Wednesday 23rd June - The Bureau has dropped the flow by another 50cfs so that we are now at 332cfs. With Meredith running at a similar rate and the level of Ruedi holding at 99.2% the runoff is definitely done. We have had very hot temperatures for the last few days and there no no perceptible increase in the flows. So conditions are now perfect. The same conditions persist in the Fork with the graph showing a steady decline over the past 4 days. It is currently peaking around 1800 and dropping daily so later this afternoon it could drop by another 200cfs.
By the weekend the flow in the Pan had stabilized and is currently 382cfs while the Fork fluctuated from a little over 2000cfs down to 1600cfs during the day. We are now relatively "normal" for this time of year but given the hot weather over the last few days and the range in which the flows are bound, it is evident that we are well passed the peak and the run-off is tailing off. The Tributaries to the Pan are all slowing down markedly indicating that the melt at the lower elevations is close to done including that little bit of snow which fell a week ago.
With Meredith flowing between 300 and 350cfs it seems from here that the flows into Ruedi have certainly peaked and with the releases running at their current level things are relatively in balance. Ruedi has moved from 99% to 99.2% full over the last several days indicating that there is still a little more inflow than outflow so one would expect the releases to stay where they are for the moment. The coming week is expected to be clear and warm to hot with currently no chance of rain. So whether the releases are reduced this week will depend solely on the inflows as measured at Meredith. But the current level of the Pan offers great fishing even though it is at the upper end of the comfort zone for wading. The water is in excellent condition and this week saw PMD's coming off quite nicely extending the range of flies in use.
The Fork is relatively clear although it got just a little color today. But the float fishing, though fast has been good.
This week saw the Food and Wine at Aspen, a number of people in town and our own inaugural Kids Camp over the weekend. It was a great success and Matt did an excellent job putting it on. Already there are inquiries for another one later in the year, so we shall see how busy we are. We are going to put on our Rendezvous in September again and may have a Kids Camp in conjunction with that. We have a few photos from the weekend which were chosen quickly. We have a lot of photos to go through and will put up a page on the website over the coming week devoted to the camp.
We consider now that the season has started in earnest and the early completion to the run-off will top it off quite nicely. So if you are coming up shortly, call the shop and we will give you the latest update on the rivers just in case something untoward occurs.
Current Flow: below the Dam 382cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
The Pan is in great condition again with the flow at 382cfs and gradually coming down as Rocky Fork slows. Depending on the inflows to Ruedi this week, it is possible that at some time the Bureau will drop the releases a little if the level in Ruedi starts to drop much. It will be hot and bright so the key will be whether the Meredith flows show any inclination to rise. If they stay relatively flat in the hot weather we know the run-off is petering out. The tributaries below the dam are certainly slowing down. Taylor Creek has dropped noticeably and even in the hot weather had not lifted much at all.
The fishing was good with PMDs coming off and PMD emergers working well along with midges and BWO's. In the faster water, bigger flies were working well, but now with the water within its normal range and having settled for a few days, the hatches are getting back into a rhythm. Lower down there was good caddis in the evening.
This is the best water for fishing for 100's of miles.
As we get into the season there will be a morning and an evening PMD hatch. Currently the fish are taking emergers #16 and #18 fished down. Try Barrs emergers, the bubbleback, and the FPA PMD beadtail emergers.
For caddis try the elk hair #14 and #16 olive as well as emergers.
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 settling down with the flow fluctuating between 1600cfs and 2000cfs. It has been quite hot over the past few days and there is little evidence that the flows are picking up much so it would seem that the level will remain here for a little. The coming week is expected to be consistently hot with little or no chance of precipitation, consequently it is possible that the melt up high might pick up pace again. If so the level might rise a little and put in some more color but it shouldn't last long as the peak seems well past at over 6000cfs a little over a week ago.
Cameron and Mike reported good floating later in the week as the level stabilized. The water condition is better up higher above Carbondale, and if the hot weather persists it would seem that the best bet would be to concentrate higher up.
Recommended Flies: If the water is clear and not rising, try baetis, midges and PMD nymphs in the morning. In addition in quieter areas where there are a lot of midges coming off, try black and gray midge emergers. Try small baetis nymph patterns such as pheasant tails #18 - #24. Baetis emergers try RS2, the crystal hunchback, juju baetis, the mighty mite, icebreakers and the FPA sparkle baetis - #18 - #24.
As the day progresses in the faster water try caddis emergers and dries with baetis and PMD emergers. Try Barrs emergers, the bubbleback, and the FPA PMD beadtail emergers.
Generally though use bigger flies such a stones with some flash or attraction which the fish will pick up in the faster water with a little color. Also try princes, eggs, san juan worms, brassies and copper johns.
The Colorado is not fishable. Don't bother stopping. Just turn onto Highway 82 and come up to Basalt.