On the Fly: Looking at the top 10 flies for winter angling in the Roaring Fork | AspenTimes.com
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On the Fly: Looking at the top 10 flies for winter angling in the Roaring Fork

Scott Spooner
On the Fly
A winter fly box.
Nate Taylor/Courtesy photo

What fly should I tie on? This is the age-old question, and there are plenty of “old reliables” most local anglers wouldn’t leave home without. As we slide into our winter season, here are some basics that everyone can utilize for a successful day on the water. Fish them in the smaller sizes on finer tippet, and have some fun out there!

Pheasant Tail — This classic nymph comes in many flavors — beaded, flashy, soft hackled — and the list goes on. Guides tend to seek out the skinniest ones in the fly bins, and this fly fishes well every month of the year.

Zebra Midge — Small, tiny, and shiny can save your day through the winter. These subsurface imitations represent the most common trout fare through the cold months and come in red and black variations.



Bling Midge — Skinny and simple, the Bling comes in gray, cream, and chocolate colors. A small amount of flash is wrapped around the fly, and the body has a woven look upon close inspection.

Bill’s Midge Merger — Bill Fitzsimmons’ Fryingpan original continues to fish well, and it’s not just for the Fryingpan. Incorporating a skinny and dark body and a rusty shuck, it’s a go-to midge dry.




Harrop’s CDC Spent Midge — Rene Harrop said it best: “To fish is to hunt.” This tiny and technical midge dry is a don’t-leave-home-without fly.

CDC Comparadun BWO — Baetis hatch heavily here in spring and fall and continue on the Fryingpan through early winter, this high-profile yet small dry fly belongs in your fly box.

Tungsten Jigged Spanish Perdigon — Perdigon-styled flies are now all the rage — and for a good reason. They’re heavy, have a wide hook gap, and are barbless. A favorite of tight-line nymphers the world-over.

Juju Baetis — Charlie Craven’s BWO nymph is just how we like it — slim with a nice, natural body taper. Also available in a midge version, called the “Jujubee.”

Prince Nymph — Another old school bug, the Prince fishes best through winter in smaller, non-beaded versions.

RS2 — Rim Chung’s ever-popular BWO nymph comes in olive, gray, and black colorations, as well as with small beads and flash. This fly can be effectively fished all year here in the Roaring Fork Valley.

This report is provided every week by Taylor Creek Fly Shops in Aspen and Basalt. Taylor Creek can be reached at 970-927-4374 or TaylorCreek.com.