On the Fly: Sizing up the hatch
On the Fly
Complex hatches are upon us on the Fryingpan River, and with so many different flies hatching, we need to be detail-oriented to remain successful this fall.
For those who are still learning the entomological side of fly-fishing, a streamside hatch guide can vastly improve your on-the-water insect identification.
Most of our trout are now keying in on a specific life-cycle stage of a specific insect and switching up as one hatch ebbs and a different one erupts.
The laundry list of hatching insects on the Fryingpan starts with green drakes and flavs and also includes midges, seratella, aphids, rusty spinners, blue-winged olives, psuedocleons, pale morning duns, yellow sallies, red quills, craneflies and caddis.
Hatches on this river can drive one to madness one day and give us sheer, unadulterated joy the next. The key to deciphering these complex hatches is simply to get out there and fish as much as you possibly can in as many different areas as you can.
Carrying a small seine and dip net is essential to learning the ins and outs of hatches, especially when we are having a tough time figuring out what the fish are eating. A dip net or aquarium net is perfect for snatching duns off the water surface, which keys us in to the size, shape and color our imitation needs to be. Another factor is the “action” of the natural insect, especially when it comes to our large drakes and flavs. Trout need to see the drake flip and flop as it struggles out of its shuck, and when we impart this action to our fly, the result is usually a positive one.
Keep your eyes peeled out there; it is all about the details this time of year!
“On the Fly” is provided weekly by the staff at Taylor Creek Fly Shop in Basalt.
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This past Saturday, Alice McKennis Duran was a forerunner in the women’s downhill at the U.S. Alpine Championships at Highlands, her run serving as a victory lap for a career that included two Olympic appearances and a World Cup win.