On the Fly: Autumn splendor | AspenTimes.com

On the Fly: Autumn splendor

Scott Spooner
On the Fly
Roaring Fork in the fall can be the site of incredible beauty and wonderful fishing.
Louis Cahill/Courtesy Photo

Now that we have some cool weather under our belts here in the Roaring Fork Valley, the fishing will begin to change yet again. The fish notice these annual cycles and their feeding patterns, behaviors and diet are starting to adjust. So must we as fly fishers.

Over the next month we should still enjoy the prolific late summer/early fall hatches of the Roaring Fork Valley (especially up the Fryingpan River) but those epic days are numbered and we need to take advantage while we still can. Flows are going to be dropping soon and we need to consider stealth and accuracy to remain successful. Simply put, these fish have seen thousands of artificial flies over the last few months, and with slower and clearer water on the way the trout have plenty of time to inspect our fly and choose whether to accept it or refuse it.

The opposite argument can also be made here, as trout sense the lean and dark times on the horizon, and start to feel a sense of urgency in regards to their caloric intake. This is the reason we have such incredible streamer fishing here in the fall, as is the case anywhere trout reside. Large meals take a higher priority than chasing down tiny flies, especially for bigger trout.

Blue Winged Olives are officially back on the menu now and will take over top spot on the hatch chart, especially on the upper Fryingpan, Roaring Fork and Colorado Rivers. These tiny mayflies are the official heralds of spring and fall, and they are already hatching heavily in certain areas.

October and November are magical around here, this is the time to experience a few less people, vibrant colors and late summer hatches will keep on rolling for another week or so. Thank goodness!

This column is provided by Taylor Creek Fly Shops in Aspen and Basalt. Taylor Creek can be reached at 970-927-4374.