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Roaring Fork River

Difficulty Intermediate/Advanced
Ideal Days To Fish 4/9, 4/10 & 4/11

Weekly Report

Report DateApril 8, 2021
Flows spiked on Tuesday, reaching 575 cfs, before dropping back down below 500 cfs on Wednesday. We’re in the pre-runoff stage and that means flows will be volatile. Warm afternoons will increase snowmelt and flows and vice versa on colder days, so keep a close eye on flows before hitting the river. With rising flows, we’re seeing great results from larger and/or flashier patterns. Patterns such as leeches, Pat’s Rubber Legs, red Copper Johns, Rainbow Warriors and Frenchies do a great job of standing out and getting the trout’s attention. During the morning and late afternoon, trail one of those patterns with a midge pupa. In the afternoon, trail a baetis emerger. This is also a great time to fish streamers, especially from a boat. Trout are aggressive and willing to chase meat. Trout are also looking up during midge and BWO hatches, so if anglers are looking for variety, the Roaring Fork is a great option right now. Pronounced pools and runs are holding the majority of trout but don’t ignore slow riffles, transitions and outer seams.

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.