On the Fly: Getting high again
The gloriously hot weather that culminated in perfect summertime weather for the weekend proved a double-edged sword. Finally, I had time to fish a few spots I’ve been scouting, and suddenly the water was running as furiously as it had during our late May heat wave.A friend and I explored a bit of the Roaring Fork on Independence Pass on Saturday; the outing yielded a few small brook trout on bead-head prince nymphs (nada on a dry), but even those waters were creeping back toward raging by Sunday. Meanwhile, the dam-controlled Fryingpan, not nearly so susceptible to the whims of runoff, is expected to rise this week as the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation ups its releases from Ruedi Reservoir to make room for the water flowing in.Anglers are bracing for increased flows and finding success in the meantime with pale morning duns and caddis flies on the lower Pan from the mid- to late afternoon until dusk, according to Will Sands, manager/guide at Taylor Creek Fly Shop in Basalt.On the upper Pan, blue-wing olives and PMDs have been producing trout in the net from about 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.A boost in flows on the Fryingpan won’t mean it’s not fishable, Sands said.”It just changes the conditions,” he said. “With that volume of water, it will put the fish closer to the bank.”Fishing the Fork isn’t easy with the rising water this week, but Sands reported some action on green drakes in Carbondale and caddis flies as far upvalley as Snowmass Canyon.The Roaring Fork is running clearer in the late afternoon until dark.If you’re wading, try the Fork between Basalt and Carbondale, where the river flattens out but is still above the influx of sediment at its confluence with the murky Crystal River, advised Dave Johnson of Independent Fly Fishing Guides.And don’t shy away from the fly that imitates that old bait of childhood – the worm, Johnson said. Runoff washes worms from the shoreline into the mouths of trout at this time of year.”The infamous San Juan worm – it’s not cheating if the rivers are naturally high,” Johnson said.
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