Fishing report: Don’t fear the cold |

Fishing report: Don’t fear the cold

Will Sands
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT – The weather has been all over the place for the past week. Despite this, even I was surprised to speak with numerous anglers refusing to let last week’s single-digit highs preclude them a day of fishing.

The great thing about asking why these anglers were getting out on the water was all the various responses we received, from both locals and visitors:

“I’ve only got today while everyone else is skiing.”

“Just got some new gear and I just have to try it out.”

“We’re from Minnesota, you think this is cold?”

“My friends tried this last winter and said we had to give it a go!”

The other morning, after taking care of some chores, I sat back pondering what to do. The dogs seemed restless and ready to go, but every once in a while I look at the temperature gauge and question why I’m headed out fishing. One phone call later and it was settled – we’d meet a bit downvalley on the “Fork.” February is really the first month that days get a bit warmer and overall the fishing consistently heats up on the Roaring Fork.

After gearing I found my partner already making drifts through the run where we’d agreed to meet. He was quick to point out what midges the fish were keyed in on, and where they were concentrated.

“Over there along that deep, slow seam,” he motioned, after breaking off several flies and proceeding to re-rig.

Thus, I began swinging several streamers down through the run and was pleasantly surprised to have several favorable grabs. Streamer fishing can be hit-or-miss right now, but the nymph fishing is always productive.

This week on the Fork, anglers should focus their efforts on the deeper pools with a combination of large 20-inchers or other stonefly patterns. Zebra midges, rojo midges and tungsten hoovers would be key droppers.

To find out more about where to go or how to spend a productive day winter fishing, drop by your local fly shop.

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