Welcome to the new year! A little more snow this week. In fact we had more snow than the ski slopes which only managed 11inches. Down valley we got quite a few inches of snow over several days giving a nice cover to the ground which was beginning to melt just a little. The forecast was for more snow than we actually received so the weather was clear and bright on a number of days during the week, bringing out quite a few fishermen onto the river over the new year holiday.
The prediction is for a little snow but mostly cloudy weather over the coming week which is anticipated to keep the temperatures in the 30’s during the day. With the holidays over many visitors left over the weekend. The ski slopes were very empty on Sunday as were the rivers. It will now be quiet for a few weeks before we get to the spring skiing break in February.
So if you are coming up to ski and find the conditions aren’t to your liking, consider coming down valley and spending a pleasant few hours out on the water.
Current Flow: below the Dam 70cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
The cold earlier in the week kept the fish low in the water with little dry fly activity. But as the snow moved in and the temperature moved a little higher, the fish became a little more active. The best results if you like to fish dries was fishing midge emergers just under the surface.
However close to the dam more than a few of the fishermen were tramping over the redds dragging eggs and mysis shrimp through the spawners. This is the source of next years hatches so we frown upon it. But it seems that some people don’t care. It’s not sporting and it’s certainly not much better than shooting a penned elk or a lion tied to a tree.If the weatherman is accurate in his prediction for the coming ten days calling for clouds and some more snow, there should be some good fishing. The temperatures should stay in the 30’s during the day and lows of 20’s with the cloud cover making it a lot more comfortable than the current lows and it should bring on some nice midge hatches as well. We will take all the snow we can get at the moment even though in reality we are close to the average snowpack at this time of the year.
So if you are of a mind to enjoy some seriously good dry fly activity in winter conditions, dress well and pack something warm in a thermos. In the high 20’s or 30’s its actually not very cold. It just gets a little more uncomfortable if the wind picks up.
Recommended Flies: The shortest day has passed. If the sun is out try and stay in the light. But if it is heavy and overcast it makes little difference.
We are now down to midge hatches. However the fish will take tiny baetis nymphs like tiny pheasant tails if they see them enough.
The midges will come off during the day, particularly if it is sunny. So try WD-40's #20, red and black chironocones #20, brassies #18 - #22, midge larva patterns #18 - #22, copper johns #18 - #22, black polywings #18 - #22 and garcia's rojo midges # 18 - #22. Mike reported great success this week on smaller black midges such as the miracle midge.
As they come off 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. In addition try dry patterns such as the z-wing real midge, suspended midge and any similar dry black and gray patterns in sizes from #20 through to #26, loopwing emergers #20 - #22 and FPA special emergers #20 - #26.
Roaring ForkCurrent Flow: near Emma - iced up (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page).
The colder clear weather and lack of snow has brought the flow down a little in the Fork. The ice buildup has been breaking off making fishing in the Fork a matter of having to pick through the floating pieces of ice if you can get close enough to the edge on the ice ledges safely. Overall the recommendation is to just head for the Frying Pan and enjoy more predictable conditions.
Recommended Flies: Although on a warm day there will still be some midges coming off in the sunny places the most reliable results now will be nymphing with eggs, princes and other attractor patterns.
Fishing on the Colorado is a matter of dodging ice floes and material. In the cold the ice has been building quite quickly. So if you are in the area and considering fishing, the Pan would be your best destination.
Recommended Flies: eggs, attractors and midges. Try streamers such as the autumn splendor, the yellow madonna and woolly buggers.