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Roaring Fork River

Difficulty Intermediate
Ideal Days To Fish 2/3, 2/4 & 2/5

Weekly Report

Report DateFeb. 2, 2023

Roaring Fork flows dropped into the mid 300 cfs range this week, which is slightly below the historical average for this time of year. Slush runoff has been a challenge the past couple of weeks. We typically see slush clear out around 11 am or noon, so let the river sit until the afternoon and fish the 12 pm – 4 pm window. On the bright side, warmer air temperatures are in the forecast. Heavy nymphs rigs with an attractor, midge larva and pupa will produce the best results. Cheese eggs, Mini Leeches, Pat’s Rubber Legs, Rainbow Warriors, Frenchies, Guide’s Choice Hare’s Ears and Copper Johns are solid attractor patterns. For your midge larva and pupa patterns, you can’t go wrong with Miracle Nymphs, Bling Midges, Demon Midges, purple Zebra Midges, Black Beauties, Mercury Midges and Brassies. Focus on pronounced pools, soft runs, slack water and banks. Getting your flies deep in the water column early in your drift and maintaining a clean presentation is key.

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.