Friday, June 19, 2009

On the River: Frying Pan River, Basalt, CO

June 8, 2009
How can you not love the Pan? True, it's much like the Taylor River, if you fish it too much there's something wrong with you. Not because it's not an awesome river, or extremely fun, but because you need life in moderation... and it's unnatural. If all of your fly fishing experience is on these type of rivers, then you are missing a HUGE part of the sport. But, I'll digress from my fly fishing philosophy and get to the point...

We (Jay, Heather, Michelle and I) actually showed up Monday morning at around 11 AM and to our surprise there were about 4 people fishing the upper flats, which didn't leave much room for our favorite type of fishing (sight-nymphing to browns). So, we spent the morning blind fishing nymphs and did alright. One thing I will say about the Pan is I do not have much fun if I'm not sight nymphing. I think it has to do with the fact that you know what is in there, but without the visual aspect you make 50 drifts and have no idea if those finicky monsters are even looking at your fly. If I have to blind nymph I typically head downstream to the higher velocity water.

We took fish on baetis, midges and mysis (translation: a good drift is what took fish, not the pattern). Then, a short break for lunch and ...

Kapow! For some divine reason we rolled onto the river, there was no one in the Trough, and a baetis hatch was starting to get into EPIC proportions. Before lunch we were seeing the occasional riser, so we knew it was possible, but when we got back onto the river it was heads everywhere!

We fished a pretty standard baetis adult, and again, it was getting a good drift over the fish that ensured a slow, methodical, sexy rise where you could see well down the fishes mouth during the take. The best description is like a hollywood fight scene where the action goes into super-slow-motion for that brief moment of awesomeness! (yes, I'm aware that awesomeness is not a real word ... but it is now!)

Until the wind really started picking up in the afternoon we never had to move an inch. There was always plenty of risers within casting distance. As far as size is concerned, there was nothing too epic, but with the average being 15" and the color of those Frying Pan browns it was a day for the memory book.


1 comment:

  1. "a good drift is what took fish, not the pattern" Couldn't have said it better!

    Ah, the Pan - yeah, I love that river. And it sounds like you didn't have to fight the crowds - gotta love the weekdays on the rivers during the summer months.

    Hey, 15"+ on the Pan is still great, cause they're so darn fat. Its like catching little, swimming footballs. Solid fish.

    I had to laugh at your comment of not having as much fun when you're not sight fishing to those little buggers - I concur, Captain. We're just spoiled, aren't we?