Pay attention to detail when out fly fishing |

Pay attention to detail when out fly fishing

Kirk Webb
On the Fly

In fly fishing, it’s often the smallest of details that will make the difference between having a successful day on the water and having a frustrating one. As we approach late-summer fishing conditions, the level of the rivers continues to drop and clear, making stealth equally as important as having the right fly. Complex or multiple hatches also are going on, meaning several insect species are hatching throughout the day, often overlapping each other. Due to the clear, low water, light tippets are often necessary.

When approaching the water, walk quietly to avoid spooking fish. Oftentimes fish can be found feeding right along the shore or bank. Patience is a virtue, especially while fly fishing. Take a moment to just stare at the water. Use your polarized sunglasses and scan the water and river bottom looking for the tell-tale signs of fish, whether it’s movement, shape, color, a flash or a rise. Relax and study the water, the insects and the fish, and plan your stalk accordingly.

Fly fishing is a very visual experience, especially when fishing dry flies. Seeing a trout slowly and methodically rise to eat your dry fly is what fly fishing for trout is all about. The Fryingpan River in particular offers the ideal setting to witness this awesome scenario. In the early-morning hours look for fish to rise to midges and rusty spinners. Find the soft pockets and seams, and you’ll find the fish. Trout want to expend as little energy as possible, though they have to have nearby access to faster pieces of water, as these act like conveyor belts of food for the trout. Afternoon hatches are consisting of BWOs, PMDs and green drakes. Light fluorocarbon tippets of 6x and especially 7x are needed to fool these educated and demanding fish. Downstream drifts are a huge benefit to being successful, enabling the fish to see your fly first instead of fly line, leader, tippet and then your fly. Remember to keep it fun out there.

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

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