We didn't get a report out last week because we were in Pleasanton at the Fly Fishing Show. This week's report is being posted a day early for another reason. We have just settled the purchase of a fly shop in Durango and are going down to open it up this week. We are renaming the shop "The San Juan Angler". We have a very sparse website which we have just launched and will be loading details over the next month or so. It is a great opportunity and gives us access to a large number of great fishing waters in Southern Colorado as well as the San Juan. Gary will be down there for 2 months until May and then Dan will be assuming management for us. Dan has spent the last 2 summers with us in Basalt and has been a great addition to the team. We will give you more details in due course.
The weather here this past week has been quite clear and warm with minimal snow. The ski slopes received 12" of snow pushing the base back up to 90". The outlook over the coming week is generally cloudy through the week with a possibility of snow next Sunday. But this far out, it is just a wild guess.
We are beginning to get busy out on the rivers now. The fishing on the Fork is picking up nicely and the Pan has been excellent.
We will be going to Michigan next week for another Fly Show so our report next week will be a day or so late again.
Current Flow: below the Dam 102cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
With the flow now at 102cfs, the depth on the flats has increased affording a little more protection to the fish. Hence they seem to have shifted out of the deeper sections lower down and are now taking dries nicely from midday through to the early afternoon. There were some BWO hatches this week for a short period as well.
Lower dawn the Pan, the ice is melting off nicely and clearing the edges and the bottom. The fish are suspended taking midge larva drifting through. The water is a little colder compared to the base of the dam, so the hatches are still a little slower.
The coming week promises cloudy days but not too cold with top temperatures in the 40's. So it will be very comfortable out on the river. And even if it gets a little damp, dress for winter fishing and all will be well.
Recommended Flies: The principal flies now are midges and eggs below the redds. But the baetis nymphs are beginning to move about in the water.
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 the baetis begin to move about, try small nymphs such as pheasant tails and rs2's for variety.
With the relatively light snowfall and mild weather the snow is melting quite quickly, particularly where the sun lingers longest. There are a number of reports now of good nymphing along the Fork with the fish taking a variety of smaller baetis patterns, and larger attractors such as hare's ears.
Recommended Flies: The best results now are nymphing deep with eggs, attractors such a princes and hare's ears, worms, stoneflies and small baetis nymphs.
If you are floating try streamers, particularly heavier flies with enough weight to get down quickly.
The Colorado is clearing again and affording good fishing lower down. There have been reports that the hatches are slow higher up because of the ice so it appears better to fishing lower down below Glenwood in the wider slower sections.