On the Fly column: Tilt the odds in your favor
Be not afraid out there, fellow fly-fishers.
Rising rivers offer unique challenges to the angler as well as the trout, but you can take advantage of the conditions and turn them to your favor. There will be days you have to choose your battles out there, but these conditions can make the fish even more predictable when it comes to where they hang out and what they choose to eat. Just because the water is swift and increasingly dirty doesn’t mean that the fish will be on hunger strike until July. While most anglers are focused on the Fryingpan and other tail waters during runoff, you can enjoy vast swaths of the Roaring Fork in relative solitude in the coming month.
When the water is fast and visibility becomes an issue, this pushes most fish right to the edges of the river. Now you should be casting into the spots you would normally be standing in. This is the time for heavier tippets and bigger, eye-catching attractor dry flies, nymphs and streamers, too. It’s all about the caddis and stoneflies right now, which usually take their cues to hatch from the ever-increasing volume of water and brighter, hotter sun.
Having more than one rod rigged and ready to fish will increase your catch rate also. The fish can switch back and forth between subsurface and top water feeding at a moment’s notice, and having one rod rigged with dries and another with nymphs (or streamers) will save you rigging time and make you a more effective angler. This is ultimately a more economical way to change back and forth without wasting big chunks of expensive fluorocarbon tippets or chopping your brand new tapered leader in half.
Determining where the fish are in the river can be a challenge in itself, but during runoff the predictability factor tilts in your favor. Fish want to relax in “softer” water while being on the edges of the current, which enables them to lean out or come up to snatch a tasty morsel once in a while before it whizzes by. Just give them what they want, where they want it, and you will reap the benefits through high water season.
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.
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