This is just one of the spectacular sites on the drive up from Basalt along the Fryingpan. This is known as “Seven Castles” and offers a spectacular spot for a hike, but not for the faint of heart. You wind your way up a sandstone canyon past waterfalls and pass by unique red rock formations.
Of course my hiking at this time of year is limited to walking along the river banks and not up on dry land. Hiking in a river requires some necessary apparatus.
First of all you have some boot considerations. Although I am not up on all the technology when it comes to boots, you basically have three soles – felt, rubber or studded (or a combination of the last two.) I have two pairs of boots, one with studs and the other just rubber. The rubber-soled boots are definitely slippery and when you consider the current as well, you can have a recipe for disaster if you are not careful – especially in the winter when you do not want to get wet. Balance is something I work on everyday by doing single leg deadlifts among other exercises.
The most important river walking aid is your staff. Although your guides will look like they can walk through the rivers like they are walking on land, that is wishful thinking for most folks. Using a staff is one of the smartest things you can do and most fly fishing retailers offer a good one. Here’s an example of one made by Folstaf.
This year the rivers are running extremely low and so wading them is not as big an issue as you would think. I am hearing stories from the locals about how “they haven’t seen the rivers this low in 40 years.” Lower parts of the Fryingpan are frozen from the bottom up they are so shallow. With the little amount of snowfall this winter, our rivers and life within them will definitely be threatened.