The interests of the endangered fish down at Grand Junction took precedence over the interests of Valley businesses and fishermen this week when the Bureau was instructed to jack the flows up to 300cfs in the Pan. As you are aware we have been pushing to keep the flows at 250cfs or below. For the moment therefore the fish have priority. At a public meeting in Basalt this week, the point was forcefully made and the US Fish and Wildlife agreed to do all possible to limit the time of the increases. However it will be weather dependent so pray for some rain.
The current prognosis is that higher flows will persist into early September so that will make wading on the Pan problematic, particularly lower down towards Basalt or in the narrower sections of the river.
The higher flows will assist in keeping the water colder in the Fork therefore there will be good fishing below the confluence with the Pan and down towards Carbondale. Given the problems with the warmer water closer to Glenwood and the moss in the water, the better Fork fishing is now closer to Basalt and above.
The forecast over the coming week is generally for cloudy weather with little chance of rain. Generally the temperatures will be in the mid 70's marking the end of the summer heat and heralding the onset of some cooler weather. It should make for some pleasant days out on the rivers as the peak of the summer traffic begins to wind down.
With the Bureau pushing the flows up to 300cfs thanks to the demands of the US Fish and Wildlife on behalf of the endangered species hundreds of miles away, it will be a little harder to wade closer to town or in the narrower sections. So bear that in mind when deciding where you want to access the river.
With the higher flows, the hatches will slow a little but it will protect the fish more from predators. The cloudy weather predicted for the coming week will afford some good dry fly activity in the quieter sections. Otherwise nymph a little deeper.
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 - 574cfs (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page).
The higher releases from Ruedi have increased the flows below Basalt while the Fork continues to fall higher up. The fish are beginning to congregate in the deeper sections as the level falls. The hatches in the evening are still in evidence but with a slight chill in the air after the sun goes down, one can sense that the season is heralding a change already.
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 and affords some of the best floating in the area. The effective flies are getting smaller, but streamers are still yielding good results.
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.