Well it certainly feels like Winter today. As predicted after a beautiful week of weather, we woke up Saturday morning to a little snow on the ground and the possibility of some more. The "more" arrived - through Sunday. The mountains reported 10" over the past 2 days. We got about 5". But it was cold and windy as well so it was a noticeable change over a couple of days. The fish were rising to emergers in the light snow on Saturday afternoon near the dam and were taking small BWO's so the change didn't put off the hatch which was surprising. After a warm week with great fishing, one would have reasonably surmised that the cold snap would have but the bugs off their game. But it was not to be - like a lot of things last week!
The Bureau decided to drop the flows some more putting the Pan flows at 40cfs. That's low. But in the deeper pools it is fine with the fish finding cover as well as feeding. But it won't be good if the flows stay here for winter. Hopefully with some more precipitation the flows will pick up during the coldest months to minimize the impact of anchor ice.
The cold snap kept the locals indoors as well with only a few visitors up along the river. The good news is that the forecast for next week is generally sunny and clear with the temperatures in the 40's to 50's. At least that is the forecast until next weekend. So we look forward to some nice days out over the next few days. The snow which fell will stay in the shade higher up but should melt off in the direct sunlight while the sun still is high enough. Soon enough the sun will drop behind the mountains and the snow that falls will stick through the shortest months of the year.
The Bureau dropped the flows this week to 41cfs to try and maintain the level of Ruedi. Fine for the moment but they shouldn't leave it at this level during the coldest months because of the anchor ice risk.
The fishing was excellent again during the week with nice warm clear weather. That was until we woke up Saturday morning to snow on the ground and a cold wintery windy day. The weather was even worse on Sunday with the temperatures bitingly cold in the wind. It was tough out on the river even though the fish were rising. It was a matter of acclimatizing rather quickly from the mid 60 temperatures mid week. Full winter garb was called for and the guides iced up as the day progressed.
The forecast is that this cold snap will pass and we should have a warm clear week until possibly next weekend. So if you have a mind to do so, check the temperatures and make it to the river before we really get into winter.
Recommended Flies:Use midges, caddis, PMD's and BWO's.
For mysis at the dam use Mike's Mysis. epoxy mysis, and BUV mysis.
The midges will come off during the day, particularly if it is sunny. So try Wilson's Reverse Candy Cane #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.
A few PMD's are still coming off and make an ideal variation during a hatch if the fish slow down on the BWO patterns. For nymphs use the micro mayfly, pheasant tails, and emergers such as the FPA beadtail emerger. For dries, use the CDC comparadun, larger Adams, and parachutes.
Current Flow: near Emma - 231cfs (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page).
The snow that has fallen over the past 2 days has stayed on the ground in the cold temperatures and as evidence the Fork has dropped to 214cfs rather than pick up. The drop in the releases from Ruedi didn't help either. But with the cold weather this weekend it was definitely winter conditions. But with the forecast for a warm week and clear sunny skies, the snow should melt off in the open sections where the sun has some time to shine.
Mike reported good fishing in the tough weather on Saturday with the fish taking streamers aggressively.
Recommended Flies: The best results on the Fork now are from nymphing but with PMD's and bwo's coming off in the afternoons, there are a range of options.
In the morning midges, beatis nymphs and BWO emergers.
For nymphing using attractors, midge larvae and emergers, stonefly, pmd, baetis nymphs and emergers. As the day progresses small baetis such as the FPA Sparkle Baetis, the FPA Thorax Emerger, and black pheasant tails have also worked well.
For the stone fly nymphs good patterns continue to include the BB FB Epoxy 20 Incher, the BTB Hot Spot 20 Incher and the CTB RL Epoxy 20 Incher
With the staging underway the fishing are also taking egg patterns.
The Colorado remains in excellent condition. The cold conditions with snow over the weekend made it miserable to be out on a boat. But the forecast is for the weather to clear and remain warmer over the coming week so conditions should be excellent. The best results are from nymphing and streamers. Eggs are also working.
Recommended Flies: Generally the way to go is nymphing with small baetis, the FPA sparkle baetis, sparkle rs2's and biot emergers. For stonefly nymphs use the BTB Hot Spot 20 Incher, rubberleg patterns such as Mike's BTB Coffee/Black and the Halloween Speckled Girdle Bug, with midges, eggs, worms and small baetis patterns behind the lead fly.