Fishing report: Break in weather a delight for anglers |

Fishing report: Break in weather a delight for anglers

Will Sands
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT – Fishing opportunities abound throughout the Roaring Fork Valley this week.

A nice, extended break in the weather has made it more pleasant to consider hitting the rivers and water temperatures have been warming slightly. A slight increase like this really heats up the bite and I have noticed more anglers on both the Pan and Fork this week, including a few drift boats heading downvalley.

Mid- to late-February marks a valleywide transition where all area rivers will begin to consistently fish well. Hatches will intensify and anglers will notice more diverse and prolific types of insects on the water. Multitudes of midges and the first appearance of spring blue winged olives and late winter stones will be appearing any day now. The combination of warmer water temps and an overnight abundance of trout forage equals epic fishing opportunities.

If you are inclined to try the Roaring Fork, the best fishing has been downstream of Basalt to Glenwood Springs. Nymphing the deep runs and pools will be most productive; use enough weight to get your flies down to the fish’s level. Light leaders and tippets of 5X and 6X are also important with current flows and clarity. Hot patterns have been prince nymph’s and 20-inchers as lead flies, with rainbow warriors, pulsating midge emergers, zebra midges and tungsten hoover’s as droppers.

If you are looking to find some rising fish, the Fryingpan has some nice midday hatches. The three hot dries to have are Befus’ adult midge, Morgan’s para midge and Bill’s midge emerger. If you find it difficult see these tiny dries trail them behind a larger dry fly as a visual indicator.

If you are not finding rising fish, then you will be most productive nymphing. The hot patterns are medallion midges, Rojo’s johnny flashes and TC midges. Mysis shrimp patterns within the first half-mile below the spillway and glo-bugs are good lead flies.

As always a stop by your local fly shop to inquiry about access, up to the minute conditions, equipment selection or rental and guided trips can prove invaluable.

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