We had a colder change blow in over the past few days which slowed down the hatches and blew the insects off the surface of the water. Early in the week the Fork spiked up with some hot weather kicking up both the color and the flows.
The spike on Tuesday brought the highest levels of the year at Basalt with the flow touching 800cfs. At the moment the flow is down a little to 570cfs which is just a little more than the 25th percentile flow of 1020cfs indicating just how low the river is at this time of year. For contrast, the average for this time of year is around 1450cfs. The lower flow is due to the colder weather which has blown in. And blown it is has with quite high winds which brought down a number of trees along the road. The gusts were sufficient to threaten air traffic for a time at Aspen forcing a few landings to divert.
The cold front also brought some rain and some overnight snow with Aspen reporting 4" high up. It was evident along some of the higher peaks along the Frying Pan indicating that it snowed down to about 9500feet.
With Ruedi almost 82% full and the inflow just 100cfs over the outflow, the filling of Ruedi is proceeding at a snail's pace. Its just a waiting game before the calls start.
It is quiet in town at the moment. Despite the Memorial Day Weekend, there aren't many fishermen out so far given the wind and the colder temperatures. But the forecast is for a bright sunny week with little chance or rain and temperatures in the mid 70's. It will be exceedingly pleasant.
Mike took some great shots of a salmonfly in the Fork at Basalt this week proving that just because bugs don't make it to the hatch list in the fly shop doesn't mean they don't exist. Just like stoneflies in the Pan, of which there are many, or fishing cicadas on the Fork when they chirp in the trees at Basalt.
During the week an interim order was handed down in the Utah River access case proceeding through the Utah courts. Here is the press release. There is a link to the decision. The ruling is a little more complex that the summary in the release and so it will be a matter of waiting for the next decision to see how a number of the issues are resolved. However in conjunction with PPL Montana, LLC v. State of Montana, USSC No. 10-218. currently proceeding to the Supreme Court from the Montana courts, some more river access issues are going to be determined.
A colder change and some windy weather made fishing a little tougher on the Pan this week as fish tended to sit lower for a while and the bug hatches slowed down. However the outlook is good with the prediction of fairly settled weather over the next week. Expect good hatches of midges, BWO's and a few caddis if it warms a little more.
The Pan will remain at 111cfs until there is a call on the water for more releases. Currenlty Ruedi continues to fill which is good in terms of having the ability to release more water during the coming months. It is just a matter of time before the Pan picks up further and remains that way through the season.
Recommended Flies:Use midges, caddis 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.
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 - 570cfs (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page).
The flows jumped this week with the early warm weather and then dropped when the colder weather moved in. Touching 800cfs early in the week the water darkened a little as it covered new areas not cleared by the water since last year. The material slowed down the fishing for a few days, but with the levels below the peak, though higher the water is clearer and the fishing is good. But the flows prevent wading except along the edges and in the quieter sections. The higher flows allow for floating from areas higher up the Fork now.
Given the higher flows and the potential for more material if the temperature picks up, the lower Fork should be avoided and one should travel up to Basalt or above.
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 warm weather picked up the flows in the Colorado so now it is not particularly fishable. So just turn on Highway 82 and come up to Basalt or higher.
Recommended Flies: Stonefly nymphs such as 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.