On the Fly column: Spring has sprung on area rivers
On the Fly
The excruciating wait is over, fly fishers. After a winter of squinting at your midge box, you can start to think about spring bugs like blue winged olives and caddis. Down on the Colorado River, BWOs have been strong for a few weeks now, and the caddis are starting up this week as well. High and bright sun brings the best caddis hatches; cloudy days yield better mayfly hatches like springtime BWOs.
Twilight is an excellent time to fish caddis if you have to work all day, as the females return to the water to oviposit (lay eggs). We are only in the early stages of good caddis fishing, so you have time to get prepared. BWOs are now prolific on the Colorado and the lower Roaring Fork rivers, with Carbondale being the highest elevation in which we are seeing real numbers.
Midges are still important, especially on the icy waters of the famed Fryingpan River. These bugs run the size gamut, from huge size -18’s down to micro size -26’s. Small winter stoneflies are everywhere on the upper river, and we should see dependable numbers of BWOs up the Fryingpan soon. Don’t overlook the lower Fryingpan this time of year — it’s always warmer and oftentimes even buggier.
Don’t fret if you see some off-color water here and there, these are normal changes for this time of year, and we typically don’t start to experience real runoff until mid-May. Dirty water should clue you in on trying some bigger flies like golden stones and caddis larva, and, you guessed it, worms. Some of our lower-elevation lakes are losing their ice caps now, and there is some nice spring warmwater fishing on deck too. In other words, it doesn’t matter where you go fish, just go.
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.