Row vs. Wade – A wade guides perspective
Getting in the water to cast to fish has always been special to me. I simply enjoy being in the river, feeling a part of it, letting the current, the surrounding terrains, and the fish challenge my day.
In the Roaring Fork Valley, all of our rivers can be fished on foot. Parts of the valley do hold some private land sections, but there are more public access points than can be covered in an entire year of fishing. With four rivers and high country streams to discover, fishing the Roaring Fork Valley on foot is my only way to go.
By wade fishing, an angler can experience a lot more water in a single day. The occasional bout of bad weather, a section of the river that is fishing slow; all of this can be avoided or remedied by simply moving up or down valley, whether on foot or by car. I like being mobile.
The obstacles to the wade fisherman are also what make the experience incredibly fun. A wade angler’s presentation to the fish is always being attacked by currents. Fish may be feeding under tree limbs or behind hard to reach rocks and obstructions. Trees and bushes may defend against your back cast. Fishing with these obstacles and spending a little time figuring them out is incredibly rewarding. Finally, getting that fish you worked under the tree limb for twenty minutes is not only exhilarating but it teaches you how to become a better angler at the same time.
Fishing improves with the luxury of time. Every inch of a pool can be systematically searched and every rock can be explored in the effort to locate the most or the biggest fish. This style of fishing can only be done on foot, and it can also be timed to the best time of the day and location of fish. Stalking up behind a group of rising fish is exciting! Making the right decisions to fool as many as possible ... unbeatable!
For me wading is simply the best. Beautiful scenery and the ability to access multiple rivers is something special that this valley offers. The Colorado and Roaring Fork hold trout that are violent and sometimes difficult to land. The Frying Pan has its educated, hard to fool fish that we have to face with light tippets. Our valley has everything for the wade angler on any given day of the year. Dry fly fishing as the snow falls around you or a Roaring Fork rainbow jumping in the summer setting sun can be found here. If you love wade fishing, this valley will exhaust you in what it offers.
Thomas Clennon – Head Wade Guide, Taylor Creek Fly Shops
Photos courtesy of Collin Szewczyk and Moldy Chum.