Fishing report: Try winter fishing |

Fishing report: Try winter fishing

Will Sands
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT – While I am sure most locals and visitors are dreaming of dropping into their favorite powder stashes and an epic mountain opener, plenty of fish-heads are still taking advantage of some excellent fishing right now.

When the snow starts flying, many people find it hard to wrap their head around the idea that fly fishing is still even possible. It is just not an activity that is traditionally thought of during the winter months. That being said, more and more anglers each year are learning just how good winter fishing is. Thus, for the non-skier visiting the valley with their ski-bum friends, or to take a day off and rest some weary ski legs, winter fly fishing certainly is an option.

At this time of the season, bright warm winter days can produce excellent midge hatches on the Fryingpan, and floating the Roaring Fork can be a memorable way to enjoy a day. With snow throughout the valley, the rivers take on a whole different appearance. With a few good layers and the right flies, you might forget for a few hours that the winter ski season is beginning, that you are just downvalley from the legendary ski town of Aspen and instead fishing the world-famous rivers of the Roaring Fork Valley during ski season!

Anglers concentrating their efforts on the Fryingpan this week should expect good midge hatches midday, coupled with blue winged olives (BWOs). Dry fly fishing has been quite consistent from noon to three or four. Before, after or during hatch periods, nymph fishing will be very solid. Tiny flies 20-24 are necessary right now, and light leaders and tippets from 6X to 7X are a must on the ‘Pan.

Roaring Fork anglers have the option to wade or float the river right now. Both approaches have been productive. Nymph fishing will be most productive, with limited or no dry fly fishing on the Fork. Concentrate on the deeper runs and pools where fish will congregate. Try hiring a local guide if you are new to the valley or drop into a local shop for the hot flies this week and public access points if you prefer to do it yourself.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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