Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The FryingPan

So I guess the idea of this blog is to give a little insight into my trips out into the fishing world here in Colorado. And maybe even a brief trip report. Or maybe those are the same thing. I guess I haven't figured that out yet.

I have decided that I am a creature of habit. Last night I packed up my stuff and headed to the Pan after dinner for a little evening of fishing. I have decided that I like fishing in the evening especially on the FryingPan because the crowds are less and I can find a spot to fish. The funny thing about that statement is there are 13 miles of river to fish and I fish the same 750' of river pretty much every time I go out. Last night was no different.

I come around the corner and see the little parking area and usually get fairly excited especially when there are no other cars there. Last night there was 1 car. That's OK I can share my spot. Well sort of. I geared up and headed down to the river.

For those that don't know the FryingPan is what the flyfishing world calls Gold Medal water, in other parts of the country it might go by Blue Ribbon water, it has something to do with either the number of trout per mile or the weight the of trout per mile. Something like that. To me, it just means it is a kick ass river. The Pan is a tail water which means it sits below a dam and in this case it is a great thing. There are lots of bugs, the water stays the same temperature year around pretty much and the fishing is basically good always.

This is big mayfly season here in the valley, the Green Drake is hatching and the trout are looking for in most cases bigger flies. Last night while I was weeding through my fly box I looked up and there was a fox staring at me from the other side of the river, it was pretty cool and a little spooky at the same time. People that know me, know that I am not a big fan of wild animals. And basically I figured he would attack me at any second. So I quick thought about all of my friends and wife, just in case I was killed by that fox. I continued my search for the perfect fly while every once and a while looking up to see if killer fox was still there. The second time I did look he was gone. The funny thing was, I turned around to see if he was behind me. He wasn't...

I began fishing and thought about how it looked like it was going to rain and that I was glad I brought my jacket. I noticed that it seemed that the flow had dropped on the Pan and it had, it went from 278CFS to like 235CFS, I was glad because it made wading and fishing a little easier.

I had my first strike about 20 minutes into the evening. The fish took a swipe at a size 12 parachute green drake. I quickly got the fly back out and 2 casts later I had my first fish on. It was a nice rainbow, I got a real nice look at him, probably in the 16"-18" range, I say I got a nice look at him because just as I worked out that size estimation in my head, he threw the hook and was gone. Bummer for me. But at least I had one.

I casted a few more times in that area and decided to move back toward my car because it was raining a little bit. I changed flies, decided on a size 16 Royal Wulff which is a great fly for me on the Pan, I guess to the fish it casts a shadow that the think is either a Drake or a Pale Morning Dun. 4 casts into my new location, I had a really nice take. And a few minutes later I had a nice Brown in the net. He was maybe 14" pretty fat and nicely colored. I took the hook out and give him a nice look and dipped him back into the cool waters of the Pan and off he swam. I made a few more casts and decided to call it a night. It was getting dark due to the clouds moving in. All in all it was a good night.

As I took my waders off, tore down my rod and put my things back in my car, I thought about the fox that I had seen earlier in the evening and wondered where he ran off to. I wondered if he had found a spot to hunker down for the evening or if he had caught a trout to eat for dinner. I hoped he was OK. The evening produced not very many fish for me. I haven't quite yet solved the riddle of higher flows on the FryingPan but it is fun to try. Someday I will have it all figured out.

Monday, July 29, 2013

A New Beginning

I have been told that I should blog about my experiences fly fishing and especially now that I live in a place where there are more fly shops then traffic lights in the town that I live in.

I have been told that I have a unique way of telling a story. My mind jumps around. Just bare with me.

First let me tell you about how I do things when it comes to writing. I write. Whatever is in my head lands on this "paper" I do not proof read or at least I don't proof read very well. That is how I do things. I just write. It usually will make sense and if it doesn't I encourage you to read the sentence again and you will most likely figure out exactly what I meant.

I am not an expert when it comes to fly fishing! There is no one that loves this sport more than I do. But I am not an expert and nor do I claim to be. But that said, I catch an awful lot of fish. You are probably better at fly fishing than I am.

I love baseball, between fly fishing and baseball. They tie and I would have to sit down for a long time and pick one. Therefore I won't. They both rule.

I embrace both traditional style and Tenkara style fly fishing. They both hold a place in my fishing life, neither one is better than the other. I am not going to argue that point. They both have their merits and they both are a ton of fun here in Colorado.

I tie flies, and I am pretty bad at it. But they catch fish. I love trying. Sometimes they turn out pretty good, but usually they don't.

I have been fishing for 30 years and fly fishing for 19 of those. In fact that is now the only way that I fish now. And in my opinion it is the only way to fish. Especially for trout. Speaking of that, I haven't caught anything other then a specie of trout in 6 years. Before that it was all largemouth bass and pan fish. My goal in my fishing life is to catch a Bonefish.

I practice catch and release strictly. I do not keep anything I catch, nor will I. I do not like to eat fish and I figure, I tricked the fish, they deserve to go back swimming. I am excellent at hook removal, so my fish live. At least I hope they do.

This blog is called All Quiet on the Western Slope. I live on the western slope and flyfishing is known as the quiet sport. Tricky huh?

My home river is the FryingPan, it is 10 minutes away from my house. Some of you know that river and understand how blessed I am. I love that river, I catch fish on it sometimes and sometimes the river wins. But the beauty of standing in the Pan and looking at the mountains is really whats important.

I have a few secret spots that I have discovered that aren't on the Pan. And they are quickly becoming favorites. I catch fish there.

I will most likely not add a lot of photos to this blog. But once and a while I will.

I will blog hopefully a lot, but more likely it will be once and a while and it will be some rambling.

I moved to Basalt Colorado in May from the Twin Cities area of Minnesota where I grew up and lived all of my 42 years. It was hard leaving. I miss home. Pizza here is terrible.

I am an IT guy at the hospital in Aspen. It is a cool job, I like the people I work with even if they don't fish. Barely.

My goal is to fish 300 days this year. But honestly I really want to hit 200. I think right now I am at 33.

I invite you to follow my adventures and heck even to come and fish with me, please send your comments.

Follow me on twitter for ramblings, of IT stuff, fly fishing, vinyl record talk, baseball and other nonsense @eaphilipp