As the season winds down, there are fewer visitors in town and less traffic on the river. The browns are moving around in anticipation of the spawn and aggressively attacking streamers. The hatches are sparser, particularly on the colder mornings. However with the weather warming up over the coming days, there will still be opportunities this week to get out onto the river and enjoy some more excellent days on the river.
So if you have a mind to get in a day or so in the coming week, drop by the shop, we would love to see you.
Mal's very happy Client with one of the nicest fish of the season. Taken on the Fork on a BWO emerger.
Mal with one of his own taken on a BWO emerger on the Fork.
Current Flow: below the Dam - 113cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
The water continues to run at 113cfs. With the crowds dissipating, the pressure is dropping off. The snowy cold conditions on Sunday provided some excellent bwo activity. With the prediction of warmer bright days during the week, the midge hatches in the morning and evenings will be predominant with some BWO and PMD activity in the afternoons.
The browns are beginning to stage for the spawn and many of the reds are barely covered by the current flow. Furthermore, the ease of access for wading will mean that the fish will have few areas left where they can seek some protection.
The fish are now more confined in the river and have moved to the deeper pools during the brighter parts of the day. With the arrival of the cooler weather and the near freezing temperatures overnight the activity has slowed down early in the mornings, so there is no need to rush out onto the river at the crack of dawn.
We are now in mid-Autumn with the last of the PMD's still coming off intermittently. The principal hatches at the moment are midges which come of mid-morning, afternoon and evenings while BWO's will come off if there is any cloud cover or rain, or on the bright days, in the shade. There are also some October caddis about.
With the cooler weather coming, don't underestimate the effects of changes. It will get very cold if you stay on the river through rain enjoying the excellent hatches. So just be well stocked with flies and be prepared for the range of possible weather you might encounter. If there is a suggestion of cold and rain, dress for winter fishing. You will be able to peel off layers as the day progresses, if necessary.
When the PMD's are coming off try emergers and dries. A barr's emerger, beadhead or wet pattern #18 or the FPA PMD emerger #18 work well. Also try the hunch back #18, the bubbleback #16 and #18 and the #18 FPA special emerger. If the activity is a little slow during the day, try some nymphs #16 - #18 and emergers down deeper. For nymphs try various pheasant tail patterns as well as the anatomical #16 - #18 and the FPA mayfly emerger #18.
For baetis t ry a small FPA sparkle baetis, a thorax sparkle baetis, the icebreaker or a pheasant tail before they start to rise. Also try the mighty mite, the juju baetis and the mighty may sloans. Try sizes #20 - #22. In addition, when the BWO's start coming off try RS2's and other emerger patterns behind a dry. It doesn't hurt to try the emergers behind the nymphs if the fish are staying down in the water. For dries, use parachute Adams, Matthews sparkle baetis, biot BWO, the extended body BWO and the grizzly Adams. Try sizes from #18 - #24.
Midges come off during the day, particularly if it is sunny and in the evenings so try WD-40's #20 , red and black chironocones #20, brassie's #18 - #22, midge larva patterns #18 - #22, black polywings #18 - #22 and garcia's rojo midges # 18 - #22. Try the gray loopwing emergers #20 - #22, the FPA special emergers, biot emergers both with and without the trailing shuck and gray RS2's #18 - #22. Also carry dry patterns such as the z-wing real midge, suspended midge and any similar dry black and gray patterns in sizes from #20 through to #26.There are some caddis coming off on the Pan so try emergers and the October caddis patterns. As the fish start spawning, try egg patterns down stream but keep off the redds, as that is next years sport.
At 401cfs the flow has picked up a little over the last day with the snow and rain. The Fork is barely floatable for a single in a raft below Basalt but the higher water will make the task a little easier for a day or so. The quality of the water is generally excellent at the moment and the fish are responding well to streamers as well as PMD's and BWO's. Try soft hackle patterns as well.
With the browns staging for the spawning season, they are responding aggressively to streamers, both white and black thrown against the edges.Most of the float traffic now commences at Carbondale. Overall there is little activity on the river now, so the fishing is good all the way down to the Colorado without too much interference.
Overall the best results on the Fork are from nymphing although streamers have been getting the best results while floating.
During the day use PMD and BWO nymphs and emergers. See some of the patterns we have mentioned for the Pan. If you are nymphing deep down, use plenty of weight in the fast running water and pick where the fish are a little protected behind structure or deeper down in the slower water. If floating try streamers for variety.In the afternoons and evenings the hatches there are PMD's, BWO's but mostly midges. The fish are still keeping low most of the time. So continue to use PMD and BWO nymphs and emergers. Use caddis pupa and emerger patterns as well if any caddis are in evidence. In addition as the midges become the greater biomass as the year turns colder use midge emergers behind a BWO or PMD.
The water in the Colorado has cleared quite nicely even with the marginally increased flow. There are PMD’s and BWO’s coming off but generally try streamers if floating.
Recommended Flies: PMD's – nymphs, emergers and dries, bwo's both nymphs, emergers and dries; 20 inchers size #10 - #14; streamers #2 - #8; egg patterns.