The Bureau has now decided to drop to winter flows and consequently reduced the releases into the Pan to 79cfs this week. With clear blue skies and warmer weather, the fish headed for the deeper holes and into the shade. This is low for this time of year, but given that it has been relatively dry for 2 months now, the absence of any rain has dropped the inflows to Ruedi to 42cfs at Meredith. The benefit of the low flow is that the Pan is relatively easily wadable just out of town where with care one can cross the river in places and fish both sides. The Fork remains in the high 200's at BAsalt and is also in great condition.
The weather this week was beautiful and clear. It made for some most pleasant days out on the river. This is typical for this time of year. It appears from the forecast that this weather may not persist. There is a possibility of cloudy skies, colder temperatures and rain during the coming week. That will help with the lower water by making the fish a little less skittish if there is good cloud cover.
We are certainly getting into the off season now. The number of fishermen out is decidedly down although there were a number of floating craft on the Colorado this weekend with many enjoying the warm clear days. Certainly it is a time for great dry fly fishing now and it will be even better with some more cloud cover. So if you have it in mind to get out onto the river for one last time before the snow flies, don’t put it off.
Current Flow: below the Dam 79cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
Another great week on the Pan. On Friday the Bureau dropped the flows again, this time to winter levels so that the releases are now at 79cfs. Hopefully this is as low as it will go. If there is some rain before we get too cold and the snow sticks, one would appreciate the flows being a little higher during the coldest months to protect the river bottom from anchor ice.
With the prediction of colder cloudy weather over the coming week, the BWO hatches should be excellent affording some more great dry fly activity. The lower level makes the fish skittish so a cloudy dull day will bring on BWO's and tempt the fish out of the deeper holes and from the shade to feed. The temperatures are predicted to drop to the mid 50's so dress for colder and wetter weather. In fact it is better to overdress as if there is a great hatch in some rain. The last thing one wants is to feel uncomfortable and be forced to seek shelter when the best fishing is on offer.
So be on the river with a range of BWO patterns from dark and light gray bodies, through iron blue to dark and light olive. Carry a range of sizes from #18 through to #24. If the weatherman is modestly correct with his prediction one would be expecting great things this coming week.
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 Roaring Fork remains excellent, particularly around Basalt where there were reports of great fishing from nymphing deep down. The browns are beginning to stack up in some places and are getting aggressive. They are responding to streamers as well as egg patterns.
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 fished well again with big browns beginning to chase streamers. Generally the best results were from fishing small nymphs and emergers deep down, but with the weather having cooled the fish are move out more from the deepest runs.