I've been fortunate to have had the past 10 days off of work.
Originally, it was to be spent exhausting myself hunting elk in the high country.
Lo and behold, I came down with the flu and my body simply wouldn't agree with the physical exertion needed to hunt elk successfully.
What's a person to do?
The answer was simple - go fishing.
I could be sick and stay at home sulking or I could be sick and go catch some fish.
Thankfully, fly fishing is one of those hobbies that does not have to be physically demanding.
As the old adage goes, when given lemons, make lemonade.
While cruising up the Fryingpan River last week, I quickly took notice of the many pumpkins that are mysteriously placed along the river for the entire 14-mile stretch of road from Basalt up to Ruedi Reservoir.
It's something of a tradition for many unspoken individuals to place pumpkins along this stretch of river. I love it. What a cool, local tradition.
Dry fly anglers, in particular, will want to take advantage of the season's last mayfly hatches along the Fryingpan. Blue-wing olives and midges are the primary hatches.
Given the low and clear water, it's a very visual game.
I encourage anglers to stay away from the upper two to four miles of river below the dam, as the middle and lower stretches of river are, by far and away, better for fishing.
The Roaring Fork River offers the best fishing in the valley right now, and, in particular, the river from Aspen to Basalt.
Egg patterns are the name of the game and have accounted for the vast majority of fish being caught.
Both traditional and peg egg varieties are fishing well.
Focus on the deeper sections of water and bypass the spawning trout that are on their redds (spawning beds) in the shallows.
Midges and BWO nymphs are the best flies to trail behind your egg patterns.
Keep in mind that with the time change and the cooling weather, there's no need to be on the water at the crack of dawn.
The prime fishing has been taking place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
With an extreme lack of fishing pressure, truly sensational fishing, and remarkably beautiful weather, there's no excuse not to go ... even if you're sick.
- This report is provided every week by Taylor Creek Fly Shops in Aspen and Basalt. Taylor Creek can be reached at (970) 927-4374 or taylorcreek.com.