The coming week on balance should be good weather with a chance of some rain on Wednesday. But we are in spring, so spring weather is the order of the day.
The Bureau put up the level in the Pan just a little more so that now it is running at 229cfs. The Fork is now running at 441cfs at Basalt. The boat traffic will now begin embarking a little higher up as the increasing run-off will begin to color up the water, particularly below Carbondale where the Crystal flows into the Fork.
As it warms, don’t underestimate the cold or the rapidity with which a cold wet change can blow through. So dress warmly and with wet weather gear close at hand so your day on the river won’t be interrupted with a sudden cold/wet change.
If you are coming up or are in the area, do take the time to ring the shop to get a river report. With bursts of hot weather and the possibility of more rain, it won’t take much for the rivers to color quickly in the run-off.
Current Flow: below the Dam - 229cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
The cold weather this week put down the fish quickly and quietened everything down. But by Sunday the warmer temperatures brought out some nice midge hatches as the afternoon progressed.
The increased flow mid-week was imperceptible on the river. With the coming week of warmer weather it will indeed be a welcome change from the winter weather of the past week.So now with the water up higher and the fish more spread out, take your time moving quietly along the edges and in the quiet areas and spot the fish feed either sub-surface or taking dries. Dress well for the cold as spring storms blow through during the day. No point having to spend time on the river uncomfortable from a sudden down pour or snow.
Recommended Flies: The principal hatch is still midges but the baetis are getting active. 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 in sizes from #20 through to #28.
The baetis nymphs are starting to move about in the water. Try some small nymph patterns such as pheasant tails and the FPA sparkle baetis #20 - #24 down deep. In addition try the emerger patterns like crystal hunchback, juju baetis, the mighty mite, icebreakers and the FPA sparkle baetis - #18 - #24 and rs2 #18 - #22 and soft hackle baetis #18 -#22.
If a few BWO’s are starting to come off try dry patterns like the adams and parachute adams #20-#24 and the matthews #18 - #24 with an emerger dropper.
With the end of the ski season and the traffic slowing a little with the cold weather mid-week, Sunday was a welcome change and bought a number of craft onto the river. A range of streamers, midges, BWO’s and some caddis larvae all worked at various times as well as stoneflies. And with the level getting close to 441cfs at Basalt it won’t belong before rafts will be floating above Basalt.
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.
Apart from eggs and princes down deep try BWO emergers such as the rs2, soft hackle emergers, and the crystal back BWO. In addition small golden stones are starting to be successful as well as smaller patterns of the 20incher.
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.
When the BWO's are coming off try the adams and parachute adams #20-#24 and the matthews #18 - #24.
As the stoneflies start moving about try small golden stone patterns as well as small sizes of the 20incher.
The water in the Colorado remains relatively clear at the moment but with the increasing flow from the Pan and the Fork it will begin to color up as the weather warms and the run-off picks up. Try midges but generally try 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 when they start to come off.
But if you find the water is a bit too colored, just come further up Valley to Basalt and we can point you to some great water either on the Fork or the Pan. There is no point in coming all this way and passing up the opportunity to see what the upper Valley has to offer.
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.