On the Fly column: Things are looking up

Scott Spooner
On the Fly
Colorado River rainbow trout
Justin Moore

If you’re thinking about wetting a line in the valley this week, there have been some major improvements in fishing conditions out there. Most rivers (including the Fryingpan, Roaring Fork and Colorado) have been experiencing an awakening in regards to insect hatches and dissipation of ice shelves along the banks. On the upper Roaring Fork for example, the edge ice has mostly disappeared this past week, and the river is looking pretty good. The deep snow doesn’t make access easy, but once you fight your way to the river you’re in the clear.

Anglers on the Fryingpan River have enjoyed much-improved dry fly hatches lately that have been starting earlier in the mornings and lasting later into the afternoon. We’re only seeing midges aloft right now, but stocking up on blue winged olive dries for the next hatch around the corner is a good idea. The middle and lower Fryingpan, like the upper Roaring Fork, has improved steadily this week with most sections of the river now open from bank to bank.

It’s always a little warmer downvalley, and this past week has been no exception. Most anglers in the know would tell you this is the best-fishing part of the valley lately (if they like you, that is), and whether you float or wade the lower Roaring Fork or Colorado west of Glenwood Springs, the bite down there has been strong.

Anglers and fish alike are getting spring fever, yet we all know we’re not out of the winter woods quite yet. For those with the winter blues, be sure to grab your tickets for the Fly Fishing Film Tour at the Wheeler on March 26 — this fun-filled night of amazing fishing footage always inspires anglers to get out there and fish hard. So dust off those waders, clean up your fly line, find your hand warmers, and go find a few fish this week. You’ll be glad you did.

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

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