Time: 10:00AM – 11:30AM
Location: Thomasville lime kilns to bridge
Fish Landed: 7
Friday was Jane’s birthday, and she would be arriving around noon and then we planned to attend the Aspen Snowmass Jazz Festival. The first band performed at 4PM, the second at 6PM and Wilco, the main act, at 8PM. I assumed we would need to leave by around 3PM, and I could fish until 2PM. This would allow me to experience the early phase of the hatch assuming it materialized similar to Thursday.
I formulated a plan to fish the upper Frying Pan above Ruedi Reservoir in the morning while the water below the dam was still cold, then reverse tracks and hit the tailwater from noon until 2PM. It almost worked this way. I drove along the reservoir then up the road along the stream through Meredith and Thomasville. I parked at a large wide pullout across from the Thomasville lime kilns. After putting on my waders and stringing my rod, I scrambled down the steep bank next to the pullout and was on the water just a little past 10AM. I tied on a green body elk hair caddis trailing a beadhead RS2 to begin. This combination was on my line from the end of the previous day. This drew two refusals, so I clipped both flies off and tied on a light gray deer hair caddis. This fly didn’t even prompt any refusals, so I clipped it off and added a yellow sally. The yellow sally received some attention with a refusal. As I was changing flies I was moving upstream through some pretty sweet water and knew there were fish ignoring my offerings.
I decided I was being too fine, and tied on a Chernobyl ant trailing a beadhead hares ear. This proved to be my best combination. The Chernobyl ant brought two rainbows to the surface as I hooked and landed my first fish of the morning. Next I spotted a subtle rise on the right side a couple feet out from a rock along the bank. I flicked the combination so the nymph splashed down where the rise was observed, and bam, a brown snatched the nymph.
I continued moving upstream prospecting with the Chernobyl/BHHE and came to a long smooth pool. Within eight feet of the lip of the pool, a rainbow grabbed the trailing BHHE. The next juicy long pool came behind a cabin. 2/3 of the way up the pool I spotted a trout in the clear water and cast my flies in front of it. The rainbow tipped up and grabbed the Chernobyl, but shook free as I lifted and set the hook.
At the very top of the long pool the current ran against a rock ledge wall on the far side. In the slack water on the near side of the current, I landed three browns on the BHHE as it slowly tumbled along the current seam. It was now approaching 11:15 so I looked for an exit route and quickly found a gap where I could scramble up the hill and then found the road and hiked back to the minivan.