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Roaring Fork Fishing Report

The Roaring Fork – Not a boat in sight and the fishing is beautiful

Report Date: February 9 2017

Not a boat in sight and the fishing is beautiful. Midges and BWOs are the menu options but get creative with it. Lead off with bigger flies and it’s a safe bet the ugly bugs in your box will bring some fish to the net… and probably some larger fish at that. Psycho Prince Nymphs in black and 20 Incher stones are some of my money makers and you can get away with a #16 Read More

FLY PATTERNS

Fly Name Fly Color Fly Size(s)
Sculpzilla Black, olive 6
Graphic Caddis Chartreuse 16
Pats Rubber Leg Brown, Black, olive 10, 12

HATCHES

ACCESS POINT

CURRENT WATER CONDITIONS

River Levels

CURRENT WHEATHER REPORT

Kremmling
32°
clear sky
humidity: 80%
wind: 5mph SSW
H 32 • L 13
38°
Sun
37°
Mon
38°
Tue
43°
Wed
54°
Thu
Weather from OpenWeatherMap

FISHING CONDITION:

ONE WEEK FORECAST:

Roaring Fork Fishing Report Fly Fishing Guide

The steep and typically fast flow of the Roaring Fork dictates how to best fish these waters. Expect rewarding fly fishing in all parts of this freestone river, one of the few that flows for a distance without being dammed.

The upper section of the Roaring Fork from the headwaters through Aspen to the Woody Creek Bridge is inside the White River National Forest area, and is all open to public fishing. The small brook trout here don’t average as large as fish in lower sections of the river, but are easier to catch because they are not as picky.

Larger brook trout as well as rainbows and browns begin to show up in the middle section of the river, just below Aspen. Accessing the river from Jaffe Park and from the trail that follows the river for about five miles leads to prime pocket water. Easily waded for the most part, it is best to fish this section in an upstream direction. Short, more accurate casts are preferred here, and try to keep the rod tip high to keep fly line out of the water and prevent drag. If using a nymph, the high sticking method usually works best. Fast water will allow you to get close to the fish without spooking them.

Expect better success by fishing the seams between fast and slow currents and on the side of pockets. The more active and feeding trout will occupy the longer runs and riffles. While there will be trout in the pools, they are harder to catch.

The character of the water changes at Basalt, where the Frying Pan River joins the Roaring Fork. Increased pH and increased water means increased aquatic insect activity and plenty of trout. The warmer Frying Pan tailwater also means this is the best location for winter fly fishing.

The lower section of the Fork, from Carbondale where the Crystal River joins up, to the Colorado River itself at Glenwood Springs, is much larger. It also flows through considerable private property, so this section is best fished from a drift boat. Count on large trout here, especially the browns.

Roaring Fork Fishing Report FISHING REPORT ARCHIVE

The Roaring Fork – Not a boat in sight and the fishing is beautiful

Not a boat in sight and the fishing is beautiful. Midges and BWOs are the menu options but get creative with it. Lead off with bigger flies and it’s a safe bet the ugly bugs in your box will bring some fish to the net… and probably some larger fish at that. Psycho Prince Nymphs in black and 20 Incher stones are some of my money makers and you can get away with a #16 Read More

13063-Roaring Fork Vail-Woman smiling with a fish-Tori

Roaring Fork – Plan on Wading

Plan on wading these days because the boat ramps are mostly covered in snow and shuttles are hard to come by. No worries though, there are plenty of fish to be caught on foot. Focus your efforts on the lower sections where the temps are warmer for your best chance at catching fish. Small nymphs are the ticket with BWO, PMD and Midge imitations being your go to. Lead your itty bittys off with an Read More

Roaring Fork Western Green Drake

Fly Fishing Report | Roaring Fork River–Carbondale to Glenwood Springs

7-28-2013 Roaring Fork Conditions Like other rivers in the area, the Roaring Fork is finally in mid-summer shape.  Flows are still strong, with Glenwood registering at 1200 cubic feet per minute.  Temperatures have been spiking into the mid-60s, but the recent rainfall has knocked them down, and lows have been at a very healthy 56º-57ºF.  A great runoff season, cool evenings and consistent monsoon-season moisture have supported the Fork throughout the summer thus far.  Clarity is Read More

