The water conditions in the Pan are excellent and with the Fork dropping visibility is clearing quickly improving the quality of fishing along the edges. The high flow still means that a float trip is a fast proposition but at least now it is safe enough to be a worthwhile consideration.
The higher water conditions and the later melt has certainly postponed many of the bug cycles in the high country. There are reports that the traditional caddis hatch on the Arkansas was truncated by the cold water and the cicadas on the Green have been weeks later than usual. The same is true here with the drakes. By this time the drakes are usually well advanced on the Fork and are starting to make appearances on the Pan. There have not been many reports of drakes to date although Cameron has seen a few early ones on the Pan.
The current water conditions certainly have been a long time coming this year but now the prospects are for an exceptionally good long summer and good floating well into autumn the length of the Fork.
Current Flow: below the Dam - 304cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
After the peak of the run-off in the high country, the Pan is back to a respectable 304cfs and is very clear and fishing very well. The conditions are excellent the full length of the lower Pan as the edges of the river begin to dry out from the latest spikes in the flows.
It will be interesting to see how the river looks, where the terrain has been changed or debris has been shifted about. It has certainly been a tough period for fishermen to get a consistent view of the river conditions with the fluctuations in the releases from Ruedi. But now we are back to a more consistent cycle with good PMD hatches both in the mornings and in the afternoons. It will be just a matter of time before the drakes start coming off. Cameron has already spotted a few early ones.With the prediction of thunderstorms and rain in the coming week, we are also looking forward to some great BWO hatches.
Recommended Flies: We are now well into the summer season so the full array of food is available to the trout which have benefitted from the high water and little interference from fishermen who couldn't wade in the fast flow. So be prepared to try midges, BWO's, PMD's, drakes, caddis and terrestrials.
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.
For baetis, 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 BWO’s start to come off try dry patterns like the adams and parachute adams #20-#24 and the matthews #18 - #24 with an emerger dropper. If the fish are under the surface try fishing 2 emergers with a very small weight to get the flies down a little. An rs2#20 behind an FPA emerger or sparkle baetis with a thorax bead will do the trick.
On the bright days the BWO's will tend to come off in the shade. But if it starts to rain, don't come in. Just stay out on the water as long as you can - unless its an electrical storm!
PMD’s are now coming off both in the mornings and the afternoons so try emergers and dries as the hatches start. Try barr’s emerger #16 - #18, the FPA special emerger #16 - #18, the red and ginger quills #16 - #18, rusty spinners #16 - #18 and Lawson’s No Hackle #16 - #18. In addition try soft hackle patterns.Also try stimulators, caddis and larger nymphs down to #16 particularly mid and lower down the Pan. Itr is just a matter of time before the drakes start coming off so carry drake nymphs emergers and dries with you. The drake nymphs are already in the water so try nymphs now.
The peak in the Fork has certainly passed now and the fishing along the edges is improving daily. It is just a matter of time before the floating will be good. At present the high flow still makes a float trip a rapid affair and it is necessary to eddy out and pull over out of the flow higher up to get some reasonable fishing. What is usually considered a full day float, takes but half a day. But the rate at which the flow is falling means that floating will probably be good by weeks end. Even lower down, although the water is very high, the Crystal is quite clear so there is some reasonable visibility along the edges.
If you are wading the fish are certainly feeding if you pick you way along the edges and the drakes should be appearing momentarily.Give us a call at the shop at your convenience and we will give you an uptodate report on the river conditions as the week progresses.
Recommended Flies: If you are wading try caddis dries and emergers and dries with baetis droppers. Also try stimulators with droppers. 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 BWO emergers try the RS2, the crystal hunchback, juju baetis, the mighty mite, icebreakers and the FPA sparkle baetis - #18 - #24. Also try princes, brassies, and copper johns as well as stones fly nymphs.
In addition with PMD’s coming off try PMD patterns in nymphs, emergers, dries and spinners.
The drakes will be starting to come off as the water flow drops and the water warms. They are later this year because of the colder higher water. Also try princes, brassies, and copper johns as well as stone fly nymphs.
And don't forget terrestrials.
If you are floating, try streamers and big stone fly nymphs which will attract the fishes attention in the fast flowing water. Also try large dry patterns such as stimulators well placed behind structure or in eddies or quieter sections as you float by.
Don’t bother stopping to try the Colorado. Just head up valley towards Basalt to the Pan or the Fork. The Colorado won’t be worth the effort at the moment but conditions are certainly improving as the Fork is beginning to clear. So check in with the shop to get an uptodate report if you are coming up later in the week.
The drakes will be coming off as the water warms as well as PMDs and BWO’s. The drakes are weeks late this year and are usually well advanced on the Colorado by now.
Recommended Flies: BWO nymphs, emergers and dries; midge emergers and dries during the hatches, larger PMD nymphs down to #14 as well as emergers and dries, 20 inchers size #10 - #14; streamers #2 - #8. Drake nymphs emergers and dries. Also try terrestrials as well as caddis.