Fishing report: Fabulous fall |

Fishing report: Fabulous fall

Kirk Webb
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT – Fly-fishers love autumn. How could they not? The rivers are all low and clear, the hatches are still prevalent, the foliage is breathtaking and the crowds of summer are now long gone.

Fall fishing is all about big fish and aggressive fish. Whether it’s chasing the big browns on the Colorado with streamers the size of a sock, fishing the myriad hatches on the Fryingpan, or nymphing the deep plunge pools and seams along the Roaring Fork, fall fishing is nothing short of fabulous.

In the coming weeks you’ll notice that the brown trout become more active than they’ve been all year. Their colorations mirror the warm hues of their surroundings. Brown trout as well as whitefish spawn during fall. The deposited eggs will litter the river bottom as the non-spawning fish actively gorge on these protein-packed morsels. Egg patterns in various sizes and colors will fish well for the next two months or so on all valley waters.

Our float staff relishes the overcast days and early mornings and late evenings for the year’s best streamer fishing. Natural-colored streamers often fish best, though at times light- and dark-colored patterns can also fish well with surprising results. Keep in mind that, more often than not, when streamer fishing it’s not always about having the right fly as much as it is to find the right speed of retrieve. This can vary day to day, so experimenting with your retrieve will often pay off in big fish. This is fast-paced fishing and is not recommended for neophyte anglers, but good casters enjoy the challenge of putting large flies into tight spots.

Some incredibly large fish have been caught on the Fryingpan this past week, including a behemoth 30-inch rainbow estimated at 18 pounds, caught with the help of guide John Hansen. This is easily the largest fish we’ve seen caught out of the Fryingpan in a number of years. River flows were recently dropped to around 200 cfs, which makes the river much more accessible.

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