On the Fly column: There is no off-season
On the Fly
It is what it is this time of year, and the wet weather continues. With the weather warming and the amount of fishable water shrinking due to runoff and water clarity, anglers are flocking to the Fryingpan River. The Fryingpan provides the most predictable fishing at this time of year. Flows have been constant, around 350 c.f.s. Along with the consistent water flows there has also been a constant flow of anglers to the mile-long stretch below the dam. The big fish in the “flats” are being shown a variety of tactics and techniques by anglers. If you choose to fish near the dam, stay small and drab with your fly selection and utilize small tippet (6x and 7x fluorocarbon). If you are going to make the drive up the Pan, make sure you stop at your favorite fly shop to grab some local fly patterns and light fluorocarbon tippets. This will undoubtedly increase your success.
If the upper Pan has worn thin for you, utilize some of the other fringe runoff fishing opportunities. Give the lower four miles of the Fryingpan a shot; or try the Roaring Fork through Aspen. The fish in the Aspen area have seen far fewer anglers than their cousins on the upper Pan. The Rio Grande Trail provides great access right through the heart of Aspen. The water visibility is still in great shape up here. This clarity may be temporary, so get fishing while you can. Be adventurous and cover the water, particularly the soft pockets. Your fly selection should contain some larger attracter nymphs such as Cat Poop Stones, San Juan Worms and various beadhead nymphs. Hit the meat of the runs, get your flies down to the fish with ample weight, and stay mobile. Your dry fly selection should include some Parachute BWOs and CDC Comparaduns for cloudy days. The Outrigger Caddis, Peacock Caddis and the Pearl and Elk Caddis will get some grabs as well, especially during late afternoons. There’s no need to get out early as you’ll find the best fishing to be midday into the early evening hours.
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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New hiking and biking trail at Sutey Ranch could ease pressure at main Red Hill trailhead later this summer.