Roaring Fork River Report 7-29-23
Posted on 29 July 2023
July 29, 2023
UPPER ROARING FORK- ASPEN DOWNSTREAM TO BASALT
FLOW: 360 CFS
WATER CLARITY: Runoff is over and the river is prime
OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10
FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Green Drakes, Midges, BWOs, Caddis, Golden Stones, PMDs, Sculpins
THE LOWDOWN: The river is getting into beautiful shape. The easiest access is in Jaffe Park, which offers multiple miles of public access.
The main event is here, the world-famous Green Drake Hatch! We are seeing a few midday, but the majority of them are hatching at twilight. Use the Hi-Vis patterns we recommend below, and don't forget your headlamp (you'll be walking out in the dark) and dry shake.
The bug menu is twilight drakes, caddis, golden stones, pale morning duns, yellow sallies and craneflies. There hasn't been a ton of surface activity, but if you see risers, tie on your favorite caddis emerger or adult.
HATCHES: Green Drakes 10-12, Midges 18-24, BWOs 20-22, Caddis 16-20, Golden Stones 4-10, PMDs 14-18, Yellow Sallies 14-16
DRIES: H and L Variant 10-12, White Wulff 12, TC Custom Green Drake Sparkledun 12-14, Egg Laying Golden Stone 4-6, Garcia's Mini Hot Sallie 16, PMD Sparkledun 14-18, Pearl and Elk Caddis 16-18, Missing Link Caddis 16-18, HOH CDC Thorax BWO 20-22, TC Sparkledun BWO 20-22, Massacre Midge 22-24, Mole Midge 20-22, HOH Hanging 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: Poundmeister Cranefly Nymph 10, Barr's Cranefly Nymph 10, Cat Poop Stone 4-8, San Juan Worm 12, Copper John 16-18, 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, Carlton Banks sz 4, Cousin It Sculpin sz 6, Grease Monkey sz 4, Beldar Lemon Drop sz 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
FLOW: 1110 CFS in Basalt
WATER CONDITIONS: Clarity is perfect, runoff is in the rear view mirror
OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10
FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Midges, Caddis, Green Drakes, Golden Stones, Yellow Sallies, Pale Morning Duns, Sculpins
THE LOWDOWN: The river is in perfect shape and the dry fly fishing is getting very good. The green drake hatch is already happening (at twilight) from Basalt upstream to Aspen. Dry flies in the afternoon are prolific, including caddis, goden stones, PMDs, craneflies and Yellow Sallies.
There's not a lot of public access mid-river, but local favorites are Catherine Store, behind Crown Mountain Park, and the section along Two Rivers Road here in Basalt.
HATCHES: Green Drakes, Pale Morning Duns 14-18, Caddis 12-18, PMDs 14-18, Golden Stones 4-10, Midges 18-24
NYMPHS: Cat Poop Stone 6-10, Jigged Frenchie 16-18, Barr's Cranefly Nymph 10, Stott's Good Carl 20, Stott's BH Drama Rust 20, Jigged Tungsten Red Tie PT 18-20, 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: H and L Variant 10-14, White Wulff 12, Last Chance Drake Cripple 12, Henry's Fork Golden Stone 10, Rogue Foam Golden Stone 8-10, Cloud Nine Golden Stone 8-10, Chubby Chernobyl Gold 6-8, Amy's Ant 8-10, Halfback PMD Emerger 14-18, Hunchback Two Tone PMD Nymph 16, Thorax PMD Emerger Rust 16-18, Perfect Baetis 20-22, Befus' Para Emerger 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, Massacre Midge 22-24, Roy's Special Emerger 20-22
STREAMERS: Tungsten Double Mint sz 4-8, Hansen's Meal Ticket sz 4, Baby Gonga Black sz 8, Home Invader sz 2
HINTS: Find some deep water where you can and keep an eye out for risers too
LOWER ROARING FORK- CARBONDALE DOWNSTREAM TO GLENWOOD
FLOW: 2300 in Glenwood Springs
WATER CONDITIONS: Runoff is over
OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10, the Green Drakes are now above Carbondale
FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Green Drakes, Caddis, Golden Stones, Pale Morning Duns, Midges, Sculpins
THE LOW DOWN: Midday hatches of Summer Baetis (psuedocleons) Sallies, PMDs, Caddis and Golden Stones are keeping us busy in our boats and while wading. The drakes have moved up for the most part, but fish are still looking for them.
Streamers are usually effective on the lower Fork, we'd suggest smaller flies and natural colors for the most part. Keys tarpon eat size 8 flies, so don't feel like you have to throw a 3/0 double articulated fly to be "streamer fishing."
HATCHES: Green Drakes 10-12, Midges 18-26, Caddis 12-18, PMDs 14-18, Golden Stones 4-10
NYMPHS: Poundmeister Cranefly Nymph 10, Cat Poop Stone 6-10, San Juan Worm 10, BH Prince Nymph 16-18, Guide's Choice Hares Ear 16-18, Double Down CDC PT 16-18, Copper John 14-16, BLMs 18-20, Freestone Emerger 22, RS2s 20-22, Polywing Emerger 18-20, Roy's Biot Baetis Emerger 18-20, Soft Hackle BWO 20-22, Imposters 20-22, TC Poxy Biot Baetis 22, Jerome Baetis 20-22, RIP Midge 22
DRIES: Hairwing Drake 12, Royal Wulff 10-12, White Wulff 12, DJL Drake 12, Rubber Legs PMX Olive 12, Fat Albert Hopper 6-10, Glow Luna Negra Black 8-12, Quigley Sparkle Flag PMD 16-18, HOH CDC Thorax Sulphur PMD 16-18, CDC Comparadun PMD 16-18, Missing Link Caddis 16-18, Pearl and Elk Caddis 16-18, Roy's Special Emerger 20, TC Sparkledun BWO 18-22, Perfect Baetis 20-22, 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
STREAMERS: Beldar Lemon Drop sz 2, Grease Monkey sz 4, Slumpbuster 6-8, Devourer of Souls 6, Tim's Splendor 6-8
HINTS: Generally, cloudy days tend to produce the best hatches and action
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