It has continued to be cold all week although the temperatures have mellowed just a little. The anchor ice built up this week very quickly and remains at the moment. The fishing reports have been good with the moderating cold although it still takes a hardy soul to get out into the river. The ice on the banks makes it a moderately risky exercise to wade near the edge. Consequently one must be careful.
The days continue to get shorter but by next week we will be past the shortest day. Amazing isn't it? Even though we have so much cold weather to get through until spring begins to warm the bones, one can always find some solace in the fact that the days are lengthening. Of course, we then get to the longest day too quickly in June and it starts over.
We haven't had any snow to speak of in the last week so the slopes are settling down and getting a little scrubbed off with some rocks beginning to peek through. However we do have good snow cover for this time of year so provided the season continues apace we will have plenty of water for a spring run-off. Over the next week the weatherman is calling for more snow and advising that it will be warmer than it has been. Towards the end of the week the high temperatures will move up to the mid thirties making it very pleasant. The fishing will be excellent and I am sure we will see more fishermen on the river.
Current Flow: below the Dam 94cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
Harry and TJ have both been out during the week and having good success on midges. Very few other folks are on the river so they have been having a great time. Now is the time to be careful with the fish when landing them. One does not want them to expend unnecessary energy. In addition, try not to take them out of the water. The cold will freeze their gills very quickly. At the moment on the Pan it is warmer in the water than out. It is now midges, midges and maybe a few eggs.
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 midge activity when the sun warms things a little although there has not been much activity in the snowy conditions. 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. The fish are still on the redds although the spawning season has passed its peak already, so egg patterns will work well.
The river has been very clear with the cold weather holding back the flow. The fishing has been excellent with principally midges. TJ has been taking every opportunity to get out during the middle of the day and is getting into some good fishing from Glenwood up to Basalt.
Recommended Flies: Use the same flies as the Pan (See our report for the Frying Pan). Generally try midge patterns - larva, pupa and emergers. For variety try very small baetis nymph patterns. Copper johns always work well now, the smaller the better. Black and olive beadhead streamers are also working. Also egg patterns. 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, and 20 inchers. Also try any nymphs #20 and smaller.
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.