April has arrived and the fishing is excellent! Some more great examples of quality fish taken this week in the photo section. Half of the ski slopes shut down this weekend and the other half shuts next weekend. And to celebrate we had 29inches fall over the past week! The forecast is for a little more snow over the next few days and then warming and clearing weather into the last week of ski season. With reports of cloudy weather and maybe some more rain or a little sleet over the next few days the fishing should be excellent again.
This past week we had more reports of great fishing from all rivers, and the photos posted indicate the quality. It remains excellent fishing and not to be missed over the next month if you have a chance to get up here. A week of warm weather and the rivers will start to rise, so don't wait too long to enjoy some of the best fishing in the area pre-runoff.
With the last of the school break visitors leaving over this weekend, it is expected that it may quieten down a little, but in actual fact there have not been too many fishermen out of the rivers in this past week. The colder weather put them off. Thursday the fishing was excellent up near the dam and yet there were no tracks in the fresh snow apart from one vehicle. So if there is anymore cold snowy weather, and you are in the area, it is too good to miss. The level of the Fork at Basalt is indicative of the colder weather with the flow remaining at 229cfs despite nearly 3 feet of snow and despite the fact that it has all melted off the ground at Basalt. The Pan remains at 75cfs. It is only a matter of time before it is pushed up a little which will be great for the fish as it will spread them out a little more and give them some more protection.
So if you are in the early or have a mind to come up and enjoy some great fishing before the rest of the world thinks about it, the next month would be perfect. We would love to see you.
We have some interesting photos this week. A picture of a small drake which Mike took on a trip and a nice photo from Davide in Italy of a grayling.
Current Flow: below the Dam 75cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
With the flow remaining at 75cfs, the fishing remains excellent with the fish rising very nicely in the cold and snow during the week. By Sunday it began to warm a little and the snow that had fallen through the week was all gone.
The fish are getting into good feeding patterns now as more BWO's are coming off as well as strong midge hatches. The hatches start in the morning and now are going well into the afternoon so the dry fly fishing lasts a good part of the day. The nymphing is also excellent at the moment, particularly with emergers just under the surface as the fish begin to come up for the hatches.
With the prediction of some more rain and snow over the next few days, the fishing will be similar to last week when it was colder. By the weeks end with the prediction of bright sun and clear skies, it will be beautiful just to be out on the water in the sunlight.So now we are into April, the fish are active now for a good part of the day with nice hatches making it a reliable journey if you have a mind to come up for the ride. Shortly many of the rivers around will be getting higher and blown but the Pan will offer excellent fishing through until late May when they will probably run it higher for a week in the interests of some exceedingly healthy and overpopulated endangered species somewhere. If they can't find any now, they will certainly find some by May.
There are mostly midge hatches but a few BWO's are starting to come off internittently near the dam. 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 fish are also taking BWO emergers now, so use the FPA baetis emergers, the sparkle baetis, rs2's and other small emerger patterns.
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.
Despite 29inches of snow, the flow in the Fork hardly budged during the week, a testament to the cold weather and the low overnight temperatures which have frozen the snow before it had a chance to melt and run off. The conditions in the Fork remain excellent all the way from Aspen to Glenwood. The fish are taking BWO's and midges during the hatches as well as reliably taking stoneflies, attractors and egg patterns.Presently we have some of the best fishing of the year, so if you have a mind to get onto the Fork before the warmer weather starts to put up the flows, do so and don't be shy. There is about a month of so of reliably great water before the high country warms enough to start to melt.
Recommended Flies: The midges are getting more prolific and larger as we approach spring. In addition to midges, the stone fly nymphs are starting to move about in the water. Beatis are also moving about as well and coming off intermittently. The most reliable results now will be nymphing with eggs, princes, midge emergers, hare's ears, 20 inchers and other attractor patterns.
Some more great reports from the Colorado with Gary, Mike, Cameron and Ed all floating during the week. They took out a group of disabled veterans for a float trip on Thursday. A couple of photos indicate that despite the inclement weather, the fishing was worth it. There were a few risers, a lot of fish taken on nymphs and Gary had a few take streamers. So while the condition of the Colorado is good, it is a great time to float it.
Recommended Flies: eggs, attractors, stonefly nyphs, baetis nymphs and midges.