After a week of lovely weather we woke on Sunday morning to snow falling and the promise of more. In actual fact the snow is more than welcome. We experienced quite a warm week with bright skies. The temperature was in the 30's during much of the day time and with the wind on Saturday which preceded the present storm, some of the snow on high was melting a little and certainly packing down. While skiing this passed week the thinning snow was evident off-piste and it requires quite a deal more to cover many of the rocky areas sufficiently to protect the bottoms of new skis.
The fishing was good in the bright light and direct sun. And even when it became cloudy the warmer temperatures made for pleasant times on the river. With snow being predicted over the next three days, there will be great skiing and a healthy replenishment of the snow pack for the filling of Ruedi and next spring's run-off. However towards the end of the week the present weather is predicted to pass and we will be experiencing clear skies again with temperatures similar to the week just passed.
The warm conditions have ensured that there is no ice build up in the Pan or the Fork so the access has been easy and comfortable. This week with the promise of snow, be well prepared and dressed appropriately and take something hot in a thermos to warm you from time to time.
Current Flow: below the Dam 83cfs. (if you want more up to date figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
In the slightly warmer weather the midge hatches have been coming off in the sunlight. The fish responded to black WD-40's #20 , red chironocones #20, and a garcia's rojo midge #22 fished down deep. During the coming week first it will be colder with a little snow and then warm and brighten again as the week progresses. Now that we are well into winter conditions, take care when handling the fish. Leaving a fish out in the air when it is so cold will cause the water to freeze and damage the gills potentially causing irreparable harm to the fish. In addition, land the fish and release it quickly to limit the amount of energy expended. Sometimes if I can't remove a hook quickly enough I will just break off the line. The fish are now confined to restricted diets for the next 3 months so it is important to let them alone as much as possible so that they will survive the winter in reasonably healthy condition.
Recommended Flies: Wait for the sun to hit the water before venturing out. Then follow the sun . In the bright light the fish can easily be spotted in the deeper slower water. In the coming week fish midges deep and then if they start coming off in the sun fish closer to the surface with emergers if the fish start rising in the water column. When the fish are taking midges they won't move much to take them so fish as accurately as possible to ensure that the fly drifts down or up to the level of the feeding fish. It is imperative that one fishes right to the fish, so continually vary your weights. If you are careful you will get a lot of shots at a suspended fish as it won't move much to inspect a fly. Try WD-40's #20 , red and black chironocones #20, brassie's #18 - #22, midge larva patterns #18 - #22 and garcia's rojo midges # 18 - #22. It's only when you practically hit the fish on the head and he moves off that you will know for sure he won't take your midge pattern. In addition with the browns on the redds still spawning take care not to disturb them. Instead fish downstream with egg patterns where other fish will gather to feed on them.
Current Flow: near Emma at Basalt – 296cfs (if you want more up to date figures check out current readings on our "Links" page).
The slightly warmer weather maintained the slightly higher level in the Fork so that it is running at 296cfs at the moment being just fractionally lower than last week. In the coming week the additional snow followed by warmer weather again will ensure that the level stays marginally higher than the mean. Consequently it will be possible to float in a raft from mid valley if you have a mind to do so. There are midge hatches in the sun. Streamers and eggs will work as well.
Recommended Flies: Use the same flies as the Pan. (See our report for the Frying Pan). In addition use streamers, san juan worms and egg patterns. Generally try midges. Try larva and pupa patterns until the fish are moving under the surface then try emergers.
The Colorado should remain clear over the coming week. There continues to be good fishing with similar patterns to the Fork only a little larger.
Recommended Flies: midges, larva, pupae, dries and emergers; 20 inchers size #10 - #14; streamers #6 and #8 and smaller and try egg patterns.