Fishing report: Fall’s finest | AspenTimes.com

Fishing report: Fall’s finest

Kirk Webb
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT – The autumn fishing is peaking. Look for the next two weeks in particular to yield fall’s best fishing.

In large part, this is because of the annual spawning of the rivers’ resident brown trout and whitefish. For the past two to three weeks now, the brown trout on the Roaring Fork River have been tough to find and catch, as they’ve been too preoccupied with spawning. Recently, though, we’ve noticed a dramatic increase in their feeding behavior, as many of the fish are now post-spawn and back to feeding hard prior to the long winter.

Obviously egg patterns continue to dominate when nymphing the deeper pools and seams. The best fishing colors have included champagne and cheese. Smaller blue-wing olive and midge imitations, such as sparklewing RS-2s, tungsten hoovers, zebra midges and medallion midges in sizes 18-22, fished as droppers behind your egg will also yield plenty of fish. Shallow- to medium-depth two-fly nymph rigs fished with a decent amount of weight to drive your flies near or on the bottom is best. Unlike the technical waters of the Fryingpan River, heavier tippets of 4x and 5x are sufficient.

I have been lucky enough to fish every day this past week and have traveled to many of our valley’s incredible waters. The pike fishing has been to die for at Rifle and Harvey Gap reservoirs. Large bunny flies tied in perch colorations fished on drop-offs near the bays in 5-10 feet of water has been best. Cover water and fish with confidence on every cast.

Hatches of blue-wing olives and midges are a daily occurrence along the Fryingpan River. The biggest key to being successful here is to sight fish as much as possible and to fish light fluorocarbon tippets of 6x and 7x. The Colorado River, like the Roaring Fork, is also starting to pick back up. Streamer fishing the riprap and shelves are producing more and more fish daily. Seemingly anywhere you go fishing in the valley right now, you can count on having a productive outing. Enjoy.