The upper reaches of the Fryingpan tailwater is a place of legend, where large fish are known to be as picky as New York restaurant critics. Seemingly, during January it is one of the only places to fish here in the valley, but things are already changing out there for local and visiting anglers alike. Ice that once choked the Roaring Fork has started to clear. The Colorado River has recently seen some good midge hatches, which these longer 40-plus-degree days have helped usher in.
Sure, there are some bitter cold and icy weeks to come, but it already feels as though the proverbial worm has turned. Despite the incredible snowpack we are seeing, boat ramps have been accessible for floats on the Roaring Fork and Colorado rivers throughout this winter. Overnight temperatures have been on the warm side, allowing the bigger freestone rivers to remain relatively slush-free. It’s much easier to get your heavy nymphs down in the trout zone when there is no surface slush for them to get hung up on.
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