On the Fly: Fall delight brings fishing without crowds | AspenTimes.com

On the Fly: Fall delight brings fishing without crowds

Justin Moore
On the Fly
A brown trout caught out of the Fryingpan River.
Photo courtesy of Kara Lewis

Ask the local angler their favorite season to fish, and most will sing songs of autumn’s splendor.

Summer crowds have come and gone, but one thing has stayed consistent, and that’s the fishing! With minimal crowds, one can go back to fishing their favorite locations without the worry of being elbow to elbow. With lower flows, the wading accessibility has widely opened.

Make sure to have studded boots or bring a wading staff; the river will be a blank canvas for you to choose where the perfect drift will be.

Often a surprise to some, we are still fishing fantastic dry-fly hatches in the valley, with the Fryingpan having the most prolific emergences. Do yourself a favor and don’t put away those drakes just yet! You heard it, we are still throwing drakes sizes 10 to 14 on the Pan with good success.

Along with the drakes, we are still seeing hatches of small caddis, pale morning duns and blue-wing olives. The BWOs seem to be the strongest hatch, especially on the more overcast days. Some patterns of note would be sizes 18 to 22 Sparkleduns, CDC Comparaduns, Roy’s Fryingpan emergers and Colletts para BWOs. With smaller flies, we compensate with lighter tippets, 6x and 7x fluorocarbon being the go-to.

The dry-fly fishing is excellent this time year, but the streamer-fishing takes a serious uptick during fall. Time to stock the meat locker with streamer delights, some of our favorite patters being Peanut Envys, Dungeons, Wooly Buggers and, of course Tim Heng’s Autumn Splendor.

Either fish by boat or wade long stretches of water; streamer fishing is best on the move. Browns become very aggressive this time of year and put on a visual experience one has to see for themselves to really know how great it is. Not only are the leaves putting on a show, but the trout are following suit. Brown trout spawn this time of year, so make sure you avoid stepping or fishing on their redds (beds). Instead, put the fly rod down, and take a moment to watch some of the magic nature has to offer.

Enjoy some fall delight out there!

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