With another 10 inches of snow on the mountains the ski fields are benefiting as well as the snow pack higher up. There hasn't been enough snow to make a difference on the edges of the rivers so access has remained relatively easy and the county has kept the pull offs well clear along the Pan.
It has been very quiet in Town since the X games with many commenting how things seem to have slowed down of late. As a consequence we have had few out on the river to enjoy the good fishing over the past week. As the pace of the spawning slows down the fish are keying in on tiny midges coming off and creating good dry fly fishing provided one is prepared to use very small flies.
The forecast is for a little more snow over the next few days with the expectation that the weather will clear in the middle of the week. With temperatures expected to get into the 30's and maybe the 40's during the days, there will be a little more snow melting as the week progresses.
The sun is noticeably higher how and getting above the mountains lining our narrow Frying Pan Valley for longer each day. More of the river is now getting some direct sun so the fish will begin to move about a little more when midges start coming off in the wider sections lower down. However at the moment most of the fishermen continue to congregate in the last 2 miles near the dam.
The matter we raised last week concerning the proposed bill in the State Congress governing river rafting is garnering more interest. A hearing is scheduled for Monday at the Capitol Building. It will be interesting to see how this progresses. It is justifiably generating a lot of heat with the matter getting quite a bit of press coverage.
Current Flow: below the Dam 70cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
Another week of good dry fly action on the Pan with the frenzy abating on the redds and the fish beginning to key in more on midges. Everyday there is a decent hatch of midges bringing the fish to the surface for a few hours in the middle of the day. It is challenging fishing requiring very small flies down to #32 and tippet down to 9x to consistently get into the rising fish.
There is also good fishing if one wants to nymph deeper down with small baetis and midge larva patterns.
I have noticed a few rainbows starting to shake themselves in anticipation of the rainbow spawn. So shortly we should have rainbows moving back onto the redds. Try and stay clear. It is next years hatch of fry and given that the rainbows are just getting established again we want them to have the best chance possible.With the prediction of more snow and clouds over the next few days, one would expect more good fishing into the mid week. When it gets bright later in the week, the advantage of even light tippet for dry flies is diminished by the bright light. But the fish will still be feeding and the sun will bring on good midge hatches.
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 additional snow during the week had little effect on the flow in the Fork and the fishing continued to be good with the fish taking larger nymphs as they start to move about a little in the water. As the sun gets higher and longer on the water, it will bring on the fish a little more as the nymphs start to roll about in the riffles.
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 reported good fishing again during the week 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.