On the Fly: Fall fishing is on our doorstep
September 8, 2017
As our local freestone rivers begin to drop in volume, we need to add a bit of "stealth factor" to our fly presentations and techniques to remain successful.
There are just as many fish in the Crystal, Roaring Fork and Colorado rivers as always, but going forward they can be more difficult to catch. As the larger insects (green drakes, golden stoneflies, yellow Sallies and Pale Morning Duns) begin to ebb in numbers, smaller bugs like blue wing olives and midges begin to take center stage again.
We find that if we treat these bigger rivers like we would the Fryingpan tailwater, the more successful we become in fall. This means light tippets, small flies and rowing or walking in the river quietly. Dry-fly fishing is starting to subside (except on the Fryingpan), but don't overlook fishing hopper dries on the grassy banks and skating caddis adults around at twilight as we begin to cool off. Nymphing with small BWO, midge and caddis imitations should bring you success, and if you know this valley, some excellent streamer fishing awaits us in the coming weeks.
Speaking of which, as we head toward late September and early October, streamer fishing (big flies that imitate small trout and sculpins) will be as good as it ever gets. As brown trout begin their once-a-year spawning rituals, they become quite aggressive and tend to eat everything they see. Fishing these large flies out of a drift boat or raft is the best way to move as many fish as possible over the course of your day.
As the colors change, the nights get cooler and the days become shorter, look for some terrific fishing opportunities on our local rivers!
This column is provided by Taylor Creek Fly Shops in Aspen and Basalt. Taylor Creek can be reached at 970-927-4374.