Roaring Fork River Report 3-12-2020

Posted on 12 March 2020

March 12, 2020

FLOW: 20 cfs below Maroon Creek

WATER CLARITY: Clear but significant anchor and edge ice. 

OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10 (Most improved award this week!)

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT:  Midges, golden stonefly nymphs, sculpins

THE LOW DOWN: What a difference a week makes! Like we talk about in our Fryingpan River Report, the overnight temperatures affect our rivers much more than daytime temps. You'll notice the river is now open from bank to bank and most ice has dissipated as of this week.

The ice has gone away, but the snow is still quite deep. Getting to the river is tough in some spots and easier in others, be prepared to post-hole a bit getting to your favorite sections.

We're not seeing a ton of dry fly action, but streamer fishing and nymphing has been quite productive. Small worms, stones and princes make great lead flies and follow them up with RS2s or various midge larva. 

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, Spanflex Stone 10-12, Tungsten Split Case PMD 16-18, PMD Halfback Emerger 14-18

STREAMERS: Autumn Splendor 6, Zuddler 6, Slumpies 6-8 

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


FLOW: 233 cfs in Basalt


OVERALL RATING:  7 out of 10

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Midges, golden stonefly nymphs, sculpins

THE LOW DOWN: The river looks great around Basalt this week, and has been fishing well to boot. Don't fret if you see a little discoloration in the coming weeks, this is just your cue to tie on a San Juan Worm or stonefly nymph!

Like the upper, we're not seeing a ton of dry fly activity, but the nymphing has been terrific once you get your appropriate fly in the right kind of water. The fish are fat and seem to have fed well through the winter months, and where you find one fish there is bound to be more.

Treat the Fork like you would the Fryingpan for a little while longer- as in small flies and light tippets. Covering water is a great idea versus standing in one spot all day.  If it's a cool day, start on the Fork down-valley and work your way up as the day warms. If you are daunted by the Fork, swing in, get a map, and we'll show you our public access "secret" stashes we fish on our off-days.

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, Cat Poop 8-12, 20 Incher 10-14

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

HINTS: Find some deep water where you can


FLOW: 440 cfs in Glenwood Springs


OVERALL RATING:  9 out of 10 

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Midge adults, sculpins

THE LOW DOWN: FYI: Two Rivers boat ramp in Glenwood Springs is closed for repairs until April, so plan accordingly. 

In a nutshell, the lower Roaring Fork is on fire! March is a special time around here and this year is no different. The transitions of longer and warmer days seem to get the fish out of their winter funk and put on the proverbial "feed bag."

No blue winged olives yet, but we have seen some thick midge hatches below Carbondale as we warm up around here. Like always, overnight temperatures are more of a "fishiness factor" than daytime temps. Once we are out of the teens at night, which we pretty much are, it's game on out there.

Nymphs of note are worms and princes trailed with Tungsten Bead Baetis or RS2s, play around with sizes and colors until you dial the fish in. Streamers are good right now too, don't overlook purple!

HATCHES:  Midges 18-26

NYMPHS: 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: Roy's Special Fryingpan Emerger 20-22, CDC Comparadun 18-20, 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: Watch out for some pretty good hatches, especially when warm and cloudy.

Upper Roaring Fork,00060

Middle Roaring Fork:

Lower Roaring Fork:

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