Enjoying a frustrating day on the river | PostIndependent.com

Enjoying a frustrating day on the river

A pink pale morning dun adult from the Fryingpan River
Scott Spooner |

I’ve never had a better time in my life getting frustrated. The hatch up the Fryingpan this week is nothing short of amazing, especially if you are all about dissecting complex dry fly hatches. The kicker right now is that there are six different insects coming off, all at once, all in the same places. The Pan is offering up coinciding green drake, pale morning dun, blue wing olive, seratella, midge and caddis hatches (as well as improving streamer fishing) these days, which makes for some head-scratching on the part of the angler. You can either accept it or get ticked off, your choice.

While poking around in the river yesterday, every one of the aforementioned insects were in the air or on the water. I like big flies, so of course the first thing to go on the end of the leader was a size -12 green drake sparkle dun. No love. Not even a refusal after close inspection. A pink pale morning dun was offered next, with the same result. After plying the water with Roy Palm’s Seratella and my favorite blue wing olive dries, I was on the verge of getting upset.

I figured things out after much trial and especially error. On this particular day, these fish were eating specific insects, changing their minds, and changing them back again. Some days you have to wear a few different hats when you are fly fisher, be it scientist, therapist or entomologist. Observation skills are paramount during these complex hatch days, and you simply have to roll with the haymakers the trout and river might throw at you.

Personally, the periodic toughness of this sport is what keeps me addicted. Whether you are 9 or 90, you will always learn something new on the water if you watch and learn. I think I would have gotten bored with all this stuff years ago if this weren’t the case. On those days when you don’t know whether to laugh or cry, choose laughter.

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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