The weather warmed up nicely this week. We experienced little rain and generally bright clear skies. The rivers are pristine and the fishing was excellent. The flows in the Fork at Basalt are the lowest they have been since the run-off and yet at 515cfs the floating is still good in rafts. The flows are in the historical top quartile. By now we generally expect flows to be around 350cfs. However the higher flows are augmented by the Pan which continues to run at 269cfs. We anticipated that by now the US Fish and Wildlife would have run out of their allocation and the flows would have been cut back.
We will stick with our prediction that a cut back in releases in the Pan is imminent. We will be right one day!
It was quite hot during the latter part of last week with temperatures getting up into the mid 80's. The coming week will be a little cooler with possible rain tonight and tomorrow. Thereafter the prediction is for clear weather for the remainder of the week.
As we move into the end of September the colors are beginning to change. The air is crisp and cold in the mornings so it is good to take a little longer to get out on to the river, affording the bugs a little time to respond to the warmth. The drakes are still coming off well on the Pan. The is the perfect time of year to experience all hatches in a matter of hours.
Today was a little cloudy so to see how the bugs were behaving on the Fork I went up towards Aspen and found some nice BWO hatches which the fish were taking nicely. Such is the nature of our rivers at this time of year. Beautiful colors, great weather and great fishing. So if you have it in mind to come up over the next few weeks, don't delay your planning. It will be cold and wintery before much longer. The early bird ski pass sales have closed.
We would love to see you if you have the time. We do.
The Pan continues to run high at 269cfs. The US Fish and Wildlife must have run out of its allocation of waterby now. Consequently we continue to predict imminent cut in releases. With the inflow to Ruedi currently at 144cfs, one would expect the flows to drop to around 150cfs.
The fishing remains excellent however lower down, with the higher water the only fish taking dries are those on the edge. But there is good dry fly fishing closer to the dam. As soon as the flows fall, it will be great dry fly action all the way to town.
There is a prediction of some rain early in the week. But the rest of the week is expected to be warm and clear. 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 - 515cfs (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page).
The flows at Basalt are now the lowest they have been since run-off. The conditions in the river are excellent even though the Town is still doing some river work below the bridge in town. They were putting in some drop zones this week to protect the banks. In time these will be great places to do some deep dredging with nymphs to get the bigger fish right in town.
Generally it has been too bright for the fish to come up on the Fork to dries in the day but today it was cloudy so it was worth checking out. And sure enough towards Aspen where the Fork is wider and slows a little there was a nice BWO hatch and fish were feeding on the surface. They took BWO parachutes and weren't particularly discerning.
With the flows at these levels the Fork is in perfect condition to enjoy wading or floating from Basalt.
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 has cleared nicely and is in great condition. It is looking excellent at the moment and should remain that way for a while 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.