On the Fly: Frustrated? Just roll cast with the changes
Change is a reliable constant in this life, and our rivers in this valley are most certainly doing precisely that.
These changes are positive ones, merely nature taking its course in the ebb and flow of precious water in our drainages.
We all remember last year, and this year is already dramatically different from the perspective of the fly fisherman.
The flows on the Fryingpan tripled this week, the Roaring Fork has doubled in volume, and the Colorado has over four times the water compared to just a week ago.
This was certainly not the case just last year.
We started fishing our beloved green drakes in clear water last year around this time on the Roaring Fork, which most folks can’t remember ever doing before.
Two weeks ago, we fished caddis on the Colorado as thick as driving snow.
Then this week brought mud, debris, and not even a few inches of visibility.
Changes are certainties in this life, and sometimes downright inconvenient.
The beauty of living here, in our year-round fly fisherman’s paradise, is that when one door closes, another opens.
Now the caddis are hatching just as heavily on the Roaring Fork, and blue-winged olives are as thick as swarms on the Fryingpan.
I think it’s best to roll with these inevitable changes, just as the trout do.
The Fryingpan River has been fishing much better now than it did last month.
We’re all rejoicing (the fish included) with having higher and more normal water flows.
Mysis shrimp are spilling out of the dam in good numbers with solid hatches of BWOs and midges midday to keep the trout well fed.
While the lower Roaring Fork below the Crystal River near Carbondale will be challenging to fish with runoff and discolored water, the middle and upper sections of the river typically run clear and remain fishable right on through “mud-season”.
Caddis are hatching in very good numbers during the afternoons into the evening hours.
Stoneflies and BWOs are also on the menu throughout the river.
Conditions can and do change seemingly daily at this time of year.
Don’t get frustrated; just get out of the box and fish “new” water or try a new technique or fly.
Fly fishing is often a chess match between you and the fish.
That’s exactly why so many of us love the great sport of fly fishing.
— This column is provided every week by Taylor Creeks 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.