On the Fly: Seeking solitude and connecting with nature
To most of us, fly fishing is far more than just trying to catch fish, but rather seeking solitude and connecting with nature. With the spring-like temperatures we have been enjoying, it seems like summer is just around the corner.
During busy months on our local rivers, I head for higher ground instead of fishing shoulder to shoulder.
Independence Pass is a doorway to some truly special water. The pass begins in Aspen on Highway 82, and climbs to just over 12,000 feet. The drive alone is absolutely spectacular, with incredible overlooks and aspen groves that go for miles.
It is home to many high alpine lakes in the sky, countless creeks full of waterfalls, with pools that will make your mouth water. A box of terrestrials, a few streamers, and a full bottle of water is the recipe for success on the pass.
My love for fly fishing all began in the high country. It gave me the feeling that I had just stepped into a painting, in complete awe that trout can live in the most beautiful environments. Not only are your surroundings exquisite, but so are the trout.
You will find brooks, rainbows, browns, and cutthroats that are dressed to impress. No need for 7x and #22 midges here. Hoppers, ants, beetles, stimulators, and your classic bugger will get the job done.
Some of the lakes in the region require some hiking that can be strenuous at times, but as the backcountry skier always says, “earn your turns.”
High country fishing isn’t on the menu yet, but I’ll be ready when the time comes. I hope you find your own little slice of heaven up Independence Pass this summer.
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