“There is certainly something in angling that tends to produce a serenity of the mind.” -Washington Irving
Because I don’t think that anyone is going to rename the FryingPan to Eric’s FryingPan or even Eric’s River, I have begun renaming my favorite fishing spots on Pan to things that make sense to me, mostly because I want to feel some sense of ownership in my river. I only have renamed a couple of spots that I fish. I thought maybe I would cover them, in case I use these names in my posts so you will have an idea of what I am talking about.
I mentioned one in an early post, Gandalf’s Stick. I got that name because I used a huge stick that looked very much like Gandalf’s staff from the Lord of the Rings movie to cross from one side of the FryingPan to the other. When I reach the side I put the stick in the rocks. Now forever to me that location will be known as Gandalf’s Stick. Gandalf’s Stick is a series of three pools in a row that is a perfect dry fly area. It is my favorite area to fish. I seem to always have a great luck here. Not sure if it is the legend of Gandalf that is in the air there, but I like to think it is
Melissa’s Run, this is a wonderful seam that Melissa fishes all of the time and between her and I she is the only one that has got a fish out of it. It is a great nymphing run, and a great area for bigger dry fly’s because it is a little faster running. She does really well in it and therefore I have named it after her.
Horse Path Pool, this is a great pool that I was fishing once and I looked up and there was a train of horses and two owners coming out of the woods. I was not expecting that at all when I went out fishing that day. I got out of the way and a dozen horses tied together came out of the woods and crossed the Pan. They apologized for making me move and for messing up my fishing. It was a very cool site to see all of those horse walking across the Pan. The pool is maybe 10’ long and a couple feet wide. There are always a lot of fish in it and they seem to like little dry fly’s. I always fish the area with my 1 weight rod.
The Rock or Eric’s Rock as Melissa calls it. Some of you maybe have seen a picture of me on my Facebook page fishing by this rock. It is a huge square rock, which always has some big fish around. It is tricky to fish because there is fast water moving around the rock and the fish seem to be in the slower water behind the rock. It is a tricky combination of casting and mending to get your fly in a perfect location to work the slower water behind the rock. The edges of the faster water has also produced fish for me. It is another favorite for me.
Pool under the Pine, this is a cool pool that is about 10” deep, it has some great little seams that run into it providing food for the always 8 or so fish that are always in it. This is a special place for me, I caught the only Brook Trout I have ever caught out of the Pan in this pool. It is just as the name says a pool under a pine tree. The pine is huge and extends branches over the pool, which shades the water, which gives the trout a place to hide. In the shadow. Casting into this pool can be tricky because you have to cast sideways to get your fly under the tree. I looked in this pool the other day and there were fish in there. I will start fishing this pool regularly now.
Jeff’s Spot, this is the first place I ever fished in the FryingPan. And also the spot in which I was lucky enough to be right in the middle of a full on Green Drake hatch. I fished this with my friend Jeff Lyons on a guide trip that I took with him. I have caught a lot of fish in this area, but never like that day with Jeff, it was a once and a lifetime occurrence.
Julie’s Spot, this is a great run that my friend Julie showed me. Maybe 200’ feet long and loaded with fish. I have caught a ton of fish in this area. Tricky to get into, the hill is a little steep, but worth the walk down the hill. I have been to this spot only one so far this year. I like this spot a little later in the summer, I have had amazing luck here fishing big Royal Wulff's and Humpy’s.
The Good Side of the Island, I found this spot last weekend. It is amazing. It is an small island in the middle of the Pan and the side that I fished was a nice calm run with lots of pools, seams and there were a lot of fish in there. I had the most interesting experience here. I found a rather nice Rainbow sitting in a hole feeding, he was eating nymphs and rising to surface bugs. I fished to him for maybe an hour. I would drift a dry, he would come up and look, and pass, I would drift the same fly again, he would rise, hit and miss. I would drift again, he lost interest. I would change flies and he the whole process would start again. We went through this process a number of times and it was really interesting to watch this fish. It was like a weird dance, where neither of us really knew what to do to meet each other. I didn't catch him and part of me is happy that I didn’t. Half the fun of that was the experience of trying to trick him and him winning. I found the experience peaceful, it seemed that it was just me, him and the water around us. This is a spot I will frequent
Bone Pile, Melissa and I found this spot this earlier year. It was marked with about 4 piles of bones from Deer and Elk. I have no idea if it was a cleaning area for hunters or what the hell happened there. There were bones everywhere in the woods leading to the river. It was pretty creepy. I am looking forward to go back to this spot when the flow of the river goes down a bit. I think it will be a great spot.
I have a lot of fun fishing here on the FryingPan and part of that fun has been naming the spots that I like to fish. If you ever fish with me. I will show you these spots and maybe you will come up with better names than I have.