Roaring Fork River 7/16/13

With flows at GWS around 800 this week this gem receives an A+++. While the Drakes have moved up river closer to Basalt and Aspen there are plenty of bugs around to fatten our favorite Rainbow population up. Caddis, Pmd’s, Sallies, Quills and Drake patterns are all fooling their share. Float fishing the lower river from Carbondale- GWS has been hard to beat and the wade fishermen haven’t been whining either. Look for caddis and Pmd Read More

Incredible February Colorado Fishing Report

Central Colorado mountain streams such as the Eagle, Roaring Fork and Lower Colorado are fishing exceptionally well during this unusually warm weather. While other parts of the country have been experiencing a cold snap as of late, our region has been enjoying spring like temperatures and open water. There have been a few days in the last few weeks where we here at 8000 ft were actually warmer than our Denver friends which for February Read More

Roaring Fork River Fishing Report | 7/25/13

Roaring Fork River Fishing Report | 7/25/13 Start early for your best opportunities on the Roaring Fork River  With flows at GWS around 600 this week this gem receives an A+++. Water temps are on the rise and we are trying to be off the river by early afternoon. That means if you are doing a float in the next few weeks plan on being picked up before breakfast. Fishing the middle of the river Read More

Roaring Fork River Report | 7/31/13

Roaring Fork River Report | 7/31/13 High water makes for tough fishing on the Roaring Fork River Rain made for tougher conditions this week as the Crystal River blew out and turned the lower river muddy for a few days. The Division of Parks and Wildlife has put a voluntary closure on the Fork from Westbank to Two Rivers Park this week. These closures are for ment to protect our resource and we hope everyone Read More

Roaring Fork River Fishing Report | 8/19/13

Roaring Fork River Fishing Report | 8/19/13 Get technical on the Roaring Fork River The Fork has been getting a bit techy recently. Go long with your leaders and use 5 and 6x flouro tippet. Dries have been very hit and miss for us. Recommended Flies: BLM’s, Skinny Nelson’s, and Yellow Stimis. 3/5 stars this week!

Roaring Fork Fishing Report | 9/3/13

Roaring Fork Fishing Report | 9/3/13 Try it all on the Roaring Fork River – Nymphs, Dries and Streamers (4/5 stars) Nymphing on the run seems to be most productive right now, but dries and streamers are fishing well too. After heavy rains the Crystal river has been throwing off clarity some days. Recommended Flies: Forky Baetis, Flash Bang Midges and Red BLM’s

Roaring Fork Fishing Report | 10/29/13

Roaring Fork Fishing Report | 10/29/13 Midges, Midges and more Midges on the Roaring Fork Holy midges batman, get out that fine flouro and put it to the test. Fishing has been great around Glenwood Springs but don’t let that hold you back from getting a little lower down. Think indicator fishing and if you want to switch it up a little bit, try that egg that’s been waiting patiently in your fly box for Read More

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Access Point(s)

Roaring Fork River Description

You can actually hear this river roar as it drops about 6,200 feet from its headwaters in the Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness near Aspen to join with the Colorado River at Glenwood Springs some 70 miles later. Over its path, the Roaring Fork changes its character and scenery drastically, sure to offer something for every fly fishing enthusiast. The headwaters above Aspen offer good populations of brook trout. They are on the small size, but are plentiful and easy to catch. The White River National Forest in this area provides good public access to the “Fork” as well as to tributaries such as McFarlane Creek. The river from Aspen to Carbondale and beyond to Basalt is a popular destination as it is still small enough to be waded and can be easily accessed at many points from Highway #82 that parallels the river for most of its journey. Try walking back upstream from the Upper Woody Creek Bridge about 6 miles from Aspen at the lower end of the canyon for superb pocket water fishing. This section of the Roaring Fork is designated as “Wild Trout Water’, meaning that the river can support the full wild trout life cycle. The Frying Pan River joins with the Roaring Fork near Basalt and the stream, still wadable but also big enough to be float-fished, becomes much more fertile, with diverse and plentiful hatches. This middle 28 mile stretch to Glenwood Springs has been designated as “Gold Medal Water”, meaning that anglers can expect average trout in this section to be 12”-14” in length with a production of about 60 pounds per acre. The lower section of the Roaring Fork, from the confluence of the Crystal River to its final arrival at the Colorado River, is best suited for drift boat fishing and promises exciting fly fishing opportunities. Read more about the Roaring Fork River.

FISH SPECIES

Brown Trout
Rainbow Trout
Cutthroat Trout
Brook Trout

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