Roaring Fork River Report 5-29-18

Posted on 29 May 2018


May 29, 2018

FLOW: 589 cfs below Maroon Creek (Woody Creek Canyon) 

WATER CLARITY: The Upper Fork is off-color and in runoff mode, we have seen dirty water early and cleaner water late in the day.

OVERALL RATING: 5 out of 10

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT:  BWO, PMD and green drake nymphs, golden stonefly nymphs, caddis larva, cranefly larva, midges, sculpins

THE LOW DOWN:  Crowds are very light this time of year and Aspen is quieting down.  We are starting to see spring runoff conditions, keep in mind the river is dirtiest in the mornings and cleanest in the afternoons.

You might see a blue winged olive fluttering here and there, but midge hatches are still the attraction midday.  We tend to fish this section of the Fork like the upper Fryingpan (and not just in the spring), so remember your slim and quiet bugs versus the fat and flashy ones.  The opposite can be true if you find some deep and oxygenated areas where golden stoneflies thrive.  

Miles of water can be found in Jaffe Park, and spend some time this spring with your map in your lap figuring out all of those other public access points!

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, Cat Poop Stone 8-10, 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: This is the least crowded time of year and the upper Fork is fishing well! Be stealthy and bring a long net.  


FLOW: 963 cfs in Basalt 

WATER CONDITIONS: Clarity is challenging with runoff, but, as mentioned above, it tends to look the worst in the morning and the best in the afternoon. If you can see a foot or two of visibility or better, it's game on!

OVERALL RATING:  5 out of 10

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Caddis adults, BWO adults, midges, BWO, PMD and green drake nymphs, golden stonefly nymphs, caddis larva (cased and free-swimming), cranefly larva, sculpins

THE LOW DOWN: Conditions are starting to deteriorate around Basalt and down to Carbondale.  As usual, differences in elevation have made hatches thicker down-valley but we are catching up quick around here with springtime bugs.  The Fork will look quite off-color in the mornings but it tends to clear somewhat in the afternoons.

BWOs and caddis are here, although the cold runoff water entering the drainage has slowed the hatches down a bit.

Check out the public accesses around old town Basalt, behind Crown Mountain Park or near Catherine's Store for some terrific spring fishing.

HATCHES: Midges sz 22-24, sporadic BWOs 18-20, sporadic caddis 14-20


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, Epoxyback Golden Stone 8-10, San Juan Worm 10

DRIES: Morgan's Midge 20-22, Sprout Midge 20-22, Befus Para Emerger 20-22, Roy Palm's Special Fryingpan Emerger 20-22, Tan or Black Elk Hair Caddis 14-20

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: 2100 cfs in Glenwood Springs

WATER CONDITIONS:  Feel free to call us up for recent hearsay, or simply click on the link below for real-time stream flows. We're in runoff mode!

OVERALL RATING: 4 out of 10 Weather and water conditions can make or break your day, so seize the moment if things look good. 

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT:  BWO adults, caddis adults, midge adults, BWO, PMD and green drake nymphs, caddis (cased and free swimming) larva, sculpins, cranefly larva, golden stone nymphs

THE LOW DOWN:  Runoff has begun, and conditions are getting a bit challenging out there. Because of lower than we'd like to see flows, the BWO hatch on the lower Fork was awesome! Now caddis are taking over, and the fish can switch up with different waves of different insects.

Caddis are strong now, and bright/warm days are egging these bugs on, so get ready to start skittering and bumping those elk hair caddis.  Caddis love hot weather, and heat brings mud, so be ready for a few dilemmas out there.  It's spring!

Remember to leave Three Mile and Four Mile Creeks on the Roaring Fork alone for a bit longer, annual spring spawning closures are in effect.  As stated above, your day on the Fork right now depends on the weather, but it has been fishing incredibly well.

HATCHES: Blue winged olives 18-20, caddis 14-20, midges 18-22


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, Chuck's Variant Ginger Caddis 16-18, Pearl and Elk Caddis 14-18, 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: Look at the flows and weather before you go and be prepared to fish dries all afternoon!

Real Time Flows

Upper Roaring Fork:

Middle Roaring Fork:

Lower Roaring Fork:


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