Another week of cold wet changeable weather. It is getting a little too much for some. Even the fish seem to be tiring of the constantly changing air systems. But by Sunday it had cleared and we experienced one of the nicer days out on the river for a few weeks. The forecast is for clearer weather over the coming week with a low probability of a slight change for a day or so on Tuesday and Wednesday. But overall the outlook is looking good and one could be forgiven for thinking that spring is here.
The wet miserable weather kept a lot of fishermen off the river on Saturday morning. But by noon the weather cleared a little. It was evident that a number of fishermen wanted to get out onto the river becasue as soon as there was a break in the clouds that was enough for quite a number to venture forth on the Pan and enjoy a little clear weather. It was a sucker break, because by mid to later afternoon, it was raining again. But that didn't stop the BWOs coming off and by the time the fish got on to them it was excellent dry fly fishing with a range of BWO's from gray to olive bodies. The Colorado is not really fishable at the moment and the Fork below Carbondale won't last more than a day or so before it colors up and won't be fishable either if the projected warm weather arrives.
Some news in the past week which is of great interest. First, the Bureau of Reclamaition announced at a meeting on Tuesday at Basalt that they will not be running the Pan high this year as part of the co-ordinated release plan for endangered species. This is excellent news and means that the water over the memorial weekend will be perfect for fishing unlike the past few years. The Bureau's intention is to fill Ruedi and then have a release around 300cfs for a short period antitipating that the river will run thereafter under 300cfs for the remainder of the season. This is indeed excellent after last years debacle, and it was evident from the well attended meeting that the Bureau and the US Fish and Wildlife representatives are fully aware and congnizant of the importance of a consistent flow in the Pan for the season. Of course it isn't the pre-eminence of fishing in the minds of the powers that be that dictates this excellent situation but rather the dearth of a good snow pack in the other catchments which prevents the total target flow from reaching the level which will enable a co-ordinated released to the be effected. But, count our blessings, particurly given that the Frying Pan Catchment is close to the average this year, guaranteeing a good flow and a full storage.
The other news of interest is the announcement in the Denver Post on the 15th May to the effect that the current floating dispute on the Taylor river is taking a temporary hiatus. Thus for this season, the landowner has relented and is allowing the rafting companies to float through his property. Of course, one could respond to the effect that such permission is irrelevant, but for the moment churlishness ought to be relegated and one should take advantage of the position to gird the loins in anticipation that the battle which will resume in due course.
This week in the photos section we have a picture of a large Mackinaw taken out of Ruedi by Pete and Harve. In addition a few more pictures of Andre's fish.
Current Flow: below the Dam 115cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
The weather this week was miserable with rain, cold and snow at higher altitudes. Despite the conditions the fishing was excellent, particularly as the fishermen stayed away for most of the week so the river was abandoned. Saturday morning started out cold and wet with little activity. But by midday it appeared to clear and brought out a number of fishermen for the afternoon. Unfortunately for them, the clouds blew in and it started to rain again as soon as they got onto the river.
Actually the rain brought on some excellent BWO hatches and we had some great dry fly action for several hours. The evening brought even more rain. But by Sunday the weather had cleared to give us one of the nicest days we have seen for weeks with temperatures in the very pleasant high 50's. The fish took midges and a few BWO's.The weather in the coming week promises to stay warmer even though there is a chance of thunderstorms midweek. But overall it is looking clear and warmer so maybe the change that everyone has been wishing for is on the way. So plan for some nice weather for the coming week and even if there is some rain at higher temperatures, the BWO hatches will be good.
Recommended Flies: There are both midge and BWO hatches to choose from now. For baetis, the fish will take tiny baetis nymphs like tiny pheasant tails. 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, so use the FPA baetis emergers, the sparkle baetis, rs2's and other small emerger patterns. In addition the fish have taken a few BWO dries so try olive bodied patterns #18 -#22 as well as Adams.
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.
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 Fork is up just a little over last week. The colder weather stayed with us over the past week and with a few overnight temperatures below freezing at the higher altitudes, the quality of the water in the Fork, particularly up higher remains excellent. The forecast is for warm weather into this week and so it would appear that unless it remains cold overnight for a few more days, several days in the 60's will see the Crystal blow and the Fork begin to color up again. So if you are coming up, ring the shop and we will give you the latest update. In the absence of a cold snap, assume that you will be fishing at least above Carbondale, and probably above Basalt by the end of the week.
Recommended Flies: The midges are prolific and larger. In addition the stone fly nymphs are moving about in the water. Baetis are also moving about as well and coming off intermittently.
The caddis have been coming off near Glenwood, and the fish have been taking them nicely but the colder weather has slowed them down. As the water colors up, though it will be a matter of finding some quiet eddies where the fish can see the flies.
The most reliable results now will be nymphing with eggs, princes, midge emergers, baetis nymphs and emergers, 20 inchers and other attractor patterns. In addition as the water colors up use bigger more visible flies.
The Colorado is not reasonably fishable. Don't bother stopping. Just turn onto 82 and come up to Basalt.