On the Fly: Find your sweet spot
On the Fly
Fishing has been hot! Right now the sweet times on the Roaring Fork and Fryingpan rivers is between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. — the bankers’ hours.
There is no real need to get out there too early; let those daytime temperatures warm up a bit. As the day continues to warm, water temps will rise a couple of degrees, and although this does not sound like a lot to you, in a trout’s world this is the equivalent of a 15- to 20-degree change.
Midges are the predominant hatch now, and at this time of the season, anglers will be well served with a variety of midge larva, midge pupa and midge dries. Although nymph-fishing will provide the most consistent means to hook up daily, some good dry-fly fishing can be had, especially on the Fryingpan.
This week, midge hatches on the Fryingpan have been producing some excellent dry-fly fishing. The three hot dries to have are the BRF skittering midge, biot wing midge and the stillborn midge. If you find it difficult to see these tiny dries, trail them behind a larger, high-visibility dry-fly. Utilize this lead fly as a visual strike indicator. Pay attention to the rise forms and water types that the fish are using.
During the morning hours, look for the fish to hold and feed in the deeper and slower pools along the river bottom. As the hatch progresses, fish will move higher into the water column and will push farther up into the faster runs and riffles.
If you are not finding rising fish, then I bet you will find the fish quite responsive to nymphs. Medallion midges, Knight Rider midges and RS2s for the Fryingpan have been consistent producers the past several days. Flows have been increased in the past week to about 145 cubic feet per second, and thus mysis shrimp have been spilling out of Ruedi Reservoir and some very large fish have been caught over the past few days.
If you are more inclined to try the Roaring Fork, the best fishing has been downstream of Basalt to Glenwood Springs. The water is warmer through this stretch, and fish are more active than the upper reaches. Dry-fly fishing will be marginal on the Fork, thus your best bets are to use enough weight to get your flies down to the fishes level. Hot patterns have been prince nymphs and 20-inchers as your lead flies, with rainbow warriors, freestone emergers and Tungsten hoovers as your midge droppers.
“On the Fly” is provided weekly by the staff at Taylor Creek Fly Shop in Basalt.
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Had Hailey Swirbul decided against going to Europe, she would not have finished with a career-best result in Friday’s World Cup opener. Yes, there was a time, and not long ago, when the U.S. ski team member and Roaring Fork Valley native questioned her desire to put on a race bib.