If you’re wondering how my efforts to “lighten my load” (see April 29 post) went on a recent fishing trip to the Frying Pan River here’s the report and my apologies for not getting this post up a little sooner.
Based on past experience I decided that the best way to lighten up for the early spring trip to the “Pan” was to go with small flies (hook sizes 18 and smaller) and light lines. I carried a 4-weight graphite rod and a 4-weight back up rod. The most difficult part of all for me was getting the number of fly boxes down. I did that by reducing the number of copies of each fly pattern I carried while increasing the variety of patterns in my fly boxes. I ended up with two compact fly boxes containing way more flies than I’d ever use. In addition, I stashed one fly box with a few streamers and some larger beadhead nymphs in my truck. My thinking on the beadheads was I could use them for weight if we ended up having to nymph. I don’t know exactly what I was thinking on the streamers since I only had 4-weight rods. Oh, well.
So when I got to the “Pan” and saw it was running high, cold and clear my first thought was that this might be embarrassing. I probably should have thrown in a 6-weight rod for the backup. However, once that initial rush of panic subsided I settled down and started asking myself what was possible with the tackle I did have with me. It didn’t take too long after that to notice a few trout rising to midges in the ribbon of slower moving water along the banks. In fact that and the slow-moving tail outs below the larger pools were the only places they were rising.
I was then able to tell myself I was plenty well equipped to catch those trout, although it would be nice if the wind wasn’t howling down the river. The fishing wasn’t easy that first day, but we worked hard and all of us landed trout. And with water temperatures at 36 degrees the trout we did hook up weren’t inclined to streak out into the heavy main channel water so landing them on a 4-weight rod with a 6X or even a 7X tippet was possible.
That’s pretty much the gist of it. For the rest of the trip I looked for trout in water that suited my tackle and it was all good. We even found a few fish rising to Blue-winged Olives a ways downriver.