By Caitlin Switzer
RIDGWAY-Yes, they are known as a destination shop for seasonal fly fishing enthusiasts in Western Colorado. But after more than a decade of helping locals and visitors live their seasonal outdoor dreams, Ridgway’s RIGS Adventure Company embodies the town’s brand, “Think Outside,” all year-round.
“We have been investing in more inventory, and more vendors,” RIGS owner Tim Patterson said. “We are proactively building our winter presence, and increasing our commitment to retail. This winter we went full bore, with lots of product in our shop year-round, and guided photo tours.
“We are expanding on what we do, and we are doing it better,” Patterson said.
Shutterbugs can now participate in half and full-Day guided photo tours in the Cimarron High Alpine River Region, Uncompahgre National Forest, Black Canyon National Park or the towns of Ridgway, Ouray and Silverton, the company’s web site notes. And for those who like it hot, RIGS Adventure Co has added hosted destination trips to Mexico.
Can’t wait to get your feet wet? Fly fishing season kicks off a little early this year.
“We are definitely getting off to an early start, due to weather conditions,” Patterson said. “We have a deep selection of apparel, boots and waders—we are the top pick in the area when it comes to guided fly fishing tours.
“A lot of people are fishing–and with Montrose’s new whitewater park drawing more attention to our regional assets, we are very excited about 2015,” Patterson said. “We have really grown, and we have a lot of access on the San Miguel, Gunnison and Uncompahgre rivers. We also offer guided float trips, and fishing from drift boats on the lower Gunnison has become increasingly popular in the last couple of years.”
Some of the most explosive growth has been in the stand-up paddle board sector, however, Patterson said.
“We are a service-based company,” he said. “We rent and retail stand-up paddle boards—our biggest increase over the past two years has been in this area. The boards are super fun and accessible, very stable and friendly. You can rent one, and go out on your own—these boards are designed for everyone; they are for the whole family, including kids.”
Those who want to purchase a paddle board of their own can find the Imagine line of paddle boards at RIGS.
“These offer great exercise, and they are easy to do,” Patterson said. “You just crawl on, and stand up. People can take them out on Ridgway Reservoir, and some even take them out on the rivers—it’s a very fast-growing sport—really hot.”
According to statistics compiled by the American Canoe Association, mountain states such as Colorado have the second highest percentage by U.S. Census region (0.8 percent) when it comes to participation in stand up paddle boarding, after the Pacific Coast states.
Learn more about adventure opportunities in your own backyard by calling 888-626-4460, or visit the RIGS Adventure Co web site at http://fishrigs.com/.