On the Fly: Caddis explosion on Aspen area rivers | AspenTimes.com

On the Fly: Caddis explosion on Aspen area rivers

Scott Spooner
On the Fly
A caddis-loving rainbow trout.
Jack Reis/Special to The Aspen Times

The recent blue-winged olive hatch has been the best in recent memory. Springtime weather has set it back here and there, but those in the know choose their days wisely.

These grayish-olive mayflies blanket the water while the trout sip them in pools, tailouts and, sometimes, when you’re lucky, from bank to bank. BWOs hatch until June, but there is a new distraction on the way for Roaring Fork Valley trout.

With the ensuing warm-ups, BWOs will start taking a back seat to the progressively stronger caddis hatches on the Roaring Fork and Colorado. For the next few weeks, the brighter days will spur stronger caddis hatches and the cloudy will usually result in better BWO hatches.

Tax Day typically brings us the first waves of caddis, and this usually coincides with the off-color water of snowmelts. Mother’s Day can bring the heaviest hatch of the year, although caddis will continue to hatch all summer long. In other words, we now get to fish caddis when conditions play in our favor — in rising and “dirty water.” Gone are the gin-clear and often frustrating conditions of winter!

This hatch is going to move upvalley quickly, so keep your ear to the ground on where to be and when. Fishing a larger caddis dry down to a smaller one in an across-and-downstream drift will become irresistible to trout when you are in the right place at the right time. Be sure your line and leader float like a cork, and start off with heavier tippet than you think you might get away with.

You’ll be surprised how a trout focused on caddis won’t seem to mind 3x and 4x.

Caddis don’t just sit there on the water, so your fly must behave the same way. Fishing across and downstream will aid this effort of skittering and skating your fly with some brief pauses thrown in. It always seems like summer goes by in a flash, so get your dry-fly tune up now!

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

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