On the Fly: Frenzied fishing | PostIndependent.com

On the Fly: Frenzied fishing

Photographed is Green Drake mayfly. Currently they are hatching along the lower elevation waters of the Colorado and Roaring Fork Rivers around Glenwood Springs.
Courtesy photo |

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 around 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 an 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: BDE Drakes, Pimped Out H&L’s, Drake Cripples, KGB’s and Winged Drake Emergers in sizes 10-12.

While the Roaring Fork River yields its best dry fly fishing opportunities in the evening hours, the Frying Pan River will fish with dries midday from noon to 3 p.m. Late evenings also give way to decent Rusty Spinner falls. The most consistent fishing and heaviest hatches will take place along the upper half of the river above mile marker 6. Complex hatches consisting of BWO’s, PMD’s and Caddis can be had. BWO’s are the smallest of these three insects (#20-22), followed by PMD’s (#16-18) and Caddis (#14-18). In a nutshell, just keep your eyes open if the fish are eating the small fly (BWO’s) or the big fly (PMD’s/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 daily. Tight lines to all!

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