The flows in the Fork spiked on Wednesday with some overnight rains but settled back down so that it is now running under 1000cfs. The temperatures have been progressively dropping each day for the last week and the temperature in the Fork near Aspen is now 48degrees which is lower than it was a week ago. The forecast for the coming week is for changeable weather early and then settling down later in the week.
The Frying Pan is now busy its full length which is good to see. Dan had a great day fishing the Pan just out of town. Fishermen are now parked at all the turnouts and are enjoying fishing the different conditions on the Pan as it gets closer to town.
So if you were considering a trip, it would be hard to beat right now. The high flow at this time of year is affording great access for floating. The Carbondale ramp has re-opened with an interim measure of paying $10 at the top of the road for access. It is a reasonable deal and good news for fishermen that the congestion at West Bank can be relieved.
So if you are of a mind to take in the sights and get out onto the river, drop by the shop and we would love to give you directions. These are the days we have been waiting for!
Pictured below is a beautiful brown Mo recently caught. It was hard to get a picture while controlling the fish in the net. But you can get an idea of the size.
Current Flow: below the Dam - 226cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
An excellent week of dry fly fishing with the drakes coming off in earnest towards the Dam. The traffic has been pressing but the fishing has been great the full length of the Pan so there is still room. The weather has actually been a little muggy with the rain over the earlier part of the week but we needed it and everything is beginning to green up nicely. The rain was gentle and not too heavy so it had a chance to soak into the ground without causing any undue run-off. The coming week may bring more of the same so be prepared for some wet weather if you are out on the river.Everything is working on the river now. The fishing pressure is quite strong so be prepared to try something a little different. Greg Marques proved the point this week. He was visiting town with his Dad and prefers to fish streamers rather than anything else. He reported catching 5 excellent fish just below the dam on a slump buster. The fish will continue to feed. So there is no question that they are there and are hungry. So if you are not being successful, check your flies, make sure you have 7x or 8x leader and concentrate on your presentation. If all else fails, be prepared to try a pattern just a little different from the usual. By now the fish have seen a lot of flies and are getting very wary.
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. 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.
The drakes are now coming off so carry drake nymphs, emergers and dries with you. As the pressure of fishing increases, don’t use the standard dry patterns. Come by the shop and see our range of different drakes. We have 2 drawers full of different patterns down to #14. Every year we try and get in new patterns for a difference. In addition try old favorites which have been forgotten like Adams patterns #10 - #12. They are great mayfly patterns and few fishermen use them today. In addition try cripples. The trout will soon have seen most patterns known to man, so the trick it to try and get something just a little different, present it as well as you can and use your imagination.Also try stimulators, caddis and larger nymphs particularly mid and lower down the Pan. Try crane flies for something a little different.
With the water now below 1000cfs and still slowly dropping the only spike in the flow this week was from some rain up high midweek which pushed the level up for a day. The water conditions are excellent and the fish are feeding well. The water level and speed of the flow has increased the amount of water one can cover in a day now. The upper section is fast and takes some work so if you are not familiar with the water and are not a well experienced fly-fisherman it is probably better to start your journey a little lower down.
There was a blowout up along Highway 133 and the road was down to one lane on Saturday. Apparently part of the road was washed out. As a consequence the Crystal was chocolate on Saturday and is still badly off color. That of course put paid to fishing below Carbondale and into the Colorado so that will have to clear further before it is fishable.
However above Carbondale the water is pristine. A downpour is a usual occurrence at some time during the summer when we get our tropical storms. So always feel free to give us a call at the shop so we can give you an update on the rivers if there has been much rain in the area.
If you want to wade the fishing is excellent along the edges and in the quieter sections deep down. In some places it is still hard to get into the water if you are unsteady on your legs, but as the water continues to drop it will become more and more accessible. The fish alternate between taking deep drifted nymphs and emergers and some dry fly activity closer to Glenwood but at the moment you will have to wait until the water clears a little.
They are also responding aggressively to larger streamers.
Recommended Flies: Try baetis and PMD nymphs in the morning. In addition in quieter areas where there are a lot of midges coming off, try black and gray midge emergers. Try small baetis nymph patterns such as pheasant tails #18 - #24. Baetis emergers try RS2, the crystal hunchback, juju baetis, the mighty mite, icebreakers and the FPA sparkle baetis - #18 - #24. In addition try the rusty spinners.
As the day progresses and the hatches evolve try caddis dries and emergers and dries with baetis and PMD emergers. Try Barrs emergers, the bubbleback, and the FPA PMD beadtail emergers.
The drakes are also coming off higher up although they are intermittent now. So try nymphs such as the muskrat, and when you see some coming off try emergers and dries. See our comments on drakes on the Frying Pan.
Also try princes, brassies, and copper johns as well as stone fly nymphs.
If you are floating, try streamers and big stone fly nymphs. Also try large dry patterns such as stimulators well placed behind structure or in eddies or quieter sections as you float by. The fish will start to come up to them.
Also try terrestrial patterns.
The blowout up the Crystal and the recent rains have generally dirtied up the Colorado so for the moment just turn left at Highway #82 and come up past Carbondale for some good fishing and clear water. It is unclear how long the Crystal will take to clear but the blowout was sufficient to keep the road down to one lane. So it will be dirty for a little while.
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. Yellow sallies. Also try terrestrial patterns as well as caddis.
We received a lovely letter in relation to a March Brown rod this week which we have included under our review of this excellent little rod - here.