Roaring Fork River

Difficulty Intermediate
Ideal Days To Fish 3/30, 4/1 & 4/6

Weekly Report

Report DateMarch 30, 2023

Roaring Fork flows increased by ~150 yesterday and now sit above 400 cfs. This increase is a result of pre-runoff triggered by warm weather and precipitation. Some color has been added to the water and clarity has decreased, particularly below the Crystal River confluence. The fishing is still productive and trout are looking to feed. With that said, warm weather through the weekend, flows will likely climb, so keep an eye on flows if you have the Roaring Fork in weekend plans. Starting Tuesday, temps should cool off a bit and stabilize flows. Getting the trout’s attention is key. Large and/or flashy nymphs that move water will perform the best when nymphing. Think leeches, worms, eggs, Pat’s Rubber Legs, Guide’s Choice Hare’s Ears, Psycho Prince Nymphs, red Copper Johns and Rainbow Warriors. Bright/flashy midge pupa and baetis emergers are ideal trailers. Purple Zebra Midges, Black Beauties, Mercury Midges, Blue Poison Tungs, Sparkle Wing RS2s and Darth Baetis are good examples. Aside from nymphing, streamers are highly effective. Black and white patterns are ideal as they contrast the water and stand out. Slow and erratic strips with intermittent pauses are key and don’t forget to slap the bank hard. This will trigger their predatory instincts. Dry fly action took a small hit this week but will improve once flows stabilize.

Recommended Flies

River Flow

Flow Region

Detailed River Info


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.


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.