On the Fly: Methods for the madness
On the Fly
One of the major reasons I (and many of you) live here is because there is a piece of water for every approach and style of fly-fishing in the Roaring Fork Valley.
The “newest” (in fact, oldest) style of fly-fishing is called Tenkara, which utilizes very long, collapsible rods with no reel. The fly line simply comes off the tip of the rod, and once you add a leader section and a fly, you’re fishing! This new/old style particularly lends itself to children and our smaller streams and feeder creeks, and can present dries and nymphs quite well.
Many people who have gone steelhead fishing (big rainbows on steroids) learned about two-handed rods on their trip, which is the ultimate way to throw large flies across big rivers. There are “switch” and “spey” rods available on the market, with different fly lines being utilized for desired sink rates and so on. Two-handed rods are making inroads on our larger local rivers, especially on the lower Roaring Fork and Colorado rivers.
For those who live to nymph fish, that particular style generally works year-round on all of our waters. Nymphing refers to fishing below the water’s surface, and is probably the most effective way to fish here. This style isn’t easy to master, as the action takes place underneath the surface, where visibility is a challenge. Nymphing is all about having the proper amount of weight above your flies. Too light, and the fish never see them, too heavy, and you are cleaning moss and mud off your flies all day. The best nymph fishermen (and women) I know are quite intuitional, and seem to know the fish ate the fly despite the lack of evidence seen from above.
For some anglers, it’s all about the dry fly. I know plenty of people who refuse to do anything but throw dries, and patiently wait on the bank for the hatch to happen. Most of the insects we fish have an “adult” stage of the life cycle, where the bug is sitting on the surface of the water before it takes off to mate and ultimately die. Our smaller streams are ideal for dry-fly junkies, and the Fryingpan probably has the best hatches at the moment, with the Roaring Fork Green Drake Hatch a close second.
Whatever your preferred style, there are trout ready to make bad decisions and eat your fly all over the valley this summer!
This column is provided by Taylor Creek Fly Shops in Aspen and Basalt. Taylor Creek can be reached at 970-927-4374.
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Jazz Aspen Snowmass will hosts its annual June Experience and JAS Cafe concert series in-person this summer, releasing details and lineups Monday.