The weather is perfect Colorado autumn this morning. Blue skies, no breeze and the vibrant colors signaling the seasonal change. This past week has seen beautiful days interspersed with some cloudy stormy days which were excellent for BWO hatches. On Tuesday night the rain thundered down for a time resulting in the flow in the Fork jumping from 500 to 550cfs. However it has since settled back to about 500cfs. The rest of this week is predicted to be similar, blue clear skies with the intermittent threat of some rain and wind.
We hope you have a chance to drop by in the next few weeks. Many of the locals enjoy this last part of the season the most with few fishermen and just before they have to revert to midges and invisible leader.
Current Flow: below the Dam 293cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
The water continues to flow at around 293 cfs and the fishing remains great. Midweek the afternoons clouded over and brought on some great hatches. On Tuesday the BWO's were extremely thick. On Wednesday there was also a good hatch of PMD's mid-river. The fish responded well principally to nymphs, emergers and cripples. Up higher, the drake hatches intermingled with PMD's, BWO and midges. The midge hatches have been great mid-river both morning and evenings.
Merle and Harry had great trips out on the Pan and recommend baetis nymphs and black beauties.The order of service remains midges and PMD's in the morning although the PMD's are slowing down. Then from midday to early afternoon there will be drakes higher up. Later in the afternoon, particularly if it is cloudy, there will be BWO's and PMD's. Then through to the evening there will be midges and PMD's. If it is bright during the day the fishing will be a little tougher.
Recommended Flies:The river is perfect now even with the flow running at about 300cfs. The fishing is excellent. For some the marginally higher water might make wading a little difficult so come by the shop to check if you need some directions. The water is very clear and the days are intermittently 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. However the PMD activity is receding and is more intermittent. The green drakes on the Pan now come off higher up in the afternoon. Try nymphs, duns and cripple patterns sizes #10 - #12. In the afternoon if there is good cloud cover and possible rain, there may be a good BWO hatch as was the case during this week. If so try Lawson's no hackle #18 and #20, Adams #18 - #22. There is a range of good BWO patterns so be well stocked and try them all. The fish will be fussy and will key into a particular size or color so be prepared to change quickly if you are getting refusals and you are happy with your presentation. Sometimes the hatch will be so thick it is just a probability question whether the fish will see your fly. The BWO's and PMD's will come off in succession and the fish will change quickly, so be prepared to change you flies if the rising fish are ignoring you. When the PMD's are coming off 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. As noted above, 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 will interest them. For the spinner fall try parachute patterns and spinners. Try stimulators close to town in the pocket water and drop a nymph off. As a general observation, now that the fish are under a lot of pressure, be a little selective with your flies. Try older patterns which the fish might not have seen. Now the fishing is getting more technical so you will have to bring all of your skills to bear. In the absence of the right fly and correct size with the correct presentation, refusals will be the order of the day. Try terrestrials if it is a little quiet and the wind is blowing.
Current Flow: near Emma - at Basalt 500 cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page).
The downpour on Tuesday night kicked up the flow in the Fork to 550cfs during Wednesday, however it has since settled back and the fishing remains excellent. The water remains significantly higher than the same time last year, giving marginally greater access on a raft to the river. A small craft will still work well higher up if you are careful and get out and walk where you are unsure. Ed, Merle, Mo and Harry have been out throughout the week and advise to continue with BWO's either nymphs or emergers in conjunction with an attractor such as stimulators or hoppers. In addition they have been successful with small princes and san juan worms in the mornings. Ed says that the baetis are getting smaller so he is up to #22. So use the #22 sparkle baetis, RS2's, pheasant tails and any similar small nymphs as droppers. As the day progresses use emergers as well as the nymphs. Mo also had success on streamers both black and olive.
Recommended Flies: Above Carbondale use the same flies as the Pan (See our report for the Frying Pan). In the faster water, use nymphs with flash or attractors like the prince – size #12 - #16, sparkle baetis #22, RS2 and Sparkle RS2 #22, pheasant tails #20 - 22 black and brown, beadhead and non-bead head, and Caddis emergers. Also 20 inchers size #10 - #14. Also use hopper patterns with droppers. Streamers are also working.
The rain on Tuesday night clouded up the Colorado for a day, but it has since has cleared and the fishing is good. Try PMDs, BWO's streamers and the ubiquitous stone flies. On balance most success is on nymphs at the moment.
Recommended Flies: Hoppers, midges, both dries and emergers; Bead head pheasant tails #16, 18; Blue Wing Olives #18,20; 20 inchers size #10 - #14; bead head prince nymph red #12 - 16; egg patterns #10 - #18; streamers #6 and #8 and smaller; terrestrials .