On the fly: Prime fall fishing | AspenTimes.com

On the fly: Prime fall fishing

Janet Urquhart
Aspen, CO Colorado

The crowds are gone, local rivers are running low and clear, and the sunny skies are forecast to continue through the weekend. Oh yeah, and the fish are biting.

Local flyshops are reporting prime conditions on all three of the Roaring Fork Valley’s big rivers and even a few chances to lure trout to the surface with a dry fly.

Anglers will find blue-wing olives throughout the length of the Fryingpan below the dam, plus a smattering of PMDs and flavs (small green drakes) in the first two to four miles below the dam, according to Kirk Webb at Taylor Creek Fly Shop in Basalt.

The streamer fishing on the Fryingpan also has been productive, Webb reported, suggesting autumn splendor, stinging sculpin and ziwi patterns.

Noon to 4 p.m. are the best hours to fish the Pan, he said.

Streamers are also a good bet on the upper Roaring Fork, between Aspen and Basalt, and anglers are beginning to try egg patterns in anticipation of the spawning season for brown trout, Webb said.

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He also suggested small pheasant tails, BLMs and STDs on the upper Fork.

Anglers may find something other than a trout on their line on the lower Roaring Fork, below Carbondale, according to Dave Johnson at Crystal River Fly Shop in Carbondale.

“The whitefish are definitely on. They’re spawning right now,” he said. “They’ll take anything they can see.”

Johnson recommended a prince nymph with a midge or baetis trailing as a dropper ” the Hollywood midge pattern and D-river baetis are working well, he said.

Streamers and hopper/dropper combinations continue to work well on both the lower Fork and the Colorado River in Glenwood Springs, according to Drew Reid at Roaring Fork Anglers in Glenwood. He suggested a bead-head prince nymph in size 10 or 12, with a pheasant tail or copper John (black or red) in sizes 14 to 18 as the dropper. Or, trail two droppers behind the prince, he said.

Anglers are still finding dry-fly action in the lower valley, Reid added, suggesting a BWO or midge in a size 20 or red quill in size 12 or 14.

The Fork is fishing well from noon until dark, according to Reid.

The best hours to fish on the Roaring Fork are as the sun sinks ” from about 4 to 6 p.m., Webb advised.