On the Fly column: Finding solitude may lead to finding fish
It’s mind boggling to witness firsthand the amount of fishing traffic that comes in and out of our valley. Most anglers fish the easy access points along the Fryingpan and Roaring Fork rivers. While these easy-to-find access areas provide good fishing opportunities for most people, I generally try to escape the crowds and fish during less busy times of the day, or I fish the less prime spots and make do with what is thrown at me.
Midday hatches of pale morning dun and green drake mayflies attract plenty of attention from anglers fishing on the Fryingpan River. The hatches typically fade by 3 p.m., and shortly thereafter most fishermen retreat back to their families to eat dinner and call it a day, while the guides head over to the bar to drink and tell stories. This scenario is just fine by me. The evening hours offer not only more solitude but also cooler weather and plenty of rising fish. Of course, this can be hit and miss with our monsoon weather patterns during the evening hours. Rusty spinner falls are common every evening and keep the fish well fed as they scour the water’s surface picking off these easy meals. Some of my favorite fly patterns to fish with include the following: CDC Rusty Spinners, Polywing Spinners, Royal Wulffs, Stimulators, Humpies, Sparkledun Drakes and Green Drake Cripples.
This past week I fished with several out-of-town friends and ventured up the Fryingpan River near Folkstad Springs on a busy Saturday. This area of the river consists of mostly pocket water and plunge pools and is generally quite shallow. For the casual angler, water like this doesn’t appear to hold many fish, but upon closer inspection it is, in fact, chockfull of rainbow and brown trout. These lesser-fished areas of the popular river are prime for dry fly or dry/dropper fishing. Oftentimes, the biggest key to having a successful day on this river is to simply find fish that haven’t been fished over all day. Find those “less prime” or “B” areas of river and cover water continually looking for new and fresh fish.
Needless to say, we are fortunate to have such a quality fishery where one spot isn’t necessarily better than another. There’s lots of river out there, so don’t fret if someone is fishing in your secret spot. You very well might find a new spot that fishes just as well as or even better than your old favorite.
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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Born in New Castle, Alice McKennis Duran learned to ski at 2 at Sunlight Mountain with her father and older sister, Kendra. She also had a brief stint training with the Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club prior to joining the national team.