The Roaring fork is a true "freestone" stream from its headwaters along Independence, to its confluence with the Colorado River near Glenwood Springs, CO.  The upper stretches of The Roaring Fork are tight with a steep gradient, offering pocket water fishing for Brook and Rainbow Trout.  Between the towns of Basalt and Glenwood Springs the Roaring Fork is wider with less gradient, which produces great trout holding water. Access is avaible in this stretch for both the wade, and float fisherman.

 

Nymphs To Try:  TDJ Golden Stone size 10-12, Tungsten Jigged Pheasant Tail size 10-14, Sizzlin’ Squirrel size 14-16, Charlie’s Chronic Caddis chartreuse size 14-16, Ju-Ju Baetis red size 16-20, Tungsten Psycho Baetis olive or black size 18-20,   BTS Baetis Black size 18-20, Sparkle Wing RS2 grey or black size 18-20 

Dries To Try: Chubby Chernobyl gold or olive size 6-12, Purple Haze size 12-16, Elk Hair Caddis yellow size 12-18, Crystal Stimulator yellow size 10-16,  Para-BWO size 18-20, Matthew’s Sparkle Dun BWO size 18-20,  CDC Morgan’s Midge size 18-22

Streamers To Try:  Boogie Man in olive, Double Dirty Hippy Rainbow, Sparkle Minnow in Olive/white, Sculpzilla olive, Wooly Bugger small sizes in white or black.

 

9/13/2019

       The Roaring Fork near Glenwood Springs has been holding near the 900 CFS zone over the last week, with daytime water temps of about 60 degrees. Prominent food sources for the time being include large golden stoneflies, Baetis, midges, some afternoon caddis, and terrestrial insects.  A hopper-dropper rig can very very effective when fished tight to banks, and through riffles at this time of year. However, deeper runs may require a nymph rig, especially on hot days without a strong hatches of aquatic insects. 

 

9/6/2019

       The flow of the Roaring Fork River near Glenwood Springs has been holding in flow near 1000 CFS for the past few weeks, and water temps have been in the low 60’s with good water clarity.  Hatches have included golden stoneflies, caddis, Red Quills, Baetis, Tricos, and midges.  Grass hoppers are still plentiful along the banks, so a hopper-dropper rig can be effective when fished along banks, and through riffles/pocket water.  Some days on the Fork have seen some good dry fly fishing on caddis, Baetis, and midge adults.  Hot, sunny days without much of a hatch might require a nymph rig to get down deeper into swift oxygenated water.

 

8/23/2019

       The flow of the Roaring Fork River near Glenwood Springs has taken a steady decline all weak, and is now about 1000CFS.  Water clarity is good, and temperatures are in the mid 60’s.  Hatches have included golden stoneflies, caddis, Red Quills, PMDs, BWOs, and Tricos.  The Fork is just a few hundred CFS above its seasonal average at its current flow, so trout will not be pushed up to the bank as much as they have been, but the banks will still be one good place to fish dry flies, and dry-dropper rigs.  Trout are also holding in wider areas of the river with shelves or riffles that make good feeding zones.  On days without much aquatic insect activity, a deeper nymph rig may be needed to fish closer to the river bottom.

 

8/15/2019

       The Roaring Fork near Glenwood Springs has dropped in flow significantly over the last week and is currently at about 1000 CFS, down from  2000 CFS.  This flow is close to the Fork’s historical average flow for this time of year, and will allow trout to hold in a variety of water, rather than just being pushed up toward the banks.  Large golden stonelflies, Yellow Sallies, caddis, PMDs, BWOs, and midges are the most important aquatic insects to imitate currently.  Fishing with terrestrial insects such as grasshoppers, beetles, or ants has been very productive on this stretch of river as well.
       On days when there is decent aquatic insect activity fishing dry flies, or shallow dry-dropper set ups close to the banks can be a good option.  If there is not much of a hatch going on consider fishing a nymph rig closer to the bottom of the river when possible.

 

8/9/2019

       The Roaring Fork near Glenwood Springs has been fluctuating between 1500 - 2000 CFS all week, and water clarity has been great, barring heavy localized precipitation.  This seasons higher flows have delayed hatches a bit, and currently the main hatches on the Fork are caddis, and Yellow Sallies. Surprisingly a few green drakes are still being seen on the water as well.  Blue Wing Olives, and midges could also be  getting attention from trout if they hatch in high enough numbers.
       fishing along the banks will still be the number one place to target trout, although some wider areas of the river may make for good holding water in shallow riffles.  In general target any water that looks like it would be comfortable for trout to hold, and feed in without expending large amount of energy.

