We are now really getting some run-off. The Roaring Fork has blown out. The peak yesterday near 2500cfs was a little higher than today's, but with the prediction of more hot weather for the next week, one would expect the level to push higher over the coming week.
Although the Bureau has not released any more water, Rocky Fork is putting in a lot of water and color above the gauging station and that is coloring up the Frying Pan a little. Rocky Fork is putting in up to 40cfs a day as the heat of the middle of the afternoon takes time to send the melting snow down the to the Pan towards midnight. Thereafter the level drops a little until mid to late afternoon when it begins to build again. The Pan gets a little clearer as the day progresses. Overall though the Pan is in great condition relatively speaking and as soon as Rocky Fork has peaked out for a couple of days, the Pan will be pristine again. Other tributaries like Taylor Creek are also putting in a little color but the water is relatively clean with very little material. So even lower down, even though the Pan might have some color there is not enough material to put the fish off too much. For a few days now the Pan is the only destination for fishing and with the color one can use heavier tippet and larger flies with a little sparkle to attract the attention of the fish.
With Memorial weekend, we have had a few visitors in town, but it is not particularly busy. There are a number of fishermen about but generally it is quiet for a holiday. This latest burst of warm to hot weather has really accelerated the budding of the trees and spurred the grass. Growth seemed to have been held up a little with the extended period of cold weather and snow. Even the ducks and geese appeared to postpone their hatches for a while because it has only been in the last couple of days we have seen ducklings and goslings on the pond. The lower water has tended to keep the fish more confined in the deeper parts of the river so perhaps this augmentation of the flows with the runoff from the Frying Pan tributaries will encourage them to spread out a little.
So if you are coming up, the only place to fish will be the Pan. And the condition should be excellent in a day or so as Rocky Fork peaks out. Look at the flow charts in our links if you want to see progress of the runoff or ring the shop for the latest updates.
Current Flow: below the Dam 132cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
The hot weather of the past week has really kicked up the flow in the tributaries, but the water condition is very good and clean even though there is some color. Most of the color is coming down from Rocky Fork, and additional color would be coming from the edges of the Pan as the water flow gets a little higher with the increased flow from the various tributaries. On Sunday, Taylor Creek was as high as it has been this year and no doubt the other tributaries will be the same.But it should top out soon as the lower elevations are now getting a lot of hot weather so the snow-pack would not be expected to last much longer. So over the next day or so when the water is a little colored used heavier tippet, and patterns such as princes and worms as well as any baetis patterns with a little sparkle. But even in the semi colored water there is still reasonable visibility and the fish were taking small pheasant tails and fpa sparkle baetis. The weather is expected to remain warm to hot over the next few days, so watch the flow near the gauge at the dam and as soon as it flattens and starts to fall the water will be clear again. That should not take too long.
Recommended Flies: There are both midge and BWO hatches to choose from now. For baetis, the fish will take tiny baetis nymphs like tiny pheasant tails. So try small black and olive patterns #24 and #26 as well as brassies to get them down. The fish are also taking BWO emergers, so use the FPA baetis emergers, the sparkle baetis, rs2's and other small emerger patterns. In addition the fish have taken a few BWO dries so try olive bodied patterns #18 -#22 as well as Adams.
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.
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 Fork has really jumped and has hit close ot 2500cfs over the past 2 days. That is a massive leap in the past week and for all intents and purposes it is not fishable until the river tops out and starts running over clean riparian areas. That will be a week or so away. So just come to the Pan over the next week.
The Colorado is not fishable. Don't bother stopping. Just turn onto Highway 82 and come up to Basalt.