Happy Holidays. We trust that you all had a safe and meaningful Christmas. And we hope you travel safely and well wherever you are headed.
We have had a number of visitors in town who enjoyed some great skiing and some great fishing. The weatherman was accurate with his prediction this week affording us generally warmer weather with clouds and a touch of snow. The last 2 days we had clear skies overnight which caused a sufficient drop in temperatures to freeze the remainder of the pond.
It has been unseasonably warm. We have minimal snow on the ground around the house in the direct sunlight. Basalt is bereft of snow in many places. Yet during the week the mountains had a lot. The report indicates that 39" of snow fell giving a base of 66". The report is a little more realistic this week with 39" having added on 8" of base. That indicates how much the snow has been melting off. In fact during the week the Crystal blew out coloring up the flow in the Fork below Carbondale sufficiently to prevent any floating for a day. This was a consequence of rain which came through midweek!
So what does next week have in store? It appears that some colder weather is heading our way with possibly some midweek snow. The temperature is forecast to drop below 20 ° next Friday and stay low for a day or so before some more snow arrives and brings things back to the mid 30's.
The fishing has been excellent and with the visitors in town there have been a few more warm bodies out on the river. The other day there were 5 people standing shoulder to shoulder in the bend pool. That's almost summer congestion! They must have just been really close friends.
We are expecting a little more activity on the river over the next week. It appears that the numbers on the slopes are quite strong. And the warm weather has rendered some of the lower slopes spring conditions with sheet ice forming overnight after the snow has melted a little in the sun during the day. Such conditions tire out weary legs and excite many at the prospect of a day out on the river. So if you are coming here for a few days, enjoy the skiing and consider taking off a day for a rest on the river.
We would love to see you.
Current Flow: below the Dam 77cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
The fishing has been excellent. This past week it was so warm it tended to keep the fish down feeding on the bugs floating by under the surface. The warmer conditions also brought out a lot of fishermen. The best results were on midge larva and egg patterns with a few on emergers and less on dries. Have a look at the photos for this week for an idea. As the weather got a little colder towards the end of the week the hatches improved and the dry fly fishing improved.
The coming week calls for a little more colder weather some snow midweek and clear and colder temperatures near week's end. The fishing should remain excellent. Personally I am looking forward to the next big storm which requires one to park on the road and walk in to the flats. There is a little snow coming down this evening, so we will see if it keeps up until morning.
Recommended Flies: There are now midges and the last of the BWO hatches.
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. With the cold weather imminent, an extended period below freezing will shut off the baetis until late winter.
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.
As soon as the coldest weather arrives and ice forms along the banks it will be fishing near the dam until the days lengthen and the weather warms a little.
With the mild weather continuing the fish were active in the Fork in the wider sections, particularly below redds where the browns are spawning. The midweek snow and rain at lower levels, caused the Crystal to color up and prevent floating below Carbondale and into the Colorado. Strange for this time of year.
Recommended Flies: The best results now are nymphing deep with eggs, attractors such a princes and hare's ears, worms and small baetis nymphs.
If you are floating try streamers, particularly heavier flies with enough weight to get down quickly.
The Colorado remains in good condition and is fishing well with midges, some baetis nymphs and attractors and egg patterns. Streamers are also working.