On The Fly: New Hatches spawn hot fly fishing scene
On The Fly
What a difference a week makes!
While we are all trying to adjust to an hour’s less sleep, fish in the Roaring Fork and Colorado Rivers are making the adjustment to looking up and eating dry flies. Strong immergences of midges and blue winged olives are commonplace now instead of sporadic. We have been seeing midges from one to three o’clock, blue wings from two to four o’clock, and a resurgence of midge activity from six until dark.
If you are anything like me, it takes a while to adjust to casting dries after a winter’s worth of nymphing. Spending an hour or two at the park with your dry-fly rod can help scrape the rust off and reawaken your muscle memory, especially if you practice with a few goals in mind.
Casting aimlessly doesn’t do anybody much good. I usually drop my hat on the ground and use it as a target, playing around with different distances to begin with. Next up is remembering how to deal with casting into and across the wind, always with that target on the ground.
The next “problem” I usually encounter (if these are problems, life must be rough) is letting the fish actually eat my dry fly before I snatch it away on an aggressive hook set. Last week, I literally did this over 10 times in a row. Remember that adage, saying “God save the Queen,” before you bring your line tight. Slow hook sets trump aggressive ones on dry fly presentations.
We all get excited out there, whether you’ve been fly fishing for an hour or a lifetime. Let ‘em eat it.
Lastly, consider your “angle” while angling. Controlling your flies on the surface is much easier when you present them across and downstream versus casting upstream. Upstream dry-fly casts tend to pile your line and leader on top of the fish, across and down allows them to see your flies first, line last. Repositioning your drift in this direction is as simple as raising the tip of the rod. Take some time when you see rising fish, then determine the pace in which they are sipping on the surface.
You’ll find that most of them establish a rising pattern. If that fish you’re stalking eats every 10 seconds, start counting and time your presentation accordingly.
Whether you prefer to wade or float, we are definitely back in business here in the Roaring Fork Valley. Be safe, have fun, and let spring commence!
This column is provided weekly by Taylor Creek Fly Shops in Aspen and Basalt. Taylor Creek can be reached at 970-927-4370, or on the Web at http://www.taylorcreek.com.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User