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Minimalist Fishing

Need to get away close to home? Stand-up paddleboard angling is quiet, easier than you think, and compliant with social distancing. 

It’s surprisingly easy to snap a selfie  while casting a line from a SUP. But for old pros, SUP fishing offers practical advantages, including silent trolling and swift access to otherwise unreachable stretches of trout-filled water. Curious? Minturn Anglers (—which operates shops in Minturn and Lone Tree—delivers private, custom-tailored SUP fishing trips, though guide manager Tyler Banker recommends newbies test their balance on flatwater first. Consistent with Governor Polis’s latest safer-at-home orders, Front Rangers can launch paddleboards at their local reservoirs. 

Experienced SUPers looking to cast a line sans guide can rent fishing equipment from Minturn Anglers and Eagle County customers at the shop and get access to Minturn Anglers’ private ranch, Sweetwater. Denverites going solo should head to the Aurora and Quincy reservoirs, where gas motors are prohibited—but the Cherry Creek and Chatfield reservoirs are solid options, too. Jefferson County residents stationed near Pine can visit Banker’s favorite fishing hole, Wellington Lake. SUP fishing enthusiast and guide Ken Hoeve says the Eagle River also has plenty of beginner-friendly segments—just make sure you’re prepared with a PFD and some general knowledge of what’s downstream.

Cover Photo: SUP athlete Ken Hoeve and his dog, Chip, land a large trout on the Eagle River in Gypsum, Colorado. Hoeve relies on his board to access otherwise difficult-to-reach water. Photo by Scott Cramer.

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