On the Fly: Get out there and fish | AspenTimes.com

On the Fly: Get out there and fish

Scott Spooner
On the Fly

The rivers are starting to shape up around the Roaring Fork Valley, and the “fifth season” that Kirk Webb talked about last week is in full swing! The hatch we all look forward to the most (besides green drakes) is right on our doorstep, which is the giant midges that will soon start popping like popcorn on the Colorado River.

These bugs, or “midgezillas” as we lovingly call them, are close to size-18 and come off in waves, and every fish in the river will be trying to inhale as many as possible.

Midges hatching in these biblical numbers often “cluster” in slack water and foam lines, and the trout will plow through these bunches, trying to ingest as many as possible in one gulp. It’s a sight to see.

On the Roaring Fork River, the fishing definitely is heating up already. We are still dealing with the icy “slush factor” every day until noon (until it burns off), and the fishing is erupting from 1 p.m. until almost dark daily. The trout on the Fork are all in the deep runs, soft water and pits this time of year, and they are focused on stoneflies, eggs, midge larvae, worms and small baetis nymphs. Wade fishing has been best lately from Basalt downvalley, and the float fishing already is starting to take off.

Up the Fryingpan, the mysis shrimp are simply pouring out of the dam, causing these giant trout to go ballistic chasing down these delectable morsels. Midges are hatching more heavily every day, as well, and spring blue wing olives aren’t very far behind. The Fryingpan is fishable for nearly all of the 13 miles in the tailwater right now, with a mile or two of ice toward the bottom end near Basalt. We all remember the river being iced over from mile 10 all the way to town last year. This time around is a whole different ballgame thanks to improved minimum flows and higher temperatures.

Fifth season is here, folks. I suggest you get out on your local waters and find out what all the fuss is about!

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


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