On the Fly: The hatch is on | AspenTimes.com

On the Fly: The hatch is on

Will Sands
On the Fly

Extended fishing opportunities abound this week, and anglers should take advantage! Generally at this time of the month, the Roaring Fork River should be in the beginning stages of runoff, especially below its confluence with the Crystal River. However, a cool day or two this past week has slowed snowmelt, and we are still experiencing some very good fishing that would not normally be available to us. Thus, anglers have the choice to fish the upper Fork for a bit longer, and because of the caddis hatch, fishing has been very good.

This week, the hatch often referred to as the Mother’s Day caddis has been in full swing. Many years, we are unable to fish this hatch on the Roaring Fork because the river already is too high and muddy as a result of runoff. Since the weather has delayed this a bit, anglers can still take advantage of some superb nymph fishing and very good caddis dry fly-fishing probably through the weekend.

With warmer weather predicted, this window is not going to last too much longer. Currently the hatch is densest between Carbondale and Glenwood Springs, but numbers of caddis are still being seen up to Basalt (where the water is significantly clearer).

We often talk about our valley’s hatches as moving upvalley, and this is a result of water temperatures. Hatches begin as a result of increasing water temperatures, and since downvalley weather warms earlier, the hatches begin in Glenwood and progress upvalley throughout the season depending on what insect-hatch is taking place.

This week, the focus primarily is on caddis imitations but be sure to have a few stoneflies and blue-winged olives as well. The hot caddis nymph or pupa patterns this week are the yuba pupa, nuclear caddis, z-wing caddis and peacock soft hackle. Caddis dries that have been producing well are the medallion caddis, E/C caddis and peacock caddis. Be sure to have a few of Pat’s rubber-legged stones, golden-wired stones and pandemic BWOs and BLMs to round out the bug quiver.

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