The weatherman was accurate in his prediction of a warm change and clear skies. We have had some beautiful weather over the latter part of the week and the weekend. The next few days is predicted to be similar with highs in the mid 40’s until next week end. This will make for some great days out on the river and should cause the snows to settle and the flows to pick up a little. Already the warm weather is causing the flows to pick up a little in the Fork as the snow and ice in the sun melts for a while during the day.
One would expect some of the skiers to come down from the slopes for a spot of fishing as the slopes get a little icy with warm days and overnight freezes. There is excellent fishing on the Pan in these warm days with the fish responding well to midges and eggs in the sunny places.
So if you are in the area and get tired legs after a day of battling the slopes, consider taking off a day and come down valley for a quiet contrasting few hours out on the river.
Current Flow: below the Dam - 74cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
The warmth of the past few days and blue skies has settled the snow a little and dried off the roads. The fishing has been excellent in the wider sections of the Pan were the sun can spend some time. Mike and Kim fished above the 12 mile mark on Saturday and had an excellent day. Mike was successful with small black midge larva patterns while Kim used a combination of midges and eggs.
With the prediction of warmer weather over the next week the fishing should continue to be excellent. The warmth will continue to dry off the accesses where the sun can stay for a while during the day. Therefore aim for the wider sections of the Pan.Closer to the dam the browns are still out on the redds. So take care of them and stay clear. There is no point standing on a redd dragging egg patterns across disturbing the spawning fish. It takes no skill to hook them and disturbs breeding patterns for next season.
Recommended Flies: Now we are well into winter conditions, and the patterns will be predominantly midges and egg patterns. Try a worm pattern and a hare’s ear as well as an attracter for variety.
With the days noticeably shorter, it is now a matter of trying to follow the sun. When it is cloudy the distinction between light and shadow will be less pronounced but on a bright day, as soon as the sun goes behind any of the peaks it will get colder quite quickly and the midge hatches will abate.
As the conditions get colder it will be a matter of fishing to the depth of the fish. That will be key. If the fish are lying low just add weight to your midge patterns until you can drift the fly right to the fish.
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 past few days of warm weather have pushed up a the flows in the Fork as the ice and snow gets a chance to melt during the lengthening days. This is a pleasant development. Any clear weather now with a concomitant warming which can start to melt off some snow and ice now is less that has to melt later on in the year. Traditionally January is a low snow month and so it will be good to now get a headstart on the run-off early in the season in anticipation of more snow later in the month and during spring.As the days warm and the edges of the river become more accessible there will be good fishing in the wider sections. The better fishing on the Fork is lower down towards Glenwood however the weather over the past week has made the river more accessible closer to mid-valley in the wider sections where the sun can shine for longer periods during the days.
Recommended Flies: Try midges and eggs as well as very small baetis nymphs and attractors such as princes and hare's ears.
For baetis try nymph patterns such as pheasant tails #18 - #24. For midges look at our suggestions for the Pan.
In addition try san juan worms, brassies, and copper johns.
Colorado RiverThe Colorado can offer some good winter fishing particularly down lower where the sun can get onto the water.
Recommended Flies: BWO nymphs, emergers and dries; midge emergers and dries during the hatches, 20 inchers size #10 - #14; streamers #2 - #8, egg patterns.