While much of the Front Range north of Denver is awash we can boast modest rain and generally perfect fishing conditions. We did have a blowout on the lower Pan and Fork on Thursday evening but the river has cleared nicely and conditions are excellent.
The Bureau dropped the flows in the Pan this week back to 118cfs. In the quieter conditions and cloudy days the hatches have been excellent from mid-river. We anticipated that the hatches would improve as the year progressed and the rain and cloud continued. That is the case. Although closer to Town, there is minimal activity on the surface.
The coming week forecast is for a little rain over the next few days before it clears. But temperatures will remain in the mid to high 60's.
The Bureau dropped the flows to 118cfs making access easy the full length of the lower Pan. The hatches remain consistent up close to the Dam with PMD's, BWO's and drakes in abundance. There were good hatches mid river this week when it was raining. Principally BWO's and a few PMD's with one or two drakes. Lower down though towards Basalt the hatches remain sparse and so the fish are not tending to look up as much.
It is a matter of looking for fish in the shallow water now where they will see a dry coming at them. Otherwise, it is a matter of nymphing. With the forecast of some rain over the coming week the opportunity to get out onto the river and enjoy some great dry fly action will be on offer. But dress for the conditions.
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 now coming off twice during the day 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 now coming off 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 - 502cfs (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page).
The Fork is a little higher with the recent rains and despite the reduction in Pan releases is high enough now for some floating from Basalt. The flows will remain high enough for floating probably towards next weekend and if it rains a little more as expected it will extend the conditions. The higher flows have also made the wading a little more challenging lower down so take care. The Crystal blew out again this week with the rain so check the conditions to see if it is worth putting in from Carbondale down.
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. Hopper dropper combinations with caddis or baetis droppers will also work.
In the morning midges, baetis nymphs and BWO emergers. Also use PMD emergers, sallies and drake nymphs.
For nymphing using attractors, midge larvae and emergers, stonefly, 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 small flies, copper johns, pc phlash, 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
With the drakes now coming off try drake nymphs and in the evenings drake dries. The drakes will last a little longer with the colder flows.
The Colorado blew out again taking it off the list for fishing for a day or so. Check in with the shops to see what the condition of the Colorado is over the next few days if you have a mind to head there. Otherwise, head to Basalt where the flows will enable floating at least in a raft for the next week.
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.