This week was much the same as last week. It began cold and cloudy, warmed until Friday afternoon and now it is cold and wet again. Snow is falling at the higher altitudes but it is raining at 7,000 feet. I suspect that it will snow this evening as it gets colder. Despite the last couple of days, it is unseasonally warm at this time of year. By now, the Ski Company would ordinarily have been making snow but it has been too warm to do so. As a consequence, the fishing has been excellent. It is predicted to remain wet for the next 2 days with Tuesday being predicted to be cold before it warms up again.
At the moment, practically no visitors are in town. There is very little traffic on the river. Third hunting season has finished and most of the hunters are leaving. Those few hunters here for the 4th season are still around, but it is very quiet. The rivers are all very clear as the precipitation has been very gentle with the flows hardly raising the levels.
Current Flow: below the Dam 90cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
The week started out with some excellent fishing as the cloud cover persisted and it remained warm. The BWO's were coming off around midday and the midges were coming off in the sun. Midweek, it brightened up and became even warmer. There were a lot of midges about, and the Pan had a lot of BWO's in the shade. The browns are now well stacked up on the redds and the rainbows lurk below to gather the offerings of eggs drifting by.
The cold wet front which hit on Friday afternoon, persisted through the weekend as cold wet rain. There was little insect activity in the colder weather but the emerger patterns continued to work well mid-river.
There are few visitors in town and the river looks abandoned most of the time. If you get a chance to get out while this last predicted warm weather persists, the fishing will be excellent.The principal hatches now are midges and BWO's. This latest cold snap has reintroduced winter conditions where one must wait for a little sun before the midges will hatch en masse.
Recommended Flies: The water is very clear and is now at its proposed winter flow so make sure you are using light tippet – 7x. There is good midge activity in the morning when the sun warms things a little. Try midge larva and pupa before the hatch starts. 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. If it warms a little, expect to see a good BWO hatch. Now it will happen from about midday through the afternoon. 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. Despite the bright light on sunny days, there will be hatches in the shaded areas. As the sun is getting lower there are plenty of areas now where the baetis are coming off during the day even if it is bright, provided it is not too cold. Be prepared to change quickly if you are getting refusals. Try to match the size with the hatch as best you can. Now that the fishing pressure has abated, the fish do not seem as fussy as they were a month ago. 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. As it has been getting darker, up high the fishing slows down in the later afternoon. Mid-river however the fishing persists just a little longer. Try any baetis nymph pattern such as pheasant tails and sparkle baetis as dropper. Small copper johns also have been working well. The fish are now on the redds, so egg patterns will work well. But be careful not to disturb the spawning browns. That is the next generation in the making.
Despite the wet weather, the flow in the Fork has been falling over the week and the water color remains excellent. Fishing is reported strong principally with nymph patterns, and eggs and worms downstream from the redds.
There will be good results with BWO nymphs and emergers. So use the #22 sparkle baetis, RS2's, pheasant tails and any similar small nymphs as droppers. In addition small princes and san juan worms work in the mornings. As the day progresses use emergers such as the loop wing emergers #18 - #22 as well as the nymphs. Also try copper johns and sparkle baetis. Below Carbondale where most of the floating is taking place, a variety of streamers are being used as well. 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. Black and olive beadhead streamers are also working. Also egg patterns and worms will work. But keep clear of the redds.
The water color remains good as the falling level and the gentle precipitation has done little to introduce much material into the water. The fishing is good. Try midges, BWO's streamers and 20 inchers. Also try any nymphs #20 and smaller contemplating both midges and BWO's.
Recommended Flies: midges, both dries and emergers; pheasant tails #16, 18; BWO's #18,20; small copper johns; 20 inchers size #10 - #14; bead head prince nymph red #12 - 16; egg patterns #10 - #18; streamers #6 and #8 and smaller.