By late Sunday afternoon even some of the tributaries to the Pan were beginning to color up a little. The Pan is running at 232cfs so for now the better water quality will be on the Pan above the 4 mile mark.
Tomorrow is forecast to be windy and warm as well so for a while now unless we get some below freezing temperatures at night the better water will be higher up the Fork. It is forecast to get colder overnight as the week progresses but it needs an overnight freeze to slow down the flows.
So now for the most accurate reports on water quality take the time to call the shop and get an indication. The quality can change quite quickly during the day and with a lot of snow at low levels any succession of hot days and wind will make fishing below Carbondale a debatable proposition at best.
So if you are coming up or are in the area, do take the time to ring the shop. We are only too glad to try and give you a reliable report so you won't be dissappointed when you get here.
Current Flow: below the Dam - 232cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
The bright light and full moon during this week made early fishing a little tough on the Pan. But by midday the fish started to move about and there was some excellent midge and BWO fishing during the week.
On Sunday there was the odd caddis flying about but not enough to be significant. The fishing was quiet until noon and then they started to take midges coming off mid-river. The dry fly action was excellent in the quieter sections with the fish consistently taking midge emergers behind a #26 parachute adams. In addition they took a black palamino #20 fished down with a #20 biot midge behind. The fish were stacked up along the edges and in the quieter sections of the river feeding consistently. It was excellent sight fishing throughout the afternoon.
The wind blew up on Sunday afternoon and by later afternoon Taylor Creek had colored up a little, but not enough to be noticeable where it ran into the Pan. But with a lot of snow still to melt at the lower elevations, a succession of warm and windy days will mean that the closer one fishes to town, there is an increased likelihood that the river will color up. So it is recommended that as the day progresses one moves further up the Pan towards the Dam.
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 such as a parachute Adams 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.
The flow in the Fork has almost doubled in the last 2 weeks near Basalt and generally it has colored up. With the outlook for warm weather and high winds for the next few days, it will remain off color except maybe very early in the morning. But as the day progresses and the lower Pan colors up the water below Basalt will get colored. Mo indicated that Coal Creek was really pumping in colored water into the Crystal so that below Carbondale the visibility in the Fork was only a foot or so.
If you fish low down the Fork it will be a matter of moving along the edges looking for the quieter water. But frankly if you have a choice come higher up the Fork above Basalt or onto the Pan.
During the week before the flow really picked up we had good reports of fish on stone flies, caddis larva and nymphs as well as eggs and princes down deep. In addition BWO emergers such as the rs2, soft hackle emergers, and the crystal back BWO.
But if you are coming up, give us a call at the shop and we will give you an uptodate and, to best of our ability an accurate report on the river conditions so you won’t be disappointed when you get here.
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.
Try various stone fly patterns and in particularly the 20incher #10 -#14. In addition use streamers, particularly when floating.
With the run-off getting a good head start with the warm weather and high winds over the weekend, the best thing is to drive right past the Colorado and head to Basalt to get some decent water. From now until the end of run-off the odds are high that the Colorado will be dirty unless we get some unseasonally cold weather.
If you do want to fish down there, 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.