Roaring Fork River Report 5-23-21
Posted on 23 May 2021
May 23, 2021
UPPER ROARING FORK- ASPEN DOWNSTREAM TO BASALT
FLOW: 430 cfs below Maroon Creek
WATER CLARITY: Clear and low, but look for runoff conditions soon
OVERALL RATING: 5 out of 10
FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Midges, BWOs
THE LOW DOWN: The upper Fork above Basalt has remained low and clear most days. With spring conditions and warmer days, we are expecting to see the water levels rise and the water to gain some color. Blue winged olives are now hatching all the way up to Aspen on the Roaring Fork.
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 baetis and midge action on calm and cloudy days also.
HATCHES: BWOs 18-20 Midges 20-24
DRIES: Hackle Dun Baetis 20-22, CDC Comparadun BWO 20-22, Brook's Sprout Baetis 20-22, 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: 575 cfs in Basalt, the runoff is beginning and flows will fluctuate
WATER CONDITIONS: Clear, but a few off-color days as we warm up
OVERALL RATING: 4 out of 10
FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Caddis, BWOs, Midges
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 caddis, BWO, and midge 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, Caddis 14-18
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: Lawson's EZ Caddis 16-18, Missing Link Caddis 14-16, Chuck's Varient Caddis 16, 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: 1440 in Glenwood Springs, starting to see fluctuations
WATER CONDITIONS: Clear but we've seen a bit of discoloration here and there as runoff begins.
OVERALL RATING: 3 out of 10
FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Midges, BWOs, Caddis, Golden Stoneflies
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 baetis (BWOs) and first waves of the Mother's Day caddis are starting to hatch on the warmer days. We are seeing some strong hatches these days as we warm up!
The best fishing tends to be from noon until 5 PM. Don't overlook the twilight hour when the female caddis come back to the water. In other words, you can work all day and still get some great fishing right before dark!
The nymphing game can be strong in the morning leading with large bugs such as Cat Poop Stone Flies or Prince Nymphs. Follow these with a smaller baetis pattern. However, once the bugs start hatching and the fish start rising, cut those nymph rigs off!
The streamer game is still happening, and give smaller patterns a try if you're not getting any chases on larger flies.
HATCHES: Blue Winged Olives 18-20, Caddis 14-18, Golden Stoneflies 6-10, 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, Rogue Foam Golden Stone 6-8, Chubby Chernobyl 8-12, 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: Generally, warm and cloudy tend to be good blue winged days where hot and sunny tend to be good caddis days.
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