Roaring Fork River

Tip of the week 
Techniques 

ROARING FORK RIVER REPORT

April 16, 2018

UPPER ROARING FORK- ASPEN DOWNSTREAM TO BASALT

FLOW: 136 cfs below Maroon Creek (Woody Creek Canyon)

WATER CLARITY: The Upper Fork is running low and clear. With periodic warm ups will come a bit of color, but be not afraid.

OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: BWO, PMD and green drake nymphs, golden stonefly nymphs, caddis larva, cranefly larva, midges, sculpins

THE LOW DOWN: Crowds are very light this time of year and Aspen is quieting down. We are still getting doses of spring snow up here, but river conditions are already prime and access is easy.

You might see a blue winged olive fluttering here and there, but midge hatches are still the attraction midday. We tend to fish this section of the Fork like the upper Fryingpan (and not just in the spring), so remember your slim and quiet bugs versus the fat and flashy ones. The opposite can be true if you find some deep and oxygenated areas where golden stoneflies thrive.

Miles of water can be found in Jaffe Park, and spend some time this spring with your map in your lap figuring out all of those other public access points!

HATCHES: Midges 22-24

APPROPRIATE PATTERNS:

DRIES: Bills Midge Emerger 20-22, Bills Midge Adult 20-22, Biot Wing Midge 20-22, Sprout Midge 22-24

NYMPHS: BLMs 18-20, Tungsten Bead Baetis 20, BTS Baetis 20-22, Sparklewing RS2 20-22, Cat Poop Stone 8-10, Freestone Emerger 20, BH Polywing Emerger 20, Biot Baetis 20-22, Prince 18-20, Bling Midge 20-22, Kingery's Cap'n Hook 20-22

STREAMERS: Weir's Sculpin 6, Autumn Splendor 6, Zuddler 6, Slumpies 6-8

HINTS: This is the least crowded time of year and some of the best fishing! Be stealthy and bring a long net.

MIDDLE ROARING FORK- BASALT DOWNSTREAM TO CARBONDALE

FLOW: 401 cfs in Basalt

WATER CONDITIONS: Clarity is up and down with warming temperatures and some much-needed recent rain and snowfall. If you can see a foot or two of visibility or better, it's game on!

OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Midges, BWO, PMD and green drake nymphs, golden stonefly nymphs, caddis larva (cased and free-swimming), cranefly larva, sculpins

THE LOW DOWN: Conditions are shaping up nicely around Basalt and down to Carbondale. As usual, differences in elevation have made hatches thicker down-valley but we are catching up quick around here with springtime bugs.

BWOs are already quite strong near Carbondale, and on fire down below and down to the confluence with the Colorado. We are seeing handfuls up high but it's improving every day. We don't have many caddis up this way yet, but are seeing a few.

Check out the public accesses around old town Basalt, behind Crown Mountain Park or near Catherine's Store for some terrific spring fishing.

HATCHES: Midges sz 22-24, sporadic BWOs 18-20, sporadic caddis 14-20

APPROPRIATE PATTERNS

NYMPHS: BLMs 18-20, Princes 16-20, PTs 16-20, Tung Teasers 16-18 Freestone Emerger 20, BH Polywing Emerger 18-20, Biot Baetis 18-20, Sparklewing RS2 20-22, Tailwater Assassin 20-22, Imposter 20-22, Epoxyback Golden Stone 8-10, San Juan Worm 10

DRIES: Morgan's Midge 20-22, Sprout Midge 20-22, Befus Para Emerger 20-22, Roy Palm's Special Fryingpan Emerger 20-22, Tan or Black Elk Hair Caddis 14-20

STREAMERS: Peanuts, Gongas, Carlton Banks, Splendors, Bread n Butter Bugger 6

HINTS: Keep downsizing your presentations if you are in the struggle box, or focus on completely different water types.

LOWER ROARING FORK- CARBONDALE TO GLENWOOD

FLOW: 772 cfs in Glenwood Springs

WATER CONDITIONS: Feel free to call us up for recent hearsay, or simply click on the link below for real-time stream flows. We've had everything from blowouts to gin clear as of late.

OVERALL RATING: ?This is a bit tricky. 10 out of 10 one day and off-color 4 out of 10 the next. Weather and water conditions can make or break your day, so seize the moment if things look good.

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: BWO adults, caddis adults, midge adults, BWO, PMD and green drake nymphs, caddis (cased and free swimming) larva, sculpins, cranefly larva, golden stone nymphs

THE LOW DOWN: Because of lower than we'd like to see flows, the BWO hatch on the lower Fork has been the best we've seen in a decade. We've had opportunities here and there to fish dries from noon until we hit the boat ramp. That should speak for itself.

Caddis are getting pretty reliable now, but not as strong as they are on the Colorado. The bright and warm days are egging these bugs on, so get ready to start skittering and bumping those elk hair caddis. It's spring!

Remember to leave Three Mile and Four Mile Creeks on the Roaring Fork alone for a bit longer, annual spring spawning closures are in effect. As stated above, your day on the Fork right now depends on the weather, but it has been fishing incredibly well.

HATCHES: Blue Winged Olives 18-20, caddis 14-20, midges 18-22

APPROPRIATE PATTERNS:

NYMPHS: Tung PT 18-20, BLMs 18-20, Freestone Emerger 20, RS2s 20-22, Polywing Emerger 18-20, Biot Baetis 18-20, Thread Body Baetis 18-20, Soft Hackle BWO 20-22, Imposters 20-22, Tan Cat Poop 8-10

DRIES: Collett's Parachute BWO 20-22, No Hackle BWO 20-22, Chuck's Variant Ginger Caddis 16-18, Pearl and Elk Caddis 14-18, Morgans Midge 18-20, Sprout Midge 18-20, Skittering Zelon Midge 20-22, Griffiths Gnat 22

STREAMERS: Carlton Banks, Meat Gazers, Sculpzillas, Peanuts, Gongas, Splendors

HINTS: ?Look at the flows and weather before you go and be prepared to fish dries all afternoon!

Real Time Flows

Upper Roaring Fork: http://www.dwr.state.co.us/SurfaceWater/data/detail_graph.aspx?ID=ROABMC...

Middle Roaring Fork: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09081000

Lower Roaring Fork: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09085000

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Seven-day forecast 

This is the time of year that the Roaring Fork becomes a bit more technical with the low flows.

Conditions 
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Taylor Creek-Basalt
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