Hopping around from place to place
On The Fly
Last week I decided to take a long drive on my off day, with the simple goal of fishing one fly in as many different areas as possible.
I pointed the Ford towards Aspen, went up and over Independence Pass, and ultimately ended up near Leadville to start my day on the headwaters of the Arkansas.
My fly of choice was a simple grasshopper pattern of mine, very similar to a Hopper Juan or a Charlie Boy tied small in size 10, and tied it on my leader with a stout 3x tippet.
The first cast on the Arkansas brought a plump little brown trout to the surface, and a few more were brought to the net over the next hour.
I would have stayed a little longer, but my reel and rod butt were conducting electricity from the storm overhead and stinging my wrist on each forward cast — it was time to move on.
I next fished the Arkansas again, closer to Twin Lakes Reservoir, and the fish liked my hopper in that section, too.
I did hang the fly up in some brush near the bank, but was able to retrieve it rather easily and the one-fly contest continued.
Next up was the north fork of Lake Creek, which in many areas is no wider than a few feet.
I had to work a little harder in this creek for a fish, but finally found a few trout looking up in a small beaver dam and an oxbow not too far from the road.
I next plied my wares on the upper Roaring Fork, where this mighty river starts the journey down the valley to its confluence with the mighty Colorado River.
These fish liked the hopper also, and the brook trout were sporting some truly beautiful colors, as fall spawning is just around the corner.
Again I fished the Roaring Fork, this time in Jaffe Park, near Aspen. This section offers over five miles of public fishing in a gorgeous setting, and I was able to fool a few rainbows and one brown that measured to 18 inches.
I am fortunate enough to live on a private stretch of the lower Fryingpan, and finished my one-fly contest on my favorite river in grand style.
These fish just love a plump hopper, and more trout came up to investigate my now ragged fly than in any other place I’d fished over the day.
It probably helped that I know this section like the back of my hand, and have most of the trout named at this point.
It was a great day, and that chewed up hopper has a special spot in the corner of my fly box.
— This column 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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