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Katie Shapiro Takes On Whiskey Fly Fishing In Aspen

[Photos courtesy of Katie Shapiro & The Little Nell]

The height of the season that is Fourth of July weekend might be over (thank god), but there's still a whole 73 days left to experience a summer mountain adventure?or five. The Little Nell in Aspen might be known for its luxurious digs and over the top service, but their in-house Adventure Shop caters to thrill-seeking guests who don't mind getting a little down and dirty. They introduced the Aspen Adrenaline Package this summer, which a five-day frenzy of fly fishing, mountain biking, paragliding, rock climbing, rappelling, whitewater rafting and hiking. Whoa.

Also, new to the program is the Whiskey Fly Experience, a perfect guys day out or father/daughter date (which I personally did around Father's Day). Here's what's on the agenda of what will probably classify as one of your best days ever:

• Meet with your personal and professional fly fishing guide in the Adventure Shop to gear up. Don't forget your own hat, long-sleeved shirt and sunscreen.
• Hop in the truck and head downvalley to Basalt, which is about a 30-minute drive. Ask your guide to stop at local favorite BLT to grab sandwiches to munch on while he gets the boat in the water.


• Float down the Roaring Fork River for a few hours casting flies and catching Colorado rainbow trout (fingers crossed).



• Arrive at Woody Creek Distillers (also in Basalt) for a tour and tasting of reserve vodka sourced from its own homegrown alpine potatoes. Opened just last year (which is why their whiskey isn't quite ready), Woody Creek Distillers is the first and only craft distillery in the country with total control from seed to sip. The state-of-the-art operation is immaculate and impressive with vodka so smooth, you'll be happy your guide is driving the truck back to Aspen.



• Regroup for an hour or two before a private Colorado Whiskey Dinner at the hotel's new restaurant element 47. Ask for a spot on the patio where you'll sip local spirits by Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey, Peach Street Distillers and Leopold Bros. Each of Master Sommelier Sabato Sagaria's specialty cocktails were perfectly paired with the three-course menu from Executive Chef Robert McCormick: foie gras with pineapple and coconut; Colorado lamb loin with sweet breads and mint; and French toast with grilled peaches and maple ice cream.

Beginners beware: fly fishing from a boat is the floating equivalent to a double black diamond. So before you head out on the river, take advantage of their complimentary casting lessons offered at the Adventure Shop (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 4-6 p.m.). Beer and appetizers included?of course.

Package for two: $595; 970.920.4600; www.thelittlenell.com