Well the weather warmed up somewhat as the week progressed, coloring up the Colorado and the Lower Fork. Then on Thursday night we were hit with a big snow fall. At least 12inches along the Pan. On Friday morning we were inundated. But by Sunday morning, most of the snow in the direct sunlight had melted off. This has augmented the flows a little and contributed to more color in the Colorado.
The coming week promises a little rain, and, maybe if the temperatures fall lower enough, a little snow. Generally with the temperatures tending to remain above freezing overnight the flow will pick up, but at higher elevations one would expect an overnight freeze to slow melts at that level.
Despite the variable weather the fishing has been excellent. Look at this one which was caught mid-river on the Pan at our Cabins. This past few days has been very busy with a lot of visitors in town and fishermen on the river. The snow is very hard and icy at the moment. There was a lot of wind high up and coupled with the warm weather is making for some very tough skiing at the moment. The logical response is to come down fishing for a day. So if you are inclined in that direction, give us a call and take some time off.
Current Flow: below the Dam 132cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
The flow has settled nicely at 132cfs spreading the fish out nicely. There were reports of great fishing along the Pan during the week despite the changeable weather. The fish took both midge and baetis dries as well as taking small nymphs and midge larva. The coming week suggests that changeable weather will continue with cloudy days and possible rain and/or snow. This will require one to dress for winter fishing. But the conditions should be ideal and offer great days out on the river.
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 warming weather towards the end of last week colored up the Crystal and make the water below Carbondale less than inviting. The coming week promises more of the same, but if it gets cold enough overnight to freeze the melt, the water will clear for a day or so. The fishing conditions are great with the stones starting to roll about and caddis larva providing an alternate food for the fish.
So the key will be to watch the temperatures at higher elevations overnight and assess whether there has been a freeze or whether the melt during the day has continued. If you are inclined to come up, assume that the lower Fork will not be in great condition. So be prepared to head for Basalt where the water will be perfect. Ring the shop to get a more uptodate report.
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 contines generally to be colored with the lower elevations continuing to melt off. Ring the shop for an uptodate report, but generally, unless the overnight temperatures have been below freezing, assume that the Colorado will continue to be colored.
Recommended Flies: As noted, the best results will be from nymphing and streamers. For nymphs try baetis and attractor nymphs as well as stones. The fish are up on the redds so fish below them with eggs and attractors.