A good week for water. Increased releases in the Pan and some good rains over the past few days. The Ruedi releases pushed the flows up to 195cfs which is great for the Pan and has augmented the Fork below Basalt a little. The rain did cause the Crystal to blow out which in turn dirtied up the Fork below Carbondale. So the question now is whether the rains will continue or abate. The forecast is for thunderstorms, so there is always the chance that the Crystal will blow again and make floating below Carbondale untenable. However if it remains dry the water will remain clear and the conditions will be good.
The best course is to check with the shop or check the weather over the past 24 hours. The higher flows have made floating from Basalt a little easier and the rains helped a little as well. Again it is a matter of checking the flows and the weather.
It was a great week for fishing with the rain and cloudy days bringing on some nice hatches. There are now drakes coming off on the Pan, but not many. The yellow sallies are still coming off on the Fork but Ed says they are nearing the end of their cycle. But the low water has afforded great hatches on the Fork unlike other years at this time enabling some great dry fly fishing in the mornings.
The Colorado has also been fishing very well but the rains this week caused it to muddy up for a few days and forced the float traffic on to the Fork.
So the outlook is dependent on the chance of rain. Check with the shop for the latest weather reports or watch the flows and forecasts to get an idea.
The jump in the flows made the fishing a little tougher during the week with the rains and thunderstorms changing the air-pressure. So at times it was hard work to get the fish to eat. But at other times the Pan was excellent. Even if the hatches were slow the fish would come up in the pocket water and take larger flies drifting by. There have been a few drakes coming off, but nothing significant. Mike saw about 2 dozen drakes mid-river in the afternoon today. The fish are definitely looking up and taking midges, BWO's and PMD's.
Sometimes it is necessary to go smaller when the fish are a little fussy. Today mid-river, there were not a lot of fish rising, but drifting an Adams or a parachute BWO along the bank did the trick when the fish were not in the middle of the river. They fed sub-surface but took a well presented fly on the surface without much difficulty.
If it continues to cloud up in the afternoons, the dry fly fishing will be excellent. But if storms roll in and force the fish to respond to the change in air pressure it might be challenging. The higher water is great for the fish but is still easy wading.
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 - 416cfs (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page).
The rains and increased releases from Ruedi have pushed the flows up a little without causing any issues with water quality above Carbondale. However with the Crystal having blown out several times and creating a stream of mud, the Fork below Carbondale was a hit or miss proposition this week. If the coming week it will be weather dependent so contact the shop or check flows and the weather forecasts.
The low water has created and excellent environment in the Fork. Ed likens it to the Pan with great tricos in the morning, PMD's, BWO and caddis. In the afternoon the caddis continue with PMD's into the evening. Ed has been fishing small black tricos from the boat in the morning together with rusty spinners with great results. As the day progresses small baetis such as the FPA Sparkle Baetis, the FPA Thorax Emerger, and black pheasant tails have also worked well.
In the afternoon, black and purple streamers such as black buggers have also produced results.
The golden stones are also prolific as evidenced by the shucks on the edge of the flows. But the yellow sallies are ending their cycle so although there are still a few around, the fish will remember them for a while.
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.
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. 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 was muddy this week for a few days after the rains and wasn't fishable. But if it is dry for a few days it should clear and offer great fishing again.
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.