 

8/1/2019

       The Roaring Fork near Glenwood Springs has been on a steady decline from about 2500 CFS to about 1500 CFS, with natural fluctuations from temperature swing, and precipitation in the area. These flows are still “fast” for the Fork so concentrate on fishing pockets along banks, or in calmer water behind larger river structure like boulders, logs, etc.
       A hopper-dropper rig has been effective here, with trout being taken on both the nymphs and the dry.  Our go to set up has been a size 8 - 10 hopper with a size 10 - 12 weighted stonefly nymph dropped about 3 feet below. Caddis, PMD, and Baetis imitations have been effective secondary droppers as well. 

 

7/26/2019

       The Roaring Fork near Glenwood Springs is still on a steady decline, and is currently flowing close to 2000 CFS with water clarity at 2’ or better.  However these flows are still close to 1500 CFS above the historical average flow of the Roaring Fork at this time of year, so we are still looking for trout holding in softer pockets water along banks, behind boulders, or anywhere else that it may exist.  Green Drakes have been hatching but decreasing in numbers.  Hatches of caddis, PMDs, and a few Baetis are also present.
       Trout feed heavily on available insects during these hatches, giving the angler an opportunity to drift dry flies tight to the river banks for rising trout.  If hatches are sparse better chances at hooking trout are found while running a HEAVY nymph rig a 3’-5’ deep, but still tight to the banks, or in other soft water that can be found.

 

7/19/2019

The Roaring Fork is on a steady decline from the 5000 CFS down into the 3000’s, water temperatures have been fluctuating between 49 - 57 degrees, and water clarity is hovering around the 2 foot mark and clearing.  With these current conditions the Fork is still a bit faster and colder than we would like to see optimally, but it is definitely turning the corner towards prime conditions.  There have been some decent hatches of Green Drakes (especially in the A.M. and P.M.), PMDs, and Yellow Sallies.  Trout are feeding on these insects, so the main challenge for the angler will be finding softer, trout holding water to drift their flies through.
       A nymph rig, or hopper-dropper will be you best set ups for the time being.  However, if you are inclined to fish dry flies there could be some fish rising to Drakes or PMDs in softer areas of water.  In general, look for any pockets, or seams of softer water along banks, behind large boulders, or other river structure.  Wider areas of river that create back eddies are also great spots to search for trout.
 

 

7/12/2019

The Roaring Fork has been on a steady decline from about 8000 CFS down into the mid 4000 CFS range.  Water clarity is starting to improve, and is hovering around the 8” mark.  Water temperature is still on the cold side, so we are not seeing to many large hatches yet.  Heavy attractor style nymphs fished under an indicator are still the best choice of fly at the moment.  Streamers could also be productive in the current water conditions.  Look for hatches of golden stoneflies, PMDs, and caddis as the water temps warm a bit in the future.

 

7/4/2019   
  The Roaring Fork near Glenwood Springs is still  not the best option for the time being, as the water is very high with less than optimal clarity.  If you do fish here consider heavy/bright attractor style nymphs, worm patterns, and streamers.  Look for pockets of soft water along banks, and back eddies to be holding the most fish.

 

6/13/2019

       The Roaring Fork is currently high and dirty with the start of full on run-off form the high alpine peaks.  If you do fish the Fork consider using streamers, and large or bright attractor  style nymphs.

 

5/22/2019

       The Roaring Fork is following the same trend as most other freestone rivers in the general area.  Colder weather is producing a slow decrease in CFS, while water clarity is getting slightly better.  Midges are the best hatch on the Fork at the moment with Baetis in a close second.  Try fishing a deep nymph rig if there is not much surface activity to be seen.  However a good midge, or blue wing hatch will have trout feeding closer to the surface. In this case dry flies or a light dry dropper rig fished tight to the banks can be effective.  If fishing with insect imitations seems to be slow consider trying out some streamer patterns fished very deep, or tight to the banks.

 

4/18/2019

       The Roaring Fork is fishing well, and will be similair to other freestone rivers in the area such as the Colorado or the Arkansas.  Water temps are slowly climbing, which means more aquatic insects will start to hatch.  Now we are seeing strong midge hatches and some decent Blue Wing Olive hatches which should start to pick up in intensity.  Stonefllies, eggs, worms, and baitfish are other food sources to consider at this time. The Fork beelow the confluence withthe crystal River has been slightly off color, larger attractor nymphs have been working well in this stretch.