Roaring Fork River

Tip of the week 

October 20, 2014

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FLOW: 195 cfs below Maroon Creek (Woody Creek Canyon)

WATER CLARITY: Clear and green with plenty of visibility! September yields probably the best mixed-bag fishing of the entire year. Summer hatches are now mixing in with the fall hatches.

OVERALL RATING: 8 out of 10 If you know the river well and enjoy pocket water fishing, this upper section of river is right up your alley.

THE SHORT AND SWEET: It's the end of summer and the fishing and water conditions are much, much improved now. In general, look for the fish to be stacked up in the softer and shaded water eating general attractor patterns. Hatches are consisting of predominately caddis, PMDs, BWOs and midges. Caddis, PMD and BWO nymphs are also fishing well


IN DEPTH REVIEW: Look for the best dry fly fishing to take place in the shade along the banks, early and late in the day. Midday, look to nymphing the pocket water and deep pools.

Look for nymphing to account for the majority of fish being caught. Like elsewhere on the Roaring Fork, it's all about stoneflies and caddis in the fast water and BWOs, midges, and PMDs in the soft water. Essentially, fish the big bugs in the roily pockets and the small bugs in the slower sections.


DRIES: Sparkle Stacker PMD 16-18, AK's Melon Quill 16-18, Renegades 14-16, P&E Caddis 14-16, Variant Caddis 14-16, BWO Sparkledun 20-22, BWO No Hackle 20-22, Fryingpan Emerger 20-22, Bills Midge 22, Bills Midge Emerger 22, Stimi's 12-14, Sqwalla Stone 12-14

NYMPHS: Cat Poop Stone 10-12, Twenty Incher 12-14, Prince 16-18, Tungsten Split Case BWO 20, Night Rider Midge 22, Bling Midge 20, Chocolate Thunder 20-22, BTS Baetis 20, Tungsten Hoovers 20-22, RS2s 20-22, Biot Midge Emerger 20-22, Day Walkers 20, Cali Rolls 20, Soft Hackle Peacocks 16, Iron Sally 16-18, Military Mayflies 18, Spilt Case PMD

STREAMERS: Slumpbuster 6-8, Sculpzilla 6-10, Salmonid Purple Bugger 8, Stingin' Sculpin 8

HINTS: Fishing has been best up here early and late in the day.


FLOW: 524 cfs in Basalt

WATER CONDITIONS: In general, look for ideal conditions. Stream restoration is taking place below town in Basalt (near the old trailer park and Taqueria el Nopal) Monday -Friday. Some slight discoloration will be seen but if generally affects only about a 1/4mile of water or so before it mixes. Give us a jingle (970 927 4374) and we will lean out the window and tell you what it looks like.

OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10


THE SHORT AND SWEET: We are back in business on the Roaring Fork now that the monsoonal rains have generally past through.

THE IN DEPTH REVIEW: The hatches have been light during the day, but the nymphing has been rock-solid. With such a plethora of insects around, we generally dumb it down and fish the larger insects (stones, caddis) in the faster sections of water, and the smaller flies (PMDs and BWOs) in the softer sections of water. In general, look for the fish to be holding mid-river and less and less along the banks. Along with dropping water conditions, the fish are also beginning to focus more and more on the smaller and more prevelent BWOs and caddis. As fall approaches, the hopper starts fishing better also!


NYMPHS: Tungsten Bead Baetis 18-20, BLM's 18-20, Thread Body Baetis 18-20, Freestone Emerger 20, Cat Poop Stone 8-12, Lawson's Caddis Emerger 16, Prince nymph 14-18, BLM 18-20, STD 18-20, Pandemic PMD 18, Swissy 18, Sunken Spinner 16-18

DRIES: X2 Caddis 14-16, Variant Caddis 14-16, Renegades 14-16, Stimi's 12-16, PMX Royal 12-16, Ants 16-18, ParaNobyl 8, Fat Alberts 6, Daves Hopper 10

STREAMERS: Autumn Splendors (Dub!) 4-8, Stingin' Sculpins 8, Ziwi's 8, Slumpies 6, Bow River Bugger White 6, TC Sacrileges,

HINTS: The Roaring Fork is not the Fryingpan; move around and stay mobile.


FLOW: 948cfs in Glenwood Springs.

WATER CONDITIONS: Picture perfect! Clear with lower water conditions.

OVERALL RATING: 8 out of 10

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: There are plenty of caddis, BWOs, PMDs, and hoppers moving around these days.

THE SHORT AND SWEET: Pack up your fishing gear and get your butt out on the river! Like the other sections of water along the Roaring Fork, nymph the fast water with larger flies and the soft water with smaller flies. As the water continues to fall, look for the fish to make the transition from holding along the edges eating big flies (stoneflies, caddis, etc) to holding more midriver and eating smaller flies (BWOs, PMDs).

THE IN DEPTH REVIEW: We have been floating the lower Roaring Fork daily with much success. T

Guides are running plenty of beaded baetis nymphs on high/low rigs early and late in the day. Nymphing midriver with small BWO imitations has been best under the bright sun durning midday. Hatches vary right now in accordance with the weather but in general is more caddis oriented during the sunshine, and more baetis oriented during the overcast.

Like the middle Roaring Fork, caddis are keeping the fish above and beyond well fed. Some of the better sections of river frontage include Satank, Burry, 3Mile, Sunlight and Veltus. Of course, we welcome you to swing by the shop and we can happily go over a river access map with you to direct you to these areas.

Adujusting your strike indicator placement and the amount of weight being fished is still of more importance than having that supposed "magical" fly. Cover water and you'll keep your rod bent frequently.

APPROPRIATE PATTERNS: The same bugs apply as the middle Roaring Fork, with larger concentrations of BWOs being seen down low on the Fork.

NYMPHS: Same as the middle Roaring Fork

DRIES: Same as the middle Roaring Fork

STREAMERS: Same as the middle Roaring Fork

HINTS: Stop thinking about it already and pack your bags! Trust us, going fishing is a lot more fun than just reading about it!

Link to the USGS Real Time Flow Chart for the Fork @ Aspen

Link to the USGS Real Time Flow Chart for the Fork @ Basalt (Emma)

Link to the USGS Real Time Flow Chart for the Fork @ Glenwood

Seven-day forecast 

Clearing and flows are dropping rapidly. Float trips are definitely back on the menu. The weather is looking sublime, but bring a rain coat for the usual afternoon shower.

Must Have Flies 
Taylor Creek-Basalt

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