Update 14th June: The hot weather and winds have kicked up the flows and forced the Bureau to increase the releases into the Pan. The Pan is now running close to 650cfs when Rocky Fork is added in. It is going to be challenging now until Rocky Fork tops out. Ruedi is filling too quickly and needs to be controlled. Just to give an idea of the rate of melt, the Fork at Basalt is currently 3750cfs. The previous high in 2008 on this day was 2470cfs. That says it all. The good news is that the sooner the run-off is done the better for fishing. I don't think the flows have topped out yet, but if the current conditions keep up it won't be too far away.
The hot weather continues apace. Actually it has not been exceedingly hot. Just enough to keep the melt going nicely. But not enough to push the levels past their height of a week ago. The peak of the melt has not past yet, so if the weather gets hot quite quickly over the next week or so, it could push the levels up noticeably. However, if the temperatures remain in the predicted range the levels of the rivers will probably stay where they are for a few weeks.
The rate of the melt is picking up pace relative to the average at this time of year. The Independence Pass measurement indicates that currently the snow pack is 67% of the average at this time, indicating that at least in the headwaters of the Fork, the melt is well underway. In Basalt the Fork is running at 3000cfs which is well above the mean of 1740 and approaching last years maximum of 3650cfs. The Snotel graph has dropped precipitously over the past week, indicating just how fast the snow water equivalent has fallen. When looking at precipitation we are 4" ahead of the average, but the rain will have already run-off. So the melt is on.
The Frying Pan catchment though is still 272% of average at this time of year indicating that there is still some catching up to do. With Ruedi at 77% there is still a way to go before there is any risk of it filling too fast. So for the moment the Pan will continue to flow at the same pace, with Rocky Fork adding about 100cfs to the releases.
There are a lot of visitors in town now. We had the Basalt block party on Saturday which was well attended. So it is just a matter of time now before the rivers settle and we are into the height of the coming fishing season.
We have our second Kids Camp to be held on the coming weekend. It is fully booked so we are looking forward to another great time.
Current Flow: below the Dam 446cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
The Pan releases have remained constant but the higher readings are due to Rocky Fork which is bringing in about 90cfs now. The flow appears to have topped out for the moment as the water quality has improved over the last few days.
Because of the Rocky Fork flow, most of the fishing has been confined to the areas closer to the dam. Lower down, the tributaries are still pumping a lot of water making the color pick up a little during the afternoon closer to town. Taylor Creek is clearing now and is a little below its peak. However, I can still see enough snow on the peaks in the catchment to indicate that a few hot days could easily push the flows higher. So it would not be safe to say that the peak has been passed yet. Maybe in a week with the forecast of continuing hot weather and some wind, it will be different.
The fishing below the dam is still very good with the fish taking mysis and midge combination rigs. But the fishing pressure has been quite strong and it is pushing the fish into the faster water making it quite technical.
Lower down the BWO hatches have been good in the shade. So for the coming week, the fishing will remain good in the 6 miles below the dam. It is the best fishing for 100's of miles.
Recommended Flies:There is good fishing now on both midges and BWO's. The principal hatches are midges, but the BWO's are building in intensity.
The caddis are evident now in the warm evenings as well as a few PMD's and midges. In addition as the water gets higher try bigger bugs in the faster water where it is deep. The fish will take large attractors where the water is fast enough and it is a little colored. It also enables one to get away with heavier tippet.
For the moment, the Fork is a sea of mud so don't bother for the coming week. Just come to the Pan.
The Colorado is a sea of mud so just drive by, turn onto highway 82 and come up to the Pan.