On the Fly: A new Pan fan
July 10, 2006
Weekend rains have blown out the lower Roaring Fork and Colorado rivers, but the Fryingpan offered this angler two days of fun beneath heavy clouds and occasional showers.And the Roaring Fork above Carbondale, though it’s running high and cloudy thanks to the rain, was still fishing phenomenally with dries in the Basalt area Sunday evening, according to an angler with Taylor Creek Fly Shop. My own brief stab at the Fork – below Basalt, shortly before the water turned cloudy on Sunday afternoon – produced a couple of strikes on a green drake.The Fork, as it runs through Aspen, by the way, remained gin clear Monday morning, and the Aspen fishing remains consistently good. Big caddis and drakes are taking trout, according to a source at Pomeroy Sports in Aspen.Meanwhile, my experience on the Fryingpan may turn me into a Pan fan yet, though I have long pooh-poohed the fabled river, where ass-to-elbow fishing is the norm and long stretches of private water alongside a public road give it an elitist air.A friend and I lucked out twice over the weekend, though, thanks, perhaps, to the inclement weather. We found a couple of unoccupied holes on public water Saturday afternoon and enjoyed about a 90-minute feeding frenzy. Smallish browns willingly took both my green drake and a rusty spinner. They were nothing to write home about, sizewise, but I’ll take biting trout over finicky lunkers any day.By about 4 or 4:30 p.m., the fish stopped rising. We headed back to Basalt, where the beer glass began rising.Never one to shun repetition when it comes to successful fishing, I was back on Sunday afternoon. Worse weather, same time of day, different hole. Trout rising repeatedly on the far bank would have none of the drake or the spinner this time, though. Likewise, a small elk-hair caddis, a PMD that closely matched what was rising and falling in the air, and a brief attempt with an RP (Roy Palm) emerger pattern were all ignored.I finally hooked my one trout of the day, a nice brown, on a yellow/green dun thingy. (At Pomeroy, it’s labeled a PMD compara dun, No. 16. I used the one with the light hackle). The pattern enticed a few other strikes, but nothing like Saturday’s action.Another of our staff anglers reports blue-wing olive patterns – dries and emergers – were working on the lower Pan under the gray, wet skies.If you’re planning on fishing in the lower valley, the Fork had really muddied up below its confluence with the Crystal River at Carbondale by Sunday morning. On Monday morning, Roaring Fork Anglers in Glenwood Springs was reporting a muddy Colorado River below its confluence with the Fork and “borderline fishable” waters above the confluence. More rain is likely to keep conditions questionable, but the forecast looks drier starting today.