Fishing report: small flies, eggs and streamers
September 14, 2010
BASALT – Ask a Roaring Fork Valley fly-fishing guide what their favorite time of year is to fish, and almost certainly they’ll reply with fall.
Gone are the long and hot “dog days” of July and August. Fishing pressure is now very light, offering more fish per fisherman. Insect hatches are still prevalent and include both late summer and early fall insects such as blue-wing olives, pale morning duns, green drakes, caddis and midges. As we make the transition into fall, expect the smaller insects to dominate the majority of trout’s diet as the larger insects slowly fade away until next summer.
Blue-wing olives will be the primary hatch for the next two months. What these small mayflies lack in size they make up for in sheer numbers. Whether you’re fishing the large waters of the Colorado River or the small waters of the Fryingpan or upper Roaring Fork rivers, you will want to be certain that you have flies to imitate this mayfly in all stages of life. A guide’s fly box in the fall will consist mostly of blue wing olive patterns in sizes 18-22, along with various egg and streamer patterns.
Brown trout spawn in the fall, and when this occurs, freshly laid trout eggs litter the river bottoms, becoming a nutrient-rich source of protein and food for the non-spawning trout. An egg pattern trailed by a blue wing olive imitation (or two) will be your “bread and butter.”
For the larger rivers we generally fish a No. 14 egg in yellow, peach or orange followed by a No. 18-20 pheasant tail, jujubaetis, RS2 or Barr emerger. On smaller waters such as the Fryingpan or upper Roaring Fork, downsize your egg into that No. 18 size range trailed by smaller, No. 20-22 blue wing olive imitations.
Don’t count out the streamer fishing during the fall, especially when floating. Next to dry-fly fishing, streamer fishing is the most fun you can have with your waders on. The visuals can only be described as amazing, as even the short striking fish are plenty of fun.