Believe it or not, every day this week it rained a little. The heaviest most consistent rain was on Saturday which remained overcast, cool and wet for most of the day. Sunday was similar although not as much rain fell but it was colder. With the temperatures in the mid-sixties, it was a welcome change compared with the high 70's to 80+ temperatures and bright light of the past month. With the wet weather the fishing has been excellent. We are getting great reports in now from all over the Fork and the Pan.
The present weather will begin to clear by Tuesday and thereafter it will be warm to hot again with some cloud cover. The rain is most welcome. It has greened the landscape and freshened the atmosphere. Despite the rain there is only a little added color to the water from some tributaries. Generally there is no discernible effect. However, the level in the Fork has increased over the week as the scattered rain finds its way down to the creeks and rivulets into the Fork. The Fork is now running at 1000cfs and has come up 167cfs from last week. The drakes are in abundance on the Fork at the moment so it is only a matter of a few days before they are coming off on the Pan as well. The fishing overall has been excellent.
Current Flow: below the Dam - 112cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
Early in the week the stormy weather continued in the afternoons and it rained a little along the Pan. It rained quite heavily a little north on Monday sufficient to color up Taylor Creek for a few hours. The wet weather is very welcome. The dry fly fishing towards the dam was excellent with the rain and cloudy cover bringing the fish to the surface earlier than on the hot bright days. In the afternoons midriver after the rain, there was a strong PMD hatch with a few BWO's. A few fish began taking them off the surface during the week. They took emergers fished behind a stimulator. Towards dark the only hatch was a few midges. The fish took midge emergers.
Saturday began wet and it rained on and off all day. The fishing was splendid mid-river. There was a reasonable PMD hatch as well as a few BWO's and midges. The fish took PMD emerger patterns, such as the special emerger #18, PMD cripple #18, Hunchback #18, for most of the afternoon. In addition, they took a trailing shuck emerger BWO behind a PMD emerger. It was some of the best dry fly fishing mid-river for a while. Sunday was very similar to Saturday although it did not rain as much until well after dark. Again the fish were feeding mostly to emerger patters, both PMD's and BWO's. It is only a matter of days until the drakes start coming off. The cooler days might extend the period a little but as soon as the weather warms later in the week, it is odds on that the drakes will be coming off on the Pan.
These 2 fish were indicative of the fishing on Saturday afternoon.
Recommended Flies: The fish have now adjusted to the lower water again and have moved to the darker deeper areas in the bright light. However over the last few days with the rain and heavy cloud a lot of big fish were on the edges in only a few inches of water. It is just a matter of walking very quietly along the bank and offering emerger patterns when you see the fish. The fish will not be about in the more trafficked areas so try the pocket water closer to town rather than shoulder to shoulder fishing at the Dam. The lower flow has made wading a little easier. The water is so low and so clear it is now essential to use either 6x or 7x tippet. There is a consistent midge hatch between mid-morning and late afternoon into the evening and the PMD's are now well in their cycle of 2 hatches a day. The fish are feeding solidly on PMD emergers after the hatch starts. However be patient as the fish don't move to the surface immediately you see insects in the air. If you fish with 2 flies before the fish are near the surface, put on combination of PMD and baetis nymphs near the bottom. When the fish begin to feed under the surface you might not be sure whether they are feeding on emerging midges, BWO's or PMD's or a combination so be prepared to experiment. As the fishing pressure increases, the fish will become more selective and will take particular colors and/or sizes as the hatches become more prolific. 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. Switching to a dry pattern too early can cause you to miss good opportunities. In the cloudy wet weather for the next 2 days the dry fly fishing should be excellent. However as the days get warmer and brighter the fish will become more wary again. The fish will seek the protection of the deeper water or the riffles. Otherwise fish in the shade. Depending on the time you start out first use nymphs then move to emergers, cripples and then dries and spinner to finish off in the evenings. It promises to be a long day so consider starting to fish later in the day so you can fish well into the evening. If it starts to rain, keep fishing. The best hatches of BWO's seem to come off in the rain. So it is essential to dress well for the changeable weather.Mid-river the baetis are coming off in the afternoons with the midges. The PMD's are coming off twice a day. The fish are now feeding well on emergers and dries. However persist with a combination of nymphs, emergers and dries. If an emerger is fished behind a stimulator or hopper, leave a few feet of line and allow the emerger to drift down until the fish are seriously on the surface. The most successful flies this weekend were special PMD emergers #18 with and #18 BWO emerger as a dropper. However many other flies worked well such as mayfly nymph patterns, cripple patterns as well as bubble back emergers and the stillborn PMD #18. In addition the water is now thick with drake nymphs so use drake nymph patterns, preferably smaller sizes #14 - #18. However the key is to keep the flies as low as possible in the water. Don't hesitate to use as much weight as you consider necessary to get the fly to the bottom. You will lose a few flies on the bottom but if you don't you are not fishing deep enough.
The conditions in the Fork remain excellent. Ed has been fishing it all week and has reported consistently great fishing all day and into the evenings. The drakes have been coming off and fishing has been excellent. Now the full range of hatches are in abundance - drakes, PMD's, caddis, BWO's and midges.
Recommended Flies: Above Carbondale use the same flies as the Pan (See our report for the Frying Pan). Generally try PMDs, caddis and BWO's. In addition the green drakes are coming off now so emerger and dry patterns are a must. After a while the fish will get a little choosy from all the offerings so carry cripple patterns as well. Try nymphs until the fish are moving under the surface then try emergers switching to dries only when the fish are taking the flies off the top. Use an orange stimulator as a strike indicator. The fish will attack it and occasionally will take it. The caddis are thick now so caddis pupa patterns and free swimmers as well as dries. The fishing on the Fork is as good as it gets at the moment.
The week of wet weather and in particular the last 2 days has colored up the Colorado for the moment so that it is best to wait and fish the Fork. However the water should clear up when the weather fines up and the rain stops. The fishing should be good again. Fish are taking drakes, pmds, caddis yellow sallies and baetis.
Recommended Flies: drakes #10, #12, PMD's #16, #18, baetis #18,20 and midges, both dries and emergers; 20 inchers size #10 - #14; streamers #6 and #8 and smaller.