The forecast for the comng week is generally clear weather until next weekend when there is a slight chance of a change for a day or so.
This past week we did get some rain which left snow on higher elevations. Mt Sopris has a generous snow cover for this time of year. Consequently we had some excellent hatches during the week which required one to be well dressed for the cold wet conditions. The rains pushed up the flows in the Fork a little but they are settling back.
The question remains when the Bureau will be able to drop the flows a little to make the Pan more wadable in the narrower sections. The hatches have been good closer to the dam but the higher flows have meant that the better sections for dry fly fishing are the wider parts of the river where the water can spread out and the fish feed closer to the surface. The hatches mid-river have been generally poor because of the higher water.
The Fork and the Colorado are in great condition now with excellent reports from wade fishing and float trips. Overall we are now entering our favorite time of the year for fishing and the outlook is ideal. The browns are starting to get aggressive with good reports of streamer fishing from floats.
With the rain later in the week, though it was cold, there were some excellent hatches and great dry fly action. There are still good drake hatches coming off near the dam, but the hatches don't last for a long time so it is a matter of being on the river mid to late morning.
Generally the better results are from nymphing unless one takes the time to position oneself for the hatches. The higher flows continue to make wading a little tricky but it is possible that the flows could come down in the next few weeks if we get some more rain.
The fishing is excellent in the wider sections closer to the dam where the fishing are not competing with the higher flows which have made access a little tricky in the narrower sections. So take care where you try to access that water.
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 - 512cfs (if you want more uptodate figures check out current readings on our "Links" page).
The rain at the end of the week pushed up the flows in the Fork a little. But by weeks end, the flows were level with last week. The fishing conditions are ideal with rafting access from Basalt still possible but getting skinnier by the day. The conditions are also good lower down towards Glenwood with the lighter pressure and marginally cooler temperatures. The cold overnight temperatures are really helping the conditions.
On the warmer days, there are a few PMD's and midges coming off and BWO's when it is cloudy. The fish are still looking up and will take dries. But the best results are from nymphing and the best nymph patterns are getting smaller. Concentrate on small flies.
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 great floating. 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.