiasts. As regular contributors to JustLuxe.com they offer their unique perspectives on restaurants, hotels, luxury products, beauty and wellness… they’re always on the search for a new angle to cover or just a plain good time. Follow them on Twitter @Victors2Sense and @Marys2Sense.