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

On the fly: More fish per fisherman

Kirk Webb
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT – Fly-fishing in the winter? You bet!

Some of the best fishing of the entire year takes place during ski season. The Fryingpan River eat of Basalt maintains a 40-degree water temperature whether it’s January or July, providing superb fishing on a year-round basis.

Did you know that the majority of big fish caught along the Fryingpan are caught during the months of January, February and March? This is for a variety of reasons, including the fact that fishing pressure is at its lowest at this time of year, providing more fish per angler. The brown trout are wrapping up their annual spawning rituals, depositing their eggs along the river’s bottom, which acts as a nutrient-rich food source for non-spawning fish such as rainbow, brook, cutthroat and post-spawn brown trout.

Egg pattern flies such as Mini Flashtail Hot Eggs will continue to fish extremely well. Light fluorocarbon tippets of 6x and 7x will be needed to be successful, as these small-diameter tippets will properly match the equally small flies being fished. Various midge larva and emerger patterns in red and black, in sizes 20-24, will be effective dropper patterns to trail below your egg imitation. Must-have flies should include: RS-2s, Jujubees, TC Red Midge Larva, Capt. Hooks, Medallion Midges and Maggot Midges.

During stints of warmer weather, when the thermometer rises into the 30s, good hatches of midges can be seen beginning around the noon hour. There’s no doubt that dry fly-fishing is the most enjoyable manner to catch trout. Seeing fish methodically and slowly rise to take your offering tests the nerves of anglers of all experience levels. Effective flies to imitate these adult midges should include Hatching Midges, Sprout Midges and Bill’s Midge Emerger patterns in sizes 20-24.

The best fishing along the river has been from Mile Marker 8 up to the Ruedi Dam. The Bend Pool, Bridge Pool, Old Faithful and Rosie’s are all prime locations along the world-famous Fryingpan to get a line wet and catch beautiful fish among some of the valley’s most picturesque settings.

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