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Roaring Fork River

Difficulty Intermediate
Ideal Days To Fish 12/1, 12/2 & 12/3

Weekly Report

Report DateNov. 24, 2022

Despite warmer weather this week, the Roaring Fork continues to experience flow volatility during the morning due to slush runoff. Fishing when slush is running downstream is difficult and frustrating, so to avoid that, hit the river after 11 am when the slush has a chance to clear out. Flashy nymphs such as red Copper Johns, Rainbow Warriors, Frenchies, Flashback Pheasant Tails and Perdigons have received a lot of attention this week. Lead with one of those patterns and trail a midge larva or midge pupa. Think Demon Midge, Blood Midge, Zebra Midge, Black Beauty, Mercury Midge or Disco Midge. Pronounced pools, soft runs, outer seams and tailouts are where you should focus most of your attention. Slow riffles and the head of runs will hold trout during a midge hatch on warm afternoons. The streamer bite is still on but trout are starting to slow down. As the water temp drops, trout have less energy and are less likely to chase fast moving steamers. As a result, slower strips with long pauses will attract the most attention. Dead drifting a streamer is another productive tactic this time of year. It won’t be long before ice becomes more prominent along banks, so take advantage of the open water while you still can.

Recommended Flies

River Flow

Flow Region

Detailed River Info

Background:

The Roaring Fork is a gold medal freestone river that originates in the Hunter-Fryingpan wilderness, just south of Aspen. The Roaring Fork flows north through the town of Aspen, Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood springs where it meets the Colorado River. As it makes its way through the Roaring Fork Valley, the river increases in size from a small pocket water stream to a wide river. The upper section of the river near Aspen is home to cutthroats, brown trout and rainbow trout. Downstream, the river is populated with healthy rainbows, browns and whitefish.

Angling:

The Roaring Fork has something to offer every angler. Anglers looking for small stream fishing and easy access will gravitate towards the stretch between Aspen and Basalt. From Basalt to Glenwood Springs, the river offers great wade fishing year-round and float fishing from late spring through the fall. The most popular stretch for float fishing is Carbondale to Glenwood Springs, which is ideal because wading access is limited by private property. The Roaring Fork experiences a vast number of hatches throughout the year consisting of midges, BWOs, PMDs, green drakes, caddis, golden stoneflies, yellow sallys and terrestrials. While these trout are generally less selective like most freestone trout, high water clarity throughout most of the year can make fishing more technical. Nymphing and streamer fishing is the most consistent tactic but if you time it right, you’ll experience fantastic dry fly fishing during one of the many hatches.

River Access

Depending upon the stretch you wish to fish, accessibility varies. Between Carbondale and Glenwood Springs, access is limited due to a large amount of private property, but there are a number of SWA and public access points for anglers to utilize. Above Carbondale, anglers will find more access points. The Roaring Fork River parallels highway 82 from Glenwood Springs to Aspen. So, if you’re looking to explore the river, drive south along highway 82 towards Aspen and keep an eye out for pull-offs and marked access points. Refer to the map below for some of our favorite access points.