Another week has passed and the days get a little longer. Today a few flurries of snow abound accompanied by higher winds than normal. Yesterday the winds were such that the lifts at the higher elevations on the ski slopes were shutdown. I suspect that some tired legs might be coming down valley again this week for a spot of fishing. The water flow and condition for this time of year on the Pan is remarkable.
The next five days promises changeable weather with snow threatening to return towards the middle of the week. If venturing onto the rivers be prepared for a range of weather but always overdress because one can always remove an outer garment if it gets too hot. There is no respite if one underdresses.
Bob Gilmore has returned from Antarctica. He fished a little in Argentina during his trip and has kindly shared some photos with us. Click here for the link.
Current Flow: below the Dam 129cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
The fishing remains good with midges and mysis shrimp just below the dam. Harry continues to have a lot of success with dry midges during the middle of the day. Lower towards town he had most success fishing deep. 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. It has been a little warmer over the last week, so coupled with the strong flows all anchor ice is gone. It is now midges, very small nymphs 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. 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. It has been so warm from Basalt down that there is no anchor ice and the banks are exposed. The fishing has been excellent principally with midges. Ed reports great fishing and little activity from fishermen. Harry reports success with small nymphs and a cased caddis pattern which he ties. The main thing though is to fish as close to the bottom as possible. So weight the fly so that it catches on the bottom. Then you will know that you are deep enough. Merle also reports continued good fishing having success on worms, eggs and nymph patterns.
Recommended Flies: Above Carbondale use the same flies as the Pan (See our report for the Frying Pan). Generally try midge patterns larva, pupa and emerger patterns. For variety try very small baetis nymph patterns. Cased caddis patterns will work deep as well. 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.