On the fly: Gearing up | AspenTimes.com

On the fly: Gearing up

Kirk Webb
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT – Spring fishing conditions have finally taken hold in our local rivers. The water levels are increasing as the snow continues to melt.

Anglers are relishing the superb fishing opportunities available on the Fryingpan and Roaring Fork rivers. If you’re heading out to fish up the ‘Pan, the best fishing has certainly been close to the dam. The higher water levels are making for superb mysis shrimp “hatches.”

Caddis, blue-wing olives and stoneflies are commonplace on the Roaring Fork now. Though the water clarity below Carbondale can be day-to-day, the upper sections have been fabulous. Anglers will want to seek out the calmer and slower sections of water where the fish often congregate at this time of year. In that sense it’s very easy to locate the fish, unlike summer when the fish are more dispersed.

With runoff shortly approaching, this is the time of year to go through your equipment and make sure you’re ready for the upcoming fishing season. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s losing a fish due to poor equipment maintenance. Clean and lubricate your reels. Check your fly lines for cracks and replace if needed. A new, clean fly line makes a world of difference in overall fishing performance. Also be sure to replace your tippets and leaders annually, especially if you’re still fishing in the dark ages of nylon monofilament, which deteriorates over a short period of time. Fluorocarbon tippets are all the rage now; these lines don’t reflect light, which makes them “invisible” in addition to being a softer and denser material. Once you make the switch to fluorocarbon you’ll never turn back.

Bring in your fly boxes to a local fly fishing specialty store and reload on your needed flies, which are undoubtedly poached after last season’s fishing. Many local fly shops offer spring tune-up classes and clinics. This is a great way to get a refresher on knots, casting techniques, basic entomology and more. It’s common knowledge that, as with any hobby, the more you know and practice, the more successful you’ll be.

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