The remarkably low flows in the Roaring Fork for this time of year have reports of drakes coming off now well past Basalt, yet there are only a few drakes coming off on the Pan because of the colder water. And with the Fork at Basalt measuring 340cfs while the Pan is running at a reduced 145cfs, the net figure around 200cfs indicates how low the Fork is at this time of year.
Wading today between lower Woody Creek Bridge and Jaffee Park, the conditions were remarkable. The wading was very accessible and though later in the day some nice fish took dries even though there wasn't a hatch in evidence. There were a few other fishermen out enjoying the conditions. Given the well publicised conditions elsewhere in the State at the moment, this Valley certain must be a destination of choice. The Pan is also in excellent condition and not particularly heavily fished at the moment. Coming up to the July 4th holiday, it is relatively quiet out on the river.
With the forecast for the coming week for thunderstorms every day, one fervently pleads for less thunder and more storm. The dry conditions are certainly taking their toll. If the ground is not watered, the grass is brown and dead. A number of ranches further up valley have had their water curtailed already limiting their ability to raise hay. Those with water are indeed fortunate. The orchardists are getting ready to call for their water allotment which will bump up the Pan very shortly and the lower Fork will benefit. At these low levels we are trying to get trips out earlier in the day and finish before the hottest part of the day to protect the fish a little. The lower down the Fork the warmer the water.
The releases from the Pan have topped Ruedi out and now it is starting to fall in the smallest increments. Currently at 87.7% it has only moved down a little. With July 4th holiday coming up, one expects a number of visitors in town. Given the difficulties in many other parts of the State with fires the urgency of calling for the utmost caution cannot be understated. So wherever you are travelling, take care and stay safe. If you are coming up here, we look forward to catching up.
The flows slowed a little this week as the releases were cut back modestly. The lower water makes for tough fishing when it is bright and clear with low water. Yet with come cloud blowing in during the week and a little rain, there were some great hatches to be enjoyed. Surprisingly though, most fishermen have tended to gravitate to the Fork the enjoy the drake hatches which have been reported well above Basalt. There are a few drakes coming off on the Pan but so far they are so sporadic as to best be ignored. However if you want to feel like it is drake time, through a big Adams and some fish will take it.
During the week when it was bright the better fishing on the pan was in the deeper faster moving pocket water. The fish took orange stimulators, orange cracklebacks, large Adams and larger Parachute BWO's. Up closer to Dam, Cameron was using #26 and #28 midges and BWO's in order to get the fish to eat. It was challenging but fun.
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.
The PMD's are now in evidence and working well. 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.
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 - 340cfs (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page).
With the level of the water falling and hence warming in the heat of the day, the drakes have been coming off in the evenings and some reports of drakes in the mornings. There have been good reports of dry fly action well past Basalt and towards Aspen. The low water makes for easy wading and access.
The dry fly fishing in the evenings remains excellent with PMD's, yellow sallies, caddis and drakes as it gets dark.
Recommended Flies: The best results on the Fork now are from nymphing but with PMD's and yellow sallies, and drakes coming off in the evenings as well as caddis, there are a range of options.
For nymphing using attractors, drake nymphs, midge larvae and emergers, stonefly, pmd, baetis nymphs and emergers. For small flies, copper johns, pc phlash, rs2's, pheasant tails, bubble back bwos, and caddis emergers such as bird of prey, sparkle pupae patterns.
The Colorado continues to fish well but with the rising temperatures and falling flows we are getting to the time that fishing during the day will begin to stress the fish. This is remarkably early and means one should take care on extremely hot days to consider not fishing during the heat of the day. Ed and Chris have reported some excellent days out on the Colorado with yellow sallies pouring off as well as PMDs.
Recommended Flies: Try Royal Stimulator and the Lime Trude. For nymphing use yellow sally nymphs and small baetis. 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. For yellow sally dries try the headlight sally or the Flintstone.