As we move towards spring we are starting to see a few more visitors on the rivers. The roads are clear. The change to daylight saving last week has afforded a little more light in the afternoons. But it suits the skiing more than the fishing at the moment.
Despite the approach of spring, continue to dress in fully fledged sub-zero clothing and don’t take any chances on the cold. The days are warming quickly now, so you will be able to peel off the layers as the day progresses. However the changeable weather means that if you take a chance when going out early you could easily be caught in a snow shower as the day progressed. No matter how well you dress, standing for a few hours in the water, particularly in the shade will test your clothing. So take care and enjoy some excellent late winter fishing.
It appears that the Glenwood Council has constructed a number of drops in the Colorado River in Glenwood to suit kayaks but which will tip the unwary boatman or rafts. Here is a photo of one of the structures. So before you venture on to the Colorado check out the structures and take care.
Just a reminder of the annual spring fishing closures taking effect March 15 through May 15.
— Roaring Fork River: 50 yards upstream and downstream of the confluences with Four Mile Creek and Three Mile Creek, and one-half mile up those creeks.
— Colorado River: 50 yards upstream and downstream of the confluences with Grizzly Creek, No Name Creek and Canyon Creek, and one-half mile up those creeks.
Current Flow: below the Dam -164cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
The coming week will be much the same as last with some more weather blowing through earlier in the week with the expectation of warmer clearer weather towards next weekend.
The fish remain in the quiet deeper sections of the river or on the edges where the flow is slower. They are beginning to venture into the current to take baetis and larger bugs drifting by. But generally it is a matter of trying to spot them lying down on the deeper section and fishing to them unless they are up on dries. The fish have been taking dry and emerger midge patterns well into the afternoons as far down as mid-river. When the sun comes out the midges are much in evidence. In addition there have been some good results with BWO emergers and dries.
Recommended Flies: The principal hatch is now midges. They 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. 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 #28.
Midges are coming off in the mornings as the day warms up and some sun can get onto the water. The fish will take small nymphs and midge emergers when nymphing during the day. As the days warm and lengthen, the baetis nymphs continue to get more active and the stoneflies moving about as well.
In addition, apart from eggs and princes down deep the fish are starting take BWO emergers such as the rs2, soft hackle emergers, and the crystal back BWO. We also had some reports from Mal during the week of small rubberleg stonefly patterns working well.
Beautiful Bull Elk photo from Ed
Recommended Flies: Use midge emergers and tiny nymph attracters. See some of the patterns we have mentioned for the Pan. If you are nymphing deep down, use plenty of weight and pick where the fish are protected behind structure or deeper down in the slower water.
Try small baetis nymph patterns such as pheasant tails #18 - #24. For baetis emergers try RS2, the crystal hunchback, juju baetis, the mighty mite, icebreakers and the FPA sparkle baetis - #18 - #24. Also try princes, brassies, copper johns and eggs deep down as well as streamers.
The water in the Colorado remains generally clear at the moment. There have been quite a few craft on the Colorado as the weather has warmed up and the flows remain clear. Try midges, streamers if floating or alternatively nymphs and eggs deep down.
In addition the baetis are moving about so try nymphs such as pheasant tails and well as emergers and dries.
Recommended Flies: BWO nymphs (see some of the patterns we mention for the Fork); midges emergers and dries during the hatches, eggs and princes, 20 inchers size #10 - #14; streamers #2 - #8.