Another week of most pleasant winter weather. The cold snap in the early part of the week has passed and we have had a weekend of beautiful Colorado blue skies and warm temperatures. The snow pack was hard and fast, ideal for the X games which brought us a number of visitors over the past few days.
However all this may change in a day or so with the prediction of a large cold front arriving on Tuesday for 4 days. The anticipation is that temperatures will drop to a high in the low 20's on Tuesday with some snow. Thereafter the temperatures will gradually rise again with ongoing snow a possibility until next weekend when clear warm weather is supposedly to return.
In the news this week newly elected member of the state house, Rep. Roger Wilson (D-Glenwood Springs) reported that, inter alia, he is sponsoring a bill that would allow formation of regional tourism authority boards to work on projects of regional interest. In theory, that could help the Roaring Fork Valley set up a board to promote tourism. We will watch this with interest, to see if anything tangible evolves from a political promise.
In another very interesting development in Basalt, the Pan and Fork mobile home property was placed under contract. The newspaper report is worth reviewing. Essentially if that section of the river can be reclaimed and the levy bank removed that will certainly enhance the amenity of the area for fishing access. It may also permit the development of a decent boat ramp in Basalt.The jobless numbers continued to rise in the Roaring Fork Valley as the drop in building acitivty continues to take its toll, though it seems that some attempts to create a little work, go unappreciated. The natives are restless - there have been several mountain lion sitings near Aspen along the Rio Grande trail.
If you are in town this week and the snow gets a little hard on the legs, take off some time and come down for a half day on the river. The fishing will be great.
Current Flow: below the Dam 77cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
We had a number of visitors on the Pan over the past few days. The bright light made the fish wary and tougher to get to take dries. But persistence with small black and gray (#28 - #32) midges paid dividends. They also took larva and emerger patterns fished down in the deeper water.
With the prediction of cloudy days, colder weather and the possibility of snow the fishing should be excellent in the coming week.
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 river continues to clear and offer good nymphing. During the week the fish took stonefly nymphs fished down deep. Its early but fish are feeders of opportunity and responded to the offerings.
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 clear. With the prediction of a colder period over the next few days, some more ice may collect but in the wider sections where the sun can spend some time, it is clearing and good midge hatches are coming off in the quieter areas.