On the Fly: Oh, the things you’ll see | AspenTimes.com

On the Fly: Oh, the things you’ll see

Scott Spooner/On the Fly

When you fish, live and work on the Fryingpan River, you get to see plenty of cool stuff. The river is constant yet somehow always changing, without fail. Anyone who says they know a particular river like the back of their hand is a bit full of it, in my opinion.

Rocks and logs move. Flows and hatches can be enigmatic, especially during wildly variant “water years.” Your favorite pool from last summer might have filled in with silt and rocks. The only constant on a river (or life, for that matter) is change.

Photo of a moose on the lower Fryingpan River.
Jake Dallenbach

Bighorn sheep, elk and moose will block the road and dare you to drive around them. You’ll encounter bicyclists riding four-abreast on blind curves. Nesting pairs of bald eagles are always scanning for an easy meal, and the occasional osprey or heron you’ll inevitably see that are far better at fishing than we could ever dream to be. Driving at night (or the middle of the day) might give you a glimpse of elusive mountain lions and black bears.

Ouzels quietly go about their business, dipping in and out of the frigid water foraging the multitude of aquatic insects. Swallows silently swoop and dive when insect hatches are strong, plucking mayflies right off the water and expertly out of the air. Clouds of freshly hatched midges, blue-winged olives, pale morning duns, green drakes, caddis and craneflies are almost ever-present from early summer until late fall, keeping anglers and birds busy chasing them around.

Bikini-clad coeds can be found sunning on Strawberry Rock. Khaki-clad septuagenarians fish alongside flat-brimmed teenage trout bums. Guides and clients stare intently at rising fish for hours, grumbling as struggling anglers inch closer and closer, attempting to pick up some fishing juju via proximity-osmosis. You see something new everyday on the Fryingpan. I hope this fishing year treats you well, the water stays cold and plentiful, and lasting memories are made!

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.