Thursday 15th July - The weather remains hot and bright. Mid river today the dry fly fishing on drakes dries was excellent from midday for a few hours. The fish had no hesitation in taking a number of drake patterns presented. They even took the ausable wulff despite the body color.
In the evening the fish responded well to caddis patterns along the edges. It seems that the drakes are concentrated mid river on the Pan at the moment with reports of few drakes lower down and few sightings higher up.
Ed reported some excellent floating on the Colorado today with a lot of big strong rainbows. Generally more success from nymphing although his clients did get some on dries. The Fork continues to come down quickly and is now in the 650cfs range at Basalt.
Monday 12th July - The Fork has dropped below 800cfs at Basalt. The Pan remains consistently at 170cfs. The fish took dry green drakes mid-river today as a reasonable hatch occurred at midday until early afternoon.
Another great week on our rivers. Immediately after the July 4th weekend the number of visitors slowed down and there were actually less fishermen out on the rivers. We had changeable weather as the week proceeded with the weekend bringing a sudden downpour of biblical proportions which colored up the Fork but left the Pan intact. It only lasted a short while on Saturday as these storms are wont to do so all it did was save us a days watering.
The drakes have moved up the Pan. They were coming off from midday to 2pm at 7 miles but the fish weren't taking much notice. It was necessary to nymph an emerger to get some consistent response.
Cameron reported that later in the afternoon the fish were taking any large drake pattern a little higher up even though there wasn't any hatch. The fish will be on the drakes on the Pan this week now that they are appearing.
The Fork has been fishing well with Harry floating higher up and Mike and Ed floating lower down and on the Colorado.
The river flows continue to fall. The Pan was reduced again during the week and now is running at 170cfs. The Fork dropped quickly below 1000cfs and has stayed there even though we had a little rain over the weekend.
The temperatures over the coming week are predicted to move a little higher than the average this passed week. They are suggested to be in the 80's with the possibility of a few thunderstorms mid week. We expect the coming week to therefore offer some great fishing as the drake hatch proceeds on the Pan. Harry reported some drakes higher up on the Fork as well so it is now time to break out the big flies.
We have a nice selection of fun photos this week indicating that there is a great time to be had on the river whatever your disposition.
Current Flow: below the Dam 170cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
With the Bureau having reduced the releases again this past week the Pan is now running at 170cfs. It is now very accessible and the water has settled enough for some excellent dry fly fishing. The fish are looking up and Cameron reported some great dry fly action on big drake patterns close to the dam even though there were no naturals coming off there yet.
The drakes were coming off at the 7mile mark on Sunday. There were not many. The hatch lasted 2 hours from midday and generally the fish ignored them, preferring to take a straw wing emerger nymphed behind a PMD emerger. There were more PMD's coming off at the time so the drake emerger appeared to be taken as an after thought. On Sunday evening the fish took a larger grizzly wulff #14 probably taking it as a PMD into the evening.
Generally the fish have been preferring nyphs and emergers during the day and responding to dries more in the evening as the caddis put in an appearance along with PMD's. But the unsettled weather over the past few days has tended to keep the fish lower so although they were feeding under the surface it was more effective to put on a PMD and/or BWO emergers and fish them from deeper down. For instance the best results on Sunday were from an FPA emerging baetis #18 followed by an RS2 #20 as a dropper.So the best approach is to continue to fish emergers during the day until the fish are taking the naturals off the surface. In the evenings though, they had no issue coming up from the bottom to take dries offered near the edges.
Recommended Flies: There are now midges, PMD's Caddis and BWO hatches to choose from. The drakes are coming off up to the 7 mile mark.
There is 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 #18 - #22 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 for dry fly activity try adams, extended bodies, matthews and parachute adams. Lighter colored bodies such as the grizzly wulff will also serve as PMD 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.
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.
For drakes, at the moment they are taking the emergers but as the hatches progress they will key in on to the larger dries. Try the straw wing emerger #12.
The Fork continues to fish well its full length. Harry reported good floating from higher up on Saturday. Even though he saw a few drakes coming off the fish preferred stimulators and caddis with droppers. The water condition is excellent and as the level continues to fall, the wading access gets better by the day.As the level is now consistently below 1000cfs the floating from Basalt is perfect and will get better. At the rate it is falling one suspects that this year the floating from above Basalt will enjoy a shorter season than usual, as the river has widened over the past few years making a heavy raft with 3 people on board a lot of work when the levels get too low. So this year the advice is to get onto the water quickly as one can higher up and enjoy the expected shorter floating season.
Recommended Flies: 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.
In the evenings try big stimulators and drake dries as the drake hatch comes off. The drake hatch continues to move up river. They are around and above Basalt at the moment. So take dries and emergers along as well as drake nymph patterns.
If you are floating try streamers, particularly heavier flies with enough weight to get down quickly.
The Colorado continues to fish extremely well although some color did get in on Saturday afternoon for a short period after a downpour. The level continues to fall quickly but the yellow sallies continue to pour off together with PMD's and baetis while the caddis remain prolific. Great nymphing as well as good dry fly action in the evenings.
Recommended Flies: The best result will be from nymphing although the evenings have been affording some nice dry fly activity. For nymphs try baetis and pmd nymphs as well as stones. In addition with the yellow sallies, try smaller stone nymphs. Interestingly a lot of crane flies have been flying around earlier than usual so terrestrials should be considered if the weather remains hot dry and windy.