On the fly: Finding solitude | AspenTimes.com

On the fly: Finding solitude

Kirk Webb
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

Kirk WebbThe most popular spots on a river aren't the only ones that yield fish. This Fryingpan rainbow slips back into the water.

BASALT – It’s mind boggling to witness firsthand the amount of fishing traffic that comes in and out of our valley. Most anglers fish the easy access points along the Fryingpan and the Roaring Fork rivers. While these easy-to-find areas provide good fishing opportunities for many peopke, I generally try to escape the crowds and fish during less busy times of the day or I fish the less prime spots and make do with what is thrown at me.

Midday hatches of pale morning dun and green drake mayflies attract plenty of attention from anglers fishing on the Fryingpan River. The hatches typically fade by 3 p.m. and shortly thereafter most fishermen retreat back to their families to eat dinner and call it a day while the guides head over to the bar to drink and tell stories. This scenario is just fine by me. The evening hours offer not only more solitude but also cooler weather and plenty of rising fish. Of course, this can be hit and miss with our monsoon weather patterns during the evening hours. Rusty spinners falls are common every evening and keep the fish well fed as they scour the water’s surface picking off these easy meals. Some of my favorite fly patterns to fish with include the following: CDC rusty spinners, polywing spinners, royal Wulffs, stimulators, humpies, sparkledun drakes and green drake cripples.

This past week, I fished with several out-of-town friends and ventured up the Fryingpan River near Folkstad Springs during a busy Saturday. This area of the river consists of mostly pocket water and plunge pools and is generally quite shallow. For the casual angler, water like this doesn’t appear to hold many fish, but upon closer inspection is in fact, chock-full of rainbow and brown trout. These lesser fished areas of the popular river are prime for dry fly or dry/dropper fishing. Often times, the biggest key to having a successful day on this river is to simply find fish that haven’t been fished over all day. Find those less prime areas of river and cover water continually looking for new and fresh fish.

Needless to say, we are fortunate to have such a quality fishery where one spot isn’t necessarily better than another. There’s lots of river out there, so don’t fret if someone is fishing in your secret spot. You very well might find a new spot that fishes just as well or even better than your old favorite.