On the Fly column: Shorter days, cooler nights put trout in feeding frenzy | PostIndependent.com
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On the Fly column: Shorter days, cooler nights put trout in feeding frenzy

A Fryingpan River spawning bed, which all fishermen try to avoid during fall to encourage healthy natural reproduction. Scott Spooner/Courtesy photo

The shorter days and cooler temperatures of autumn kick our trout into high gear as they sense these changes, and a primal urge to feed on anything and everything takes over. This especially applies to the thousands of brown trout here in the Roaring Fork Valley. Fall brings spawning season every year for brown trout, and they begin to pair up and create beds to spawn. Females will brush the river bottom with their tails to create a clean area for procreation; usually, shallow and gravelly bottomed areas are preferred.

Once eggs are deposited on the river bottom, males fertilize them and tend to guard the bed with a vengeance. When you come across these clean beds (redds) this fall, be sure to give them a wide berth and cross downstream of them, if you need to cross the river. When we cross upstream of these beds, we cover the eggs with mud and moss, which prevents the eggs from fertilizing and developing properly.

As we mentioned last week, fall is the absolute best time to cast larger flies (streamers) here in the valley. This is primarily because of these aggressive behaviors that come along with spawning, in addition to the shorter days and cooler nights triggering the need to bulk up as reliable food sources begin to wane. The days of size-10 green drakes are over, and soon there won’t be much forage besides the occasional midge or winter stonefly for local trout.



As fall takes over here in the valley, be sure to spend some days on your favorite section of river. A riffle or pool that was a little slow over the past few weeks just might surprise you. Keep an eye out for those beds, give them a wide berth, and enjoy the beauty of autumn out there.

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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