Dry-fly tactics | AspenTimes.com

Dry-fly tactics

The nirvana of fly fishing for most anglers is anytime trout are eating insects off the water’s surface. The thrill and adrenaline rush of seeing a trout slowly and methodically rise to take your offering is fly fishing in its most pure form.

Sure, you can often catch more fish by nymph fishing (fishing sunken insect imitations) blindly through deep pools and seams, though you never get to see that incredible split-second take when a fish actually eats your fly. To be a successful dry-fly fisher you must also become a hunter that understands the concepts of the stalk, the correct presentation and, lastly, the proper fly imitating the exact stage of whatever insect the fish happen to be feeding on.

Blue Wing Olive (BWO) mayflies, along with midges, are the dominant insects currently hatching. As May approaches, heavy hatches of Caddis will also become a big-ticket item on the trout’s menu.

With so much food becoming available, the opportunities to catch fish on dry flies dramatically improves. Expect to find solid hatches of midges along with sporadic BWO hatches along the Fryingpan River near Basalt. Midges prefer to hatch during bright, sunny days while the BWOs are most active during periods of warmth and overcast. Both of these insects are quite small, though what they lack in size they make up for in sheer numbers. Flies in the #18-24 range are best and include: Bills Midge Emerger, Morgans Para Midge, CDC Comparadun BWOs and Flag Dun BWOs.

The annual Mother’s Day Caddis Hatch actually begins prior to Mother’s Day, generally around the end of April. This hatch is often so heavy that it can appear to be snowing. The Colorado and Roaring Fork rivers see tremendous spring Caddis hatches and with that brings some exciting and fast-paced dry-fly fishing. These insects often range in size from large #12s all the way down to smaller #18s. Unlike mayflies and midges, Caddis often scurry on the water surface, so moving or bumping your fly can often induce strikes.

This report is provided every week by Taylor Creek Fly Shops in Aspen and Basalt. Taylor Creek can be reached at 970-927-4374 or taylorcreek.com.

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