Roaring Fork River Report 3-27-24

Posted on 27 March 2024

March 27, 2024



WATER CLARITY: Cold and clear

OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT:  Midges, Winter Stoneflies, Sculpins 

THE LOWDOWN:  The bug menu is pretty simplified- midges and a few winter stones. Dry fly hatches are winding down, but be ready if you're out there on a warm and cloudy afternoon. The river is low and clear, it's time to get stealthy and treat the upper Fork like you would the Fryingpan.

HATCHES: Blue Winged Olives 18-22, Midges 18-24, Winter Stoneflies 16-18

DRIES:  HOH CDC Thorax BWO 20-22, TC Sparkledun BWO 20-22, Massacre Midge 22-24, Mole Midge 20-22, HOH Hanging Midge 20-22, HOH CDC Midge Adult 24, HOH CDC Spent Midge 22-24, Sprout Midge 20-24, Skittering Z-Lon Midge 20-22, Putterbaugh Caddis Black 16-18 (fished as a winter stone)

NYMPHS: 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: Autumn Splendor 6, Carlton Banks sz 4, Cousin It Sculpin sz 6, Grease Monkey sz 4, Beldar Lemon Drop sz 8

HINTS: Fish the soft water where your flies have time to get down in front  of the fish.


FLOW: 239 CFS in Basalt

WATER CONDITIONS: Clarity is perfect, but we'll see some color as the temperatures increase

OVERALL RATING:  7 out of 10

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Blue Winged Olives, Midges, Winter Stoneflies, Sculpins 

THE LOWDOWN: We are starting to see the first waves of springtime baetis! The river is in perfect shape and the dry fly fishing is good.  Dry flies in the afternoon include BWOs, Winter Stones and midges.

There's not a lot of public access mid-river, but local favorites are Catherine Store, behind Crown Mountain Park, and the section along Two Rivers Road here in Basalt.

HATCHES: Blue Winged Olives 20-22, Midges 18-24, Winter Stoneflies 16-18

NYMPHS: Stott's Good Carl 20, Stott's BH Drama Rust 20, Jigged Tungsten Red Tie PT 18-20, Freestone Emerger 20, BH Polywing Emerger 18-20, Biot Baetis 18-20, Sparklewing RS2 20-22, Imposter 20-22, Lil Foamy 18-20, Neon Nightmare 20-22 

DRIES: Mole Fly Baetis 20-22, Perfect Baetis 20-22, Befus' Para Emerger 18-22, Hackle Dun Baetis 20-22, Bill's Midge Emerger 20-22, HOH CDC Midge Adult 24, Hatching Midge 20-22, Morgan's Para Midge 20-22, Massacre Midge 22-24, Roy's Special Emerger 20-22, Putterbaugh Caddis Black 16-18 (fished as a winter stone)

STREAMERS: Tungsten Double Mint sz 4-8, Hansen's Meal Ticket sz 4, Baby Gonga Black sz 8, Home Invader sz 2

HINTS: Find some deep water where you can and keep an eye out for risers too


FLOW: 443 in Glenwood Springs

WATER CONDITIONS: Clear and cold

OVERALL RATING: 9 out of 10

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Blue Winged Olives, Midges, Winter Stoneflies, Sculpins

THE LOW DOWN:  Some of the best dry fly fishing of the year is here! Strong BWO hatches are now happening daily, especially when it's cloudy. Midday hatches of BWOs, midges and winter stones are keeping us busy in our boats and while wading. Next up, April caddis.

Streamers are usually effective on the lower Fork, we'd suggest smaller flies and natural colors for the most part. Keys tarpon eat size 8 flies, so don't feel like you have to throw a 3/0 double articulated fly to be "streamer fishing."

Annual tributary creek spawning closures go into effect on March 15th, you'll see the signs.

HATCHES: Blue Winged Olives 18-22, Midges 18-26, Winter Stones 16-18

NYMPHS: Foam Top RS2 18-20, Murder She Wrote Rust 18-20, Guide's Choice Hares Ear 16-18, Double Down CDC PT 16-18, Copper John 14-16, BLMs 18-20, Freestone Emerger 22, RS2s 20-22, Polywing Emerger 18-20, Roy's Biot Baetis Emerger 18-20, Soft Hackle BWO 20-22, Imposters 20-22, TC Poxy Biot Baetis 22, Jerome Baetis 20-22, RIP Midge 22

DRIES: Improved Sparkle Dun BWO 18-22, Stealth Link Baetis 22, Quasi-No Hackle BWO 20-22, Roy's Special Emerger 20, TC Sparkledun BWO 18-22, Perfect Baetis 20-22, Hatching Midge 20-22, HOH CDC Spent Midge 22-24, HOH CDC Midge Adult 24, Dorsey's Midge Adult 20-22, Iwane's No Mercy Midge 22-24, Matthew's Improved Z Lon Midge 22-24, Morgans Midge 18-20, Sprout Midge 18-20, Griffiths Gnat 20, Putterbaugh Caddis Black 16-18 (fished as a winter stone)

STREAMERS: Beldar Lemon Drop sz 2, Grease Monkey sz 4, Slumpbuster 6-8, Devourer of Souls 6, Tim's Splendor 6-8

HINTS: Generally, cloudy days tend to produce the best hatches and action

Upper Roaring Fork,00060

Middle Roaring Fork:

Lower Roaring Fork:

More Posts


Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing

Search our store