Fishing report: Mud season opportunities
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
BASALT – Warm weather and spring are finally upon us in the Roaring Fork Valley. The month of May is often dubbed “mud season” by valley locals. The warm, sunny weather brings snowmelt and runoff to nearly every body of moving water, especially along the Roaring Fork, Colorado and Crystal rivers.
Thankfully, tailwater fisheries like the Fryingpan River, which is controlled by Ruedi Reservoir, remain clear and fishable throughout the spring as it is rarely ever affected by runoff-like conditions. The Fryingpan has long been a safe haven for anglers who not only have “the itch” to get out there during mud season, but also expect exceptional fishing opportunities and hatches.
The Fryingpan River is seeing daily hatches of Midges, Blue Wing Olives and Caddis. Expect the best fishing to take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The fish are focusing primarily on subsurface imitations, and one should be sure not to leave home without some Pheasant Tails, STD’s, Black Poxybacks, Master Baetis, RS2’s, Biot Baetis and Freestone Emergers. Rising fish will be seen with regularity from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Light fluorocarbon tippets of 6x and 7x will be needed due to the small flies and clear water being fished. Some of the better dry fly patterns have included #20-22 Sparkledun BWO’s, Para. Emerger BWO’s, Bill’s Midge Adult and Ethawing Caddis. Overcast days have been yielding hours of dry fly fishing and hordes of risers.
If you want to test your skills as a fly-rodder, carp fishing along the Lower Colorado River and in its many backwater sloughs is as close to saltwater flats fishing as you’ll find in freshwater. This guide’s day-off carp routine is becoming more and more popular with the general public. Carp routinely exceed 10 pounds in weight with shots at specimens more than 20 pounds being fairly common. Long casts are often needed to prevent spooking these wary fish. Walk the banks softly and train your eyes to see through the water’s surface to sight these overlooked, massive fish. Take our word for it, these fish are pure fun!
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An inspirational piece of 20th century artist Herbert Bayer is being installed on the staircase next to Aspen City Hall by his granddaughter, Koko.