It is snowing again. Though not too much. It got cold a few days back but not as cold as the front range. There are a lot of people in town for President's Day weekend. We have seen more visitors in the shop in the last few days than in a while. The great winter and snow has tended to keep people on the mountain enjoying the skiing rather than making the trip down-valley for a spot of fishing. More snow is anticipated over the next few days.
The Pan continues to flow high maintaining excellent winter fishing conditions and protecting the fish for next spring.
As a side note, for those of you who might be contemplating coming out this year and renting the cabins, might we suggest that you do not wait too long to book. We are astounded at the rate at which the bookings are filling up. We already have weeks in July and September which are fully booked. If you want details click on the lodging link on the left. With the high water continuing throughout winter, and the good snow pack the bigger fish will be well rested this winter and not have suffered the usual privations of low water and anchor ice. We think this year will be better than ever.
Current Flow: below the Dam - 158cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
The Pan continues to run high and clear. Merle continues to report that the best combination is a black midge biot with an egg as an attractor. In fact in Merle's opinion anything small and black is working including pheasant tails as the small nymphs begin to move about in the water. In his view the best midge fishing of late has been up close to the dam. The unusually large winter flow has augmented the fishable areas markedly. With the promise of warming weather and the higher sun, more and more of the Pan is worth a look. Continue to be careful when landing fish. One does not want them to expend unnecessary energy. It is now midges, very small nymphs and eggs.
Recommended Flies: The water is very clear and is now well above its usual winter flow so the fish will be more spread out than usual. It will also be a little easier wading as the increased flow has limited or eliminated much of the anchor ice. Make sure you are using light tippet – 7x. Generally fish down deep as the fish generally remain close to the bottom. However, there is midge activity when the sun warms things a little although there has not been much activity in the snowy conditions. The sun is beginning to get noticeably higher touching the water in more areas. This opens up the Pan a little more to good midge hatches. Spot the fish feeding as they will not move far laterally to take midges. Try midge larva and pupa before the hatch starts. When the fish begin to feed under the surface, try small emergers; olive biot emergers, size #18 - #22 and black special emergers #18 - #22. Small copper johns are working well. On the surface, use midge dries with emergers in the film as a dropper. Egg patterns will also work well particularly as an attracter with a midge. Be prepared to vary the color of the egg a little if it is not getting results.
The flow remains good with intermittent ice floating down as it breaks loose from time to time. The fishing has been excellent lower down with midges with an egg attractor. The main thing though is to fish as close to the bottom as possible. So weight the fly so that it catches on the bottom. Then you will know that you are deep enough. Harry reports success with medium to larger stoneflies. So try patterns such as mercer's poxyback stone, the roaring fork stone and the 20 incher. A large prince will also work. Use the different sized patterns as the nymphs are growing and therefore they appear in a range of sizes.
Recommended Flies: Above Carbondale use the same flies as the Pan (See our report for the Frying Pan). Generally try midge patterns larva, pupa and emerger patterns. For variety try very small baetis nymph patterns. Small stone flies #16 - #12 - try mercers poxy-back, roaring fork stone, 20 incher. Cased caddis patterns will work deep as well. Black and olive beadhead streamers are also working. Also egg patterns.
The water color remains good. The fishing is good. Try midges, and 20 inchers. Also try any nymphs #20 and smaller.
Recommended Flies: midges, both dries and emergers; pheasant tails #16, 18; BWO's #18,20; small copper johns; 20 inchers size #10 - #14; bead head prince nymph red #12 - 16; egg patterns #10 - #18; streamers #6 and #8 and smaller.