On the Fly: Fishing around Aspen is heating up | AspenTimes.com

On the Fly: Fishing around Aspen is heating up

Scott Spooner
On the Fly

We are finally getting back in business on our rivers here in the Roaring Fork Valley! Hopefully more snow will come, but the great melt-off is in full swing and fishing is heating up. Recent exploratory missions to the Colorado, Roaring Fork, Crystal and Fryingpan rivers have been very fruitful, to say the least. Most edge ice has dissipated significantly over the last few weeks, boat ramps are accessible and bugs are starting to hatch.

The Colorado River is low and clear at the moment, although you’ll notice some color after a hot or rainy day. Silt, Newcastle, Dino and South Canyon fished well for us over the week. Golden stonefly nymphs, eggs, Princes and baetis emergers did the trick. There are even a few rising fish to be found, looking for big midges and small BWOs on the surface.

The Roaring Fork is probably the best fishing river here in the valley this week. Golden stones are molting here and there, midges and BWOs are hatching in the afternoons if it’s not too windy, plus caddis and baetis nymphs are prolific. There is still a bit of edge ice on the upper river around Aspen, but conditions are leaps and bounds better than just a week or two ago.

The upper Crystal is still pretty icy, but the middle and lower river have thawed and even turned a bit muddy last week. From the confluence with the Roaring Fork up through the Staircase, fish are on the hunt for caddis and baetis nymphs. Don’t overthink the Crystal — use your favorite generic attractor patterns and cover a lot of water.

The Fryingpan has the most consistent dry fly fishing this week. The lower miles close to Basalt are starting to see some good hatches, but the most consistent surface activity is below the dam. Small, dark midges in sizes 18 to 24 are working well, and be sure to carry a few different variations. Rene Harrop’s Hanging Midges and Spent Midges have been fooling fish up there consistently. Wherever you end up fishing this week, go have some fun and embrace the (sort of) spring weather!

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.