With the weather warming back up, the Colorado is in blowout mode again. But the Fork is in excellent condition. The Pan continues to run very low at 45cfs but by 1st May it will be running at the lesser of 110cfs or the inflow. Currently Meredith is running at 167cfs therefore we should see the Pan at least 110cfs midweek.
That of course will be great news all around. It will put a solid flow into the Pan for the upcoming regional Fly Fishing Team USA Qualifier this coming weekend. It will also mean that the flow in the Fork from Basalt will be pushed up to at least 400cfs. This will make the floating from Basalt a little easier.
The weather forecast for the coming week is generally warm up to 70's with clear skies by the weekend. There is always the mild chance of some rain as occurred this past week which is welcome in these dry times.
We are looking forward to the Team USA Qualifier this coming weekend. There will be a lot of interest in town with many volunteers being able to participate as judges or in other helpful capacities. If you would like to get involved and watch some of the best fishermen in the USA at work, call the shop or the Chamber at the numbers above and they will find a place for you to be able to participate. Rob Kolanda, winner of the America's cup last year will be here. In addition, Brian Capsay, our head guide from Durango won Gold last week in the Southwest Team USA Regional. He will be competing as well. It will be a great chance to meet some great fishermen.
So if you are able to make it up here to see what goes on at a competitive level, it would be a great experience. Basalt is doing a great job welcoming this event and the more support that can be offered the better.
Current Flow: below the Dam 45cfs. (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page)
With the flows remaining at 45cfs the fish have established themselves in the deeper holes, gutters and runs. In the bright light they are spooked easily and therefore the fishing has been tough. There is excellent bug activity with a lot of caddis unseasonally early on the Pan in the warm dry days. With the forecast for the releases to increase on May 1st to the lesser of 110cfs or the inflow, the Pan will be bumped up to at least 110cfs by Tuesday. This will be excellent all around and will spread the fish out a little more. Closer to town the flows will be higher because of the inflow from the Tributaries. But the lower snow pack has resulted in minimal increase in the flows in the Tributaries to date. Taylor Creek for instance, has hardly picked up flows or changed color at all.
With Ruedi now at 75% full it has picked up quite quickly with the releases having been so low. But with the low snow pack and the graph for the snow water equivalence almost a month ahead of itself for this time of year, the more rain we can get over the next month the better to ensure Ruedi is filled.
If you are coming up, make sure you set aside time to fish the Fork which is fishing better at the moment.
Recommended Flies:Use midges, caddis and BWO's.
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.
For caddis, wait for the day to develop and let the fish move towards the surface. In the mornings they are still tending to stay low and generally only coming to the surface if there is a decent hatch or some caddis floating through. Try small olive elk hair caddis and king's river caddis.
Current Flow: near Emma - 307cfs (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page).
The colder temperatures and in particular the cold wind over the past few days has cut the flow in the Fork, slowing up the melt. This is contributed to the Fork being in excellent condition. The warm weather and the rain had pushed the flow up to close to 500cfs by the end of last week clearing out a lot of material that had accumulated over the past 6 months. So now if the temperatures remain mild for the next week the conditions should remain excellent as the last of the lower elevation melt dissipates and we enjoy relatively settled higher flows until the higher elevation run off starts with hotter weather in a month or so.
The fishing on the Fork remains excellent and on some days has been preferable to fishing the Pan. The dry fly fishing has been excellent with great hatches of midges coming off. In addition with the stoneflies rolling about there has been great nymphing with 20 inchers and baetis nymphs as well as midge larvae. The flow has remained fairly consistent over the past week below Basalt. The water color is showing little evidence of run-off tending to confirm that most of the lower elevation run-off is done. It is now a matter of enjoying the fishing until there is a weather change or until the higher elevations start to melt off in a month or so.
Overall the conditions are excellent and will remain that way over the next week if the forecast holds.
Recommended Flies: The best results on the Fork now are from nymphing using eggs, worms, midge larvae and emergers, stonefly and baetis nymphs. Good patterns include the BB FB Epoxy 20 Incher, the BTB Hot Spot 20 Incher and the CTB RL Epoxy 20 Incher.
The Colorado has blown and the conditions are poor again with this past week of higher runoff. So just turn on Highway 82 and come up to Carbonadale or Basalt for the best conditions.