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Steamboat Magazine

Local Knowledge: Jarett Duty

07/25/2016 11:13AM ● By Dan Greeson

Jarett Duty and his son Alan fish the Upper Yampa River by the town of Yampa. Photo courtesy of the Duty family.

Public fishing access is abundant in Steamboat Springs; can you recommend any private waters and tell us how to get access to them? 

Unless you rolled into the valley in a wagon or married someone who did, your best bet is to hire a guide at one of our local fly shops. All three shops have access to different properties in the valley that are unique and fish better at various times of the year. 

Can you advise on local etiquette for fishermen/women? 

There are basic rules fly fishermen should follow, particularly when the rivers get busy during summer. Know the laws and respect property rights – no trespassing. Fishermen working upstream have the right of way. Keep distance between you and your neighbor. If someone is fishing a hole you want to fish, simply peel off and wait until they are done. Lastly, give the fish a break. If the water is too warm, fish another day or go somewhere else where you will not endanger the fish. 

What should you wear when fishing in summer? 

Whatever is comfortable. Like suits and ties have yielded to casual Friday in the workplace, waders and fly vests have given way to shorts, T-shirts and lanyards on our rivers. Two staples are sunglasses for eye protection and a ball cap for sun relief. 

What can you expect from a float trip? 

As my old buddy Johnny St. John says at Hog Island Boat Works right here in Steamboat... “Float And Be Happy!” Float fishing is not only an effective way to fish our bigger rivers (the Colorado and Lower Yampa), it is also an incredible way to see some of the prettiest parts of the state. Float fishing is better suited to an intermediate/advanced angler, but if you have good tunes pumping and a cooler of your favorite suds, anyone can enjoy it. 

Any summer staples in your fly box? 

I love early summer fishing with big stone flies, giving way to our best early downtown hatch of yellow sallies and PMDs. Soon after it becomes caddis, and then hoppers. Late summer – tricos and foam body terrestrials. Streamers always seem to be an effective way to fish the Yampa.