On the Fly: Fryingpan River wanderings
On the Fly
Recently I decided to drive up the Fryingpan River. Although I always have several rods rigged and ready to go, there was no real intention to fish this day. Even though I secretly had hopes of finding some rising fish at some point to make a few casts, we really were headed up towards Ruedi to walk the dogs along the river. Along our way up the canyon a good group of bighorn sheep crossed the road in front of us, and some impressive rams were among them. Of course the camera was at home.
Surprisingly, for as warm as it was, and with snow lightly falling, we did not encounter any anglers until “Old Faithful.” Turning into the Rocky Fork day use area, we got the dogs out and headed towards the dam. Several anglers were on the river, and since it was midafternoon (the most productive time of day right now), we witnessed several anglers hooking up and landing fish. Although the light was fairly flat, if you looked hard enough with good polarized glasses you could see actively feeding fish. There were a few rising fish, but the most active fish were feeding on nymphs sub-surface. Sometimes spending a few hours just walking and watching what goes on along the river can be both entertaining and educational.
Driving downriver back to Basalt a bald eagle cruised upriver, the bighorns were still grazing the same hillside, and we crossed paths with a few of our guides headed up river to fish. They reported good fishing the next morning. Flies of choice were foam topped RS2s, Medallion midges, Bill’s midges and House of Harrop midges.
Good fishing abounds throughout the Roaring Fork valley right now; the warming weather has been the key factor. This is “bonus season” (fit neatly between winter and spring), and hatches are improving daily. Whether you need to know where to go, what to use, or hire a guide, stop by your local fly shop and check out what’s happening.
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.
Sheldon Wolitski’s paradise of puck went from its rudimentary half-rink oval at Crown Mountain to, very recently, a glorious, official-size rink next to the Rio Grande Trail east of Carbondale. The rink opened in November.