At last the weather has turned. A week of warm to hot weather and the rivers have blown out. Even Taylor creek has at last shown a bit of color. There is quite a wind blowing at the moment and a big dust storm blew through on Saturday evening. Setting that on top of the snow will hasten the melt. The rivers are running high now but the Pan is still in excellent condition, offering us the only good clear water for miles.
The weather which blew in really pushed up the Fork and it is now running at 784cfs. As soon at it gets over 900cfs it will really color up as that was the last height achieved in the last spate of hot weather. It may be a little cooler tonight with the forecast of some showers tomorrow, but the expectation is that the temperature will be back in the high 70's by Tuesday and through the end of the week.
So if you are coming up, just think of fishing the Pan. The Fork will be a mess by Memorial weekend. We have been looking forward to this for weeks now and in fact even at 784cfs the Fork at Basalt is only half its mean level for this week of the year.
Current Flow: below the Dam 128cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
The hot weather has really got the tributaries to the Pan adding to the flow. Taylor creek colored up for the first time consistently this year yesterday and it is evident in the flows from the dam that Rocky Fork is putting in 18cfs and bringing just a touch of color. But in most respects the Pan is pristine. There were some nice BWO hatches coming off this week when we got a little rain and some clouds but essentially the hot bright weather has tended to keep the fish lower and feeding on the edges in the slower water. The marginally higher water is great and helps spread the fish out a little more.Generally the coming week promises warm to hot bright weather, so the tributaries will probably top out in a day or so. Then the Pan will be running perfectly clear through Memorial weekend. The Bureau have promised this year that they they will let Ruedi fill before they increase the flows, so while the Fork and the Colorado are just mud, the Pan will be perfect fishing at least until close to the end of June.
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 has jumped dramatically in the last 2 days and is fast approaching its previous high in the 900 range a little over a month ago. As soon as it hits that level it will really color up as the water passes over ground that has not been washed clean this year. So give it a day or two to get to this stage. But frankly if you are coming up, don't bother fishing the Fork, just come to Basalt and hit the Pan. The water is pristine and controlled. Perfect for run-off season.
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.