The weatherman was accurate last week again with rain in the early part of the week. Up high there has been some snow. Mount Sopris looked totally covered on top. Magnificent against a bright blue sky. It has been clearing for the last 4 days and promises blue skies for the next 2 days with a little cloud remerging during the week. The BWO fishing has been excellent and the midges have been consistent.
The colors are nearing their end. Up high the leaves have gone while little color remains along the river. The geese and ducks are moving through as the season changes so from time to time one rises in the morning to sizeable flocks on the ponds as they make their way south. The sun is getting lower, so on the clear mornings there is a heavy frost on the ground until the sun finally gets high enough. For the first hour or so of the morning it is certainly cold in the shade. Consequently if you are going to fish in the shade, dress warmly. Don't be fooled by the bright light and blue skies, you will chill to the bone if you are not a little careful. Overdress because you can shed layers as the day progresses.
Hunting season is here. So if you plan on making a hiking trip to some of those high mountain lakes, wear some orange to increase your visibility.
The weather has been beautiful and it seems it may persist for a little longer. So if you are within driving distance, make the journey. Give the shop a call and see if we have some accomodation available at short notice. It would be a perfect way to finish a great fishing season.
Current Flow: below the Dam 116cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
The river has remained steady and perfect all week. The bigger fish have moved off into the deeper holes for a little more protection so one needs to hunt them out a little. The flats below the dam are mostly ankle deep so in the bright light the fish have no propensity to sit out there. In addition there is a lot of slime there interfering with the drift. With the promise of clear weather and blue skies for a few days, it will be a matter of fishing in the shade or in the deeper water during the day, or fishing into evening.
There is still a little fishing pressure towards the dam but not much lower down. Consequently visitors should consider allocating a little time to fishing mid-river and towards town rather than fishing solely near the dam.
The rain earlier in the week brought great BWO fishing. Tuesday was particularly good and not too cold provided one rugged up. The most successful flies had olive or gray bodies. Blue quill #18, CDC baetis #18 and #20, gray loopwing emergers #20, and sparkle comparaduns #18 and #20.
Both Barry and Merle reported strong fishing throughout the week. As the week progressed it dried out, warmed a little and brightened up. The hatches abated a little but the fishing was still strong.
On Saturday afternoon mid-river there was not much insect activity. A few BWO's and midges. The fish were not overly active but they were taking emergers. Merle reports that closer to the dam, the fish were taking dries in the shade all day.
Sunday was a beautiful day, warm, blue skies. There was a little baetis activity mid-afternoon and the fish responded to size #18 baetis patterns and the Adams parachute. As the afternoon wore on everything settled down with practically no activity on the surface. The odd moving fish took the Adams parachute #20 or a #20 pheasant tail dropper.The principal hatches now are midges and BWO's. There are some PMD's about, but they are more the exception than the rule. There are also some October caddis near the dam towards dark but generally not many.
Recommended Flies: The water is very clear and the days are 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. 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 or pheasant tail and midge larva together weighted down. If the fish are moving without breaking the surface, they will be taking emergers. Cloud cover and a little rain are excellent conditions for a good BWO hatch. If so try Lawson's no hackle #18 and #20, Adams #18 - #22. Also try the loopwing emergers #18 - #22, comparaduns and CDC baetis #18 - #22. However in the bright light, as the sun is getting lower, there will be hatches in the shaded areas. 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. You might also have trouble picking out your own fly. Try a parachute Adams to assist in identifying your fly. It tends to sit lower in the water than the dun, emulating an emerger. 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 will be about all day so change back to midge emergers as the situation dictates. Continue to be a little selective with your flies. Try older patterns which the fish might not have seen. As it has been getting darker, up high the fishing slows down in the later afternoon. Mid-river however the fishing persists a little longer. Adams and parachute Adams with droppers have been working well into the evenings. As it gets dark the fish will take the dry or the dropper. Try any baetis nymph pattern such as pheasant tails and sparkle baetis as dropper. Small copper johns also have been working well.
Current Flow: near Emma - at Basalt 446 cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page).
Last Tuesday's rain pushed the Fork up by about 100cfs to the mid 500 on Wednesday. However as the weather settled down, the flow abated to about 450cfs. The fishing remains excellent. The water is running 100cfs higher than at the same time last year although now it is too skinny for larger rafts above Carbondale unless you are willing to walk over some of the shallower parts. 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. Harry had a great day floating between Basalt and West Bank most success being on nymphs such as princes and pheasant tails down deep. He also reported good success on cased caddis. Below Carbondale where most of the floating is taking place, a variety of streamers are being used. Try both black and olive colors.
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 again and the fishing is good. Try PMDs, BWO's streamers and 20 inchers. The predominant fly is the streamer. Now that the water is getting lower, there will be more float traffic on the lower Fork and on the Colorado.
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.