Roaring Fork River Report 10-29-18

Posted on 29 October 2018


October 26, 2018

FLOW: 150 cfs below Maroon Creek (Woody Creek Canyon) 

WATER CLARITY: Low and clear. Very wadable water.

OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10

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

THE LOW DOWN: It's fall in the Roaring Fork Valley, and we are loving it! Wanting to find some of the best fall colors? This section is absolutely on fire with color both trees and fish alike. 

We have now transitioned from larger summer bugs to smaller flies and lighter tippet. Tiny and shiny is typically a good way to go when nymphing. Baetis seems to be the main food source right now, and we are seeing sporadic hatches on the overcast days.

When fishing the upper fork especially at these low flows, sight fishing can be key. Also make sure to wear some studded boots or bring a walking staff, because fishing from the middle of the river opens opportunities for multiple drifts and picking off every pocket a trout could hold. 

HATCHES: BWO's 18-22 Caddis 12-18, Midges 22-24, PMDs 16-18, 


DRIES:  Ethawing Caddis 14-16, Pearl and Elk Caddis 12-18, Peacock Caddis,  CDC Sparkledun 16-18, CDC Comparadun BWO 18-22, Roys Fryingpan Emerger 20-22, Sprout Midge 20-24, 

NYMPHS: BLMs 18-20, Tungsten Bead Baetis 20, BTS Baetis 20-22, Sparklewing RS2 20-22, Cat Poop Stone 8-10, Swiss Straw Emerger 16-18, Split Case PMD 16-18, Freestone Emerger 20, BH Polywing Emerger 20, Biot Baetis 20-22, Prince 16-20, Hare's Ear 16-18, 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: Streamer fishing has been on fire, especially on the overcast days.


FLOW: 245 cfs in Basalt 


OVERALL RATING:  8 out of 10

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Caddis adults, BWO adults, midges, stonefly nymphs, caddis larva (cased and free-swimming), cranefly larva, sculpins

THE LOW DOWN: Fishing has been pretty darn good around Basalt, primarily nymphing with small caddis and baetis nymphs. Seems the deep pools are holding lots of fish so make sure to play around with depth and get those nymphs down!   

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

HATCHES: BWOs 18-20, Caddis 14-20, PMDs 14-16, Midges 20-24


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: Befus Para Emerger 20-22, Collett's Para BWO, Roy Palm's Special Fryingpan Emerger 20-22, Tan or Black Elk Hair Caddis 14-18, Flag Dun PMD 16-18, 

HINTS: 5x and 6x tippet seems to the way to go this time of year.


FLOW: approximately 510 cfs in Glenwood Springs

WATER CONDITIONS: With recent rainfall, the lower fork as some color due to the crystal, but should clear in the next few days. 

OVERALL RATING: 6 out of 10 

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

THE LOW DOWN: The fishing is starting to heat up on the lower stretch. With colder mornings, no need to rush to the river early, 10 AM seems to be a good start tim. BWO's seem to be what the fish are wanting most. Leading with a caddis or PMD nymph would also be a good call. 

DON'T ignore the shallow riffles, some big fish have been getting caught out of water that some anglers would just walk by! Hopper dropper is a great technique to present a nymph in shallow water. 

***Be mindful of 4 mile creek closures for spawning. Please do not fish within 50 yards up and downstream of the creek!

HATCHES:  Blue winged olives 18-20, caddis 14-18, midges 18-22


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: Flag Dun Emerger PMD 16-18, Hackle Dun PMD 16-18, Sparkledun PMD 14-18, CDC Rusty Spinner 14-18, 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 20

HINTS: The float fishing has been excellent! Call the shop for our "Fall Floats" special!

Upper Roaring Fork:

Middle Roaring Fork:

Lower Roaring Fork:


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