Another excellent end to the week with the weather relatively mild. We had more rain at the beginning the week which pushed up the flows again with the Fork at Emma spiking up over 700cfs early in the week. It is dropping quickly again so that it should be near its lows for the year since run-off over the coming week. This should be helped by the Bureau cutting back the flows as the US Fish and Wildlife Service exhausts its releases for the endangered species. This will cut the flows by 150cfs in the Pan and reduce the flows accordingly in the Fork below Basalt.
The forecast for the coming 7 days is generally for clear weather with the chance of some rain later in the week. It will be warmer than this week with the temperatures pushing into the 80's.
We had the 39th Snowmass balloon festival this week providing a spectacular view at launch.
Generally though it is quietening down considerably since schools went back and the summer visitors have left. We are now seeing some hunters and visitors who are coming for the autumn colors and the great autumn fishing. We are looking forward to a great autumn with excellent water.
The Pan continues to run at 273cfs. It won't stay at this level much longer as the US Fish and Wildlife has just about run down its allocation of water for the releases to the endangered species. Consequently one would be expecting the releases to drop in a day or so. With the inflow to Ruedi currently at 144cfs, one would expect the flows to drop to around 150cfs.
The fishing has been excellent with the water levels providing excellent cover for the fish. The dry fly fishing is best closest to the dam with the fish looking up for the drakes, PMD's BWO's and caddis. However as the flows drop this week, it should be excellent all the way down. If the flows do drop to 150cfs it will be great to get into the water closer to town and see how the fish have fared in these high flows. Marty hooked a big fish on the Frying Pan River Lodge in town this week and said it went close to 24inches. It's going to be fun to see what is around in a few days.
There is a prediction of some rain towards the end of the week so the fishing should be excellent as the flows come down. In any case though, be mindful of the potential for rain and take along your wet weather gear as a precaution.
Recommended Flies:Use midges, PMD's, BWO's and drakes.
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 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.
The PMD's are now coming off so try the nymphs before the hatches start and then emergers and 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.
The drakes are coming off so try the nymphs at the moment and get ready for the hatches around midday. For nymphs try the Flavilinea, the FPA Nymph and the Muskrat. As soon as the fish start taking dries start with the emerger and then try W's Drake, the Wulff, the hairwing, the cripple, and the Comparadun.
Current Flow: near Emma - 551cfs (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page).
Although the flows are a little lower than last week, they were augmented midweek by more rain. However the flows are dropping again so given a few more days of warmer clear weather and the Fork will be perfect again.
At these flows the floating from Basalt will be great and the wading generally excellent.
Recommended Flies: The best results on the Fork now are from nymphing. Use small baetis and pmd nymphs after a large stonefly pattern. Alternatively sink caddis pupae patterns.
Also try PMD nymphs, rusty spinners and yellow sallies.
The Colorado blew out again early in the week with rain but it has cleared nicely over the past few days. It is looking excellent at the moment and should remain that way provided the weather holds.
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.