Another excellent week of fishing and some more snow [20 inches]. We are moving into March and spring. The lengthening days are noticeable now as the sun sits higher above the peaks along the narrow Frying Pan Valley. A few BWO's were coming off today as well as some midges. Even mid valley the fish are beginning to move about, though the water is a little colder than at the dam and there are not as many midges. Mike also had some great fishing on the Fork midweek.
With temperatures expected to remain in the 40's during the coming week the slow melt of the snow will continue. The roads are clear again but the good fall of snow we have had over the past 3 weeks has built up a lot on the verges. So it will take some time and warm weather to clear it off. But access is not a problem. There may be a little more precipitation in the coming week, but at 40 degrees it will more likely be sleet and rain as was the case for a little time this afternoon.
Shortly the spring break will begin and with that more visitors will be in town. The snow pack is now excellent for skiing. There are quite a lot of fishermen out on the rivers these past few days. The numbers of visitors seemed to pick up nicely this weekend. Mike and Cameron were commenting on the numbers of fishermen out along the Colorado at the end of last week. Perhaps it is indicative of the economy and the lack of work. Taking time off to get out onto the river is an excellent way to construct a necessary distraction in these troubling times. A day on the river is certainly less expensive than a day on the ski slopes and some fresh air on the river is certainly preferable to being cooped up inside.
News from Utah this week. In late 2008 the Utah Supreme Court ruled in a case [Conatser] that the public had the right to wade and float on Utah waters. Pressure from landowners is resulting in the Utah state house now debating legislation which will effectively reverse the effect of that decision. Although it did go too far, it seems that the legislature will go too far in the opposite direction and narrow the rights of floating fishermen and rafters to less than that permitted under Federal Law. It will take another court case to rule on the constitutionality of the proposed legislation if it goes too far.
I have discussed this decision before and its relevance to Colorado. This issue is not going away. We are now waiting for the procession of Bill HB1188 through the Colorado Senate.
Current Flow: below the Dam 70cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
Another excellent week of fishing. Monday the snow was still deep enough to encourage one to park on the road and walk into the dam if one wanted to be confident about getting home in a reasonable time. The fishing early in the week in the snow was excellent. The weather cleared until Thursday when it was a little windy and some blown snow. Gary and I had one of those perfect few hours on the Pan on black midges. The fishing was spectacular and ranking as possibly one of the best half dozen days this winter. It is impossible to over emphasize how great the dry fly fishing can be on the Pan in winter on a cold snowy blustery day when no-one in their right mind would consider going out.
On Sunday the hatches had slowed a little with a few midges and some BWO's making an early appearance. They preferred black and gray emergers such as the gray biot #32, the black biot with a shuck trailer #22, the polywing #24 and a small black WD40.The coming week should see some more good fishing, particularly if a little more cloud blows in. We had some snow predicted for today, but it put in such a brief appearance so as to be of no consequence. The forecast is for more bright days and sun than cloud so we will see how the week pans out.
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).
Although we got some more snow earlier in the week the warmer weather has ensured that there is no further ice buildup along the edges. The fishing was good during the week with Ed and Mike reporting some good days out on the river with attractors and midges. The river is clear enabling one to float if one is inclined.
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.
Some more good fishing along the Colroado this past week with midges coming off and baetis moving around down deep. There were quite a few fishermen out on the river as the weather warmed and invited some activity in anticipation of spring.
Recommended Flies: eggs, attractors, baetis nymphs and midges.