Trout fishing picking up as spring hits |

Trout fishing picking up as spring hits

On the Fly
Kirk Webb
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Contributed photoA pike caught by Kirk Webb at Rifle Gap Reservoir earlier this week.

With the return of spring and daylight savings, the trout fishing throughout the valley has been very good overall. The Fryingpan is seeing daily hatches of midges and blue wing olive mayflies from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Dry fly anglers should focus on the middle stretches of the river, from mile markers 8 through 12.

The keys to success when dry fly fishing the Fryingpan is to fish tandem dry flies, rigs and to use 7x fluorocarbon tippet. We employ a high visibility midge dry fly such as a Morgan’s midge parachute or hatching midge in sizes 20-22. This fly acts a visual reference or indicator to allow the use of a less visible, more exact imitation like a Bill’s midge emerger in a size 22.

The best midge dry fly patterns for the Fryingpan always have a trailing shuck. This shuck imitates the nymphal exoskeleton as the newly winged adult begins to hatch. This transformation is when the midges are most vulnerable to the trout.

The Roaring Fork has been fishing better and better each and every day.

In particular, the upper river near Aspen and Jaffe Park has finally started to fish well. Look for the majority of the fish to still be concentrated in the deeper pools and seams.

During periods of overcast skies, sporadic numbers of rising fish can be found as well. Like the Fryingpan, keep your flies small and dark. Gray and black are the dominate midge color schemes that are effective. In general, I’ve found that gray lends itself better to low light conditions, with black being more effective under bright light.

Below the confluence of the Crystal River, the Roaring Fork has been seeing varying water conditions. Keep in mind the old adage of “green is good and brown puts them down.” Stoneflies, caddis larva and midge emerger patterns will keep your line bent.

Additional warm water opportunities are opening up weekly as well.

Rifle Gap and Harvey Gap Reservoirs near Rifle has broken free of ice this past week. The major draw for fly anglers at this time of year is the water wolf – the northern pike – on these two reservoirs.

Large pike have already begun scouring the shallows in efforts to spawn and feed after a long winter under the gridlock of ice.

Large flies, 7-8 weight rods and the chance of catching a fish more than 40 inches are a true reality. Don’t expect to catch numbers of fish, though, as I caught two nice pike over the course of two long and hard days on the water.

This report is provided every week by Taylor Creek Fly Shops in Aspen and Basalt. Taylor Creek can be reached at (970) 927-4374 or

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User