On the Fly column: Fishing is hot in the colder water upvalley
This has been a challenging (yet inspiring) week here in the Roaring Fork Valley as fire crews, law enforcement, pilots, EMS, CPW agents and the community have come together to overcome the first phase of the Lake Christine Fire. It’s upsetting to see so many residents displaced and our mountains charred and smoking, but thankfully our rivers have stayed clear.
Speaking of our local rivers: All outfitters, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the Roaring Fork Conservancy and the Roaring Fork Fishing Guide Alliance have come together with a plan to combat rising river temperatures down below Carbondale. As you walk to (or put your boat in) the lower river this week, you will start to notice signage asking everyone to cease fishing between 2 p.m. and midnight when the water is warmest downvalley.
Trout are tough, but when the water gets above 68 degrees they do not revive well due to the environmental and fisherman-induced stresses. We have been here before, and this won’t be the last year of lower water than we’d like, so let’s all give those fish a break down below Carbondale in the afternoons this summer.
On the flipside Basalt and Aspen are surrounded by icy-cold and buggy water right now. The Fryingpan is fishing well with the pale morning dun hatch rolling in earnest this week with green drakes on the horizon, and regular hatches of caddis, yellow sallies, PMDs and green drakes keeping anglers busy on the upper Roaring Fork above Basalt. We never worry about water temperatures in our high country lakes, so perhaps this is the summer you check Cathedral or Savage lakes off your bucket list.
I hope you give a firefighter a hug this week, give the downvalley trout a break in the afternoons, and be sure to let your friends know that tourism-reliant Basalt is open for business, too.
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.