The weather cleared nicely for a few days during the past week. It was actually quite warm out on the river on Saturday, but the forecast promised change. And the fish responded generally by keeping close to the bottom in the deeper water. On Sunday morning we woke to a light dusting of snow. It was not very cold and although it attempted to snow all day, it tended to melt off. However the snow will have settled at higher colder elevations. The forecast is for some very cold weather mid week with highs in the teens. That will keep the snow intact. It will welcome in the ski season as well. This year the season will end on 24 th April and promises to be one of the longest seasons for some time.
With the anticipated turn to cold weather and some snow, things may change quite quickly over the next week. Soon enough it will be snow drifts to the water's edge, ice buildup over the edge of the flow and the fish seeking the most efficient lies to catch whatever food they can without expending much energy at all. Most fishing activity will be centered at the base of Ruedi where the water has been turning over. It is now clearing and the moss which was in the water in abundance has noticeably dissipated. The browns are getting up onto the redds. So shortly we will be exhorting fishermen to leave them alone where they are obviously spawning so they can give us next years generation.
In a few days it will be thanksgiving. It has been a tough year for many. But there is always much for which thanks can be given. Families getting together is always a time for the possibility of useful reflection.
And thereafter it will be time for preparation for the holiday season. The cars will travel down the Frying Pan with spruce trees tied to their roofs. The snows will drive the wild animals to the verges of the roads. There have been more than a few deer noted along the road this past few days. And yesterday there was a flock of bighorns including a smaller group of males at about the 2 miles mark on the Frying Pan Road.
So if you are traveling over the thanksgiving holiday travel carefully and return safely.
Current Flow: below the Dam 79cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
There was some nice fishing this week in mild temperatures which brought on some nice BWO and midge hatches. It has been so warm, that there were PMD's coming off early in the week and a few October caddis flitting about.
The forecast for the coming week though is for this all to change. The temperature is reported to drop by Thanksgiving to 16 °. That will be a cold start to the ski season and a cold day on the river. A few days of really cold weather will close down the last of the BWO hatches for the year and maybe contribute to the start of an anchor ice build up. It would be unseasonally early if this was the case.So watch the weather and be prepared for winter fishing.
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. With the cold weather imminent, an extended period below freezing will shut off the baetis until late winter.
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 soon as the coldest weather arrives and ice forms along the banks it will be fishing near the dam until the days lengthen and the weather warms a little.
The weatherman is predicting a turn to cold weather with highs in the mid teens over the coming week. If it is accompanied by snow as predicted, the access to the Fork will require judicious consideration if there is any ice build up. The fishing thereafter will be selectively with attractors and egg patterns.
Recommended Flies: The best results now are nymphing deep with eggs, attractors such a princes and hare's ears, worms and small baetis nymphs.
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 getting colder the fish will be picking the redds, and the quieter sections below.