Some colder weather and rain. Over the last 2 days we have had some snow up high. I can see it from my window although there is none on the ground. The clouds brought on some nice hatches on the Pan and gave rise to some great dry fly activity. The Fork didn't have much of a hatch up higher with the fish staying low.
Usually we get some windy days this time of the year which rips the leaves from the trees. So far that hasn't happened this year so the leaves are gradually falling creating a continuous carpet of leaves in the river. The prediction for the next few days is cold, wet and cloudy so the weather of the past few days should be repeated. There is little traffic in town and generally the rivers are deserted in most places. For anyone considering some fishing over the next few weeks, it is an excellent opportunity with the fish feeding in anticipation of the pending winter.
Loveland ski area has just opened reminding us of the pending winter. Meanwhile Aspen has a storm advisory in effect until Tuesday with questions as to how much longer Independence Pass will remain open. It is that time of year.
There is a great story this week in the local paper concerning the Colorado river and the journey of 2 locals who have recorded the sad plight of the river after irrigators and consumers have had their way with it. This story must be read and absorbed.
Another report indicates that several local authorities including the DOW are banding together to buy the property which incorporates the boat ramp at Carbondale. It is a smart move by the relevant authorities to ensure that this resource remains available to the public.
Current Flow: below the Dam 79cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
The relatively accurate weather prediction last week anticipated a spate of wet and colder weather which arrived later in the week and has persisted for the past 3 days. It is not too cold. It is just a matter of anticipating the wet weather and dressing accordingly. The cloudy weather brought off nice hatches of BWO's. In addition the intermittent clear weather brought on strong midge hatches.
The dry fly fishing on the Pan is excellent now. Mid river it is small flies and near the dam really small flies. On Sunday evening the fish took gray biot emergers #24 and #26 drifted on 8x midst a strong hatch of midges where the naturals were #32 and smaller.The number of fishermen has diminished markedly with the colder weather driving them elsewhere. That's fine. The fishing is excellent now and there is plenty of access for those willing to get out. The prediction is for cold wet weather over the next 4 days so one expects no traffic on the river and excellent fishing. By next weekend the weather should clear a little and render it a little more comfortable and clear if you are considering coming up next week.
Recommended Flies: There are now midges and BWO hatches with the last of the PMD's and some caddis.
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 Fork remains perfect. But the fishing above Basalt is a little tougher now with the fish tending the stay close to the bottom. It is necessary to nymph right to them. Closer to Basalt the Fork is still excellent with the additional water from the Pan.The rain over the past 2 days drove the flow up just a little so that now it is settling back but at 307cfs it is still higher at Basalt than it was a week ago. We need the rain and with snow in the high country it will shift the elk about for the hunters who have arrived.
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.