It is predicted to stay warm over the next couple of days and then more thunderstorms. With the succession of storms coming into the Gulf region it would be expected that we would get some unsettled weather a week or so after that and it appears to be the case next week.
The past week has seen some great fishing all over. There is still great dry fly action on the Pan, particularly close to the Dam. The Fork has been fishing reasonably well, while the Colorado has been fishing better. As we move into Autumn the big browns will start to get more aggressive while the bugs will begin to get smaller.
With the Pan still running at 328cfs it is quite a flow for this time of year. It is certainly protecting the fish and is draining Ruedi which has dropped quite significantly with little rain in the past few weeks. The Fork is still a healthy 584cfs for this time of year and is remaining high enough to allow floating from above Basalt if you are prepared to do the work.
So as we move into Autumn, if you haven’t been up to our valley this time of year, some good fishing awaits you if you can see your way clear.
Next week we have the retailer fly fishing show on in Denver so there might be some interesting developments to report in the fishing industry. We might be a day late with the report but we will be back.
Current Flow: below the Dam - 328cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
Another warm week and another week of great fishing on the Pan. The drakes are still coming off well towards the dam while the lower part of the river continues to enjoy great hatches of midges, BWO’s, PMD’s and some caddis. The fishing is excellent the full length of the lower Pan. With the water remaining at 328cfs the larger fish have spread out nicely and are feeding strongly as we move closer to Autumn.
The coming week promises a change in the weather with some rain and thunderstorms moving in accompanied by some cooler weather in the high 60’s. So be prepared for the weather and some excellent dry fly fishing if the weatherman is correct.
Recommended Flies: We are now approaching Autumn, so even though the full array of food remains available to the fish, the drakes are now concentrated closer to the Dam. So be prepared to try midges, BWO's, PMD's, drakes (near the Dam), 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 mostly near the Dam so carry drake nymphs, emergers and dries with you. Don’t just use the standard dry patterns. By now the fish have seen practically every pattern known to man, plus a few others. Come by the shop and see our range of different drakes. We have 2 drawers full of different patterns down to #14 [that's about 140 patterns and sizes].
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.
The fishing on the Fork remains a little mixed. The best fishing is still up higher above Basalt. To all intents and purposes, most of the floating is now taking place from Carbondale down. Floating from Basalt down during the week was a lonely experience if one wanted company on the river. But the fishing was fine and the solitude was comforting. The contrast between the lower and upper Fork is quite striking.
The fish remain wary of streamers, either because they have seen too many and are just not aggressive enough yet. But the number of chases indicates a fraction of the vast numbers of fish in these waters. Generally it is a matter of fishing deep and in the riffles. In the mornings, the midge hatches are very strong so start out with black and gray midge emergers fished down in the riffles. Then try fishing with golden stones, caddis emergers and small baetis patterns such as the RS2 or the sparkle baetis. There was a little action on caddis dries but mostly it was a nymphing.
The wade fishing is good if you take the time to get to the quiet deeper sections and fish down. So if you had a mind to wade the Fork, it would be worth the effort to head out of Basalt towards Aspen and try any of the many public access points along the way.Below Carbondale, it remains well trafficked and so it is a matter of trying to avoid the crowds a little on the weekends and fishing deep.
Recommended Flies: Try baetis, midges and PMD nymphs in the morning. Look for where there are clouds of midges coming off and try black and gray midge emergers. Also try chironocones #18-#22.
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.
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.
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 Colorado continues to fish very well with Cameron and Ed reporting some excellent trips out. The numbers of fish don’t compare to the upper Fork, but they are big and once hooked offer a serious challenge to land. Cameron reported the full range of hatches occurring from larger mayflies through to caddis, BWO’s and some midges.
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. Yellow sallies. Also try terrestrial patterns as well as caddis.