The cold weather has at last set in. It has hardly been above the 30's during the week with most nights being below freezing. We did not get as much snow as predicted. But there has been enough to add 9" and render a base 22" on the ski slopes . This augers extremely well for the opening of the season on thanksgiving. The prediction for the next few days is a continuation of snow and cold below freezing temperatures with the possibility of it clearing and warming a little mid week.
The snow and cloud cover has actually prevented it from getting so cold that the pond freezes over. So for the moment there is a light cover of snow, which melts off in the direct sun during the day but no ice or buildup to speak of along the rivers edge.
The rivers are deserted at the moment. With very few visitors in town and many locals having left in anticipation of the coming snow it will be quiet until the ski season kicks off. The busiest part of town now is the morning line-up of cars outside Big 'O' for the installation of winter tires. There were a few hunters in town for the last season. There was evidence that they benefited from the inclement weather shifting the animals about. A few pickups with carcasses and racks leaving town attested to that.
Another interesting story this week. A large friend of ours who shall remain nameless was fishing up near Baetis bridge during the week. An elderly gentleman approached him and indicated that there were 4 people fishing at the bridge with bait rods and worms who were killing fish. Our large friend approached the group and asked in Spanish if they were using flies. He noticed that they had 3 large live fish in a plastic bag and at least another 8 fish on a stringer. They responded that they were using flies. Then one of them started laughing as he threaded a worm on a hook. Our large friend didn't take kindly to this response. He immediately began seizing their rods breaking them into pieces. At some point a sense of self preservation overtook the interlopers who dropped everything and scampered back to their car to make a hasty retreat. They left but not soon enough to prevent the vehicle registration number being recorded.
Our friend released the fish which had been abandoned in the hasty retreat. Some swam away. Some didn't make it. The retreating car was followed and eventually the address at the end of the journey was noted. All of this was subsequently recorded and relayed to the DOW. We shall see if anything significant comes of it. We doubt it from past experience.
However a visitor dropped by the shop on Friday and advised that he had heard about the event at a fly shop along I-70. So even if the authorities don't do anything, it seems that the story of our large friend may gather pace and send a message. It seems that self-help might be the only option.
As Edmund Burke the father of modern conservatism is purported to have said "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing". It seems that self-help is in their air.
Current Flow: below the Dam 77cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
The flow of water from Ruedi has been diverted for maintenance purposes. Consequently the toilet bowl, normally a turbid rush of released water is clear and still. For several days, a pod of massive fish was clearly visible as they cruised about wondering where the release had gone. After a couple of days, they moved out onto the flats. The maintenance will continue, reportedly, for another week so if you want to see the structure of the toilet bowl in clear water go there later in the week when the weather is predicted to be bright and clear.
Nick and Joe were up during the week and we ran into Ryan at the toilet bowl mid-week who caught a beautiful specimen in the clear water. Nick took some great shots. It is a great record of the toilet bowl at peace.
The diverted flow continues to run at 77cfs so lower down the Pan it remains as it was. Despite the cold weather and snow, it has not frozen along the edges so in the coming week, if we get some warmer weather in the mid 40's one would expect some great midge hatches and maybe a few BWO's still coming off.
Recommended Flies: There are now midges and BWO hatches.
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.
Despite the snow during the week, the cold weather has frozen the accumulation and not melted off enough to increase the flow in the Fork. Consequently the flow has dropped a little from last week and remained extremely clear and accessible. There is no snow or ice build-up and the fishing access is excellent.
Recommended Flies: The best results now are nymphing deep with eggs, attractors and small baetis nymphs and emergers.
If you are floating try streamers, particularly heavier flies with enough weight to get down quickly.
The big browns are chasing streamers. But generally the best results are from fishing small nymphs eggs and attractors deep down. With the weather having cooled the fish are moving out more from the deepest runs.