Roaring Fork River Report 7-23-19
Posted on 23 July 2019
July 23, 2019
UPPER ROARING FORK- ASPEN DOWNSTREAM TO BASALT
FLOW: 421 cfs in Aspen
WATER CLARITY: Big and clear but dropping quickly
OVERALL RATING: 6 out of 10 due to the higher than "normal" flows. Some spots are tough, others are easier.
FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: BWO adults and nymphs, midges, golden stoneflies, caddis, PMDs, green drake nymphs, yellow sally nymphs, sculpins
THE LOW DOWN: In general, this will be a big water year here in the Roaring Fork Valley. See the lower and middle Roaring Fork river report for some new developments (hint, hint...green drakes!) The upper river is still higher than normal, but the flipside is that there's no mystery where the fish are hanging out....right in the soft stuff and near the banks.
BWOs, caddis, PMDs, golden stones and midges are the main food source, but leading with a stonefly or prince nymph could get fish looking. When fishing the upper Fork, especially at these flows, focus on the soft water near the banks. We're starting to fish some larger bugs on heavier tippet, but you may need to revert to small flies and tippet if the river is running clear.
Make sure to wear some studded boots or bring a walking staff, fishing from the middle of the river opens opportunities for multiple drifts and picking off every pocket a trout could hold.
HATCHES: BWOs 18-22, midges 20-24, caddis 16-18, golden stoneflies 6-10, PMDs 14-18
DRIES: Egg Laying Golden Stone 8, Rogue Foam Golden Stone 6-8, Pearl and Elk 16-18, Peacock Caddis 16-18, Sparkledun PMD Pink or Yellow 14-18, AK's Melon Quill PMD 16-18, Sparkledun BWO 18-22, Hackle Dun 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, Spanflex Stone 10-12, Tungsten Split Case PMD 16-18, PMD Halfback Emerger 14-18
STREAMERS: Weir's Sculpin 6, 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: 1780 cfs in Basalt, coming down nicely
WATER CONDITIONS: Dropping significantly, clear
OVERALL RATING: 7.5 out of 10
FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Caddis, green drake adults and nymphs 10-14, Midges, BWO adults and nymphs, golden stoneflies, craneflies, PMD adults and nymphs, worms, sculpins
THE LOW DOWN: The green drake hatch this year is already noticeably different, as we usually see them first down low on the Colorado and Roaring Fork and they "roll up" the river a few miles every day. This time around, we are seeing them hatching from Basalt all the way down to Glenwood, right now, all at once!
See the lower report on how to effectively fish this legendary hatch.
HATCHES: Green Drakes 10-12, Caddis 14-18, BWOs 18-22, Midges 20-24, PMDs 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, Cat Poop 8-12, 20 Incher 10-14
DRIES: White Wulff 10, H and L Variant 10-12, Royal Wulff 10-12, Elk Hair Caddis 16-18, Pearl and Elk Caddis 16-18, Sparkledun PMD Pink 16-18, Melon Quill PMD 16-20, Collett's Parachute BWO 18-22, Perfect Baetis 20-22, No Hackle BWO 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 soft water where you can
LOWER ROARING FORK- CARBONDALE TO GLENWOOD
FLOW: 2700 cfs in Glenwood Springs, down significantly
WATER CONDITIONS: Clear and dropping. Still a bit high but fishing well.
OVERALL RATING: 7.5 out of 10
FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Green Drakes 10-12, Caddis, midge adults, BWO adults, emergers and nymphs, PMD adults and nymphs, worms, craneflies, sculpins
THE LOW DOWN: As mentioned above, the Green Drake hatch is happening right now, from Glenwood all the way up to Basalt, all at once. Considering the higher than normal flows, find the softest water you can around twilight and get your headlamp and dry shake ready to go! These big mayflies come off right at dusk, so be patient and wait for the magic out there just as the light is fading. The hatch isn't 10 out of 10 yet, but is steadily improving every night.
We are finally back to floatable shape out there now, and daytime hatches consist of yellow sallies, a few green drakes, golden stoneflies, PMDs, BWOs, caddis and a few midges. Be mindful of the swift water and choose your battles when it comes to where you choose to fish. This will be a high water year in general, so this is everyone's opportunity to learn some "high water tech."
HATCHES: Green Drakes 10-12, Caddis 14-18, BWOs 18-20, PMDs 14-18, Yellow Sallies 16, Midges 18-26, golden stoneflies 6-10
NYMPHS: 20 Incher 10-14, Poxyback Drake Nymph 12, 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, Jerome PMD 16-18, Tungsten Bruised PMD 16-18, Imposters 20-22, Cat Poop 8-12, San Juan Worm 10
DRIES: H and L Variant 10-12, White Wulff 10, Royal Wulff 10-12, Hairy Sally 16, Garcia's Mini Hot Sally 16, Melon Quill PMD 16-18, Hackle Stacker PMD 16-18, No Hackle PMD 16-18, Missing Link Caddis 14-18, Tan Elk Hair Caddis 14-18, Perfect Baetis 20, Collett's Para BWO 18-22, No Hackle BWO 20-22, Roy's Special Fryingpan Emerger 20-22, CDC Comparadun 18-20, 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, Egg Laying Golden Stone 6-8
HINTS: Watch out for some pretty good hatches, despite the high flows.
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
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