Which brings one to the question what is happening out there? Dean and Mike have reported seeing robins about at this time of year. And Dean had a baby skunk at his house. Now that is a bit strange to say the least. In addition this week the Wall Street Journal reported [http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122999246547828591.html ] that Colorado has effectively begun an all out assault on the natural gas drilling industry. As a result of the regulations it now take about 65 days to get a drilling permit compared to a week in most other states.
Here is an interesting extract from the article – “One provision, for instance, requires companies extracting natural gas from certain coal seams to treat their water pits so as not to attract mosquitoes that could transmit West Nile virus to pregnant sage grouse”. Indeed things are a little strange at the end of this current year.
We have begun a little work in the shop to change the layout to accommodate the 1000 new fly patterns and sizes we will be bringing in next season. We have just confirmed that we will be carrying Nautilus fly reels in addition to the other new lines we have mentioned over the last few weeks.
Next week we will begin 2009. We all wish you the best for the coming year and trust that you and your families will be safe into the new year and look forward to seeing you in the coming season.
Current Flow: below the Dam - 75cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
With 5 feet of snow over the past 2 weeks, we are now well into winter fishing conditions. The recent snow and winds have blown drifts along the edge of the Pan making access problematic at some places unless you are careful. The prediction is for more snow over the next week but it appears that the weather is settling down a little.
The temperatures will remain relatively warmer hovering around the 30’s. We still have not had a sustained period of cold weather yet.The days are now starting to get longer. A few days of sun and there will be some more good midge hatches. Closer to the dam the browns are now out on the redds. So take care of them and stay clear. There is no point standing on a redd dragging egg patterns across disturbing the spawning fish. It takes no skill to hook them and disturbs breeding patterns for next season.
Recommended Flies: Now we are well into winter conditions, and the patterns will be predominantly midges and egg patterns. Try a worm pattern and a hare’s ear as well as an attracter for variety.
With the days noticeably shorter, it is now a matter of trying to follow the sun. When it is cloudy the distinction between light and shadow will be less pronounced but on a bright day, as soon as the sun goes behind any of the peaks it will get colder quite quickly and the midge hatches will abate.
As the conditions get colder it will be a matter of fishing to the depth of the fish. That will be key. If the fish are lying low just add weight to your midge patterns until you can drift the fly right to the fish.
The midges will come off during the day, particularly if it is sunny. So try WD-40's #20 , red and black chironocones #20, brassie's #18 - #22, midge larva patterns #18 - #22, copper johns #18 - #22, black polywings #18 - #22 and garcia's rojo midges # 18 - #22.
If the fish start moving higher in the water column or get active under the surface, 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.
When they are on the surface, try dry patterns such as the z-wing real midge, suspended midge and any similar dry black and gray patterns such as a parachute Adams in sizes from #20 through to #28.
The ice continues to build up along the banks of the Fork in the shaded areas. With the expected additional snow in the coming week, it will continue to build up ice dams particularly higher up. The better fishing on the Fork is lower down towards Glenwood.
Recommended Flies: Try midges and eggs as well as very small baetis nymphs and attractors such as princes and hare's ears.
For baetis try nymph patterns such as pheasant tails #18 - #24. For midges look at our suggestions for the Pan.
In addition try san juan worms, brassies, and copper johns.
Colorado RiverThe Colorado can offer some good winter fishing particularly down lower where the sun can get onto the water.
Recommended Flies: BWO nymphs, emergers and dries; midge emergers and dries during the hatches, 20 inchers size #10 - #14; streamers #2 - #8, egg patterns.