The cold weather and snow at the beginning of the week offered good fishing under cloud cover for those willing to go out. Overnight it dropped well below freezing and the ponds now have a solid cover of ice in the more shaded areas. Towards the end of the week the weather warmed up and it became very pleasant. The snow melted a little in the sun, softening the earth and produced results reminiscent of mud season. But as the sun drops in the afternoon the cold air freezes the mud fairly quickly again. The fish are generally sitting lower now. The midges are coming off in the sun for a time exciting the fish to take them. In the last few warm days we have had quite a number of visitors in town and despite the cold they have reported generally good fishing. For the next week the forecast is generally for freezing overnight temperatures with warming days into the 40's. The clear skies will promise cold mornings and quiet fishing until the sun hits the water. It is less than a week to the start of the official ski opening, but this weekend, Aspen mountain was open for the first skiing of the year. With 15" of snow in the last week, the base promises excellent skiing early in the season.
This coming week will bring Thanksgiving. We trust that you are able to gather with your families and that your travel is safe and well.
Current Flow: below the Dam - 84cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
The cold snowy weather in the beginning of the week brought some good fishing for those willing to brave the cold. The fish mostly responded to baetis nymphs and midge patterns as the dry fly activity was not as strong as it has been. The best flies were small baetis nymph patterns such as pheasant tails as well as midge patterns such as the chironocone. When there was some dry fly activity they took small olive baetis patterns and in the sun some midge patterns. The clear skies in the coming week will ensure very cold temperatures overnight giving no reason to get onto the water until the sun has had a chance to warm things a little. In the narrower parts of the valley it will get cold and things will slow down as soon as the sun goes behind the peaks. So be prepared to move about to get to where the sun is still on the water.
Recommended Flies: With the promise of below freezing temperatures overnight, t here will not be any urgency to get onto the water early in the morning as the cold will limit the bug activity early on. So one will start out nymphing with both baetis and midges in anticipation of the rise. Try a combination of sparkle baetis nymphs, pheasant tails, and midge pupa patterns such as WD-40's, WD-50's and chironocones. Then wait for the BWO's to start coming off. The fish remain particular as they feed and the lower water will concentrate them more in the feeding lanes where it is deeper. They will be more easily spooked as well. The fish are sitting deeper in the water, so fish down to them until they start to come up to emerging baetis or midges. In addition with the browns moving onto the redds to spawn take care not to disturb them. But fish downstream with egg patterns where other fish will gather to feed on them.If you are fishing to rising fish, don't fish too shallow too quickly. Even if you think the fish are feeding just under or on the surface, persist with keeping the fly lower until there is no question that they are on dries. Watch carefully and discern whether the fish are taking emergers or dries. If you don't take care and switch to a dry pattern too early can cause you to miss good opportunities. If it starts to rain or snow, keep fishing. As the fishing progresses into winter, the fish will move less to take the smaller midges or nymphs and it will be a matter of fishing to the fish. If you spot a fish lying low, concentrate on getting the fly weighted to get down to the fish before deciding whether it wants your chosen pattern or not.
The Fork has dropped 50cfs from last week and is back to more traditional end of season flows. As a consequence the floating is now confined comfortably below Carbonadale. The Fork is deserted now in most places and the browns are getting ready to spawn. So if you take the time to walk into some of the less trafficked areas there will be some great fishing. But do take care to avoid the redds as the spawning trout answer natures call. When fishing start out with streamers, worms, eggs and attractor patterns such as princes. As the day progresses try midges and baetis nymphs as well. Small BWO nymphs and emergers continue to work well. The smaller the better.
The Colorado has cleared again and 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: PMD's #16, #18, baetis #18,20 and midges, both dries and emergers; 20 inchers size #10 - #14; streamers #6 and #8 and smaller and try egg patterns.