Fishing report: Legendary drake hatches |

Fishing report: Legendary drake hatches

Kirk WebbSpecial to The Aspen TimesAspen, CO Colorado

BASALT – It’s that magical time of year again when anglers and guides from across the country flock to the Roaring Fork and Colorado rivers in hopes of hitting the fabled green drake hatch. Once the rivers reach peak runoff, they drop and clear very quickly. The minute they clear, the fishing goes from zero to 100 mph. It’s time to gear up and get ready.The green drake hatch in the Roaring Fork Valley is truly legendary. Green drakes are the largest mayfly species in Colorado and whenever these insects are hatching, seemingly every fish in the river takes notice. The coveted evening “lighting round” or “power hour” often produces the fastest-paced fishing of the entire year, when seemingly every fish in the river is rising. The most successful way to fish this hatch is by floating the river with an experienced guide.Though the actual hatch takes place at or near dusk, the fishing remains solid in the daytime hours when the fish key in on green drake nymphs. When fishing prior to the hatch, you must fish your flies in any of the “soft” water that you come across. With the river still being high, fish will congregate in these areas where they don’t have to fight the current and expend vast amounts of energy. Short and heavy two-fly nymph rigs consisting of 20-inchers and prince nymphs in size Nos. 10-14 will fish well.As the hatch progresses, fish will also begin to key in on green drake emergers. A No. 12 winged green drake emerger is a killer fly to imitate this stage in the insects’ life cycle. Perhaps the most fun you can have with your waders on is at dusk, when the drakes mature and become winged adult insects. Even when fishing dries we still prefer to fish two flies. A highly visible royal Wulff or H&L variant trailed by a cripple or sparkledun drake will produce fish after fish after fish.Carry plenty of fly floatant with you and be prepared to have the best fishing of your life.

This report is provided every week by Taylor Creek Fly Shops in Aspen and Basalt. Taylor Creek can be reached at 970-927-4374 or

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