On The Fly: Fresh snow doesn’t just get skiers excited | PostIndependent.com

On The Fly: Fresh snow doesn’t just get skiers excited

An angler, visible near the bottom of this photo, takes in the snowy scenery on the Fryingpan River below Reudi Reservoir. Fresh tracks are not just a term used by skiing powder-hounds, as winter fly anglers also relish in the freshly laden snow.

While I am sure most locals and visitors are dreaming of dropping into their favorite powder stashes and an epic mountain opener, there are still plenty of fishheads out there taking advantage of some excellent fishing right now.

When the snow starts flying, many people find it hard to wrap their head around the idea that fly fishing is still even possible. It is just not an activity that is traditionally thought of during the winter months. However, more and more anglers each year are learning just how good the winter fishing is.

Thus, for the non-skier visiting the valley with their ski bum friends or to take a day off and rest some weary ski legs, winter fly fishing certainly seems like a viable option.

At this time of the season, bright, warm winter days can produce excellent midge hatches on the Fryingpan, and floating the Roaring Fork can be a memorable way to enjoy a day.

With snow throughout the valley, the rivers take on a whole different appearance. A few good layers of clothing and the right flies might just make someone forget that the winter ski season is beginning and that you are just downvalley of the legendary ski town of Aspen and instead fishing the world-famous rivers of the Roaring Fork Valley during ski season.

Anglers concentrating their efforts on the Fryingpan this week should expect good midge hatches mid-day to go along with lighter hatches of blue wing olives (BWOs) Dry fly fishing has been quite consistent from noon to 3 pm. Before, after or during hatch periods, nymph fishing will be very solid. Tiny flies in size 20 to 24 are necessary right now. Those, along with light leaders and tippets of 6X to 7X, are a must on the Fryingpan.

Roaring Fork River anglers have the option to wade or float the river right now, and both approaches have been highly effective. Nymph fishing will be most productive with limited or no dry fly fishing on the “Fork.” Concentrate on the deeper runs and pools where fish will be congregated.

If for some reason you have trouble, try hiring a local guide if you are new to the valley.

Or, simply drop in to a local fly shop for the hot flies and public-access points if you prefer to do it yourself.

This column is provided weekly by Taylor Creek Fly Shops in both Basalt and Aspen. Taylor Creek can be reached by phone at 970-927-4374, or at http://www.taylorcreek.com.

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