On the fly: Hints of spring

Will Sands
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado

BASALT – The other day, while driving through the valley, I noticed far more anglers out and about. The word is out just how good the fishing is right now.

As we move past the depths of winter, the noticeable difference is that options are opening up daily. The upper Roaring Fork is very fishable as the ice has lost its grip. The middle and lower Fryingpan are also beginning to fish very well as the ice has melted away throughout the river’s lower reaches. Thus, throughout the valley options are allowing anglers to mix it up and spread out a bit; even a few rafts and drift boats are making their spring pilgrimage down the lower Fork and the Colorado!

March brings a feeling that spring is not too far off, even though another winter blast is sure to come our way. In the meantime, anglers anxious to wet a line should take advantage of the scene this week. Hatches have been thickening with midgezilla sightings throughout the lower valley and reports of the first few, lonely spring Blue Winged Olives have been confirmed on the lower Fork and the mighty Colorado. This increased bug activity has stimulated a bit of a feeding frenzy.

Anglers seeking good dry-fly action should make their mark on the Fryingpan from noon on. A handful of hatching midges or Bill’s midge emerger trailed on 7X behind a para BWO should produce results. Look for rising fish and try dead drifting this configuration over individual fish instead of randomly spraying casts throughout the pool. Tidbit midges, D midges and TC red midge larva’s have been consistent producers this week during non-hatch periods.

The Roaring Fork and Colorado rivers have really turned on the past week. Nymph fishing all day and even right until dusk has been solid. BLMs, STDs, Rainbow Warriors and Zebra Midges trailed behind the faithful prince have been powerful choices. A few of the above mentioned midge dries coupled with a Matthew’s sparkle dun BWO or CDC Comparadun BWO will be a solid bet for rising on the big waters.

For access, information or guide inquiries, drop in your local fly shop!


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