On the Fly: Hoppers and droppers | AspenTimes.com

On the Fly: Hoppers and droppers

Janet Urquhart

Summer is on the wane, but the fishing isn’t.Dave Johnson, owner of Carbondale-based Independent Flyfishing Guides, reached on his boat during a float down the middle Roaring Fork River on Monday, had just released an 18- to 20-inch rainbow that rose to a hopper. The hopper/dropper combo is a good bet on the Roaring Fork these days, according to Johnson, who recommends a small pheasant tail for the dropper (a small nymph trailing off a larger dry fly).The Colorado River flowing through Glenwood Canyon remains chocolate brown, but the lower Fork is also producing trout in the net with a hopper/dropper combination, according to Drew Reid at Roaring Fork Anglers in Glenwood Springs. He suggested a small blue-wing olive nymph or emerger pattern for the dropper – a No. 18 or 20 RS-2 or a pheasant tail.”If it’s cloudy, we’re throwing streamers and doing really well,” Reid added. Try a black flash-a-bugger or autumn splendor, he advised.On the upper Roaring Fork, in the vicinity of Aspen, big dry flies, nymphs, streamers and rusty spinners are all working at various times of the day, according the avid angler known only as Howie at Pomeroy Sports.”The streamer fishing has been really good lately,” said Howie, who said he has been using a hopper/dropper combo, but if he happens to lose the rig on his 6X tippet, he ties a streamer onto what’s left of his leader and slams ’em.The pattern: “that gold haagassin has been kicking a–,” Howie said. He also likes the tan conehead wooley sculpin among streamer patterns.Green drake and caddis action, and rusty spinners late in the evening and early in the morning, are also good bets for Aspen fishing.For droppers, Howie recommends a red copper John in sizes 18 and 20 or a tungsten flashback pheasant tail. Large chenille stoneflies with legs, in size No. 8 or so, have also been taking trout beneath the surface, he reports.On the Fryingpan River above Basalt, the crowds have thinned out, according to Kirk Webb at Taylor Creek Fly Shop. The afternoons, from about noon to 4 p.m., are still producing good hatches of green drakes and PMDs, he said, though the drakes are a better bet on the higher stretches, from mile marker 8 or 10 up to the Ruedi dam.The rest of the day, small blue-wing olive nymphs are working well, and trout continue to rise to rusty spinners and caddis flies right before dark, Webb said.For more on area fishing, go to http://www.aspentimes.com/fishing.