For the Week ending 5th June 2005
The weatherman was accurate this week. It was wet and cold with a number of thunderstorms. On Saturday morning there was snow on the higher elevations. Today however it is clear and bright with the forecast of similar weather until Thursday. The rain over the last few days kept the low country run-off running higher and caused some discoloration at Seven Castles creek yesterday for a little time. But that cleared quickly. The Frying Pan is now very clear and running well.
The Fork will continue to run high for the next few weeks. It has cleared a lot and is again providing good fishing. The higher water means the fish will spread out and you will have to find them. They will tend to be in the quieter waters on the edge, in submerged grasses, submerged debris and under overhanging vegetation where it is available. Jack had clients out on the Fork this week and reported good fishing above Basalt. The Fork will remain high but clear unless there is a sharp jump in the temperature. Despite the run-off, the fish have to feed, so if you look for the quieter spots you will find feeding fish.
It was quiet in town during this week because of the weather and the run-off. However, the run-off spiked so quickly that it has cleared the rivers and they are now very fishable. The Pan is excellent. The Fork is good and gets better the higher up you go. If you have been postponing coming out because of the run-off, the news is that the fishing is now great, the water is high which spreads the fish out and there are not too many people about.Tom Kardish had a great trip with Ed a couple of weeks ago and sent some photos to share with you. Thanks Tom, well done.
Current Flow: below the Dam 107 cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
Although the flow report is lower, the Pan is still higher mid-river towards town as the various tributaries feed in. Taylor Creek has dropped a little and is a lot clearer but is still putting a lot of water into the Pan as is Toner and Seven Castles. Seven Castles blew out yesterday for a little while after the heavy rain. This always happens after heavy rain so all one has to do is travel further up the Pan and the river is pristine.
The fishing reports this week have been good. The only significant comment is that a lot of fishermen are congregating at the dam missing great opportunities down valley. On Tuesday it started out cloudy and developed into thunderstorms with a few heavy downpours. Mid-river the BWO's came off a little and the fish were quite active. The most successful pattern was a cdc baetis, but a special emerger worked as well. Dave was out through the week with clients and reported great fishing this week up high on the Pan with BWO's.
Art went out fishing on Friday and reported that most fishermen were still at the dam. On Saturday Merle fished around the 12 mile mark and reported that the fishing was technical. I fished mid-river through the rain and did not see much surface activity mid-afternoon. There were fish feeding a little on the bottom and they responded to a sparkle baetis nymph weighted down. Around 5pm the weather had cleared and it became bright. Out came a modest hatch of BWO's. It was interesting because one would have expected them earlier and during the rain. Still the fish were feeding and responded to #20 CDC baetis. The fish were very skittish. It was a matter of getting the right fly and having perfect presentation. So concentrate on taking your time, make sure your presentation is accurate and controlled and don't be afraid to change flies if your presentation is rejected. Sunday was bright and the fish laid low mid-river. The sparkle baetis with a #18 pheasant tail paid dividends but nothing much happened on the surface.
Recommended Flies: The forecast is for clear skies for the next 4 days. Therefore there should be more midge activity. 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. Also try #20 and #22 RS2's both gray and sparkle patterns. 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. As the day progresses and the BWO's are in evidence, try the sparkle baetis and or the pheasant tails weighted down. When the fish are in evidence on the surface a single dry fly will work fine. Of late the #20 -#24 CDC dries are getting the best results. In the bright light try not to let your leader drift in the same line as the fly. The lighter the tippet the better. The BWO's will start to hatch mid-afternoon and continue through so be prepared to stay out for a while waiting for the hatch. If there is no surface activity try dark olive and black pheasant tails size #20 and #22; midges, size #20 and smaller both red and black lava and pupa patterns - disco midges red and black sizes #20 - #24. Keep an eye out for caddis. Try pupa patterns. There are caddis from time to time on the Pan but there has not been a great deal of activity yet. Bob Gilmore seined this week and caught some enormous caddis indicating that they are about to come off thick and fast. So be ready and experiment.
Current Flow: near Emma - at Basalt 1280 cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page).
The Fork is in full run-off mode and will remain that way for the next couple of weeks although it has dropped a little and therefore the water has cleared a lot. As it falls it won't be picking up more rubbish so the discoloration is due to the quantity of the water rather than material. The fish will still be about in the gentler water feeding mostly below the surface however as the water is clearing there will be more dry fly activity. It is a simple function of whether the fish can see the flies. If you like, try a large stimulator with a dropper. The stimulator will get the attention of the fish and they will take the smaller fly when they get close. If the water is a little discolored, try larger flies, and stronger tippet will be invisible. Choose nymph patterns with a sparkle or a flash for visibility. A lite brite prince, flashback pheasant tails, sparkle baetis, any caddis pupa with sparkle. Any large streamer with flash will be worth trying. Remember the fish have to eat and the more visible the fly the more likely they are to see it.
Recommended Flies: In the clearer areas use the same flies as the Pan. There are however better caddis hatches on the Fork than the Pan. In the discolored water, use nymphs with flash. The fish will have to see the fly before they can take it. Try lite brite prince nymphs #14 - #18, gold ribbed hare’s ear #14 and #18; sparkle baetis patterns #18 - #20 egg patterns #10 - #18; streamers #10 with some flash such as cone heads. The cloudier water means one can use heavier tippet so there is an advantage in such conditions.
We are not floating it now. Wait until run-off is done unless you have no choice. You will have to wade and find pools and sections where the flow is a little slower and the water a little clearer. The trout will try for those areas where they are less likely to be getting silt in their gills.
Recommended Flies: Midges, both dries and emergers; Bead head pheasant tails #16, 18; Blue Wing Olives #18,20; Ccaddis, nymphs and emergers; bead head prince nymph red #12 - 16; egg patterns #10 - #18; streamers #6 and #8 and smaller.