Fishing the bankers’ hours
Ryan Summerlin February 12, 2014
Fishing has been hot!
Right now the sweet spot on the Roaring Fork and Fryinpan 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 temperatures will rise a couple 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-vis 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 further 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 have been consistent producers on the Fryingpan the past several days.
Flows have been increased in the past week to about 145 CFS, 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 bet is 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.
— This column 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.