Another 10" of snow, more snow and rain on the way and the Pan now running at 168cfs. I haven't seen the Pan at this level in February for years. The generally heavy snow months haven't arrived yet either so obviously the Bureau is making room for runoff and getting a good head start so that they can control the flows if it should come quickly in May and June with hot weather. This is great for the water conditions and offers the fish a little more cover close to the dam. In addition it is augmenting the winter flows in the Fork below Basalt nicely keeping the banks a little clearer.
The forecast is for a generally clearer mid week with the possiblity of more snow next weekend. But with the temperatures remaining very comfortable in the 40's and barely freezing overnight some of the recent snows are beginning to melt already making access along the edges of the river quite reasonable.
The skiing conditions are excellent so that should be a great reason to come up. But if you are of a mind to take off a day and get out on to the river the outlook is excellent.
With the flows now at 168cfs, the Pan is in great condition for this time of year. The heavy snows have built up along the edges making access a little difficult in some places until one gets into the flow.
Generally the hatches have been slow, however today there was a nice midge hatch which brought the fish to the surface providing some excellent dry fly action for a few hours. The fish are in great condition and the higher waters have afforded them a little more cover. Generally though the best results are from nymphing.
With the prediction of a mild clear week and possibly more snow next weekend, the weather will stay relatively warm and provided one dresses for snowy conditions, it will be pleasant on the river.
Recommended Flies:Use eggs, midges 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, 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 browns are on the redds now so fish below for the rainbows taking the eggs drifting downstream.
Current Flow: near Emma - Frozen (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page).
The higher flows from the Pan are clearing the Fork below Basalt. The Town of Basalt is working in the river at the moment so the water condition below town is a little cloudy when the machines are operating. The weather hasn't been cold so there hasn't been any ice build up so the river is accessible.
Recommended Flies: The best results on the Fork now are from nymphing. Use either attractor patterns down deep. Alternatively stoneflies with eggs or baetis.
The warmer weather and temperatures have picked up the flows a little as the ice and snow melts at lower elevations. Take care accessing the river from the edges.
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.