Fishing report: Attention to detail | AspenTimes.com

Fishing report: Attention to detail

Kirk Webb
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT – In fly fishing, the smallest details often make the difference between having a successful day on the water or a frustrating one.

As we approach late-summer fishing conditions, the level of the rivers continues to drop and the water clears, making stealth equally as important as “having the right fly.” Complex or multiple hatches are also prevalent daily. By that, we are referring to seeing multiple insect species hatch throughout the day and often overlap each other. Due to the clear, low water, light tippets are often necessary.

When approaching the water, walk softly and quietly to avoid spooking fish. Often fish can be found feeding right along the shore or bank. Patience is a virtue, especially while fly fishing. Take a moment to just stare at the water. Use your polarized sunglasses to see into and scan the river bottom and water, looking for telltale signs of fish, whether it’s movement, shape, color, a flash or a rise. Relax, study the water, the insects and the fish, and plan your stalk accordingly.

Fly fishing is a very visual experience, especially when fishing dry flies. Seeing a trout slowly and methodically rise to eat your dry fly is what fly fishing is all about.

The Fryingpan River in particular offers the ideal setting to witness this awesome scenario. In the early morning, look for fish to rise to midges and rusty spinners. Find the soft pockets and seams and you’ll find the fish. Trout want to expend as little energy as possible, but still have nearby access to faster pieces of water, as these act like conveyor belts of food for the trout.

Nowadays, afternoon hatches consist of blue wing olives, pale morning duns and green drakes. Light fluorocarbon tippets of 6x and especially 7x are needed to fool these educated and demanding fish. Downstream drifts are a huge benefit to being successful, enabling the fish to see your fly first instead of fly line, leader, tippet and then your fly. Remember to keep it fun out there!

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