The weather remained relatively warm over the past week with a little snow and a lot of cloud cover. The fishing remained excellent close to the dam with some nice hatches all week. Generally the hatches were midges with a few BWO's as well.
The numbers in town remain very low with most of the locals who would usually be out on the river enjoying the good skiing conditions on offer at the moment. The mountains report an additional 11inches of snow over the past week with a base now boasting 47". A remarkable base for this time of year. Yet despite the snow on the mountains, little snow has fallen along the rivers as the relatively warm temperatures has ensured that it is mainly sleet which melts off almost immediately. It appears from the weather forecast over the next 10 days that the current conditions will persist with some cloud cover and some snow/rain interspersed with a few clear days and generally temperatures in the 30's of 40's. This will ensure that the fishing conditions remain excellent and a few BWO's will continue to come off for a while longer.
So far it seems that tourist activity in Aspen is down a little on last year, and this was reflected in a newspaper this week. How as the article noted it appears that from the increased scheduling for traffic at the Pikin County Airport, the number should start to pick up next week and continue on pace into Christmas and the new year. In a similar vein a in the Glenwood Post Independent reflects a market which is showing the barest signs of growth. The most interesting aspect of this report is the suggestion that the consumer appears to have recently changed habits a little by booking more impulsively reacting to prevailing conditions and with a shorter lead time.
It remains to be seen how the traffic holds up through the season.
Current Flow: below the Dam 77cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
The fishing has been excellent up towards the dam. With the weather remaining in the 30's and 40's the midges and a few BWO's have kept coming off. And the cloudy weather has made the fish less wary taking dries off the surface. The best fishing has been from the morning midge hatch through to mid afternoon when things begin to settle down. Generally the fish prefer the smaller midge patterns but in the more disturbed water they will take dries down to #22 without an issue. The best pattern has been the FPA gray special emerger but the fish have also been taking parachute adams in smaller sizes.
For those preferring to nymph, midge larva patterns such as zebra patterns, miracle midges and red larva patterns have all worked well, particularly if fished directly to a feeding fish. The browns are moving up onto the redds, but are taking their time in the relatively mild weather.
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.
With more snow and the relatively warmer weather one would have expected the guage to have cleared by now. Not so. Still the water has been in excellent condition without too much of an ice build up along the edges. The temperatures in the mid 30's to 40's has brought off nice midge hatches. 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 remains in good condition and is fishing well with midges, some baetis nymphs and attractors and egg patterns. Streamers are also working.