We are a day late with the report because we were at the Fly Fishing Expo in Denver over the weekend. It was a pleasure meeting a number of old friends as well as making the acquaintance of a number of fishermen and their families who had little knowledge of the fishing the Roaring Fork Valley has to offer. We trust that we have made some new friends who will consider visiting us when the time is right for them.
Before we went to Denver we had some excellent fishing on the Pan with the changeable weather we experienced during the week. The ski fields reported an additional 7inches of snow and during that time we had some dull days which kept the fairer weather fishermen away and some excellent fishing for those who ventured out.
The weather report is for a possibility of a little snow during the week but generally clear skies and warm temperatures. Tuesday is expecting temperatures in the 40’s and for the remainder of the week in the high 30’s. So the weather will be beautiful and the midge hatches should be excellent. Of course the bright light and clear sky will make heavier tippet visible in the clear water so one will have to fish a little lighter unless the water is sufficiently turbulent to hide the line a little.
After such a cold December it is certainly pleasant to know we can enjoy a day on the river in relatively warm conditions. The high temperatures will actually clear a lot of the snow on the edges of the roads where there is more sunlight. Having passed the shortest day and going into the second week of January, there is an air of expectation. The extra sunlight is most welcome. Shortly the sun will be high enough above some of the peaks to noticeably lengthen the direct light on the river. If the current weather persists the ski slopes will turn icy overnight and give the visitors a good reason to take a day off and come down valley to fish.
So if you are in the area drop by the shop and consider a few hours out on the river.
Current Flow: below the Dam 70cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
As the days lengthen the sun shines just a little longer on the Pan. The past week saw some excellent fishing when the weather brought a little snow at the higher elevations.
The fish took midges and tiny baetis nymphs as well as eggs and mysis patterns. The coming week promises warmer weather and a lot of bright light and clear skies. So the fish will be feeding on the midges which will come off. It will call for the lightest tippet as the wary fish will notice the line in the bright light and clear water. In addition try small baetis nymphs. As the fishermen wade about on the flats they tend to stir up sediment which will carry small nymphs with it. So the fish will take them as they float by.So if you are of a mind to enjoy some seriously good winter fishing conditions, dress well and pack something warm in a thermos. In the 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. So try small black and olive patterns #24 and #26 as well as brassies to get them down.
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.
Current Flow: near Emma - iced up (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page).
With the weather promising to warm a little in the coming week and not much prospect of snow in any quantities it is likely that the Fork will clear a little more ice and open the river a little more. In that case wading access will be a little easier and the warmer weather will make for some nice days out in the wider sections where the sun will have the better chance to clear off the edges a little. If the river clears for a while it will be good floating lower down while the warmer temperatures last.
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. The warm weather will cause the ice to clear a little, but there is a lot of ice. But if it snows provided it remains relatively warm in the lower wider parts the snow won't stay too long. 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.