Keeping it simple
On The Fly
I often feel that fly fishing intimidates many newcomers to our wonderful sport.
Anglers that are familiar with conventional or spinning equipment often feel that fly fishing is too intricate of a sport with too many nuances.
There’s no denying that many seasoned fly fishers initially gravitated to the sport due to the wealth of equipment that we seemingly possess.
If you’re a gear junkie, fly fishing is the ultimate sport.
There are waders, boots, rods, reels, nets, lines, flies, tools and apparel, just to name a few.
It’s no wonder that newcomers are often intimidated!
Like golf, fly fishers never attain absolute perfection; we are constantly learning and improving.
The flipside of this coin is that I often see anglers who seemingly have all the tools and toys but struggle when it comes down to the whole goal of actually catching a fish.
Keeping fly fishing simple is what many guides preach to their clients.
A basic 9’ 5-weight fly rod is widely considered as the do-all Western trout rod.
Pairing it with a matching 5-weight reel and fly line is our basic setup.
A leader is then attached to the end of the fly line, which is simply a piece of clear, tapered nylon monofilament.
We then add on a small section of fishing line (tippet) to the end of the leader on which a fly is attached.
Day in and day out, nymph fishing accounts for the majority of the fish caught here in the Valley.
Nymph fishing is essentially using flies that imitate immature insects that are fished on or near the bottom of the river.
We can accomplish this by adding weight in the form of split shot above our flies.
A strike indicator, or bobber if you will, is placed on our leader above the flies and weight to aid in detecting strikes, at a distance of roughly 1.5 times the depth of water.
At this time of year, focus on fishing the deeper pools and seams, where the majority of fish congregate.
Hot flies should include the following: 20 Inchers, Flashtail Hot Eggs, and Zebra Midges on the Roaring Fork, with eggs, BTS Baetis, and RS2’s along the Fryingpan River.
You don’t need to carry the entire kitchen sink at this time of year to be successful.
Simpler is often better.
We encourage you to give fly fishing a try this winter.
— 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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