On the Fly: ‘The tug is the drug’ | AspenTimes.com

On the Fly: ‘The tug is the drug’

Scott Spooner
On the Fly

We are officially in the shoulder-season time of year, and for the angler, this is the time to enjoy some fantastic fishing here in the Roaring Fork Valley.

We consider a shoulder season to be one of those "in between" times of year. Right now all the kids are back in school, the slopes aren't quite open yet, and many other anglers are sneaking around in the woods attempting to fill the freezer for another long winter. These conditions paired with strong hatches and decent weather make for a splendid day on the water.

Up on the Fryingpan, we are still enjoying late-summer hatches (green drakes, pale morning duns, yellow sallies and caddis) in tandem with our usual fall emergences of blue-winged olives and midges. It pays to be ready for anything on the Fryingpan, and you never know what kind of hatch you'll stumble into. These hatches, in addition to some stellar streamer conditions, make this a favorite season for many of us.

The hatches on the Roaring Fork are a bit on the light side in late October and early November, but the fish don't seem to mind and end up transitioning to other sources of nourishment. Streamers (baitfish and other large meals) are what most of us prefer to throw because watching the fish chase down their meal is quite exciting. They say "the tug is the drug," and there is no other trout tug like a big fish rocketing out from the bank to inhale its largest meal of the day. Eggs, baetis and midge nymphs, stoneflies and worms play a big part in the trout diet this time of year, too.

The Colorado River is simply sublime right now, as well, especially this year, after the rain and mud that stymied this big river (and fly-fishers) all summer long. The big and powerful trout of the Colorado are quite happy now that they can see farther than a few inches, and so are we. Blue-winged olives are still going strong in the afternoons, and as with the Roaring Fork, the streamer bite has been 10 out of 10.

Shoulder seasons are one of the many benefits of living where we do, so be sure to spend some time on the water before fresh powder takes over your priority list!

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"On the Fly" is provided weekly by the staff at Taylor Creek Fly Shop in Basalt.

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