Overall River Rating:


Roaring Fork River Fishing Report

Latest update: 3/20/2018 -- Flows in the Glenwood area are hovering around 360 cfs and clarity is good. As is the winter game, bring your nymph box. Productive patterns have been Pats Rubber Legs (#8-12), Prince Nymph and PT variations (#10-18), and Baetis patterns (#16-20) such as the RS2 variations, Juju Baetis, Foam Back Emergers, Poison Tongues, and don't shy away from swinging soft hackle emergers like Biot Emergers and Soft Hackle PTs. Bug activity has been picking up, come prepared with your favorite BWO and Midge dry fly patterns (#18-22 range) and look for rising fish as the water warms up. As always, streamers can be productive if you put the time in, strip or twitch streamers by structure, buckets, and tail outs while varying retrieve.

River Information

The Roaring Fork is another one of Colorado's most famous freestone rivers. This major tributary of the Colorado River begins near the town of Aspen and runs hard for approximately 70 miles before it reaches the Colorado in Glenwood Springs. Fishing can be outstanding for the entire length of the river, offering anglers the opportunity to fish a variety of conditions as it grows in size heading towards the Colorado. The river is most often fished on foot, however does offer the option to float fish all 12 months of the year, on most years. Most of the floating takes place from Basalt to Glenwood Springs, while most of the wading takes place from Aspen to Basalt. Hatches are abundant on the Roaring Fork and the fish can grow quite large and powerful. This river should definitely be on any angler's list when visiting the areas of Aspen, Basalt, Carbondale or Glenwood Springs.    

Recommended Flies

Winter/Spring: Midges, Baetis

Summer: Mayflies (PMD, Red Quills, Green Drakes) , Stoneflies (Salmonflies, Golden Stones, Yellow Sallies), Caddis, Terrestrials, General "Attractor" Dries, Streamers. 

Fall: Mayflies (primarily Baetis),  Midges, some Caddis, Streamers

Seasonal Conditions

The Roaring Fork can be fished year round, however like many rivers in Colorado, can really shine during the months of March through November. Stoneflies are abundant in the river so fishing some sort of Stonefly nymph (Rubberlegs, Stone Bomb, 20 Incher) followed by a Mayfly or Caddis nymph is usually effective the majority of the year. By summertime, the Mayflies, Stoneflies and Caddis become very active and provide excellent dry fly fishing opportunities as long as you match the hatch. Terrestrial patterns will also take fish during the Summer and into the Fall. Streamers can be fished effectively from Spring through Fall. 

River Access

Accessing the Roaring Fork is very easy. Public access exists regularly from Aspen clear down to Glenwood Springs. Highway 82 runs the length of the river and anglers will find considerable access throughout much of this route. Fishing access around Carbondale and Basalt can be very easy to find and quite productive.  

One item to note- While a very wadable river, there is certainly no shortage of moss covered, bowling ball sized rocks covering the streambed. Anglers should wade with caution when learning the river.