Roaring Fork River Report 6-19-18

Posted on 19 June 2018


June 19, 2018

FLOW: 700 cfs below Maroon Creek (Woody Creek Canyon) 

WATER CLARITY: The Upper Fork is easing out of runoff mode, but certainly fishable most days now!

OVERALL RATING: 6 out of 10

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

THE LOW DOWN: Water is running high but mostly clear in the Aspen area. The fishing has been pretty darn good below town, just be careful wading with the higher flows. 

We are seeing BWOs and caddis taking flight lately. 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 summer with your map in your lap figuring out all of those other public access points!

Keep in mind there is a fire ban here if camping!

HATCHES: Caddis 12-18, Golden Stones 6-8, Midges 22-24, PMDs 16-18, BWOs 18-22


DRIES:  Ethawing Caddis 14-16, Pearl and Elk Caddis 12-18, Peacock Caddis 14-18, CDC Para Pink Cahill 16, CDC Sparkledun 16-18, CDC Comparadun BWO 18-22, Befus' BWO 20-22, Flag Adams 16-20, 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, Swiss Straw Emerger 16-18, Split Case PMD 16-18, 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 better in the afternoons.


FLOW: 925 cfs in Basalt 

WATER CONDITIONS: Clarity is vastly improved and we are at the tail-end of runoff already.

OVERALL RATING:  7 out of 10

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

THE LOW DOWN: Conditions have improved in the last week. Guides are witnessing golden stone adults, giant sedges, caddis, PMDs, BWOs, and midges while on the river now.

PMDs and Sallies are down lower on the river near Glenwood, but keep your eyes peeled for any and all summer bugs as we ease out of runoff. 

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, BWOs 18-20, caddis 14-20, sedges 12-14, sporadic PMDs 14-16, golden stones 6-10


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: Sparkledun PMD 14-18, Flag Dun PMD 16-18, 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 14-18

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: 1660 cfs in Glenwood Springs

WATER CONDITIONS: Run off is nearly over here in the valley, ITS GO TIME!

OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10 / 10 out of 10 for lightning round!  Bugs, bugs, and more bugs! The word is out, green drakes are now being seen from Glenwood to nearly Carbondale in the evenings.

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Green Drake adults, PMD adults, BWO adults, caddis adults, yellow sallies 14-16, midge adults, BWO, PMD and green drake nymphs, caddis (cased and free swimming) larva, sculpins, cranefly larva, golden stone adults and nymphs

THE LOW DOWN:  Lots on the menu! Caddis, BWOs, Sallies, and PMDs have been seen hatching throughout the day. 

The real magic that is taking place is in the late evenings, dubbed the "lightning round." The last hour of light will hold a sea of rising heads. The fish will first be focused on caddis adults until the drakes begin to hatch with the last bit of light.

Make sure to bring plenty of floatant with you when taking on the hatch. You want to keep those flies floating high and dry! Also bringing a headlamp is something to consider, for both fishing well past nightfall and getting back to your car safely. 

It's go time in the Roaring Fork Valley, get out there to experience some of the best fishing of the summer!

HATCHES: Green Drakes 10-12, Pale Morning Duns 14-18, Rusty PMD Spinners 14-18, Yellow Sallies 16, Blue winged olives 18-20, caddis 14-18, 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: H and L Variant 10-12, KGB Green Drake 10, Flag Adams 10-18, Flag Dun Emerger PMD 16-18, Hackle Dun PMD 16-18, Sparkledun PMD 14-18, CDC Rusty Spinner 14-18, 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: Give those caddis some movement! Skating caddis might be the ticket for getting picky trout to rise. Drakes are best dead-drifted.

Real Time Flows

Upper Roaring Fork:

Middle Roaring Fork:

Lower Roaring Fork:


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