The weather was perfect Colorado autumn this morning. Blue skies, no breeze and the vibrant colors signaling the seasonal change. By mid-morning though a healthy breeze had sprung up which lasted until later in the afternoon. This past week was generally beautiful except for a serious downpour on Tuesday evening which colored the water up for Wednesday. Even the Pan was colored from Seven Castles. But in 24 hours it had all cleared nicely. Within a 24 hour period the Fork ran from 500cfs at Basalt up to about 750cfs then back down again.
The flow on the Pan was dropped back from 300 to 189cfs on Wednesday and now it is running at a perfect level for fishing. It has been a long time since it ran under 200 and it is certainly welcome. The weatherman is calling for rain on Monday and Tuesday with it clearing later in the week. With the precipitation it is expected that a little snow might fall. So carry your warm gear. If you come out and forget, drop by the shop. There is no point getting cold and ruining a good experience.
We hope you have a chance to drop by in and take in some of the fishing at the moment. The colors are beautiful and should remain so for a few more weeks.
Current Flow: below the Dam 189cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
On Wednesday the Pan was unfishable from Seven Castles down because of the overnight rain which colored up the river. On Wednesday afternoon the flow dropped by a third to about 190cfs so the fish were a little disturbed for a day. But it is now perfect. Harry caught a 22" rainbow mid-river on a baetis on Saturday evening. It was in 18" of water as it was getting dark.
There was a good PMD hatch on late Friday mid-river but they are getting more sporadic. Merle has also noted some PMD's about. Sunday morning there was good mid-river fishing with emergers and crippled adult midges. Late in the day a good midge hatch started and proceeded well into the evening. Although the predominant hatch was midges there were a few PMD's and BWOs. The fish did not respond to BWOs and nothing was moving on the surface. In view of the predominance of midges with a few BWO's a #20 parachute Adams with a red #22 copper john dropper was introduced. It was a deadly combination until about 7pm.The principal flies now are midges and BWO's. There are some PMD's about and a few drakes up high, but they are more the exception than the rule. In addition try terrestrials for some variety if it is bright and the fish are not responding. Slap a grasshopper under a bank and see what transpires.
Recommended Flies: The river is perfect now running under 200cfs. The water is very clear and the days are intermittently bright so make sure you are using light tippet – 7x. There is good midge activity in the morning. So look to see if any midges are hatching. Some of the midges mid-river are a little larger so we suggest trying #18 and smaller. Try parachute midges or adults. Put an emerger dropper behind the parachute; also try small emergers; olive biot emergers, size #18 - #22 and black special emergers #18 - #22. If nothing much is going on at the surface, it is also worth trying a sparkle baetis and midge larva together weighted down. If the fish are moving without breaking the surface, they will be taking emergers. In the afternoon if there is good cloud cover and possible rain, there may be a good BWO hatch. If so try Lawson's no hackle #18 and #20, Adams #18 - #22. Also try the loopwing emergers #18 - #22. It’s a great little fly now. The fish will be fussy and will key into a particular size or color so be prepared to change quickly if you are getting refusals and you are happy with your presentation. Sometimes the hatch will be so thick it is just a probability question whether the fish will see your fly. Try to match the size as best you can. The fish will key in on a particular size and nothing else will interest them. The midges have been thick in the evening so change back to midge emergers as the situation dictates. As a general observation, now that the fish are under a lot of pressure, be a little selective with your flies. Try older patterns which the fish might not have seen. Now the fishing is getting more technical so you will have to bring all of your skills to bear. In the absence of the right fly and correct size with the correct presentation, refusals will be the order of the day. Try terrestrials if it is a little quiet and the wind is blowing.
Current Flow: near Emma - at Basalt 495 cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page).
The downpour on Tuesday night kicked up the flow in the Fork to 750cfs during Wednesday, however it has since settled back and the fishing remains excellent. The water remains significantly higher than the same time last year, giving marginally greater access on a raft to the river. The best results remain with BWO's either nymphs or emergers in conjunction with an attractor such as stimulators or hoppers. In addition small princes and san juan worms work in the mornings. Ed recommends baetis up to #22. So use the #22 sparkle baetis, RS2's, pheasant tails and any similar small nymphs as droppers. As the day progresses use emergers such as the loop wing emergers #18 - #22 as well as the nymphs. Streamers both black and olive are also working.
Recommended Flies: Above Carbondale use the same flies as the Pan (See our report for the Frying Pan). BWO nymphs such as, sparkle baetis #22, RS2 and Sparkle RS2 # 20 - #22, pheasant tails #20 - 22 black and brown, beadhead and non-bead head. BWO emergers such as the special emergers, and loopwing emergers #18 - #22. Also 20 inchers size #10 - #14. Also use hopper patterns with droppers. Black and olive beadhead streamers are also working.
The rain on Tuesday night clouded up the Colorado for a day, but it has since has cleared and the fishing is good. Try PMDs, BWO's streamers and the ubiquitous stone flies. On balance most success is on nymphs at the moment.
Recommended Flies: Hoppers, midges, both dries and emergers; Bead head pheasant tails #16, 18; Blue Wing Olives #18,20; 20 inchers size #10 - #14; bead head prince nymph red #12 - 16; egg patterns #10 - #18; streamers #6 and #8 and smaller; terrestrials .