Fishing report: Trout getting picky
July 20, 2010
BASALT – Over the past few weeks fishing has been quite exceptional and, in general, rather easy or rather forgiving. The higher water levels and intense hatches that occur in the weeks following runoff provoke fish to feed with reckless abandon. Although the fishing will continue to be very good throughout the remainder of the summer, things are beginning to change and anglers will need to be a bit more attentive going forward.
What has been easy fishing begins to change rapidly and many anglers do not adjust from the ease of post-runoff conditions. Water levels are now picture-perfect for wading throughout the valley, and with stabilized flows the fish have more opportunity to scrutinize anglers’ offerings. Water clarity is now what is commonly known as “gin clear” and although it allows anglers to spot and stalk fish, the fish also become more wary.
These changing conditions will require anglers to focus more on their overall presentation. Far too many anglers believe that just the right fly is all it takes, but there is much more to it when the water drops, clears and trout begin to become much more selective. Anglers are going to need to switch from heavy leaders and tippets to finer leaders and tippets. More attention to getting the proper drift will also become of the utmost importance. The combination of terminal tackle, proper drift and more refined fly patterns like emergers, comparaduns and “no hackle”-style patterns will assist in continued success on the water.
This week the Fryingpan has been yielding good pale morning dun and blue-winged olive hatches throughout the day and some very fine rusty spinner falls in the evening. The Roaring Fork is still producing great caddis action throughout its entirety and the green drakes are heaviest between Aspen and Basalt in the evenings. If any or all of this sounds Greek to you, then stop by a local fly shop or join a local guide to refine your skills or just to experience fly fishing for your very first time.
Some of the year’s best fishing is at hand!