On the Fly column: The spiritual experience of drift boat fishing | PostIndependent.com

On the Fly column: The spiritual experience of drift boat fishing

A view of Mount Sopris from a drift boat on the Roaring Fork River.
Kevin Sullivan |

It was uttered in the fly shop recently that “things get said in a drift boat that don’t get said in a confessional,” and we couldn’t agree more. This, of course, could be said about any special fishing trip, but a great float just seems to bring people out of their shell. Communication between oarsman and angler is paramount, and when the team is clicking everyone in the boat feels connected.

There is something spiritual to be found in moving at the river’s pace and tuning in with the mood of the fish and the willingness of insects to hatch, regardless of the season. Some days you can’t buy a fish, others are lights-out stupid good fishing. This rare chance to float over the past week was just that.

With the winter reprise this past week, many local anglers inexplicably were gifted floatable conditions in mid-May due to “runoff interruptus.” The Roaring Fork was still on the big side, but it cleared significantly with the cold nights we experienced. Hatches have been on the light side, but the trout relish these opportunities of good visibility and lower flows.

With warmer weather on deck for this coming week, this opportunity has come and gone — but fear not. We are only five or six weeks away from twilight green drake hatches on the Colorado and lower Roaring Fork rivers. Is there anything better than casting perfectly powdered dry flies over a river in the ebbing light? Except for those floats when you spill your guts to your friends, not much else comes close.

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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