The US Fish and Wildlife service exhausted their water allocation this week. And with that the flows from Ruedi have been cut to 113cfs. In the bright light and clear skies, the fish were skittish in the shallow water and headed back to the deeper water or behind structure in riffles and moving water for protection.
The weather has been beautiful. Warm to hot and clear skies. It is not predicted to last much longer. The forecast for the coming week is for thunderstorms and rain with temperatures expected to fall a little. We are looking forward to some rain as it has been generally very dry for the past few weeks with just a day or so of intermittent rain. The cloud will also bring on the BWO hatches nicely.
There have been great hatches this past week with reports of drakes still coming off and caddis in the hot afternoons and evenings. But a cooler cloudy change will tip the balance in favor of BWO's.
As we move into October we have been enjoying an excellent spate of weather. The trees are changing color now along the river and some of the trees which changed a week ago have shed quite a few of their leaves. The autumnal foliage is very evident in the water with more that a few flies hooking a leaf passing by. Nick was up this weekend and took some nice photos near the dam which we have posted.
The water conditions are perfect now. So if you are of a mind to come up, don't leave it too much longer. No more excuses now that the water has dropped so far.
Current Flow: below the Dam 115cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
With the river now running at 115cfs after having been dropped twice during the passed week the lower flow now makes for excellent dry fly activity the full length of the Pan to town with the fish coming up in the pocket water to well presented dries.
There were still a few drakes about and caddis on the hotter days. The predominant hatches now are BWO's and midges. There are still a few PMD's. The fish are very wary now having seen a seasons worth of flies and the shallow water and bright light has increased their skittishness.
Mid-river the fish took dries presented in the pocket water. They took female Adams #16, Olive Adams Family #16 and #18, Thorax BWO #18, Parachute Adams #18, and Parachute BWO's #16. Closer to the dam the fish took caddis #16 and midges. They also took rs2's and sparkle baetis fished down.
The prediction of rain and clouds over the coming week will give the fish a little more comfort in the shallows and will promote some good BWO hatches. So for the coming week, it will be time to don the wet weather gear and maybe a layer for added warmth and be out on the river if the weatherman is accurate.
Recommended Flies: There are now midges and BWO hatches with a few PMD's and some caddis to choose from. The drakes are almost done although there have been reports of a few still coming off. The fish will remember them for a while, but they will be wary as well.
There are still a few caddis about. Try the October caddis patterns.
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.
As the larger fly hatches abate the primary interest will be in BWO's and midges through to winter.
The water in the Roaring Fork is pristine. And with the falling releases it is eminently wadable. There are BWO's coming off as well as a few caddis and midges when the day is clear and bright. With the low flows the only floating is closer to Glenwood. But the conditions are excellent and with the prediction of cloudy weather and rain in the coming week, it will be an excellent opportunity to see if a hatch can bring the fish to the surface.
Fishing over the weekend towards Aspen, the bright light and shallow water kept the fish very low and wary. It was a matter of fishing to the deeper holes or in the shade. So where the Fork is more protected by large trees the shadows will provide some cover for the fish.
Recommended Flies: Try baetis and midges 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 baetis emergers. They will take dries in the pocket water provided they are presented well. Try larger BWO patterns.
If you are floating try streamers, particularly heavier flies with enough weight to get down quickly.
The Colorado continues to fish particularly well. It is mostly nymphing down deep with small baetis nymphs and emergers. Streamers are getting some results but nymphing is best. As October progresses the browns will become more aggressive and streamers will be more effective.