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Glenwood Springs named No. 1 town

John GardnerGlenwood Springs CorrespondentVail, CO Colorado
Kara K. Pearson/Post IndepepdentBart Brundage, of Parker, tracks his cast while flyfishing the Roaring Fork River in Glenwood Springs in 2005.
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GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado Brad Ray loves fishing the waters of the Roaring Fork River. But, he didnt realize the gift hed given himself when he moved to Glenwood Springs three-and-a-half years ago.You have to understand, I grew up in Ohio where fishing is on a boat for bass, he explained. I happened to move to a town where fly fishing is great. So, I needed to learn.Ray moved here to take the position as the principal of Glenwood Springs Middle School, the great fishing was just a nice perk. According to the February issue of Field & Stream magazine, which hits newsstands Wednesday, Glenwood Springs is ranked No. 1 on the nationwide list of top 20 towns to live in for fishing.

Thats right, No. 1. And that ranking didnt shock Roaring Fork Anglers manager Drew Reid. It didnt really surprise me, Reid said. Its a great centralized location with five rivers within half-an-hour of town.Reid has lived and fished the waters in and around Glenwood Springs since 1986. Rays time has been a little shorter but he agreed with Reid that Glenwood is a unique spot for world class fishing. I didnt realize what I was getting into, Ray said. There are so many different opportunities that makes Glenwood so great for fishing.Field & Stream polled some of the nations top angling professionals to determine the list, composed of towns with populations of 100,000 or less. Field & Steam editors ranked towns by availability of year-round fishing opportunities, cost of living, fishing culture and outdoor related economy, quality of life and diversions other than fishing. The magazine consulted multiple outdoor writers and editors as well as professional anglers and fishing guides for the list.These are the best places to live if you live to fish, said Anthony Licata, editor of Field & Stream. If youre dreaming of life in an affordable, smaller town with an authentic fishing community and great quality of life, then pack your bags because these 20 are hands down the top options.The word affordable was good bait for a laugh from Ray. But, he said that fishing the waters in town is affordable to him because he already lives here.Its not as expensive as a fishing trip to somewhere else, Ray said. Thats the nice part about living here. I can leave in the morning, go fishing for the day and still make it home for dinner.Last year, the magazine profiled the top fishing cities in America, according to Licata. But this year they wanted to see about smaller sized options.Not everyone is looking for the urban life, Licata said. This list is a great counterpoint to that. In the end, we were happy to discover exactly what we thought all along, that America is really brimming with great fishing opportunities and a thriving angling culture.So, the secret is out. And now everyone knows why the locals revere the waters running through and near Glenwood: The fishing rocks.I could go somewhere else to fish, Ray said. But, Ive got the best water around me that anyone could ask for. Why would I go anywhere else?


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