Roaring Fork River Report 3-31-21
Posted on 31 March 2021
March 31, 2021
UPPER ROARING FORK- ASPEN DOWNSTREAM TO BASALT
FLOW: 75 cfs below Maroon Creek
WATER CLARITY: Clear and low, ice is beginning to melt
OVERALL RATING: 6 out of 10
FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Midges
THE LOW DOWN: The upper Fork above Basalt has remained low and clear. Ice has been hit or miss depending on the night time temperature.
In a nutshell we are fishing the upper river with some "sneaky factor"- as in small flies and fine tippets. Except for a bit in the afternoon, the dry fly action has slowed down significantly and the nymphing has gotten very good as long as you are fishing small bugs.
Small flies like RS2s and Pheasant Tails have been productive, and stripping a streamer can be fun, too. You'll see some late afternoon midge action on calm and cloudy days also.
*Ice is building significantly in this section, be aware of ice dams breaking loose. Fish with someone, and always be looking upstream.
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: Autumn Splendor 6, Zuddler 6, Slumpies 6-8
HINTS: Skip the blah water and focus on the deeper open runs and pools.
MIDDLE ROARING FORK- BASALT DOWNSTREAM TO CARBONDALE
FLOW: 155 cfs in Basalt
WATER CONDITIONS: Low and Clear
OVERALL RATING: 6 out of 10
FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Midges, a few BWOs are starting to hatch
THE LOW DOWN: Basalt down to Carbondale has been fishing pretty well, and essentially we are fishing it like we are the upper- with small BWO nymphs and some midge and BWO dry fly action in the afternoon.
Local spots like behind Crown Mountain Park and Catherine's Store are good for the wading angler. Keep an eye on the overnight temperatures and start a little later if the night before gets below freezing.
HATCHES: Midges 20-24, BWOs 18-22
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: Perfect baetis 20-22, CDC Comparadun BWO 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
HINTS: Find some deep water where you can and keep an eye out for risers too
LOWER ROARING FORK- CARBONDALE TO GLENWOOD
FLOW: 310 in Glenwood Springs
WATER CONDITIONS: Clear and low
OVERALL RATING: 8 out of 10
FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Midges, BWOs, Caddis
THE LOW DOWN: Spawning Closures are in effect at 3 Mile and 4 Mile Creeks on the lower Roaring Fork from March 15 to May 31st.
The first waves of baetis (BWOs) and caddis are starting to hatch on the warmer days. We are seeing some strong hatches these days as we warm up!
Like the upper and middle river we are essentially fishing the lower river with light tippets and smaller flies- tiny and shiny BWO nymphs or midges on finer tippet than you might expect.
The streamer game is still happening, and give smaller patterns a try if you're not getting any chases on larger flies.
Keep an eye on overnight temperatures, nights colder than 20 degrees will increase the amount of floating ice the next morning.
HATCHES: Blue Winged Olives 18-20, Caddis 16-18, Midges 18-26
NYMPHS: BLMs 18-20, Freestone Emerger 22, RS2s 20-22, Polywing Emerger 18-20, Biot Baetis 18-20, Thread Body Baetis 18-20, Soft Hackle BWO 20-22, Imposters 20-22, Prince Nymph 16-20, TC Poxy Biot Baetis 22, Jerome Baetis 20-22, RIP Midge 22
DRIES: Perfect Baetis 20, CDC Comparadun BWO 18-20, No Hackle BWO 20, Roy's Special Fryingpan Emerger 20-22, Lawson's EZ Caddis 16-18, Pearl and Elk Caddis 16-18, Missing Link Caddis 14-18, 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: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/co/nwis/uv/?site_no=09076300&PARAmeter_cd=00065,00060
Middle Roaring Fork: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09081000
Lower Roaring Fork: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?09085000