On the fly: Frenzied fishing
BASALT – Now is the time to hit the ground running to the valley’s many rivers, streams and lakes.The big draw at this time of year is certainly the green drake mayfly hatch. Currently this hatch is taking place along the lower elevation waters of the Roaring Fork River around Basalt and Carbondale. This nightly hatch provides thrilling and frenzied dry-fly fishing during the evening hours. This event is locally dubbed as the “lightning round” or “hour of power” as the last 45 minutes to hour and a half of daylight is when these large mayflies prefer to hatch. The hatch is a bit early this year due to low-water conditions, so don’t wait until the Fourth of July in hopes of hitting this epic mayfly hatch.Many local fly patterns have been developed to accurately imitate these insects because our drakes don’t quite fit the mold of traditional colors and proportions. Some of my favorite drake patterns include: BDE drakes, pimped out H&Ls, drake cripples, KGBs, royal Wulffs and winged drake emergers in sizes 10-12.While the Roaring Fork River yields its best dry-fly fishing opportunities in the evening hours, the Fryingpan River will fish with dries midday from noon to 3 p.m. Late evenings also give way to decent rusty spinner falls. The most consistent fishing and heaviest hatches will take place along the upper half of the river, above mile marker 6. Complex hatches consisting of BWOs, PMDs and caddis can be had. BWOs are the smallest of these three insects (size nos. 20-22), followed by PMDs (nos. 16-18) and caddis (nos. 14-18). In a nutshell, just keep your eyes open if the fish are eating the small fly (BWOs) or the big fly (PMDs/caddis). Oftentimes, we will fish tandem fly setups consisting of one of each, enabling the fish to pick their “fly de jour.”This time of year easily offers the best and most consistent fishing whether you opt to walk/wade or float the rivers. The rivers are still dropping and clearing, meaning that believe it or not, the fishing is still getting better and better daily. Keep in mind that as the river flows gradually fall, the size of flies being fished also gradually become smaller and smaller. Get out there and fish hard right now while the big bugs are still hatching and the fish are gorging.
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.
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