Happy New Year. And for anyone who wonders what we were doing last week or for anyone who questions whether we have good fishing at this time of year, just go straight to this weeks photo section. Spectacular!
The week saw some excellent fishing with the weather turning exceedingly cold on Friday and Saturday. It was 6 ° and windy on Friday. Saturday was equally cold but the wind died down. By Sunday it was pleasant again with the temperature just under 20 ° and with the promise of warmer weather and clear skies later in the coming week. The cold snap has caused a lot of anchor ice to form in the river.
We had a lot of visitors in town over the holidays. This was reflected in the numbers along the river and on the ski slopes. It will be interesting to see what the businesses report but certainly it appears a little stronger than last year with a lot of late bookings. This is certainly good for the local economy.
11inches of snow and a spate of colder weather kept the ski slopes in great condition. The coming week promises temperatures back into the 30's which will bring more people down river to rest tired legs in the river. There is a suggestion of snow for a day or so and then clear skies for the remainder of the week.
We will be at the Fly fishing show in Denver next weekend so if you are in the area drop by and say hello. Cameron, Gary and Matt will be there with me. Cameron will be giving 3 presentations in the destination theaters so if you want to see some more pictures and have a chat to the guides it is a great opportunity.
Current Flow: below the Dam 77cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
The fishing this week was superlative. The photos evidence the quality. The dry fly fishing was exceptional until the cold snap arrived on Friday. It seems that the change from the unseasonably warm weather the previous week to the colder weather leading to the cold change brought on the hatches and had the fish up on them. The most successful flies were the black biot midges down to #32 as well as #28 special emergers black and gray and gray parachute midges #30 and 32.
For those nymphing eggs worked well on some days and midge larva on others. On the colder days, emergers such as Craven juju midge worked well.The coming week promise more great fishing with snow and cloud cover until mid week. Thereafter, the clear skies and warmer weather will require a little more technical effort as the fish see the light tippet in the bright light.
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 cold snap at the end of the past week has put a lot of anchor ice in the river and built up the first significant ice dams higher up the Fork. But the prospect of clear skies and warm weather will keep the water clear and great for fishing. If it warms too much just be on the look out for any ice floating down the river.
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.