I am a day late for this report because we went down and fished the Green over the weekend. It was a lot of driving just to confirm that the best fishing is right in our own backyard. Cameron, Gary and Sandy came along and so we had a competent adjudicative committee to come to our considered and unanimous opinion. The quality of the fish is now better here as well as the quality of the fishing. Still it is a great trip for a change of scenery.
The ski season ended here this weekend and with it we had a burst of hot weather which has started to run-off. The flow in the Fork has jumped 170cfs to now be running at 389cfs and with the prospect of warm weather continuing, it will climb now. The Pan had some color in it midweek as Seven Castles Creek brought in a flow of dirty water after last weeks snow melted off quickly. The overnight temperatures were not cold enough to slow down the flow at the lower elevations, so the expectation is that we will be seeing higher flows now if it remains warm. There is a prediction of isolated thunderstorms for Monday and Tuesday with the temperatures in the 60's and then a continuation of bright sunny weather for the next few days with the possibility of a change next weekend.
With the slopes closed, it will be quiet now for a little while until the late spring and early summer visitors start to arrive. So now with the Fork beginning to color up, the Colorado will not be clear and most activity will center on the Pan. The flows have not moved up yet in the Pan and the expectation is that it should be adjusted very soon. The higher water will be good for the fish enabling them to spread out and get some protection in deeper water. The fishing was excellent in this past week as the photos indicate.
Current Flow: below the Dam 77cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
Another week of excellent fishing all along the Pan with a few more visitors along the length this weekend as the Fork colored up with the jump in the flows in the warmer weather. The warmth started some of the tributaries flowing higher. Midweek Seven Castles Creek colored up the lower 4 miles when the snows which had recently fallen melted off with the latest spate of hot weather. It didn't last long and the Pan was clear the next day. In any case, there is still great water quality above the 4 mile mark if it happens again.
The last few days of the week were quite bright and with that and the low water, the fish tended to stay lower and deeper where they could get some protection. The flows in the Pan should increase very soon as it is running at only about half of its median flow at this time of year and the snow pack is close to average.
The prediction is for a continuation of warm weather with the possibility of some thunderstorms early in the week and then during the weekend. Any gray skies and rain will bring on excellent BWO hatches so it will be a great chance to get out for some excellent dry fly activity.So now with the melt starting, the Pan will be a favored destination for hundreds of miles. So if you want to take in some excellent fishing and consider that your local waters are going to color up drop by and see what we have to offer.
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.
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.
The flow in the Fork has jumped quickly with the recent spate of warm weather so that at the moment at 389cfs the flow is 170cfs higher than last week. The warm weather is expected to continue so the melt will pick up at the lower elevations and really put paid to any decent fishing, particularly below Carbondale and into the Colorado.
The flows at Glenwood are approaching 1000cfs right now having been in the 500's just a week ago. So for the moment either fish the Fork high up above Basalt and closer to Aspen where it is still colder and the run-off hasn't really started. Or, better still just come to the Pan.
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.
With the melt having started and the Fork having doubled in flow over the past week, the Colorado is now colored up and in run-off mode. Unless we get freezing overnight temperatures to slow down the melt, the best thing is to make a turn at Highway 82 and come up to Basalt for some good water.
Recommended Flies: eggs, attractors, stonefly nyphs, baetis nymphs and midges.