On the Fly column: April showers? Fishing power hours
On the Fly
April means many things to fly fishers. For most, it rings in the fair-weather fishing season, as the first waves of blue winged olives and caddis arrive with those April showers. If you’ve ever experienced one of our blizzard caddis hatches on the Colorado or Roaring Fork rivers, you know what I’m talking about. This is a true “breathe through your teeth” hatch, complete with bugs crawling up your nose and between your eyes and polarized lenses. And it’s all starting right now.
Afternoons and early evenings can be magical, as adult female caddis come back to the water to lay their eggs on the water’s surface. Good patterns to carry are Missing Links, Pearl and Elks, and the E/C Caddis. Suggested caddis nymphs are the Z-Wing, soft hackle Hare’s Ears, and the ever-popular beaded Prince Nymph. Remember this — sunny days should favor caddis, while overcast days result in heavier mayfly hatches.
Blue wing olives, or baetis, are the most prolific mayfly in our valley, even though they get second billing behind our world-famous green drake hatch. BWOs are already hatching in good numbers along the lower Roaring Fork up to Basalt, and your best bet to catch this hatch is in the afternoon. Carry a few different patterns, and determine which fly the fish want on that particular day. We strongly suggest the Perfect Baetis, No-Hackle BWOs, Parachute Adams and Roy’s Fryingpan Emergers in sizes 20-22.
BWOs will be slightly larger on the Colorado and Roaring Fork rivers, (size 18-20) and are smaller on the Fryingpan (size 20-22). Many of us fish a dry fly followed by an emerger or nymph, as many of the naturals get caught in or below the film. The preferred emergers for the Fryingpan are Mayhems, Chocolate Thunders and black RS2s, in addition to Roy Palm’s Biot Baetis, Sparklewing RS2s and Jerome Baetis for the Fork and Colorado. These hatches are directly related to water and air temperatures, and with the warming trends of April, the fishing action only gets better.
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 taylorcreek.com.
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A planned trail system connecting the north and south ends of Parachute was awarded a $50,000 Conservation Trust Fund grant by the Garfield County commissioners this week.