Roaring Fork River Report 4-7-18

Posted on 07 April 2018


April 7, 2018

FLOW: 99 cfs below Maroon Creek (Woody Creek Canyon) 

WATER CLARITY: The Upper Fork is running low and clear.  Ice exists in low light areas.  

OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10


THE LOW DOWN:  Conditions are improving quickly around here! As most of you know, winter has been on the mild side so far and we are feeling some spring-like weather already.  Some areas are iced up, others are still on the menu at this point.  Most fish will be found in the deeper holes rather than shallow riffles and runs. Some fish will transition to different water types as midges hatch during the warmer parts of the day.

We are mainly nymphing out there with small BWO nymphs and midge pupa. Don't overlook the streamers if you are in the shade or get lucky and have a warm and cloudy day.  Please give spawning beds a wide berth.

HATCHES: Midges 22-24


DRIES: Bills Midge Emerger 20-22, Bills Midge Adult 20-22, Biot Wing Midge 20-22, Sprout Midge 22-24

NYMPHS: BLMs 18-20, Tungsten Bead Baetis 20, BTS Baetis 20-22, Sparklewing RS2 20-22, Freestone Emerger 20, BH Polywing Emerger 20, Biot Baetis 20-22, Prince 18-20, 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:  Cover a bunch of water, some spots will be devoid of fish and they'll be piled up in others.


FLOW: 233 cfs in Basalt 

WATER CONDITIONS: Clarity can be affected by weekday "kayak park" renovations in the river.

OVERALL RATING: 9 out of 10 


THE LOW DOWN: Conditions are much better in Basalt versus up higher on the Roaring Fork. This past week has given us a big improvement in insect activity and eager fish. This section receives plenty of sunlight and has fewer canyon sections, as well as the warming effect the Fryingpan has on the Roaring Fork helps with more "fishable" conditions. Like the upper river, fish will be piled up in the deep and soft water for the most part.  

Keep your eyes peeled for risers, especially in shade, but nymphing will be the most productive way to fish. The water is as low and clear as it gets now, so bring some of your Fryingpan tech to the table out there.  Light tippets, small flies and creeping around quietly are important for success. Please give spawning beds a wide berth.

HATCHES: Midges sz 22-24


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

DRIES: Morgan's Midge 20-22, Sprout Midge 20-22

STREAMERS: Peanuts, Gongas, Carlton Banks, Splendors, Bread n Butter Bugger 6

HINTS: Keep downsizing your presentations if you are in the struggle box, or focus on completely different water types.


FLOW: 374 cfs in Glenwood Springs.  The Fork is in perfect shape, low and clear.

WATER CONDITIONS: Clean and beautiful. Feel free to call us up with up-to-the-minute river conditions if you are floating. Ice dams are nominal at this point and crowds are a non-factor. Also be on the lookout, risers have been seen in this section in soft pools over the last week!

OVERALL RATING: 10 out of 10

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT:  BWOs, Midges, sculpins, we are starting to see a few molting stoneflies here and there! BWOs are hatching in thick numbers this week!

THE LOW DOWN:  Be aware of closures for spawning fish at Three Mile and Four Mile Creeks!  The lower river has been turning on in a big way over the last week. There's a little "bonus season" we enjoy this time of year, and it's happening now. The first BWOs of the year are now being seen, and we are having plenty of luck out there as the fish and bugs begin to turn on. The flows are quite low and clear, so exercise caution when floating out there. 

Focus on the Fork in the afternoons and get those small nymphs deep to be effective.  Fishing on the Fork may surprise you, it's fishing well and you won't see many if any other anglers. Please give spawning beds a wide berth.

HATCHES: Blue Winged Olives 18-22, Midges 20-22


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: Collett's Parachute BWO 20-22, No Hackle BWO 20-22, Morgans Midge 18-20, Sprout Midge 18-20, Skittering Zelon Midge 20-22, Griffiths Gnat 22

STREAMERS: Carlton Banks, Meat Gazers, Sculpzillas, Peanuts, Gongas, Splendors

HINTS: Use some 5 or 6x if you're getting blanked.

Real Time Flows

Upper Roaring Fork:

Middle Roaring Fork:

Lower Roaring Fork:


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