The weatherman was accurate predicting some changeable weather last week. Today is was cold and snowing although there wasn't anything which stuck. It was tough fishing in the wind with the snow blowing sideways. But the fish were feeding well subsurface on emergers. Nothing was on top though.
As the temperature rose during the week, the flows in the Fork were pushed up. Then with the Pan increasing the releases to 296cfs midweek the Fork pushed up to 1000cfs in Basalt by week's end. However the arrival of cold weather slowed the melt just a little bringing down the flows by today by 100cfs. It seems as though the cooler change will remain for a few days with the overnight temperatures predicted to get below freezing. This will slow down the melt at lower elevations and keep the rivers clear for a few days.
There is also a prediction of some rain and maybe snow over the next few days. But the weather should clear by the end of the week and next weekend will see temperatures in the 60's and some more clear days.
With off-season in full swing, it is very quiet around town now. There were not many fishermen out on the river today with the wind and the snow. The Pan is the only reliable destination now and with the water running at 296cfs it is a great level for the fish and wading. Although this is typical spring weather, as soon as the ski slopes are closed and we have had a few nice days, these expected cold changes are brutal. Interestingly though, the stretch of warm dry weather has brought down the snowpack closer to the median. It is now 10% above the median which is excellent. Ruedi is now filling. It is a little less than 2/3rds full and the inflow is currently 100cfs above the outflow.
It is looking great for the upcoming season.
The Pan pushed up to 296cfs midweek with the increased releases from Ruedi. The water was a little cloudy for 24 hours but it has settled down nicely and is in great condition. It was cold today with the wind blowing the snow sideways and nary a fish bothering to come up to the surface. There was plenty of food sub-surface and they fed well on emergers.
The weather will be a little unsettled over the next few days, so if you are going to venture out, dress for winter conditions. No compromising. It was cold today. But by next weekend it should clear and little and warm up.
Just watch the weather forecast and dress for variable weather.
Recommended Flies:Use 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.
With the beatis nymphs and BWO's moving around now 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 - 938cfs (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page).
With a few days of warm weather and increased releases from the Pan the Fork jumped to 1000cfs at Basalt for a couple of days. Then with some cold weather blowing in over the weekend it settled a little just below 1000cfs.
The Fork will be fishable if wading in the larger slower areas on the edge, but frankly just head to the Pan until things settle down.
Recommended Flies: The best results on the Fork now are from nymphing. Use either attractor patterns down deep. Alternatively stoneflies with eggs or baetis.
As the Colorodo pushes higher, forget it. Just come higher up the Fork or onto the Pan. If the weather stays warm the Pan will be the only worthwhile destination.
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.