The Bureau increased the releases again this week from Ruedi and the Colorado has begun to clear and is fishing well. So as we enter the cooler fall months the message is that the water will be excellent and the fishing will be great. It has been tough getting here with the ongoing rains which have colored up the Colorado. But now with the clearer weather and cooler temperatures the outlook is excellent. In addition, this week it is back to school so things have quietened down nicely on the rivers.
The other notable event this week was the belated appearance of good drake hatches closer to the Dam on the Pan. Cameron says he is seeing some of the more consistent and better drake hatches of the year at the moment.
So as we head into September and Autumn we have great water, great fishing and the crowds have left. This gets to the time of year the locals enjoy. Big strong fish taking dries as they feast before the limited diet of winter.
With the releases having increased to 246cfs the Pan is enjoying a great flow but it is a litte harder to wade in the narrower sections. But the hatches are excellent and Cameron and Ed are both reporting good hatches of drakes starting to come off now. It is late but usually we have a good drake hatch near the Dam into September. It is the smaller drake but this is a great sign and augers well for the dry fly fishing through Autumn. With PMD's, Drakes and BWO's all coming off during the day there is a great range of hatches to enjoy.
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 - 333cfs (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page).
A little rain pushed up the flows in the Fork during the week as well as the increased releases from the Pan. Essentially it is very tough fishing the Pan up near Aspen now. There is a lot of pressure from people coming from Aspen and the fish are driven into the deepest fastest water in the bright light. If they can get into shade they will.
So the better fishing in the Fork is closer to Basalt but it is still tough at the moment. The fishing is selective. The fish are seeking aerated water in the deeper sections so look for the deeper riffles. Given the pressure the fish have had over the season with the limited floating on the Colorado, it is beginning to be noticed. So that now that the Colorado has cleared and the crowds have dissipated, it is worth giving the Fork a rest in the high trafficked areas and either walk in to more inaccessible parts of the Fork , look to the Pan or the Colorado. But if you are prepared to walk there are plenty of parts of the Fork which will be exceedingly rewarding.
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.
Although there was a little color again in the Colorado this week, it has started to clear nicely so that the fishing is worth the effort. There are not great numbers of fish but the quality is excellent. Cameron had some success today with his client losing one of the biggest fish Cameron has seen on the Colorado. His client did land this one. Ed also reported some excellent floating so unless we get some more rain, the Colorado should be excellent now through to the end of the season. The lack of pressure over the past months is making the big fish move onto the rigs quite aggressively.
Recommended Flies: Generally the way to go is nymphing with small baetis, the FPA sparkle baetis, sparkle rs2's and biot emergers. 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.