The week was quite mild with a little snow until Friday night when it started to fall heavily. By Sunday we had received 31inches for the week at Snowmass. It was enough to make access to the dam difficult on Sunday, the safest course being to park on the road and walk in. But the walk was certainly worth it with a good midge hatch and some nice dry fly activity in the early afternoon. The fishing was also good on the Fork and we received some good reports from the Colorado as well.
After a slow January we have had some nice snow over the past 4 weeks. It has augmented the snowpack nicely, given some much needed work to the slowplows, and made for some excellent skiing. The coming week is predicted to clear until next weekend when some more weather may blow in.
With the good snowfall and the relatively warm weather, legs will get tired if you aren't in training. So if you have a mind to take a rest during the week, a half day on the river would be a great alternative.
The commercial rafting legislation, Bill HB1188, was voted through the lower House on Tuesday and now is to be scheduled for a debate and vote in the upper House. We will now see whether it gets stalled there or is voted through.
Current Flow: below the Dam 70cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
Earlier in the week we had a little cloudy weather and a modest snowfall in keeping with the past few weeks. But by weeks end we received more than our fair share bringing the total for the week to over 2.5feet. The snow started on Friday night so that access to the river near the dam was difficult both on Saturday and Sunday.
On Sunday it was actually safer to park by the road side and walk into the dam. The cloudy weather and snow kept the temperatures reasonably comfortable and brought off some nice midge hatches through the week. On Sunday there were both black and dark gray bodied midges coming off, with the fish tending to take gray midge patterns rather than black.
The fish took both black and gay midge patterns through the week with a preference for gray patterns on Sunday. Generally #22 and #24 black patterns worked nicely during the week such as the CDC Adult midge, and the midge winker. They also responded well to midge emergers fished with just a bead head midge to take the emerger under the surface. On Sunday, They also took the #28 parachute adams for a gray midge as well as the gray biot #22. In addition they selectively took very small baetis nymphs when they weren't near the surface.
The prediction is for the weather to clear over the next days and then have some relatively bright light until next weekend when it is possible that some more weather might move in.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 some 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 the additional snow the relatively warm weather has limited any ice build up along the edges so that access to the Fork remains relatively easy all the way to Aspen. The latest snow fall just means it is a little deeper along the edges. But the fish are responding nicely to midges, eggs attractors and larger stone fly patterns. Unless we get a cold snap, the river should remain accessible for wading and some great fishing as spring approaches.
Recommended Flies: The midges are getting more prolific and larger as we approach spring. In addition to midges, the most reliable results now will be nymphing with eggs, princes, hare's ears, 20 inchers and other attractor patterns.
Cameron and Jake reported good fishing during the week along the Colorado. Cameron had some nice dry fly activity on large midges in the big quieter pools, while Jake was fishing midge emergers and eggs.
Recommended Flies: eggs, attractors, baetis nymphs and midges.