It was a strange year for pears.
My European pears did not bloom at all this year. I am afraid it was because they had too much shade last year from nearby, more mature trees. To avoid this same problem next year, I pruned those nearby trees back significantly, and the pear trees are now in full sun. Hopefully, they will bloom much better next spring.
My asian pears fared much better. But they also did not bloom very much, and the flowers that did bloom were isolated on a few outer branches. I am not certain of why this happened. I did not prune the tree that extremely this winter, so I wouldn't think that I cut off fruit spurs causing this odd blooming pattern.
I had a few fruit on the Hosui asian pear and many fruit on the Shinko asian pear.
When harvesting pears, I usually look for the color of the lenticels, the small pores in the skin, to turn from white to brown. I will also feel for a little give in the skin. When both of those occur, the pear should be mature and will ripen off the tree. One of the main indicators for me is to lift the fruit up from the bottom in an arcing fashion (with the stem being the pivot point) to see how much give there is with the stem. If it can come off easily from the stem, I usually use that as an indicator that it is ready. When harvesting, you should be able to lift the fruit upward and off -- don't twist or pull. If it doesn't come off easily from the stem, you should wait.
Don't expect the fruit to be soft. European pears are best ripened off the tree, so they don't become mealy. If you pick the pears when still firm, you can ripen them under refrigeration. I like to refrigerate them for three to six weeks and then ripen at room temperature.