On the fly: Fall fishing and blue-wing olives
October 12, 2011
BASALT – Autumn often yields some of the best dry-fly fishing of the entire year.Blue-wing olives are one of the few mayfly species that hatches bi-annually, during both spring and fall. For most anglers, these small mayflies represent the beginning and the end of our fishing season.The heaviest blue-wing olive hatches take place during periods of overcast skies, punctuated with light drizzle. In our valley these insects generally hatch during midday right around the noon hour. The duration of this hatch varies widely, depending mostly on weather conditions. Hatches are often shorter and lighter during bright and sunny conditions, but can seemingly last for hours upon hours during dreary and overcast weather.A typical blue-wing olive imitation falls into the size range of a No. 18 or 20 hook, common on the Colorado and Roaring Fork rivers, but on the Fryingpan River they are generally smaller, with a typical imitation being tied on a smaller size 20 or 22 hook. Unique to the Roaring Fork Valley watershed is the fact that our blue-wing olive nymphs are very dark in color and border on being black. Our BWO emergers and adults are gray in body color, not the typical olive like you’d find elsewhere in the country. With this in mind, fly anglers will want to be certain that they are matching this hatch with localized colors and imitations to improve their on-the-water success.Some of my favorite blue-wing olive fly patterns include: pheasant tails and tungsten hoovers as nymphs; gray RS2s and gray soft-hackle baetis as emergers; and the gray CDC comparadun and sparkledun as adult imitations. As I write this, I take a quick glance outside the window and see a gray, overcast sky. It’s almost noon and I need to hit the water. I know for a fact that today is going to yield some superb blue-wing olive hatches. It’s time to grab the three-weight, a rain jacket and my blue-wing olive fly boxes. These are the days I long for all summer long – no crowds, piles of bugs hatching, cool weather and rising trout in every pocket of soft water. Fall is here.
This report is provided every week by Taylor Creek Fly Shops in Aspen and Basalt. Taylor Creek can be reached at (970) 927-4374 or taylorcreek.com.