The weatherman was accurate with the temperature predictions this past week but not so accurate with the snow predictions. The temperatures were quite warm, sufficient to melt some snow and make it feel a little like spring skiing. The weather threatened and few fishermen went out leaving the Pan almost uninhabited for most of the week. Matt and Curtis saw no activity all on Thursday near the dam and on Friday it was completely empty until later in the afternoon. The fishing was excellent with big trout taking small midges off the surface. It was truly the epitome of winter dry fly fishing on the Pan.
The coming week promises much of the same weather with the promise of a lot of cloud cover and warmer temperatures. If it manages to snow that will be a bonus. But if the weather remains relatively warm and cloudy there will be more days of excellent dry fly fishing this coming week.
So if you are in the vicinity or are considering coming up, the next week would be a perfect time to get out if the weatherman is accurate. It has not been cold enough to put the baetis down completely so apart from midge hatches there is still a chance of some baetis coming off over the next week. Of course it depends on the accuracy of the weatherman.
Current Flow: below the Dam 77cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
The prediction for warmer weather was accurate and the past week saw some excellent fishing on the upper Pan near the dam. Few fishermen went out leaving most of it empty for much of the time. It was remarkably good fishing. On Friday for instance they took #28 - #32 gray midges off the surface. As an experiment #22 -#20 flies of the same patterns were drifted over the fish and they ignored them, preferring the smaller flies, closer to the naturals. The best patterns were #28 and #30 parachute adams and the gray FPA special emerger #28 - #32.The coming week will offer more of the same with the prediction of continuing warm weather and clouds with the possibility of snow and rain. So if you are out on the river dress for wet and cold but be prepared to stay out if the fish start taking dries. You will have much of the river to yourself.
Recommended Flies: There are now midges and the last of the 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 warmer weather has picked up the flow a little but at the time of this report the gauge at Basalt remains iced up and not offering a reading. The warmer weather brought off nice midge hatches as well as good nymphing with baetis. After the next cold weather hits it will be selectively 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 Colorado continues to fish well. Chris and Marty reported great floating at the end of the week catching fish and shooting ducks.