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Roaring Fork River


For this time of year, the Roaring Fork between Carbondale and Glenwood Springs is in good shape. There’s some bank ice in slow and shaded sections but for the most part, the river is open. Due to cold air temps, the water hasn’t risen much higher than 35 degrees during the afternoon. While the change is minimal, letting the water sit during the morning to allow water temps to rise above 32 degrees will make a big difference this time of year. Flows are appropriately low and trout are favoring their classic winter lies. While you may find a few trout holding in slow riffles and transitions on warm afternoons, your best bet is to focus on deep pools, soft runs, slack water and pronounced pockets. Deep drifts with a nymph rig will put your flies in front of trout. Along with stonefly nymphs, small searcher and attractor patterns are productive lead flies. During the morning and when air temps hold below freezing, trail a midge larva pattern. On warmer afternoons, midges are more active and trout will key in on midge pupa patterns. Zebra Midges, Mercury Black Beauties, Top Secrets, Mercury Midges, Chocolate Foam Back Emergers and WD-40s are productive pupa patterns. If you don’t find success, adjust your weight and indicator placement until you locate the right depth. If you receive similar results, move on and sample a different section.

Water Levels

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