Friday 30th July - Conditions on the rivers remain perfect. We have had a continuation of clear warm to hot mornings with a progression to cloud cover in the afternoons and rain in the evenings. The dry fly fishing on the Pan is excellent now with the fish taking the presentations regardless of whether a hatch is in progress. Yesterday the fish tended to the edges but they did take mayfly patterns drifted over them. Everything from BWOs PMDs through to drake patterns worked well. The Fork and the Colorado continue to fish well. But the Colorado is beginning to warm up. If this continues, it will concentrate the float fishing closer to Glenwood and on the Fork where the fish will prefer the colder water.
Another great week in our watershed. Some rain and cooler weather earlier in the week was very pleasant and very welcome. It has warmed up again but it is not as hot as last week so it makes for very pleasant weather. Most evenings now have a little cloud cover and some rain or a light shower sufficient to take the edge of a hot day. The forecast for the coming week is for similar weather but generally with the temperature in the 70's.
The fishing has also been excellent with the drakes moving further up the Pan and the Fork. The number of visitors has grown so that now in the evenings there are a lot of fishermen along the Pan at various pull offs. But there is still plenty of good access. The Fork is fishing very well and is very wadable.
This past week the Bureau increased the releases from the reservoir by 90cfs bringing the flow up to 254cfs. This has been a perfect flow and has also lifted the Fork a little below Basalt. The rain earlier in the week also served to lift the Fork as well. At present, it is coming back to the level it was a week ago.
Conditions remain excellent with the drakes gradually coming off higher along the Pan we are now well into the celebrated drake hatch and dry fly fishing for which the Pan is noted.
So if you are coming up don't be daunted by reports of numbers of fishermen. There are still plenty of great places to access if you have a mind to do a little walking and putting in some work. Come by the shop and we will offer you some suggestions for generally untrafficked access. In addition as a policy now we try and maintain 2 guides in the shop to answer questions and give suggestions of the flies they have found working in their most recent trips. So if you have a question or want to speak with someone who has just been on the river, drop by the shop and have as chat.
We have another extensive collection of photos this week from both float and wade trips as well as a few others which are of general interest. Russ also kindly sent us some nice shots of a hike he took into Cathedral lake. Its evidence of something else you can do while you are here.
Current Flow: below the Dam 254cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
The bureau raised the flow by 90cfs during the week bringing it to a perfect 254cfs. At this level there is just enough flow to give good protection to the fish in the deeper sections but at the same time the river is very accessible for most waders at the wider sections. The additional flow of colder water has also slowed the drake hatch a little which has made for a week of great dry fly fishing mid river with the drakes coming off from midday and then again into the evening. The hatches have been excellent from a range of PMD's, drakes, midges, and BWO's. In addition the caddis and crane flies in the evenings have augmented the range of flies to consider.We are seeing quite a crowd along the Pan now, but again, the fishermen tend to congregate rather than spreading out. There may well be 7 or 8 cars at one pull off and then the public access for the next few miles is ignored. Of course it means that there are plenty of access points to explore during the day free from much interference. If you are unfamiliar with the area, come into the shop and we will point out some places along the Pan you might find of interest.
Recommended Flies: There are now midges, PMD's Caddis and BWO hatches to choose from. The drakes are coming off up past 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. In addition try the comparadun pmd, the grizzly wulff and the fpa special pmd emerger.
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, try the straw wing emerger #12 and when the fish are rising to the natural try the hairwing dun, the wulff patterns and the flavilinea. We have nearly 400 drake patterns in the shop so there should be something no-one else has tried that day.
At the beginning the week we had some rain which lifted the Fork and then the flow below Basalt was augmented by the addition 90cfs release from Ruedi by the Bureau. As a consequence the Fork rose and has settled back to where it was a week ago. It is great for the fishing and is tending to hold the Fork at a more consistent level which will encourage the fish into a more consistent feeding pattern.The fishing is excellent the full length of the Fork nymphing. Dry fly activity is a little more sparse and not nearly as productive. The better dry fly activity is in the evenings for a short period before dark.
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 higher up abover Basalt. The drake hatch continues to move up river. 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 remains excellent and is still the preferred floating section for the guides. It is a big river and provided one knows where the fish are it remains very strong and productive. Apart from the caddis, bwo's and PMD there are a lot of terrestrials as well such as hoppers.
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. So try hoppers, beetles and cricket patterns.