Roaring Fork River Report 9-22-18

Posted on 22 September 2018


September 22, 2018

FLOW: 150 cfs below Maroon Creek (Woody Creek Canyon) 

WATER CLARITY: The Upper Fork is low and clear, much colder than the lower river.

OVERALL RATING: 8 out of 10

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

THE LOW DOWN: It's time for the mid-summer switch, where we start fishing smaller flies on the Roaring Fork as larger bugs are now starting up on the Fryingpan.

We tend to nymph this section of the Fork like the upper Fryingpan, 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: Yellow Sallies 16-18, 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, Hairy Sally 16, CDC Para Pink Cahill 16, CDC Sparkledun 16-18, CDC Comparadun BWO 18-22, Befus' BWO 20-22

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: The Fork is fishing best early and late, head up the Fryingpan midday


FLOW: 456 cfs in Basalt 


OVERALL RATING:  8 out of 10

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

THE LOW DOWN: Conditions are low and clear considering the date.  Hatches are running the gamut from PMDs, caddis, sedges, yellow sallies and BWOs.  

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

HATCHES: BWOs 18-20, caddis 14-20, Sedges 12-14, 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: Befus Para Emerger 20-22, Roy Palm's Special Fryingpan Emerger 20-22, Tan or Black Elk Hair Caddis 14-18, Flag Dun PMD 16-18, Garcia's Mini Hot Yellow Sally 16

HINTS: Keep downsizing your presentations if you are in the struggle box, or focus on completely different water types.


FLOW: 486 cfs in Glenwood Springs

WATER CONDITIONS: Low and clear. The 2 PM fishing closures have now been lifted! We are beginning to downsize our nymphs patterns, but fishing with great success! 

OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10 

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

THE LOW DOWN: The fishing has been darn good on the lower stretch. Mornings and late afternoons being the most productive. BWO's seem to be what the fish are wanting most. Leading with a caddis or PMD nymph would also be a good call. 

DON'T ignore the shallow riffles, some big fish have been getting caught out of water that some anglers would just walk by! Hopper dropper is a great technique to present a nymph in shallow water. 

HATCHES:  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: 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 20

HINTS: If you are struggling to get fish to the net, downsize! Sometimes going from size #18 to #20 can be a world of difference. 

Real Time Flows

Upper Roaring Fork:

Middle Roaring Fork:

Lower Roaring Fork:


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