Fishing picks up on Roaring Fork |

Fishing picks up on Roaring Fork

pitkin county correspondent

There’s nothing like a spate of warm spring days to perk up the fishing in the Roaring Fork Valley, or the fishermen (and women), for that matter.

“It’s definitely time,” said Drew Reid, manager at Roaring Fork Anglers in Glenwood Springs. “If the weather is nice on the weekends in late February or March, it can be as busy as July on the rivers.”

Last week, anglers were streaming to their favorite holes on the middle and lower Roaring Fork River and the Fryingpan River above Basalt with the single-mindedness of a spawning salmon. For the next month, the warm afternoons and clear water that precedes the spring runoff have the potential to produce some memorable days on the river.

“These are some of the best fishing days,” said Art Rowell at Frying Pan Anglers in Basalt. “The water is starting to warm up and the fish are getting active. The end of March is some of the best fishing of the year ” the fish are hungry, they’re eating everything in sight.”

Already, local guides are reporting longer and more consistent midge hatches. (Midges are tiny flies.)

The Frying Pan Anglers website suggests trailing a midge pattern off an egg attractor ” a black midge biot, to be specific, especially on the Pan. Fishing the bottom of the Roaring Fork river with large prince nymphs or stonefly nymphs is also a good bet at present, according to the site.

“The fishing has been excellent,” confirmed Kirk Webb, assistant manager at Taylor Creek Flyshop in Basalt, echoing the recommended midge and egg patterns. “Definitely, the dry-fly fishing that we’re seeing takes place at midday,” he said.

Anglers should be seeing blue-wing olive hatches on the Fork and Colorado River in mid- to late-March, Webb predicted.

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