Some more rain, the Colorado remains dirty and the Crystal has dumped some color in today! Tough year. Low water and rain dirtying up what is available. But the condition of the Pan remains excellent. Less than a month ago we were talking about fires, hot weather and drought. Now we are talking about rain, weather which is at least 20 degrees cooler, on average, and the color of the rivers.
The rains have pushed up the inflow to Ruedi a little and have augmented the flows in the Fork. The problem with the Crystal is that a little more than a shower and some of the old mined areas which are depleted of vegetation deposit more than a reasonable amount of color for a short period. But if it is dry for a while, it will clear quickly. So the trick on the Fork is to pick the time of day when the color is relatively clear. The fishing has been excellent at this time because the tinge of color enables the use of heavier tippet and flies with a little flash. Ed indicated he has been getting fish on san juan worms while floating in these conditions.
The other good news is that the US Fish and Wildlife service is about to call for its entitlement to water from Ruedi. This will augment the flows in the Fork nicely and make floating from Basalt an easier propostion.
The cloudy weather and rain continues to excite hatches each day and makes for excellent dry fly fishing as well as great nymphing when the hatches abate a little. There are a few drakes coming off each day, but nothing like the prolific hatches of the past. The fish will take drakes so it is necessary to try them but there is just as much success on BWO's, PMD's and Caddis.
The weather prediction is for a continuation of clear mornings with clouds gathering, some grey skies and maybe a little rain. The temperature is exceedingly comfortable in the mid 80's. In the bright light the fish are still tending to stay deep or keep in the shade. The flows at this level have enabled fishermen to access the Pan all the way from Basalt. However shortly when the releases increase in response to the request from the US Fish and Wildlife service it will get a little harder to wade closer to Basalt. But still the fishing will remain excellent.
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 - 368cfs (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page).
The Fork has held steady with the rain and cooler weather. However below Carbondale the condition has been varied with the Crystal dumping a little color when it rains. Generally though it is in great shape.
Lower River goldens stones, worms , tricos, caddis, and spinners on a nymph rig work well in the mornings. Dries are still produceing fish though mostly they are smaller as the larger fish are tending to stay low in the clear water.
Ed has been finding all lot of big fish in the deepest part of the river. By lunch time the hatch starts. Generally, small bwos and tiny pmds. The recommendation is to change flies to match the hatch and lighten up on weight and depth. After the hatch the fish will take worms and caddis, and maybe a stone or streamer. It all depends on the weather.
Recommended Flies: The best results on the Fork now are from nymphing but with PMD's and bwo's and caddis coming off in the evenings, there are a range of options.
In the morning rusty spinners, midges, PMDs and Caddis.
For nymphing using attractors, drake nymphs, 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.
The Colorado remains dark and colored so for the moment avoid it and wait for a few days of dry weather so that it can clear.
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.