Back from the Fly Fishing Show in Michigan. The weather has warmed up over the past few days and is hastening the melt at lower elevations. The Eagle is muddy and is coloring up the Colorado while the Crystal has a little color which is coming into the lower Fork. The forecast is for more warm weather and some wind. A combination of winds and warm weather really hastens the melt at any elevation. So as the week progresses, if higher temperatures continue and it stays above freezing overnight, the flows will pick up pace nicely.
The higher flows have caused the Bureau to raise the releases to 135cfs, the same as the current inflow. With Ruedi currently at 65.8% and the snow water equivalent ahead of the average, the Bureau will have to keep a good handle on the run-off to ensure that the Frying Pan can be controlled. This will particularly be so if we get more snow and stay ahead of the averages.
But the higher flows are great for the Pan and will spread the fish out nicely. A little more water in the Fork will aid with the floating up higher. Overall conditions are excellent. We are seeing more visitors in town and as the conditions warm and the ice hardens on the ski slopes we expect more skiers to take a day off and visit us on the river for an hour or so.
As the conditions begin to get a little unreliable with the warm weather, don't hesitate to call us at the shop to get a more uptodate report.
Current Flow: below the Dam 135cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
The flow has been bumped up to 135cfs to keep the level of Ruedi constant for the moment. The increased flow is excellent in so far as it is beginning to spread the fish out more offering great protection as more fishermen arrive with the pending onset of spring. The BWO's are beginning to come off a little more offering a little more variety with the midges. There are good reports along the Pan now from the 4 mile mark up. So as spring arrives consider enjoying the lower reaches of the Pan before the crowds begin to arrive.
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 and a few BWO's are beginning to come off in the mild weather.
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. If the BWO's begin to come off parachute adams and BWO patterns #20 - #26 will work well.
The Fork remains in good condition, particularly above Carbondale. There is a little color starting to come in along the Crystal as the lower elevations snows melt off. The weatehr will be clear over the next few days with temperatures in the 60's and windy. That should accelerate the runoff and may cloud up the lower Fork. So check with the shop if you are coming up for a report. If it is colored just come up to Basalt and the Fork will be perfect as well as the Pan.
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 warm weather over the past few days has increased the meltoff on the low lying areas. Hence the Eagle is dumping a lot of color into the Colorado, making it unfishable at the moment.