Hatches heat up the Fork | PostIndependent.com

Hatches heat up the Fork

Janet Urquhart
Aspen Correspondent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Janet Urquhart/The Aspen TimesAn angler reels in a trout on the Roaring Fork River above Carbondale on Sunday.

Trout are slamming big dries on the Roaring Fork River from Aspen to Glenwood Springs, according to area anglers. It’s a matter, apparently, of being there when the hatch is on.

One Aspen Times correspondent reported action with green drakes and royal wulff patterns on the Fork below Aspen on Saturday, and this reporter watched fish rise to a drake and an orange stimulator, among other big dries, on the middle Fork Sunday at midday. But when the fish stopped taking dries, they stopped in a big way and our party eventually resorted to fishing deep with nymphs.

Green drakes are coming off the water all the way up to Aspen on the Fork these days, reported “Mo” Bratcher at Fryingpan Anglers in Basalt. So are PMDs and caddis flies, added Dan McMahon at Taylor Creek Fly Shop.

There have also been a few drakes on the Fryingpan above Basalt, according to Bratcher, but trout are continuing to take mostly drake emergers and nymphs on the Pan, she said. PMD hatches are occurring at midmorning and midafternoon on the Fryingpan; watch for caddis action, particularly at dusk, she advised.

McMahon reported success with drake dries on the lower Fryingpan, up to about mile marker 6, and a strong rusty spinner fall from about 7 p.m. to dusk on virtually the entire length of the Pan below Ruedi Reservoir.

The lower Roaring Fork, between Carbondale and Glenwood Springs, offers the best fishing in the morning from about 6 to 10 a.m. and again in the evening, according to Steve DiCampo at Roaring Fork Anglers in Glenwood Springs.

He recommends Nos. 8-10 drake patterns, along with Nos. 10-16 caddis flies, orange stimulators, wulffs in various colors and lime trudes. For a dropper, DiCampo suggested several nymph patterns: 20-inchers, poxyback stoneflies, drakes, big prince nymphs, halfbacks and red copper Johns.

The Colorado River is off-color, but has cleared sufficiently after last week’s rains, DiCampo said. In the morning and late evening, anglers are taking fish with caddis flies, yellow sallies, stones and still some drakes.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife is asking for anglers to abide to a voluntary fishing closure on the Yampa River through the town of Steamboat Springs in northwest Colorado. The voluntary closure has been initiated in order to protect trout populations from high water temperature conditions and low stream flows.

The closure is in effect for the section of river between the upstream boundary of the Chuck Lewis State Wildlife Area to the west city limit boundary for the town of Steamboat Springs. The DOW will continue to monitor the river conditions and will inform the public as soon as conditions return to the point where a lifting of the closure is warranted, according to a division press release.

The Yampa River is currently at one-fifth its normal flow for this time of year and water temperatures are exceeding 70 degrees, according to the DOW. These conditions lower dissolved oxygen levels and stress trout. Additional stress from angling pressure makes fish populations even more vulnerable to disease and death, the agency said.

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