The weatherman was accurate with his prediction this week. We did get some rain. Enough to blow out the lower Fork and the Colorado a little. There was some lightning in the sky this evening portending some possibility of rain later. We shall see.
The rain is welcome. It is a nice respite from the unseasonally hot and dry spell. And the rain and clouds have brought on some nice hatches and dry fly fishing. Although it was a little more inconsistent than one would have thought, the fish were looking up and taking dries even if there were few naturals on the water at the time.
The forecast for the coming week is for more clouds and the possibility of rain so the conditions will be similar to last week. Just prepare for your day out in anticipation of possible rain. The weather can change quickly in the mountains. An overcast wet morning can turn to a hot bright day in a matter of hours as happened on Saturday. Similarly, a clear bright day will see heavy clouds gather as the day progresses ending with a thunderstorm in the late afternoon as occurred today.
The cloudy weather and rain brought on some nice hatches and dry fly activity. The hatches are a little sporadic with a few drakes and PMD's coming off and BWO's in the rain. The BWO's tended to come off later in the day mid-river so be prepared to stay out a little later if there is the possibility of rain.
The outlook for the coming week is excellent. Be prepared for wet weather. Some of the best hatches come off in the rain so you don't want to miss out because you forgot to bring along your wet weather gear.
The conditions are ideal.
Recommended Flies:Use midges, bwos, pmd's and drakes, both nymphs and dries.
For mysis at the dam use Mike's Mysis. epoxy mysis, and BDV 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 fish are taking generic nymphs such as pheasant tails and caddis larva patterns. The BWO's are coming off as well. Try emerger patterns such as rs2's and WD-50's.
For BWO naturals use standard BWO's, parachute BWO's, parachute Adams, and Thorax patterns.
For PMD's use emergers and dries. For emergers, use the RS2, the emerger, or the FPA shuck trailer PMD. For dries use the No-hackle, the Comparadun or the parachute.
For drake 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 cripple, and the Comparadun.
There will also be caddis and crane flies in the evening.
Current Flow: near Emma - 579cfs (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page).
The rain this week blew out the Fork a little. The flows spiked up with the flows at Basalt jumping 200cfs at one point. The coming week promises similar weather so it is quite possible we could get another blow out below Carbondale. So if the weather looks threatening get a river report from the shop.
The Fork above Carbondale is the best place to head. Closer to Glenwood Springs the moss has taken over in some places making the fishing unpleasant. There is a lot of pressure now as well. The best floating is higher up with a raft. The wading access is excellent now.
The hatches have abated on the Fork now with the drakes done and the caddis less prolific. There are PMD's and BWO's in the rain and the ubiquitious midge hatches as well.
The best results are from nymphing and the best nymph patterns are getting smaller. The conditions are good on the Fork now higher up. Not so much towards Glenwood.
Try small baetis such as the FPA Sparkle Baetis, the FPA Thorax Emerger, and black pheasant tails have also worked well. For emergers, the rs2 in black or gray. Also the sparkle wing rs2.
For small flies, copper johns, pc phlash, mercury rs2's, pheasant tails, bubble back bwos.
The Colorado is generally in good condition although after the rain the past few days it colored up and wasn't worth floating. When it clears it offers better floating than the lower Fork. Just watch the weather this week and check if there is enough rain to blow out either the upper colorado or the Fork.
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, worms and small baetis patterns behind the lead fly.
Try streamers as well.