Time: 12:00PM – 1:00PM
Location: Run at downstream border of public water below dam where two fallen trees span the river
Fish Landed: 3
As I drove back down the road to beyond the dam, I passed Jane on her way to the campground from Denver. I turned around to tell her our campsite number, and she suggested that I needed to quit fishing at 1PM so we could drive to the festival and park and find our way around. This meant I’d have virtually no hatch time on Friday.
I decided to drive to the bottom edge of the public water below the dam and try nymphing the juicy run in that area. I’d eat my lunch when I got back to the campground. I tied on a beadhead hares ear on the top, and then a beadhead pheasant tail on the bottom and began casting three quarters upstream and working the tail of the run. On one of the swings near the tail a small brown nailed the BHHE.
I noticed a couple early green drakes struggling on the surface and followed one to the point where a trout emerged from under the log at the very tail and slurped it in. This prompted me to remove the nymph rig and tie on a green drake comparadun. I cast the dry and gave it a downstream drift to the point where I’d seen the trout rise to a natural. Sure enough it happened again, but this time the brown fell for my fake green drake.
I crossed 2/3 of the way across the tail and then waded up a bit to the far side of where the center current fanned out around some submerged boulders. This was nice deep water that I knew held decent fish. Once again I spotted a solitary rise on the other side of the center current. I cast repeatedly while mending my line to avoid drag from the strong center current. After perhaps 10-15 casts, a rainbow rose and snatched my green drake. It was now 1PM, so I quickly waded back to the more shallow tail and crossed back to the bank and road.
Jane and I enjoyed the concert immensely on Friday. People-watching the entire Aspen crowd was almost as interesting as the music. It was quite hot in the late afternoon sun, but by the time Wilco emerged on the stage, we were putting on our ski caps, gloves and multiple layers.
The next morning after breakfast, Jane and I packed all our hiking belongings into the RAV and drove out the road that parallels the upper Frying Pan and then does switchbacks on an old railroad bed to the trailhead for a hike to Lyle Lake and Mormon Lake. We’d done this hike numerous times, and Jane wanted to accomplish it as a milestone after her hip replacement surgery. She did it, but did experience some soreness over the last .5 miles.
After the hike we drove back to Basalt to buy some ice. I stopped at the Taylor Creek Fly Shop and bought six green drake dry flies since I wasn’t happy with the effectiveness of my comparaduns on Thursday, and I planned on spending Sunday on the Frying Pan again. After buying the flies, Jane and I had drinks and appetizers at the Riverside Bar and Grill next to the Frying Pan River in Basalt.