Autumn is coming. The colors have a hint of change and the hatches are not strong first thing in the morning. The prediction for the coming week is a little more rain and cooler temperatures into the mid 60's. The most obvious sign is that early season ski passes must be bought by the 14th September. That about says it all. How time flies! The fishing has been excellent on the Pan over the past week. The Colorado remains difficult with the water just beginning to clear, so that much of the float fishing has been on the lower Fork and just too busy for comfort.
So given the conditions, the best fishing was definitely at Basalt either on the Pan or on the upper Fork. The coming week may be similar if the rain continues intermittently and keeps the Colorado colored. A couple more clear days, though and the Colorado should be excellent again, so it is weather driven.
After Labor day weekend, the general impression is that things slow down. Not this year. We have had a lot of visitors and a lot more have indicated that they are coming up shortly. The fishing will be excellent with the higher water at this time of year and it was so evident today on the Pan. There were a variety of hatches all day and the fishing was spectacular. It was busy with a lot of fishermen enjoying the beautiful weather and the excellent fishing.
We are entering the prime time of year for great dry fly fishing, relatively warm and comfortable weather and the chance of a shower and/or clouds which will bring on great BWO hatches. When Mike and Kyle indicate that they didn't put on a nymph all day, you know it is dry fly heaven.
Current Flow: below the Dam 305cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
The Bureau increased the flows a little more this week bringing the releases to 305cfs. It is still a perfect level, though at these flows in the narrower sections of the river if one is a little unsteady on one's feet, it might offer a challenge. So fish either higher up above the tributaries or at the wider sections of the river.
The flows have pushed the fish a little to the edges where the flows are a little gentler and the fish can come to the surface and feed on the naturals drifting by. The fish are taking nymphs fished down or dries on the edges. With a combination of drakes, PMD's, a few caddis and BWO's there is a veritable cornucopia of natural offerings available from which a fisherman can draw inspiration for a pattern.
The coming week promises a little cloud and possible rain so the hatches will continue to be excellent. So come prepared to fish through a little rain and dress accordingly so that one may enjoy the hatches as they vary during the day and through the bright sun, some cloud and maybe a little rain before the sun re-appears. It is an excellent time of year for some great dry fly fishing so it you can set aside a little time to come up, you will enjoy it.
Recommended Flies:There is good fishing now on PMD's, midges and BWO's. There are also a lot of drakes coming off. The drake hatches have been excellent closer to the dam over the past couple of weeks.
For PMD dries use the Sparkle Comparadun #16-#18, Thorax PMD #16 - #18, AK's Melon Quill, AK's Parachute Red Quill, Rusty Spinner's, Pink Cahill, Lawson's No Hackles. In addition use emergers and nymphs when there is not much surface activity.
Drake are coming off well now. The fish vary a little as the day progresses but generally the Colorado drake pattern #12 has been very productive as well as the straw wing emerger.
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.
Current Flow: near Emma - 600cfs (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page).
The little rain over the past week coupled with the increased flows from the Pan have pushed up the Fork closer to 600cfs offering great floating from Basalt and pushing the fishing a little to the edges. The condition of the Colorado has pushed most float fishing to the lower section of the Fork from Carbondale to Glenwood, so while the floating activity is concentrated there, consider fishing closer to Basalt. The wade fishing is excellent and floating in a raft is equally good. The pressure will remain on the lower Fork for as long as the Colorado remains colored. It is a result of the ongoing and intermittent rains higher up the Colorado so watch the weather map or call the shop to get the latest report.
The fishing near Basalt has been excellent with rusty spinners in the mornings and baetis in the afternoon. There are still a lot of caddis about as well.
Recommended Flies: The best results on the Fork now are from nymphing using drake, stonefly and baetis nymphs. In the mornings rusty spinners, and in the afternoons progress to caddis and baetis nymphs.
The Colorado is not worth fishing at the moment although it has been clearing over the past 2 days. But if it rains again, all bets are off. Keep a close watch on the weather or give the shop a call for the latest report. While the Colorado is in this condition and forcing most of the float traffic from Carbondale to Glenwood, the best course is to be prepared to just turn onto Highway #82 and come up towards Basalt and head for the upper Fork or the Pan.
Recommended Flies: Big stonefly nymphs, rubberleg patterns, with small baetis patterns behind the lead fly.
The best rig is a big rubberleg first followed by a smaller emerger baetis or maybe nymph around #18 fished deep down.