On the fly: Hardcore angling | AspenTimes.com

On the fly: Hardcore angling

Kirk Webb
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT – I generally like to consider myself a hardcore fly fisherman. I’ll fish in about any weather, leaving my friends to think that I’m some sort of crazed mad man.

This past week, I set off with the intent of fishing some dry flies on the Fryingpan River. I didn’t bother to check the weather report as the day started beautifully. After looking at strike indicators for the past two weeks, I simply couldn’t spend another day with a bobber on the end of my fly line.

My fishing partner and I pulled up to a spot dubbed the 22-inch Pool, which seemingly always has a few rising fish in it. We scanned the water thoroughly and never saw a fish break the surface. Being too hard-headed to re-rig with nymphs, we blind casted in the better areas and quickly caught a few fish. At times, searching with dry flies in the winter can be as productive as scouring the river bottom with nymph patterns. I accomplished my goal for the day of catching fish on dry flies with a huge, smiling grin on my face.

After 10 minutes, we set out to forge farther up the river, at one of my favorite areas (rightfully called, The Boulders). Rising fish were out in full force and I proceeded to catch a nice handful of rainbow and brown trout. None of them were big but by God, I caught them on the surface which is a feat of sorts.

No more than 15 minutes later, a storm began to push through with heavy winds accompanied by blinding snow. We hopped in the car and decided to wait the weather out. While driving up to the dam to warm up in the comfort of our car, other guides and anglers were packing it in for the day. One other lonesome soul remained. His name was Paul and he lives in Silt. I’d imagine that Paul is probably in his late 50s to early 60s. During one of the most viciously windy and snowy storms that I’ve ever seen, there was Paul, just now rigging up and hitting the water. I could barely see him in the river through the whiteout and all I could think about was saying, “Right on man!” You are truly a gem Paul and are more hardcore than the young guns. I like it.

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