Now is the time to hit the ground running to the valley’s many rivers, streams and lakes.
The big draw at this time of year is certainly the green drake mayfly hatch.
Currently, this hatch is taking place along the lower elevation waters of the Colorado and Roaring Fork rivers below Carbondale and Glenwood Springs.
This evening hatch provides thrilling and frenzied dry fly fishing during the evenings.
This event is locally dubbed as the “Lightning Round” or “Hour of Power,” as the last 45 minutes to hour and a half of daylight is when these large mayflies prefer to hatch.
This hatch is still in its infantile stages and historically becomes a full bore hatch around the Fourth of July.
Many local fly patterns have been developed to accurately imitate these insects due to the fact that our drakes don’t quite fit the mold of traditional colors and proportions.
Some of my favorite drake patterns include: TC sparkleduns, BDE drakes, KGBs, pimped out H&Ls, drake cripples and winged drake emergers in sizes 10-12.
While the Roaring Fork and Colorado yields its best dry fly fishing opportunities in the evening hours, the Fryingpan River will fish with dries from Noon to 3 p.m.
PMDs and caddis are common along the lower river, while below the dam, BWOs and midges are the name of the game.
Late evenings also give way to decent rusty spinner falls.
Diehard fans of the Fryingpan will find that the river is pleasantly devoid of its usual crowds as most anglers flock to the bigger rivers to chase the green drakes around.
Complex hatches consisting of BWOs, PMDs and Caddis can be had.
BWOs and midges are the smallest of these insects (size 20-24), followed by PMDs (size 16-18) and Caddis (size 14-18).
In a nutshell, just keep your eyes open to see if the fish are eating the small fly (BWOs) or the big fly (PMDs/caddis).
Often times, we will fish tandem fly setups consisting of one of each, enabling the fish to pick their “fly de jour”.
This time of year easily offers the best and most consistent fishing whether you opt to walk/wade or float the rivers.
The rivers are still dropping and clearing, meaning that, believe it or not, the fishing is still getting better and better each day.
Tight lines to all.
— This column is provided every week by Taylor Creeks Fly Shops in Aspen and Basalt. Taylor Creek can be reached at 970-927-4374 or taylorcreek.com.
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New hiking and biking trail at Sutey Ranch could ease pressure at main Red Hill trailhead later this summer.