On the fly: More fish per angler | AspenTimes.com

On the fly: More fish per angler

Travis Lyons
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
Contributed photoA sculpin protrudes from the mouth of a hungry brown trout on the Roaring Fork River.

BASALT – It’s hard to believe, but summer is quickly coming to an end. If you ask our staff of guides which season is their preference, the majority would certainly recommend fall. There are many reasons for this: Crowds dwindle at this time of year as school begins for most children, leaving the rivers to older men and women and trout bums with no lives. In a nutshell, autumn offers more fish per fisherman.

The Fryingpan River in Basalt is one of the most well-known fisheries in the country and seemingly everyone fishes the river in August in hopes of hitting the epic green drake and pale morning dun mayfly hatches. One of the benefits of September is that you still get to see these same prolific mayfly hatches along with fall hatches of caddis and blue-wing olives thrown into the mix. More bugs equal more food and more opportunities with hungry fish.

Often during the summer months along the Roaring Fork and Colorado rivers, the best fishing takes place early and late in the day when the sunlight is less intense. We are rapidly losing daylight now, and cooler daytime highs are more commonplace. With this change in the weather, we’ll see the fishing pick up and remain steady nearly all day long, including during the afternoons. With the cooling water and air temperatures, the rivers resident brown trout become more aggressive as spawning instincts begin to infiltrate their brains.

Next to dry-fly fishing, the most visual fly fishing experience you can have is by fishing streamers. September often yields some of the very finest streamer fishing of the year. The streamers that we fish imitate sculpins and juvenile trout. Warmer, more natural colored hues are often best. Sculpzillas, autumn splendors, ziwis, sacrileges and stingin’ sculpins are proven streamer patterns in sizes 4-8. My personal favorites include the zombie apocolypse, sex dungeon and articulated fathead. The time is now.

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