As noted last week, we are a day late with the report because we were at the Fly Fishing Show in Denver this past weekend. Friday and Saturday were very well attended days but when the snow hit on Sunday it kept most visitors away. Still we had a great time and met many old friends and made some new ones. The storm which hit Denver also left a lot of snow in its wake as it traveled in from the west. Consequently we have had 15" on the ski slopes over the last 2 days. Today the temperature is predicted not to get to 20 ° but in a day or so it is expected to move back to the mid to high 30's. So it remains to be seen whether the snow will remain on the ground for long.
If it does warm a little in the next day or so, the fishing promises to be excellent, particularly if we have a little more cloud cover and some more light snow. We are now in the slow period at the beginning of January when the holiday visitors have left, the children are back and school and the ski slopes await the arrival of spring skiing. The days have now been getting longer for a few weeks and it is noticeable – or maybe we are just imagining that we can notice it. The last cold snap built up a lot of ice along the edges of the river and narrowed the flow a little. It has caused the formation of some anchor ice which, together with the narrowed flow will be a little hard on the fish in the colder water. The releases from the dam are actually warm at 40 ° and this tends to quickly eliminate any anchor ice where the water is a little warmer.
Current Flow: below the Dam 77cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
Another week of excellent fishing. The cold change which blew in over the last few days has given us a fair amount of snow along the edges of the river. But the prediction is for it to warm a little to above freezing in a few days which should cause it to melt off where the sun shines directly.
The fish responded well to both nymphs and dry flies over the past week. The browns seem to have abated a little in their spawning, therefore the egg patterns were not consistently reliable. Midge performed more consistently. On the surface midge patterns worked well when the fish were feeding. The desired patterns were more predominantly gray this week and at some point the fish were taking larger (#22 and #24) midges on the surface. At other times though it was necessary to drop down to #28 - #32. So be prepared to experiment a little and look for the midges on the snow on the edges to have a closer look at the naturals coming off at the time.
The coming week promises a little warmer weather but with the possibility of more snow as time progresses. So anticipate wet winter weather and dress accordingly.
Recommended Flies: The principal flies now are midges and eggs below the redds.
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.
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.