The last 2 mornings we have woken to a little snow on the ground, but as the day progressed, the clouds passed and it was quite pleasant until clouds gathered in the afternoon. The early part of the week was warm up to the 50's and much of the snow which had lain on the ground from earlier falls melted off in the sun. The warmth was such that the quality of the skiing on Thanksgiving was not as good as the previous week end.
With most of the main hunting seasons over it is now going to get very quiet. There were a few visitors in town over the last week and they enjoyed excellent fishing with eggs and midges. The forecast is for snow through until Thursday with the temperature predicted to drop as the snow clouds pass. The snow is predicted to be heavy on Tuesday. The rest of the time it appears that the falls will be intermittent and not particularly lasting with the predicted wind blowing the clouds on through.
It will therefore be winter fishing conditions through the week, so be well prepared and dressed and take something hot in a thermos to warm you from time to time.
Current Flow: below the Dam - 84cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
The fishing was good this week with the warmth bringing out some good midge hatches early in the week. There was good fishing on baetis nymphs, midges and egg patterns. On Sunday for example the fish remained low in the water but took midges fished low. They responded to black WD-40's #20 , red chironocone #20, #20 black beadtail midge emergers and a garcia's rojo midge #22. With the coming colder weather, follow the sun when deciding where to fish.
Recommended Flies: With the promise of snow and cold in the coming week there will not be any urgency to get onto the water early in the morning as the cold will limit the bug activity. In the bright light and with no foliage cover the fish tend to hide more until there is a reason to move into the feeding lanes. So the day will start out with one nymphing with both baetis and midges in anticipation of the rise. Try a combination of sparkle baetis nymphs, pheasant tails, midge pupa patterns such as WD-40's, WD-50's and chironocones and various midge larva patterns. There may still be some intermittent BWO hatches, so keep an eye out for them. The fish remain particular as they feed and the lower water will concentrate them more in the feeding lanes and where it is deeper. They will be more easily spooked as well. The fish are sitting deeper in the water where it is a little slower, so fish down to them until they start to come up to emerging baetis or midges. In addition with the browns on the redds spawning 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 mergers 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.
The flow has settled to around 350cfs for the past week. As a consequence there is some floating in a raft from Carbondale down but the water is too skinny for drift boats. The fishing on the Fork is good particularly in the wider valley when the sunlight hits the water. There are midge hatches in the sun and a few fish are taking them off the surface. Streamers and eggs will work as well.
Recommended Flies: Use the same flies as the Pan. (See our report for the Frying Pan). In addition use streamers, san juan worms and egg patterns. Generally try midges and BWO's. Try nymphs until the fish are moving under the surface then try emergers.
The Colorado should remain clear over the coming week. The water is a great color. 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.