We had the USA 2013 Nationals here over the week. Chris Council wrote a great article in the Aspen Daily News which gives a nice perspective. We have some random photos. But the relevant question on most fishermen's minds is how many fish were caught? In five 3 hour sessions over 3 days 55 fishermen caught 3965 recorded fish!! That doesn't include the black bass from blue lake, the whitefish and the fish that didn't make the size limit.
For a comparison of just how great the fishing in Basalt is, in the recent World Championships in Norway the World Champion Valerio Amantini caught 25 fish in five sessions! This weekend several fishermen caught more than 50 fish on the Pan in 3 hours!
That's pretty remarkable. And more so considering that during last week the fishermen experienced the warm autumnal glory of fall weather, only to wake on Friday morning to freezing temperatures and snow everywhere. All planning was dashed in a flash. The drop in the temperatures drove the fish down and slowed their feeding.
The weather warmed a little by Saturday afternoon to produce a hatch mid river on the Pan which was alien to some of the visitors. It was a spectacular hatch of BWO's and one of the better of the season. A magnificent demonstration of the variety the Pan has to offer. It tested some contestants and was embraced eagerly by others. Dry fly action is not prevalent in usual competitive fishing conditions. That's what is so special about the Pan and it was great to see it.
Overall it was a magnificent event with some truly exceptional fishermen. The controllers had a great time standing closely to some of the best fishermen in the world watching them take fish after fish from the water. The USA youth team competed and those guys are exceptional. They have the world gold medal as well as the individual gold medal. All competitors were truly champions and gentlemen, magnanimous in victory and gracious in defeat.
Basalt will pursue other events in the coming year and given the success of the past 2 years one can promise that with the best yet to come the future looks great.
We are now posting photos separately to make the loading of the report easier for your computer. You can see the latest photos: Fly Fishing Photos.
The flows were dropped fractionally midweek to 141cfs but the conditions remained perfect for the week. A snowfall and drop in temperatures on Friday put a sudden stop to the warm peaceful autumns days. The snow brought down a few trees and hastened the changes in the colors. The fish moved low and slowed down.
But things are warming again. The forecast is for mid 60's temperatures and more great weather for the next few days before there is a possibility of another change towards the end of the week. So over the next few days enjoy the quiet and the colors of the autumn river. It will be magnificent.
Recommended Flies:Use midges, PMD's and BWO's. Also try October caddis and drake dries.
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, nick's larva in miracle pink, olive, and purple back, brassies #18 - #22, midge larva patterns #18 - #22, copper johns #18 - #22, rainbow warriors, black polywings #18 - #22 and bling midges # 18 - #22.
In addition try dry patterns such as the z-wing real midge, black cdc midge and any similar dry black and gray patterns in sizes from #20 through to #26.
The PMD's are still coming off from mid-river up, so use PMD nymphs and emergers and when they come off the fish will take dries. Try Pink Cahill's, Sulphur Dun's and the Comparadun for dries. For emergers try the FPA beadtail emerger, the FPA special emerger, and the killer mayfly pmd.
With the drakes still coming off close to the dam, use drake nymphs and drake dries and emergers when the fish show interest. Use the comparadun or the H & L Variant or for nymphs the FPA Nymph or the Muskrat.
Current Flow: near Emma - 468cfs (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page).
As the weather has dried out a little the Fork has slowed. The snows on Friday remain up high and haven't melted so there is no evidence in the River. If it warms, the flows will probably pick up just a little but at the moment, the conditions are good for floating from Basalt in a raft and generally for getting out onto the river. The Crystal remains uncertain so watch the weather map for any indication that things might blow out below Carbondale.
Recommended Flies: The best results on the Fork now are from nymphing. Use either attractor patterns down deep. Alternatively stoneflies with baetis or caddis larva or emergers.
Try small baetis such as the FPA Sparkle Baetis, the FPA Thorax Emerger, and black pheasant tails have also worked well. For emergers, the rs2 in black or gray. Also the sparkle wing rs2.
For small flies, copper johns, pc phlash, mercury rs2's, pheasant tails, bubble back bwos.
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 is beginning to clear up and Cameron reported some good fishing today floating from Glenwood.
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.