On The Fly: Back in business | AspenTimes.com

On The Fly: Back in business

Scott Spooner
On The Fly
Taylor Creek guide Gifford Maytham gives a wide berth to a spawning bed on the upper Fryingpan River.
Scott Spooner |

We are finally getting back in business on our rivers here in the Roaring Fork Valley. There is probably a lot more snow to come, but the great melt-off is in full swing, and fishing is heating up. Recent exploratory missions to the Colorado, Roaring Fork, Crystal and Fryingpan rivers have been very fruitful to say the least. Most edge ice has dissipated significantly over the past few weeks, boat ramps are getting plowed out and bugs are starting to hatch.

The Colorado River is low and clear at the moment, although you’ll notice quite a bit of discoloration below the in-river heavy equipment work on the Grand Avenue Bridge. Silt, New Castle, Dino, South Canyon and Devereux bridges fished well for us over the week. Golden stonefly nymphs, eggs, princes and baetis emergers did the trick. There are even a few rising fish to be found looking for big midges on the surface.

The Roaring Fork is probably the best fishing river here in the valley this week. Golden stones are molting here and there, midges are hatching in the afternoons if it’s not too windy, caddis and baetis nymphs are prolific and ready to start their spring engines. There is still a bit of edge ice on the upper river, but conditions are leaps and bounds better than just a week ago.

The upper Crystal is still pretty icy, but the bottom end is looking and fishing very well this week. From the confluence with the Roaring Fork up through the Staircase, fish are on the hunt for caddis and baetis nymphs. Don’t overthink the Crystal — use your favorite generic attractor patterns and cover a lot of water.

The Fryingpan has the most consistent dry fly-fishing this week. The lower miles close to Basalt are starting to see some good midge hatches, but the most consistent surface activity is below the dam. Small, dark midges in size 22 and 24 are working well but be sure to carry a few different looks. Bill’s TC emerger and TC adult have been fooling fish up there all week. We are on the tail end of the brown trout spawn and the front end of the rainbow spawn, so keep an eye out for redds and reproducing fish. Wherever you end up fishing this week, go have some fun and shake off those winter blues.

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.

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