On the Fly: Fly shop parlor games | AspenTimes.com

On the Fly: Fly shop parlor games

Scott Spooner
On the Fly
Guide Kevin Sullivan and client with a Roaring Fork River rainbow trout.
Taylor Creek Fly Shops/Courtesy photo

Without fail, the springtime fly shop parlor game has begun: “What’s the spring runoff going to be like this year?”

We have already seen some early runoff out there as we have warmed up, but don’t let off-color water send you packing quite yet. Runoff won’t begin in earnest until mid-May.

The Crystal River and the multitude of small creeks have already popped a few times with a bit of mud and increased volume, and we will see all of the freestone rivers yo-yo a bit as we ease in to springtime warmth.

The Eagle River has contributed some off-color water to the Colorado this week, as well.  

Once we get a week of bright sun, caddis will enter the equation for fish and anglers alike. Usually by Tax Day, we start to see the first waves of these bigger bugs, with the first major emergence anticipated around Mother’s Day just as runoff takes off. 

The warm and cloudy weather has offered up some incredible blue winged olive hatches. We were seeing these mayflies on the Colorado and Roaring Fork rivers all the way up to Basalt until this recent blowout.

So, what’s runoff going to be like? This depends on how quickly we warm up and if we experience more dust-on-snow wind events. 

Usually, you can bet your bottom dollar that runoff will occur from May 15 to June 20; but if I were to venture a guess, I’d say it will start earlier in May and last later into June this time around. 

However it works out, it will, and our slippery, local river inhabitants will be very happy with more cold water this summer (fingers crossed) than last time around. 

Let the tea leaf-reading begin!

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.