Roaring Fork River Report 7-19-21
Posted on 19 July 2021
July 19, 2021
UPPER ROARING FORK- ASPEN DOWNSTREAM TO BASALT
While the lower Roaring Fork is too warm to fish in the afternoons, the upper river is cold and clear and fishing well! Keep in mind the higher you go in elevation, the colder the water will be.
FLOW: 540 cfs below Maroon Creek
WATER CLARITY: Low and Clear
OVERALL RATING: 6 out of 10
FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Yellow Sallies, Caddis, PMDs, Midges, BWOs
THE LOW DOWN: The upper Fork above Basalt is low and clear, and wade-ability is much improved. Green Drakes, Caddis, Yellow Sallies, and PMDs are all now hatching all the way up to Aspen on the Roaring Fork.
The green drake hatch is early this year, and we are seeing them mid-day as well as at twilight, from Aspen all the way down to the confluence of the Crystal. Fish the softer seams adjacent to quicker moving water and drakes seem to love a gravelly bottom.
Small flies like RS2s and Pheasant Tails have been productive behind larger flies such as stones and worms. Stripping a streamer can be fun, too. There is a slight chance that you'll see some late afternoon PMD and midge action on calm and cloudy days also.
HATCHES: Green Drakes 10-12, Caddis 16-20, Golden Stoneflies 8-10, PMDs 16-18, Yellow Sallies 14-16, Midges 20-24
DRIES: Royal Wulff 10-12, BDE Green Drake 10-12, HOH Cripple Drake 12, Hairy Sallie 16, Goldie Hawn Sallie 16, Elk Hair Caddis Tan 14-18, Missing Link Caddis 14-18, Rogue Foam Golden Stone 8-10, Cloud Nine Golden Stone 8-10, Lawson's No Hackle PMD 16-18, CDC Comparadun PMD 16-18, Hackle Stacker Cream 16-18, Hackle Dun Baetis 20-22, CDC Comparadun BWO 20-22, Garcia's Mini Hot 16, Yellow Humpy 14-16, HOH CDC Midge Adult 24, HOH CDC Spent Midge 22-24, Sprout Midge 20-24, Skittering Z Lon Midge 20-22
NYMPHS: Spanflex Stone 8-10, Guide's Choice Hares Ear 14-16, Copper John 16-18, 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: Fish the soft water where your flies have time to get down in front of the fish.
MIDDLE ROARING FORK- BASALT DOWNSTREAM TO CARBONDALE
While the lower Roaring Fork is too warm to fish in the afternoons, the river above Carbondale is still cold and clear and fishing well! Keep in mind the higher you go in elevation, the colder the water will be. We are reeling it in after 2 pm below Carbondale on the Roaring Fork.
FLOW: 484 cfs in Basalt, the runoff has ended and flows are dropping quick
WATER CONDITIONS: Clean and clear
OVERALL RATING: 6 out of 10
FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Green Drakes, Caddis, Yellow Sallies, PMDs, Midges
THE LOW DOWN: The Green Drake hatch is early and happening now. With decreased flows, we are seeing just as many hatch mid-day as we are at twilight. Typically we don't see them hatch in the middle river until later in July, but it seems like many hatches are on fast-forward this time around.
Basalt down to Carbondale has been fishing well as the river drops and gets clear. Like the upper Fork, lead with a heavy point fly and follow it with a baetis if you are nymphing.
Local spots like behind Crown Mountain Park and Catherine's Store are good for the wading angler.
HATCHES: Green Drakes 10-12, Caddis 14-18, Yellow Sallies 14-16, BWOs 18, Midges 20-24
NYMPHS: Copper Back Golden 8-12, Jigged CDC Pheasant Tail 14-16, BLMs 18-20, Prince Nymphs 18-20, Copper John 14-18, Freestone Emerger 20, BH Polywing Emerger 18-20, Biot Baetis 18-20, Sparklewing RS2 20-22, Imposter 20-22, Lil Foamy 18-20, Neon Nightmare 20-22
DRIES: HOH Cripple Drake 12, HOH Hackled Drake 12, Missing Link Green Drake 12, Royal Wulff 10-12, Lawson's EZ Caddis 16-18, Missing Link Caddis 14-16, Chuck's Variant Caddis 16, A.K. Best's Melon Quill 18, 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
No fishing after noon from Carbondale downstream to the Colorado River. We are seeing 70 degree water in the afternoons. The Colorado River is already under a 24 hour closure for all fishing. Reel it up after noon!
FLOW: 787 cfs in Glenwood Springs
WATER CONDITIONS: Low and clear, keep an eye on the water temperatures.
OVERALL RATING: 6 out of 10 before 2pm, Reel it up after noon!
FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Green Drakes, Pale Morning Duns, BWOs, Caddis, Golden Stoneflies, Midges
THE LOW DOWN: The time has come for the renowned Green Drake hatch on the lower Fork. We have been seeing Drakes hatch in the middle of the day and it is strongly suggested to not fish in this section after 2 pm. Also keep an eye out for Yellow Sallies, Pale Morning Duns, Craneflies and Caddis.
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.
HATCHES: Green Drakes 10-12, Yellow Sallies 16-18, Caddis 14-18, Blue Winged Olives 18-20, Golden Stoneflies 6-10, Midges 18-26
NYMPHS: Poxyback Golden Stone 8-12, Prince Nymph 16-20, Tung Torin's Soft Hackle 16-18, Copper John 14-16, BLMs 18-20, Freestone Emerger 22, RS2s 20-22, Polywing Emerger 18-20, Biot Baetis 18-20, Soft Hackle BWO 20-22, Imposters 20-22, , TC Poxy Biot Baetis 22, Jerome Baetis 20-22, RIP Midge 22
DRIES: H&L Variant 10-12, Royal Wulff 10-12, Missing Link Green Drake 12, Lawson's EZ Caddis 16-18, Pearl and Elk Caddis 16-18, Missing Link Caddis 14-18, 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, Hatching Midge 20-22, HOH CDC Spent Midge 22-24, HOH CDC Midge Adult 24, Morgans Midge 18-20, Sprout Midge 18-20, Griffiths Gnat 20
HINTS: Generally, warm and cloudy tend to be good Green Drake and PMD days, and 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