Fishing report: Opportunities abound |

Fishing report: Opportunities abound

Kirk Webb
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT – It’s peak season now and fly anglers are arriving in the Roaring Fork Valley in masses. With such a myriad of fishing opportunities and bodies of water, anglers of all abilities and skill levels can find their very own slice of heaven within the Roaring Fork Valley. From the gold medal waters of the Fryingpan and Roaring Fork rivers to majestic high country lakes and creeks brimming with cutthroat trout, fly anglers have seemingly unlimited options.

Fishing and hiking into the high country almost guarantees solitude, with the rewards being some of Mother Nature’s most beautifully colored fish – the Colorado River cutthroat trout.

Several area lakes and creeks including Rocky Fork, Avalanche and Lincoln creeks, as well as Cathedral, Mormon, Lyle and Maroon lakes fish well during July. Anglers heading into these areas will want to leave early in the morning, as the best fishing is often during late morning and into the afternoon. Remember, the weather can change rapidly up high, with frequent thunder and rain showers during the late afternoons.

As flies go, favorites include various terrestrial patterns such as ants, beetles and grasshoppers. Small attractor nymph and streamers patterns like princes, pheasant tails and wooly buggers are also of importance. Several of these lakes have good populations of damsels and scuds also. Many anglers consider cutthroat trout the glamour fish of all trout species. Their vibrant colors and hues often mirror their spectacular surroundings. If I die and become reincarnated as a fish, I’d love to be a high-country cutthroat.

Additionally, the Fryingpan and Roaring Fork rivers are fishing superbly. The fishing along the Fryingpan has vastly improved with the lower water flows. Hatches of PMDs and BWOs can be found midday from noon to 3 p.m. Some of the best dry-fly fishing has been at dusk when the rusty spinner fall occurs. Green drakes are being seen along the Roaring Fork during last light from Aspen down to Basalt. This large mayfly produces vicious and frenzied fishing from 8:30 p.m. to dark.

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