Get Hooked on Guided Fishing

Whether you’re wading the Blue River fly fishing or casting off a charter boat on Lake Dillon, Summit County’s guides will have you loving the experience as much as they do.

River Runs Through It: Mitch Melichar, Cutthroat Anglers

Mitch Melichar from Cutthroat Anglers grew up in Minneapolis watching spin fishermen in the morning, fly fishermen in the late morning and late afternoon, and the spin fishermen catching again in the evening. “The short version about why I initially used both spin and fly gear is that I wanted to catch fish all day, but fly fishing dominated my world fairly quickly,” he says.

Melichar and his brother moved to Summit County in the early 80s and took jobs as ski instructors and bus drivers to make ends meet. Eventually, Melichar found himself back on the water. After a few years with another guiding operation in the county, Melichar joined Cutthroat Anglers in Silverthorne as a fly fishing guide; he’s now been there 20 years and is the Director of Operations.

Cutthroat Anglers operates out of an 1,800-square-foot fly shop and apparel shop, with the Blue River roughly 50 yards out the front door.

While he says that fishing the Blue River right in town is kind of “urban mountain” – where you can catch a beautiful trout and then go buy a pair of Nikes from the outlet store – knowing where to go pays off. “You start to get into more of what people would call the true Colorado experience,” he says. “When you move north on the Blue River, for instance, you’re out in wooded valleys and meadows. I actually think, if it’s not the most beautiful stretch of river in Colorado to fly fish, it’s got to be right up there.”

Melichar and his fellow Cutthroat Anglers guides take clients on the Blue River and to the Colorado River, both easily accessible from the Silverthorne/Dillon area. (They also fish the Arkansas, and do float trips on both the Colorado and Arkansas.) A guided fly-fishing experience with Cutthroat Anglers includes gear rental, instruction and either a half- or full-day of fishing on either river. “There’s world-class fishing off Exit 205,” he says, calling it a peaceful escape.

“It’s extraordinary,” he says. “You get on the river, and you’re not even sure where you are until you walk back out and see the town again. You’re like, ‘Man, that just was all gone, for hours.’” – Lisa Jhung