Pick a Fly, Fish It Well

September 4, 2009 By: Marshall Cutchin

I bushwhacked up a tributary of the Big Thompson in Rocky Mountain National Park with Tim Romano yesterday and got my first taste of what a little walking can get you, even when the parking lot is overrun with trekking-pole-wielding seniors just bused in from Denver. Though nothing we hooked exceeded 12 inches, sight-casting to fish in brilliantly lit water provides a thrill that lasts for hours, if not days. Perhaps the best part was knowing that whatever fly we tied on would likely work, as long as it looked edible and wasn’t too big to fit in the brookies mouths. Drag was the only concern, and even there the fish cut us some breaks. Time passed way too quickly.
In the Estes Park Trail Gazette, Mike Oatley takes the “big uglies” strategy one step further, fishing private water for big rainbows on the north fork of the North Platte in Colorado, where he proves that too much attention to the hatches could interfere with some very good fishing.
“‘Got to have some Sparkle Duns. How am I going to catch fish during a PMD hatch without any Sparkle Duns?’ The answer is, by fishing something else. Pick a fly, fish it well and you should move fish. If you`re not moving fish, then start thinking harder about what the fish are seeing and what to imitate it with. It`s logic that applies almost everywhere.”