Well the weatherman was not too accurate last week! Instead of the week being lower temperatures with a little rain, it all happened at the beginning of the week and then dried out and became hot again. The rain at the beginning of the week caused the Roaring Fork and the Crystal to dirty and rise. At the same time, as Ruedi was full it was necessary to increase the outflow into the Pan for a couple of days. At the high point the Pan was running at over 400 cfs and hard to fish. By Thursday it was all past and the flow had dropped so that it is now nicely back at 202cfs.
The Fork has also continued to drop so that it is now running at 736 cfs at Basalt and is clear. I floated the Fork from Jaffe Park today with Alan Adger, a mad keen fisherman we feature in these reports from time to time. The Fork is getting shallow. I don't think that there will be much more floating from Jaffe Park much longer given the rate the water is slowing down. It's a pity because the fishing was excellent. We got into some great fish on both dries and nymphs. Two fish Alan hooked were too large for the net! We have some photos which we will share with you when they are developed. There was a good hatch, mostly PMD's but also midges, caddis and drakes. Generally the fish were in the deeper water in the bright light because the water was so shallow. Lower down towards Basalt Ed and Travis had excellent dry fly fishing as the water is deeper and the Fork has a bigger flow.
This week the drakes were out in force on the Pan. The higher water and disturbed flow had put the drakes a little off their game so that they were appearing at night. However by mid-week the hatch was back to normal starting at about 11 am and going through to 2 or 3pm. The fishing was excellent with the higher water having dispersed the larger fish. On Thursday mid-river I swear there was a large fish at every decent sized rock! On Friday the fishing was equally strong but the hatch was slowing down. In the evenings the PMD's midges and caddis abound.
So all in all the fishing is excellent despite the mild disturbance to the water flow earlier in the week.
Next week the weatherman is calling for warmer weather again in the 80's and some rain showers. The tropical weather pattern will persist now, beautiful clear mornings, clouding over in the afternoon with a little thunder and lightning, a heavy downpour or two to cool things off and then beautiful evenings. As I write a thunder storm has settled in the Frying Pan Valley and it is raining nicely. So remember to pack a light rain jacket and fish on through the rain. It will stop after it has driven a lot of fishermen from the water and leave the river to just you and the big fish!
Current Flow: below the Dam 202cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
Because of the rainfall early in the week and the fact that Ruedi was full, we experienced a sharp jump in the flow to over 400 cfs from Monday afternoon to Wednesday. By Thursday afternoon all was back to normal. It certainly did not affect the fishing on Thursday or Friday! Merle reports that the Seratellas are out from 11am till 3pm mid-river. He is fishing them with a #14 Royal Stimulator with a seratella dropper. Ed Chris and Harry were all out and had great fishing although the crowds are here so it is a matter of finding the right spot.
The order of service is now midges and PMD's in the morning. Then from 11 am there will be drakes. Then in the afternoon through the evening midges, caddis and PMD's with some BWO's higher up. So you can fish all day now well into the evening.
Recommended Flies: The fishing is excellent. 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. 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. In the mornings there have been PMD hatches which last for an hour or so. As the day progresses up higher the BWO's will be in evidence. Try the sparkle baetis and or the pheasant tails. The green drakes on the Pan come off from midday so they will be in evidence now. Try nymphs, duns and cripple patterns sizes #10 - #12. The caddis are coming off in the evenings so fish the pupa patterns earlier and the emergers later. Try any of the caddis dry patterns as well as the stimulators. Try pupa and emerger patterns – Sparkle pupa #15, peeking caddis #16, emergent sparkle caddis #16. The PMD's are coming off so try both emergers and dries – Barrs emerger #16 - #18, Pink Cahills #16 - #18, Melon Quills #16 - #18 and the PMD Comparaduns #16 - #18. Also try cripple patterns. If the fish are feeding but are rejecting your fly, change to a different size. Try to match the size as best you can. The fish will key in on a particular size and nothing else with interest them. For the spinner fall try parachute patterns and spinners. Try stimulators close to town in the pocket water and drop a drake nymph off.
Current Flow: near Emma - at Basalt 736 cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page).
The Fork continues to fall and clear. The fishing is exceptionally good at the moment - particularly if you float. Ed, Travis and Chris have all been floating mostly higher up where the water is clearer and the fishing has been good all day. As the flow drops it is unlikely that the floating from Jaffe Park will continue much longer. The fishing there is excellent so if you have a chance to get on the water in the next few days, it will be well worth it. Everything is working including green drakes. The caddis in the afternoon have been particularly prolific. Be prepared to both nymph and dry fly. As the water drops the fish will tend to stay a little lower in the bright sun so try pheasant tails, princes and caddis emergers.
Towards Glenwood most of the fishing is with nymphs although the PMD's and caddis continue coming off.
Recommended Flies: In the clearer areas use the same flies as the Pan (See our report for the Frying Pan). There are however better caddis hatches on the Fork than the Pan. Use orange stimulators sizes #10 to #16, In the faster water, use nymphs with flash or attractors like the prince – size #12 - #16, 20 inchers, drake nymphs and Caddis emergers. Caddis pupa patterns in the morning. Green Drake patterns are also working well. Also use hopper patterns. When floating a large parachute hopper with a dropper is highly visible.
The wet weather early in the week put paid to fishing in the Colorado for a couple of days but it has cleared since and fishing is good again. Try PMDs, yellow sallies and the ubiquitous stone flies. On balance most success is on nymphs at the moment.
Recommended Flies: Recommended Flies: Yellow sallies, hoppers, midges, both dries and emergers; Bead head pheasant tails #16, 18; Blue Wing Olives #18,20; bead head prince nymph red #12 - 16; egg patterns #10 - #18; streamers #6 and #8 and smaller.