Fishing report: A big secret | AspenTimes.com

Fishing report: A big secret

Kirk Webb
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT – The air is crisp and cool. The leaves are turning into vibrant shades of yellow, gold, red and orange. Most anglers have put away their rods and reels for the year and instead opt to watch football, go hunting and wait on Old Man Winter and the snow to start flying so they can ski and shred the mountains.

For many die-hard anglers though, fall marks the year’s best fishing. In fact, most of us look forward to this time of year when the rivers are devoid of summer crowds and the water is low, clear and stacked with hungry fish. There are days when I feel like I’ve been let in on a big secret. I can have the river all to myself, or so it seems as I wade knee-deep in the gin-clear water, watching fish feed and forage on tiny blue wing olive mayflies and various nymphs and catch as many trout as I seemingly want. Yeah, it can be that good.

With ideal weather expected through the weekend, count on all Roaring Fork Valley waters to fish well. The Colorado River from Glenwood Canyon down to Rifle has been fishing superbly. This section of river is all about quality, not quantity. There’s no doubt that the river is best fished by floating in a dory boat or raft. Streamer fishing the banks, undercuts and other forms of structure for the resident brown and rainbow trout is a thrilling and visual fishing experience.

While most anglers move the fly by stripping the fly line, we often employ a slight variation of this technique. We cast the fly at the river bank, strip our line once to move the fly off the bank and onto the shelf, let it sink for a second or two, and then twitch our fly a few times (2-3) using the rod tip. After those few twitches, we’re back to casting into a new spot or area, constantly covering new water and new fish. Favorite patterns include autumn splendors, ziwis, stingin’ sculpins and slump busters.