Generally we had a clear week with a little rain and temperatures which got up into the 80's. The rivers have been coming down again and clearing with hints of clearer water in the Colorado. The Pan has remained steady. The next week promises to be similar weather with the possibility of rain over the next 2 days and then clear and in the 70's for the rest of the week.
Generally we have had great fishing reports all around. The dry fly fishing on the Pan towards the Dam has been excellent with fish taking the full range from midges through to drakes. Lower down the Pan the nymphing is more productive with the relatively faster water pushing fish to the edge or keep them subsurface except where the water is flatter. On the Fork the results are generally best from nymphing. It is clear all the way to Glenwood now and the level still affords some good floating from Basalt.
This week was noticeably quieter in Basalt and around the house with the kids having gone back to school. This brings a different mix of people to town. And with a hint of change in the colors up high those who come for the autumn will be arriving soon. On some days it is still quite hot while on those afternoons when some clouds roll in the weather becomes exceedingly pleasant.
We are starting to see evidence of the bow hunters arriving for the first bow hunting season. The wet season will have afforded ample foliage and food up high although the fodder crops don't seem to have grown as well as usual. They seem a little low and thin.
The air is a touch colder in the evenings and the days just a little shorter. Autumn is not far off. But there is still plenty of excellent fishing in the offing. One would reasonably expect the Bureau to lower the flows in the Pan soon. If last year was any indication the US Fish and Wildlife relented and slowed down their releases for the endangered fish at the beginning of September. So it is reasonable to expect that a similar occurrence is in store this year. Of course, reasonableness does not always prevail, but hope springs eternal.
With the crowds thinning and the cooler weather on its way, there is excellent fishing in store for the next month or so. So if you have been waiting for a respite from the thundering herd, the time has arrived.
Current Flow: below the Dam 328cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
The passing week saw some excellent dry fly fishing along the Pan. From midges through to drakes the hatches abound. Some days the fish took more drakes, other days the preponderance of takes was on PMD's. Interspersed was a range of midges and BWO's so it is a dry fly fisherman's delight. The weather also assisted with the possibility of rain manifesting itself as a passing shower on the briefest of occasions.
We are indeed fortunate with the quality of the Pan fishing at the moment. Marcia has returned after her annual fishing trip from Florida all the way through to British Columbia and she informed me that her early season visit here was some of the best fishing of her entire trip. Many of the more northern rivers were a big disappointment. That accords with other anecdotes. So we remain fortunate and will continue to enjoy the excellent conditions while they persist.
The coming week promises the possibility of a little rain for a day or so but generally bright and clear days with warm to hot temperatures into the mid 70's. With the water remaining at its current level the dry fly fishing higher up should remain excellent with the peak of the drakes possibly having passed. But the cold releases will sustain the hatches for a few weeks longer.
If as expected the Bureau drops the releases in response to a request from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, that will make the wading even more accessible and improve the dry fly fishing closer to town. So keep that in mind.
There is a morning and an evening PMD hatch. Currently the fish are taking emergers #16 and #18 fished down. Try Barrs emergers, the bubbleback, and the FPA PMD beadtail emergers. In addition try the comparadun pmd, the grizzly wulff and the fpa special pmd emerger.
For caddis try the elk hair #14 and #16 olive as well as emergers.
For baetis, the fish will take tiny baetis nymphs like tiny pheasant tails. So try small black and olive patterns #18 - #22 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 for dry fly activity try adams, extended bodies, matthews and parachute adams. Lighter colored bodies such as the grizzly wulff will also serve as PMD patterns.
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.
For drakes, try the straw wing emerger #12 and when the fish are rising to the natural try the hairwing dun, the wulff patterns and the flavilinea. We have nearly 400 drake patterns in the shop so there should be something no-one else has tried that day.
Thsere are also ants flying around but the wet weather has kept the hoppers in check. So try terrestrials like ant patterns and crane flies.
The Fork continues to settle nicely and has cleared all the way to Glenwood. The level affords modest floating from Basalt and good floating from Carbondale. As the flow continues to fall the wade fishing is excellent and getting easier along the edges even in some of the narrower sections. Most of the better fishing is from nymphing but there are good results as well on streamers.
As the flow slows, in all likelihood the releases in the Pan will fall soon and this will lower the flows from Basalt down. The lower water will limit floating from Basalt but if you are prepared to work it will still be very accessible. As the crowds thin out much of the Fork remains deserted where one is prepared to walk in a little way. If you are unfamiliar with the area, come by the shop and we will happily indicate some less trafficked areas you might find of interest.
As the day progresses in the faster water try caddis emergers and dries with baetis and PMD emergers. Try Barrs emergers, the bubbleback, and the FPA PMD beadtail emergers.
In the evenings try big stimulators.
If you are floating try streamers, particularly heavier flies with enough weight to get down quickly.
The latest reports on the Colorado is that it is only a day or so away from being clear enough to fish well. So the big question will be whether we get any more rain in the week or not. The forecast is promising in that only a few showers are anticipated so we may be in luck. We shall see.