We trust you had a safe Thanksgiving and kept warmer than we did. It is Cold! The forecast high for tomorrow is 19 degrees! Today was cold enough. Merle reported to day that his net kept freezing after he netted his fish. It was 23 degrees midafternoon, and that was as warm as it got. So it was warmer in the water than out. It will be cold tomorrow and then maybe it will warm to just above freezing in a day or so. The weatherman is also calling for snow over the next few days. It snowed a little this morning before the cold really set in. However the mountains have reported 18" in the last 24 hours.
The snow is welcome as the ski season has opened and the slopes are beckoning. However if it is 19 degrees down here in Basalt I suspect that it will be a lot colder on the mountain. Still the fish continue to feed whatever the weather. So the reports have been quite good for those who have braved the elements. We have had a few visitors in town over the Thanksgiving weekend who enjoyed some good success.
Current Flow: below the Dam 93cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
The week did not start out too cold but it certainly ended that way. Merle reports that there are still the odd hatches of BWO's but they are nearing their end and the cold wealther is not helping them. There is practically no-one on the river. The fish are quickly shifting into winter mode.The BWO's are coming to the end of their season with the hatches getting sparser. Very soon it will only be midges for the hardcore winter fisherman.
Recommended Flies: The water is very clear and is now at its proposed winter flow so make sure you are using light tippet – at least 7x. There is midge activity when the sun warms things a little. The midges will be about all day so heading into the short cold days of winter, the principal hatch will be midges where the sun is on the water. As the sun gets lower, in the narrow Frying Pan Valley your principal goal will be to find where the sun gets on to the water. Spot the fish feeding as they will not move far laterally to take midges. Try midge larva and pupa before the hatch starts. When the fish begin to feed under the surface,try small emergers; olive biot emergers, size #18 - #22 and black special emergers #18 - #22. Small copper johns are working well. On the surface, use midge dries with emergers in the film as a dropper. 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. Although the BWO's are coming to the end of their season, they are always in the water so if the nymphs are fished down deep the trout will take them. If you see a few BWO's hatching try Lawson's no hackle #18 and #20 and Adams #18 - #22. Also try the loopwing emergers #18 - #22, comparaduns and CDC baetis #18 - #22. Now that the fishing pressure has abated, the fish do not seem as fussy as they were a month ago. The fish are still on the redds although the spawning season seems to have passed it peak already. Egg patterns will still work. But be careful not to disturb the browns still on the redds.
The snow and has raised the level of the river a little as the day warms and it runs off a little, but the cold is keeping most of the snow on the slopes.The BWO's are slowing down, although there is still some success to be had with nymphs and emergers. So use the #22 sparkle baetis, RS2's, pheasant tails and any similar small nymphs as droppers. In addition try small princes, and egg patterns. As the day progresses use emergers such as the loop wing emergers #18 - #22 as well as the nymphs. Also try small 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 is aided by the colder weather. 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.