Another great week of fishing and some more snow. Another 17" fell towards the end of the week on the ski slopes, but very little accumulated down valley. By Sunday most of the snow had melted away in the sun. The fall on the mountains was very welcome for the skiers, further augmenting the base nicely as visitors for the spring break arrive. The cold overnight temperatures further ensured that the quality of the snow will hold for a few more days.
The weather prediction for the coming week is mostly clear with the possibility of some snow midweek. But with temperatures to remain higher, down-valley it will probably be the same as the last storm where the precipitation either melted quickly or fell as sleet or rain.
The fishing was excellent in the snow and cloudy weather with good reports from all rivers. Over the weekend the clearing weather and bright days brought out a lot of fishermen on all rivers. The Fork had a lot of wade fishermen enjoying the day in company with a number of boats. It is certainly evident that many fishermen have decided that with spring here, it is time to be out on the river.
We are in spring break now and with more skiers on the slopes we expect to see a few more fishermen down valley during the week enjoying a day off from the slopes. With only a few weeks to the end of the ski season, it will be interesting to see whether we get much more snow. Currently we are tracking the average with the peak usually occurring in about 2 weeks.
On Monday last the Colorado Senate Judicial committee adopted changes to the floating Bill HB1188 which broadened its application to all people floating and improved it a little. However on Friday when the bill was sent to the Senate floor for a vote, the opposition lobbyists succeeded in inserting an amendment which sent the matter off to a committee where in all likelihood it will die or get lost on the way back. Its fate most likely sealed. Of course nothing is set in stone. But for the moment expect nothing intelligent to occur.
Current Flow: below the Dam 69cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
With the Pan still running at 70cfs, it is noted that this time last year it was running around 115cfs. The previous 2 years it was running closer to 150cfs. Consequently with the snowpack around the longer term average and the Pan running well below the average flows of 138cfs (mean) and 149cfs (median) one would expect the flows to pick up soon.
The fishing has been excellent over the past week with the changeable weather. The fish were rising nicely on Sunday as a succession of midges and BWOs came off. The fish took small parachute adams, black and gray biots and gray adult midges #30. The bright light called for light tippet – 9x and 10x. Lower down the fish took small rs2 and baetis nymphs as well as midge emergers. The fishing is truly excellent at the moment.The weather is comfortable, even in the snow and sleet. The only challenge of sorts comes when it is windy but it has been quiet over the past few days. With the expectation of a little more cloudy weather and some possible snow or rain during the coming week, one would expect some more excellent fishing. So be prepared and dress well if precipitation threatens.
Recommended Flies: The longer days are beginning to be noticed as the sun stays above the high surrounding peaks a little longer each day. If the sun is out try and stay in the light. But if it is heavy and overcast it makes little difference.
There are mostly midge hatches but a few BWO's are starting to come off internittently near the dam. The fish will take tiny baetis nymphs like tiny pheasant tails if they see them enough. So try small black and olive patterns #24 and #26 as well as brassies to get them down.
The midges will come off during the day, particularly if it is sunny. So try WD-40's #20, red and black chironocones #20, brassies #18 - #22, midge larva patterns #18 - #22, copper johns #18 - #22, black polywings #18 - #22 and garcia's rojo midges # 18 - #22. Mike reported great success this week on smaller black midges such as the miracle midge.
As they come off try the gray loopwing emergers #20 - #22, the FPA special emergers, biot emergers both with and without the trailing shuck and gray RS2's #18 - #22. In addition try dry patterns such as the z-wing real midge, suspended midge and any similar dry black and gray patterns in sizes from #20 through to #26, loopwing emergers #20 - #22 and FPA special emergers #20 - #26.
The flow in the Fork was climbing a little until the past several days when very cold overnight temperatures dropped the flows for a little. This morning it was 17degrees and the pond had frozen back over a little. The ice stayed for a good part of the day. Consequently the flows fluctuated in the Fork over the past few days. But it is back close to where it was a week ago. A little more warm weather and one would expect the flows to pick up some more.
As the snow and rains cleared over the weekend a lot of fishermen got out onto the river to enjoy the warmth and clear skies. It was good to see so many out enjoying the first days of spring fishing. The river is clear and access excellent for both floating and wading from Aspen down to Glenwood.The fishing reports were good with fish taking midges, baetis and stonefly nymphs as well as some eggs and attractors. TJ reported great success near Basalt on BWO emergers.
Recommended Flies: The midges are getting more prolific and larger as we approach spring. In addition to midges, the stone fly nymphs are starting to move about in the water. Beatis are also moving about as well and coming off intermittently. The most reliable results now will be nymphing with eggs, princes, midge emergers, hare's ears, 20 inchers and other attractor patterns.
The Colorado has improved over the last few days as the flows affected by Shoshone seem to have settled. Mike Kim and Gary reported good floating over the weekend with the fishing taking midges, eggs, and baetis nymphs.
There were a lot of fishermen out enjoying the fishing over the weekend as the weather cleared.
Recommended Flies: eggs, attractors, stonefly nyphs, baetis nymphs and midges.