On the Fly: Caddis hatch!
The caddis hatch – an eagerly awaited event for this angler if only so she can tie on a fly that she can actually see – has begun in earnest on the Colorado and lower Roaring Fork rivers.A dry caddis was also working well as an indicator on the Fryingpan River last weekend, with a small black midge trailing. The caddis actually enticed a few strikes.While snow and rain Tuesday put a damper on the fishing for all but the hardiest anglers, skies are expected to begin clearing Wednesday and relatively pleasant weather is forecast into the coming weekend.”I think that this next several days should be very good fishing,” predicted Tim Heng at Taylor Creek Fly Shop in Basalt.The Roaring Fork, muddied Tuesday by flows from Snowmass Creek and the Crystal River, should start to clear after the precipitation moves out. That, along with the caddis hatch, make for some promising conditions, according to Heng.On the middle Fork, between Basalt and Carbondale, he recommends blue-wing olive patterns.Heng suggested a dark, size 16 or 18 caddis dry fly on the lower Fork, below Carbondale, and the electric caddis, buckskin caddis and LaFontaine sparkle pupa if the trout aren’t taking dries.Drew Reid at Roaring Fork Anglers in Glenwood Springs recommended the western coachman and LaFontaine as emerger patterns, and a No. 14 or 16 dark-body caddis on the lower Fork and the Colorado. The dry-fly fishing is best in the mid- to late afternoon, he advised.On the upper Fork, above Old Snowmass, a blue wing olive hatch has been producing some dry-fly action in early to mid-afternoon, according to Chris Lemons at Aspen Flyfishing. A few caddis are starting to flit about in the upper valley, as well.”Up here, the fish aren’t really keyed into that yet,” Lemons said.On the Fryingpan, blue-wing olive dries, small pheasant tail nymphs and BWO emerger patterns are still the best bet, according to Heng.Anglers likely have just a few weeks of early season fishing left before spring runoff begins in earnest. In the meantime, expect cloudy conditions on the Fork, at least below its confluence with Snowmass Creek, most mornings. The river typically clears as the day progresses. Muddy conditions are rarely a factor on the dam-controlled Pan.For more on area fishing action, see http://www.aspentimes.com/fishing.
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