Winter officially starts next weekend. We are having a taste of it at the moment with some overnight snow and colder temperatures. It has been some time coming. The temperature last week was unseasonally warm getting into the 60's on occasion. It was very comfortable out on the river and the fishing was excellent with good hatches coming off.
This current cold change will slow things down for a day or so but not so much. The temperatures will be colder but making highs in the 30's or low 40's is not particularly cold. So provided one dresses for winter conditions, it will still be pleasant out on the river.
Looking at the ski report it is a marvel to behold. It is reported that we have had 7" of snow overnight and that is all we have had for a week. In fact it is all we have had for over 2 weeks. Yet wonderfully the base has gone from a foot to 31" in the same period. I know fishermen whose recent catches grow over time, but from 12" to 31" in a matter of weeks when we know we have only had 7" of snow?! I know we do live in an age where credulity is tested in the most outrageous ways on a daily basis as a matter of course. But this is truly remarkable.
I am tempted to apply such a rubbery approach to a prediction for this coming week's fishing. But no need. It will be good whatever happens.
Another great week on the Pan with the Bureau increasing the flows just a little to 103cfs. There were good hatches and good days out. The current colder snap and snow will not change the conditions much as there is no prospect yet of extreme cold. It will take a few days of really cold conditions causing the formation of ice in the river before there is any real change for winter. That is not predicted for the moment. So dress well and enjoy the coming week.
Recommended Flies:Use midges, 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, 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.
With the baetis nymphs and BWO's coming off in the shade try small nymphs such as pheasant tails, bubble backs, FPA sparkle baetis and rs2's. When the BWO's come off parachute adams and standard BWO patterns. Also try the parachute BWO and the thorax patterns.
Current Flow: near Emma - 361cfs (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page).
The few days of quite warm weather during the week caused the flows in the Fork at Basalt to fluctuate between 310cfs and 370cfs over a 24 hour period for several days as the unseasonally warm days caused some run-off. With the return of colder weather and some snow the flows will settle down a little now, but it won't be cold enough to shut down the fishing.
Recommended Flies: The best results on the Fork now are from nymphing. Use small baetis nymphs after a large stonefly patterns. The browns are getting onto the redds so try streamers as they are now responding.
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.
Also try eggs and attractor patterns.
The Colorado is in great condition and should remain that way for now. Nymphing produces the best results. The fish are now responding to streamers and the browns are on the redds.
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, worms and small baetis patterns behind the lead fly.
Also try Pat's Rubberlegs, Twenty Incher #8-#16, BTB Twenty Incher #8 - #16, BH Prince #12 - #18, Natural Hare's Ear #14 - #18, Hare's Ear Olive #14 - #18.
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