The water releases from Ruedi fell to 250cfs on Tuesday morning and for several nights the overnight temperature dropped to 30degrees. The Fork also slowed down substantially to a low flow of about 1500cfs on Tuesday. As the overnight temperatures warmed the Fork has picked up again and is currently flowing at 2,080cfs at Basalt. However it is still good quality water and the fishing is good.
We are now well into summer weather patterns with bright warm to hot mornings and with gathering clouds in the afternoon with a chance of a thunderstorm. The evenings are in the 40's the clouds clear and the following morning starts out bright again. It is very quiet on the rivers at the moment. I suspect that with the announcement of high run-off and releases projected to last 2 weeks at 800cfs on the Pan, a lot of potential visitors have postponed their trips. The high release at 800cfs only lasted one day and the water has now settled down very nicely making the Pan very wadable. It has been dry now for some time and I suspect that there is a chance that the Pan will drop even more as the Bureau recalculates the inflow to Ruedi and realizes we are in a dry spell which is getting a little critical. The tributaries below the Pan are half the level they were a week ago indicating that they have well passed their peaks and except for the highest elevations the run-off is finished. The Fork will also continue to flow higher but again it appears to have passed its peak. The earlier passing of the peak flow is going to make for a long excellent fishing season this year.
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 already have July totally booked as well as the first three weeks of August. September is almost fully booked as well. If you want details click on the lodging link on the left.
Current Flow: below the Dam - 289cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
Tom Kardish visited us again this year with Gary Rogers and had some more great days with Ed. Tom sent us some photos to share. The following is a lovely fish from the flats near the Dam.
The Pan is now running at a very acceptable level enabling wading at most points. The only drawback now is that the water is so clear and the days are so bright that the fish are lying on the bottom or in the shaded areas for protection. If the weather forecast this week is accurate and there are afternoon thunderstorms the cloud cover should afford some good bwo hatches and some good dry fly fishing. On Monday evening when the river had one more release reduction to go, the fish were a little unsettled but they were still feeding and took copper johns. Picture below is one which took a #22 red copper john. In the bright light the fish could be seen right on the bottom or on the sides of the flow so it was a matter of fishing right to them.
On Friday and Saturday the fish continued to stay low mid-river and it was necessary to fish at them. They have not settled into newer areas yet. There are a number of places where big trees have washed or fallen into the river and have created some good structure which will serve the fish well during the season. However as yet the fish have not settled into some of these places. There are still a lot of big fish in the shallow water on the edges but they are moving back to the deeper water as they respond to the bright light and the lower flow. Mid-river at the end of the week saw little dry fly activity, but the fish took sparkle baetis, pheasant tails and icebreaker patterns.
Earlier in the week the cold overnight temperatures slowed the Fork down considerably and the water quality was excellent. Few fishermen were about so those who got out on the river had a great time. Even as the temperatures have picked up again later in the week and the flow has picked up, the water quality is still good down to Basalt. The higher up one goes the better the water quality.
Harry floated from Basalt to Carbondale on Saturday with Barry and had a good day on princes and caddis pupae. He confirmed that the water was a little cloudy but the fish were still feeding.
However lower down the Crystal continues to add a lot of material below Carbondale. So the fishing down to Glenwood requires a lot a patience and searching for the quieter eddies and channels where the water is not so colored.
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. Stone flies #16 - #10 - try mercers poxy-back, roaring fork stone, 20 incher. The caddis are thick now so caddis pupa patterns and free swimmers.
The generally increased flow in the Fork, the water below Carbondale from the Crystal and the continuing the work on Shoshone have contributed to make the Colorado practically unfishable at the moment. If you want to try a fish it 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.