With only 7inches of snow over the past week, it is evident that the promised storms didn't come to pass. So we enjoyed quite a pleasant week. As the days get longer on the brighter days the sun takes its toll on the ice shelves along the edges of the rivers.
We had the X games on in Aspen this weekend. There were a lot of visitors in town, but not so many out on the rivers. The fishing reports have been good all around. Access is good and the ice is clearing a little with the current spate of relatively warmer weather. The forecast is similar to last week offering days in the mid 30's and the possibility of some snow. We could use more. The ski conditions are quite good and provided we keep getting a little snow each week the conditions will hold up nicely. The dull days make for good fishing with the midges coming off in the relatively warmer weather. The dry fly fishing has been great with the fish rising to take midges from late morning to early afternoon. The fish are moving about a little more on the Fork taking nymphs and eggs while the Colorado is also reporting good results from nymphing as well eggs and attractors.In general news, there is a development taking place in relation to the Taylor River which is not good. A developer is trying to stop floating through his land. From the contents of the letter it seems that the landowner is wrong. It appears clearly contrary to the Attorney General's opinion of 1983 in relation to floating on Colorado waters, certainly in relation to criminal trespass. It also appears to be contrary to a lot of other legal reasoning. The CROA is trying to get legislation through to combat it. I analysed the legislation recently. It is badly drafting and despite the newspaper report only attempts to address issues for professional rafting companies. It actually restricts the rights of the rafting companies but the draftsman doesn't seem to understand this.
I have set out my views previously on the law in relation to floating on Colorado waters for some time and they can be viewed here. But it is a bad situation where big money from elsewhere is attempting to bluff a small rafting company. It could result in bad outcomes in the short term if the landowner prevails simply for financial reasons. There is a hearing at the Capitol this week so it will be interesting to note the outcome. Essentially though, this is a situation that will have to be addressed in the courts at some point. The Colorado Legislature has no power to limit the extent of Federal Law under the Commerce clause, so in the end it will end badly for landowners who are not smart enough to read the tea leaves.
The Chinese have a saying - "may you live in interesting times". It is meant as an insult.
Current Flow: below the Dam 70cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
The more mild winter weather over the past week brought some great dry fly fishing on the Pan near the dam. The numbers of fishermen were decidedly down and on several occasions there was practically no-one was on the Pan near the dam. Nick Williams of flycurrents came up with a few friends early in the week and they had some fun in the toilet bowl.
The dry fly fishing on the flats and below was excellent for a few hours each day as the fish fed on midges coming off. At other times they took larva, nymphs and egg patterns.
The coming week promises the possibility of more cloud cover and some more snow. So that augers well more great dry fly fishing. This is particularly the case if the cold and snowy weather keeps the numbers of fishermen to a minimum.So if you are in the area, the coming week should provide some excellent fishing if you are of a mind to get your line wet.
Recommended Flies: The longer days are beginning to be noticed as the sun stays above the high surrounding peaks a little longer each day. 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).
The relatively mild weather of the past week has cleared the river a little more. There were reports of good fishing as high up as Woody Creek with the fish taking 20 inchers and other nymphs as well as eggs and attractors. The coming week promises to be equally comfortable fishing with minimal snow promised and some cloudy relatively mild days forecast. The clearer water and melting ice makes floating an easier proposition at the moment, particularly in the wider sections where the sun has a chance to warm the banks and the ice ledges.
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, hare's ears, 20 inchers and attractor patterns.
Mike and Cameron fished the Colorado and reported good results on eggs, attractors and midge patterns. The fishing is better in the morning until mid afternoon. After then it appears to quieten down a deal.
Recommended Flies: eggs, attractors and midges. Try streamers such as the autumn splendor, the yellow madonna and woolly buggers.