Another relatively cold week which brought the flows down significantly in the Fork. At Basalt the flows dropped from 1000cfs to 600cfs by Friday until they lifted over the weekend. This cleared the water nicely and made for some great fishing. The forecast for the coming week is some warming weather with overnight temperatures staying above freezing. Consequently, expect the respite from the melt to end and the river to run up quickly.
This past week we had a little snow on the cold windy days and a little more accumulation higher up. The cold weather and additional snow pushed up the comparisons with last year and the median snowpack noticeably.
The Bureau dropped the releases in the Pan at the end of the week to 238cfs. The big question now is when will the flows pick up again? Usually at this time of year we are considering the possibility of co-ordinated releases for the endangered fish program. There are three possible levels sought in the releases and that generally depends on the snowpack and the availability of water. I would guess that the reason for the drop in the flows this week is that the Bureau is gearing up for a decent flush for the co-ordinated releases shortly. Generally that occurs in the few days leading up to Memorial Weekend and is generally for a week.
Nothing has been said yet, but I would suggest that one should enjoy the next couple of weeks on the Pan and then expect the big release for a week around Memorial Weekend. If we are in decent run-off mode in the Fork by then, there won't be much good fishing here for a few days. This is conjecture but bear it in mind.
The Bureau dropped the flows by Friday to 238cfs making for some nice fishing over the weekend. The weather was a little unsettled though and it was quite windy. The wind will melt the snow higher up so expect to see flows pick up over the next day or so in the tributaries.
The fish were feeding on midge emergers and there were some nice hatches. But the wind made it tough to fish consistently. The wind blew most everyone off the Pan on Sunday so that when I got to the flats around 1pm there was not a single other person there. The fish were taking emergers sub-surface and occasionally came up and took a dry. The naturals coming off were tiny around #28 - 30 so it was time for small flies.
The coming week should offer some nice days out as the foreacast is for warming weather but cloudy days. There is a chance of rain mid-week so that should encourage some nice BWO hatches.
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 - 695cfs (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page).
The cold snowy weather brought the Fork down rapidly by 400cfs until Saturday morning. However the warm weather over the weekend pushed the flows up by 100cfs over night so that the Fork colored up a little on Sunday. But being below the highs of last week the water was free of any debris.
It was windy over the weekend, which made floating less fun. But nymphing in protected sections was fine. The coming week promises more warming weather and overnight temperatures staying above freezing. Consequently expect the Fork to pick up quickly again and to be questionable by the end of the coming week. At least come up to Basalt where one has a better chance of a clearer flow until it passes last weeks highs.
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.