Another week of relatively mild winter weather with a little snow and generally cloudy skies. According to the snow report we have had 19" of snow over the last week and the base is now 58" I must say, its hard to see where some of that alleged base is when on the mountain. One would reasonably expect a 6ft base to cover 3ft vegetation. But given how some numbers seem to be calculated in the political discourse nowadays, one is permitted to grant generous latitude in measurements – particularly when fishing or measuring the depth of snow on a ski resort.
The next week promises much of the same with cloudy days and a chance of snow but no really cold weather in the offing. With anticipated top temperatures remaining in the high 30's to the low 40's over the next week the hatches will remain strong. A few BWO's are still coming off with a lot of midges.
The bald eagles have arrived for the season and can be seen along the Pan taking fish from the river if you are lucky. The snow fall has been sufficient to drive the big horn sheep and deer to verges of the road. So even though they create a traffic hazard if one drives too fast, it is great for visitors to see them up close.
If you are coming to town over the next week the snow will certainly be excellent. But if you have a day off consider coming down valley and take a few hours to get out onto the river. There is so little traffic at the moment that this will be one of those rare opportunities when you can see the Pan with minimal traffic.
One piece of very good new was the report this week that Carbondale is set to complete the purchase of the land which incorporates the Carbondale boat ramp. This is a wise move by the town. The future plans including building a kayak park. It is reported that the DOW was one of the participants in funding the purchase and in return retains control over the boat ramp. There will be plenty of time for political machinations to evolve given the group of funding agencies and the various interests which will seek to involve themselves. But, for the moment it is an excellent development generally for public benefit and secures the future of a valuable community amenity.
Current Flow: below the Dam 77cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
The fishing remains excellent close to the dam. With the cloudy days and a little rain and snow, the temperature has not been uncomfortably cold so there have been great opportunities to get out and enjoy some great hatches. The fish are also well onto the redds and so the big rainbows are taking eggs behind the spawning browns.
The weather has been so relatively mild that even mid-river during the week fish were taking midges off the surface. Generally by now it is so cold and iced up that the fish remain near the bottom.Overall the prospects for some good fishing next week are excellent. Dress for colder wet weather and be prepared to stay out for some time. The hatches are confined to the later morning and the middle of the day, but with a good hatch the fish will keep feeding off the surface well into the afternoon.
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.
Current Flow: near Emma - n/a (still iced up) (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page).
With the mild weather continuing the fish were active in the Fork in the wider sections, particularly below redds where the browns are spawning. The snow hasn't raised the level much and the temperature has ensured that there is no ice build up to speak of. So excellent conditions for fishing persist.
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.