Roaring Fork River Report 3-11-19

Posted on 11 March 2019

March 11, 2019

FLOW: 100 cfs below Maroon Creek (Woody Creek Canyon) 

WATER CLARITY: Low and clear.  Significant ice build up in shady areas

OVERALL RATING: 6 out of 10 in fishable areas

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT:  Midges, BWO nymphs, sculpins

THE LOW DOWN: It might feel like winter is still going strong in this section, but Spring is right around the corner. Water is just starting to open up on the upper stretches of the Roaring Fork. With snow and ice dissipating the bug life will take a serious turn for the better. We are already seeing midges hatching all the way up to Basalt, so the dry fly fishing will be here before we know it. 

Midges are still the main food source present, but leading with a stonefly or prince nymph could get fish looking. When fishing the upper Fork, especially at these low flows, sight fishing can be key. Also lighter tippet such as 5 and 6x will prove to get more eats. Make sure to wear some studded boots or bring a walking staff, fishing from the middle of the river opens opportunities for multiple drifts and picking off every pocket a trout could hold. 

Be mindful rainbow trout are beginning to spawn, so there is a good chance you will see their beds (redds) in this section. Please avoid fishing/stepping on the beds, rather put the rod down and watch the magic of nature take place. 

HATCHES: Midges 20-24


DRIES: Morgan's Para Midge 20-22, HOH CDC Midge Adult 24, HOH CDC Spent Midge 22-24, Sprout Midge 20-24, Skittering Z Lon Midge 20-22

NYMPHS: BLM 18-20, Tungsten Bead Baetis 20, BTS Baetis 20-22, Sparklewing RS2 20-22, Freestone Emerger 20, BH Polywing Emerger 20, Kingrey's Cap'n Hook 20-22, Bead Wing Midge 20-22, Rojo Midge 20-22

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

HINTS: Skip the blah water and focus on the deeper open runs and pools.


FLOW: 181 cfs in Basalt 

WATER CONDITIONS: Clear flows with a bit of edge ice here and there

OVERALL RATING:  7 out of 10

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Midges, BWO nymphs, sculpins

THE LOW DOWN: The Fork around Basalt has turned on! We are seeing the first waves of midge hatches in town, and they have been darn good. Midges tend to hatch out of the slower water, so key in on the holding water on the side of the riffles. 

Fishing is still most productive in the deeper holes, with tiny and shiny flies being the main producers. We are also starting to fish more stonefly nymphs. You might see a few molting on the side of the banks, and it's a great lead fly to get the fish's attention, but also get your flies DOWN.


HATCHES: Midges 20-24


NYMPHS: BLMs 18-20, Prince Nymphs 18-20, Pheasant Tails 18-24, Freestone Emerger 20, BH Polywing Emerger 18-20, Biot Baetis 18-20, Sparklewing RS2 20-22, Tailwater Assassin 20-22, Imposter 20-22, Lil Foamy 18-20, Neon Nightmare 20-22

DRIES: Bill's Midge Emerger 20-22, HOH CDC Midge Adult 24, Hatching Midge 20-22, Morgan's Para Midge 20-22

HINTS: 4x and 5x tippet is more productive right now with lower flows and clear water. 


FLOW: approximately 463 cfs in Glenwood Springs


OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10 

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Midge adults, BWO nymphs, sculpins

THE LOW DOWN: We are loving the conditions on the lower Fork! Despite the few days of blow out we had from heavy rains, this section has been fishing so good! Midges are hatching in large numbers, especially on the more overcast days. Find a good foam line, and you will find rising fish. 

Most all the ice banks have disappeared on the lower stretch, making the river much more accessible. Nymphing has still been the most productive, and we are finally starting to fish with some larger flies. Worms and stones have been great lead flies as of late. 

Give a call to the shop for all updated reports on fishing and water clarity!

HATCHES:  Midges 18-26


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, Cat Poop 8-12, San Juan Worm 10

DRIES: Hatching Midge 20-22, HOH CDC Spent Midge 22-24, HOH CDC Midge Adult 24, Morgans Midge 18-20, Sprout Midge 18-20, Skittering Zelon Midge 20-22, Griffiths Gnat 20

HINTS: Watching an indicator got you down? Try busting out some streamers on the cloudy days. 

Upper Roaring Fork:

Middle Roaring Fork:

Lower Roaring Fork:


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