15inches of new snow this week and the prediction of snow showers for the next week. The conditions are excellent all around now. The additional snow is making for better skiing with nearly 3 feet of snow having fallen over the past 3 weeks. In addition the conditions have made for some excellent dry fly fishing over the past week. As the browns finish their spawn and the rainbows are getting ready the fish are concentrating more on the midges coming off although they are still taking eggs and mysis patterns if offered close to the dam.
This week is Presidents day weekend so we have a few more people in town. But the ski slopes remain relatively quiet although the numbers may pick up shortly. There are still few people out on the river when the weather threatens, even though that is the best time to be out there.Overall the conditions are great for dry fly fishing and provided we don't get a sudden dump of snow it is still relatively easy to get into the dam with the County keeping the roads and pull offs relatively clear. Have a look at the photos this week to seek what to expect if you are up to the task. Dress well, and be prepared for cold, snowy, windy weather.
Bill HB1188 continues to make its way through the Colorado Congress. It passed the second reading in the lower house on Friday with a number of amendments. The most significant amendment is the insertion of a provision specifically limiting the use of anchors while floating. The specific amendment is as follows:
" incidental contact " does not include dropping or dragging any type of anchor or intentionally broaching a vessel"
The bill is still solely for the benefit of the commercial rafting community and even though I don't think it does much in reality, it does pit the commercial rafters against everyone else on the water. It is now listed for a third reading and if passed without further amendments will made its way to the Senate. The Bill remains problematic in a number of respects and will continue to generate a lot of heat whatever the outcome.
Current Flow: below the Dam 70cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
The week saw some more excellent dry fly fishing in the light snow during the week. When the wind blew it became bitterly cold but generally conditions were good. With the fish rising nicely they took emergers and dries. For emergers they took the rojo midges #22 as well as brassies #20 and #22. For dries it was #32 adult gray and #32 cdc midges on 9x.
On Sunday it was a little windy as well but the fish still fed well on dries. There were quite a lot of dark midges on the snow on the edges so it didn't take long to figure out #22 black midge patterns. The black midge winker #22 worked like a charm throughout the hatch. One thing to note with the midge patterns this week, the thinner the body the better.With the prediction of more snow and clouds over the next 7 days, one would expect more good fishing throughout the week. Try and get out when it is snowing or at least blowing a little snow around. They are the best conditions if you want to enjoy so excellent winter dry fly fishing.
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).
Despite a little more snow during the week, not enough has fallen to make a difference. The rivers continue to clear a little and access is good. There were reports of good fishing through town with the fish taking 20 inchers and other nymphs as well as eggs and attractors. The coming week promises to be equally reasonable with more possible light snow and some wind. But generally nothing to prevent you getting out onto the river from near Aspen all the way down valley. 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.
Cameron reported good fishing again during the week on eggs, attractors and midge patterns. The fishing is better in the morning until mid afternoon but the cloudy days with snow will bring on the hatches a little more. We are waiting for the BWO hatches to start which should be very soon.
Recommended Flies: eggs, attractors and midges. Try streamers such as the autumn splendor, the yellow madonna and woolly buggers.