Report for the Roaring
Fork Valley--Updated 6/20/17.
is almost done! We're ready for green drakes and summer fishing conditions. Are you?
Stop on by our Carbondale headquarters and let us get you dialed-in or visit
our new location on the Crystal River in Redstone.
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FORK RIVER (Flows Updated 6/20/17): LOWER RIVER: (Carbondale to Glenwood Springs): 3 out of 10 rating: 5,880 cfs
in Glenwood Springs with currently poor clarity. We are expecting runoff to be done within the next week or two.
The name of the game right now is generally streamer or nymph fishing the banks and other soft pockets of water. If
you know where to look, the results can be surprising! The streamer fishing has been steady but expect to lose some flies.
The majority of the fish are holding tight to the banks and "in-the-willows" (heavy tippet and precision casting
required). Nymphing has been best using generic runoff attractors (stoneflies, worms, caddis larva, drake nymphs), as well
as smaller dropper patterns like princes, CJs, and PTs. At times, it can even be well worth ditching the nymph
or streamer stick in lieu of some Dry Shake and a Stimi (stimulators cover both caddis and stonefly adults). Our coveted
green drake hatch should be rolling into town shortly just as runoff subsides and the river begins to clear. Crowds
are thin (for now). Take advantage of the runoff conditions...the results just might surprise.
MIDDLE RIVER: (Basalt to Carbondale) 3
out of 10 rating: 3,100 cfs at Emma (Basalt) with poor clarity (0-2ft).
Stoneflies, drake nymphs, worms and caddis larva patterns are all great lead/point/attractor flies, with smaller generic
beadheads as droppers. The streamer fishing has been off and on though if timed right, can be the fly
of the day outproducing nymphs. Animate your streamers using your rod tip, taking in the slack line after
each pull of your fly. Better colors have seemed to be black, white and yellow. Midday hatches have
generally been fairly light thus far with a mix of stoneflies, This section finally has enough water to make it floatable
(in a raft) again.
RIVER: (Basalt to Aspen) 2 out of 10 rating: 1,040
CFS below Maroon Creek with variable clarity (1-2ft). This section of the Roaring Fork most often clears before
the middle and lower river. That said, the river is more narrow in here making pockets of soft water somewhat few and
far between, thusly make sure to cover water. Like the other sections on the Fork, typical runoff flies and techniques
are producing fish.
ONE MONTH FISHING
FORECAST: Runoff is here. Keep an eye on the weather and plan accordingly. Ideally, the best fishing
will take place during cold spells where the volume and clarity of the river improves. WE LOVE RUNOFF FISHING! You
heard me right - if you know how to conquer the high and muddy water, you'll find plenty of fish amongst zero crowds - this
is the new and last secret fishing season in the Roaring Fork Valley. The beauty, tranquility, solitude
and surprisingly GOOD fishing are why we live your vacation. Join one of our experienced guides so we can show you the
splendors and secrets of fishing during "mud-season". By the end of the month, we'll be seeing green drakes
hatch along the lower river along with PMDs and caddis. The first two weeks following runoff is often the fastest paced
fishing of the year.
HOT FLY PATTERNS: BWOS--- DRIES-Roy's
Special Emerger, CDC Indicator Parachute BWO, No Hackle BWO EMERGERS-RS2's, Rocky Mtn BWO Emerger, Soft Hackle
Baetis NYMPHS-BTS Baetis, Black PTs, Micro Mayfly Brown STONEFLIES---DRIES- Stimulator,
PMX, Triple Decker NYMPHS---Pat's Rubberlegs, 20 Inchers, 20 Inch Bomb, Soft Shell Golden, Black PTs, BH
Zug Bug CADDIS---DRIES---Elk Hair, Renegades, Neversink, EthaWings NYMPHS- Electric Caddis,
Buckskin ATTRACTORS---Prince, Rainbow Warrior, Worms STREAMERS--- Skully Bugger, Sex Dungeon, Sculpzilla, Poxyhead Sculpin,
Beldar Bugger, Baby Gonga, Coffey's Sparkle Minnow.
RIVER-- (Flows Updated 6/21/17): 7 out of 10: 280 cfs
today with perfect clarity. Look for predominately BWOs and midges with a random PMD/caddis eat or
two in the way of hatches. Flows have recently been decreased to make room for Ruedi Reservoir to fill during spring
runoff (currently 92% full). Once full, the inflow will match the outflow. When nymphing, focus on small (#18-24) and
dark baetis patterns with midge or baetis emergers as droppers. It can often be best to get your flies near the
bottom but not on the bottom on this river. Midday hatches are increasing as the fish get used to their low
flows with patient dry fly junkies finding plenty of risers to cast to. Just be sure to be fishing light fluorocarbon
tippets (we like Trouthunter 6.5x or 7x ) with downstream drifts to picky rising fish. Want to throw something
bigger? The streamer fishing is still pretty solid, particularly in the shade. Small, heavy and natural imitations
are best. Poke your head in the shop and we'll dial you in on the best flavors. Crowds are increasing as
most other fisheries in the Rocky Mountain West are blown-out with runoff conditions. The middle and lower river have
been seeing much less fishing pressure.
ONE MONTH FISHING
FORECAST: Runoff fishing at its best! Crowds are heavy on weekends due to it being one of the few clear
rivers in the Rockies available to fish during runoff. The Pan is truly one of the best tailwater trout fisheries
around. Look for the BWO hatches to remain steady and for caddis and PMDs to increase in numbers as we roll into July.
Once the green drake hatch starts on the Roaring Fork, look for the crowds to dissipate along the Frying Pan.
HOT FLY PATTERNS: MIDGES---DRIES-Hatching Midge, Hi-Vis Griffiths Gnat, CFS Adult Midge
EMERGERS-CDC RS2s, Sparklewing RS2s, Tidbit, Medallion Midge, Biot Midge Pupa NYMPHS-Disco
Midge, Glass Bead Midge, Black Beauty, Mercury Blood Midge, TMidge, Zebras BWOs---DRIES-Roy's Special Emerger,
CDC Indicator Para BWO, No Hackle BWO EMERGERS-Rocky Mtn Emerger BWO, RS2s, Biot Emergers NYMPHS-Black
PTs, BTS Baetis PMDs---DRIES-AKs Melon Quill, AKs Para Quill, Hackle Dun PMD, PMD Cripple, CDC Rusty Spinner
EMERGERS-Improved Barr Emerger, Halfback PMD, Mayhem PMD NYMPHS-Juju PMD, Epoxy WC PMD,
CDC Red Wired PMD MYSIS-Solitude Mysis, BTS Mysis ATTRACTORS-Eggs, Rainbow Warrior,
Red Copper John
COLORADO RIVER FROM GLENWOOD SPRINGS
TO RIFLE (Flows Updated 6/20/17)-- 1 out of 10 rating: 13,000 cfs at Glenwood
Springs with poor clarity. See you after runoff! Fishing in the Roaring Fork Valley has been best on the Frying
Pan, stillwaters and at BarZX Ranch. In a very short period of time, the Colorado will be green; green water with green drakes
hatching. Due to the lower elevation of this river, hatches begin on this river before all others in the area...it won't
be long now! You can always call us for up to date river conditions at 970-963-5741.
1 MONTH FISHING FORECAST: Within the next
two weeks, green drakes, caddis and PMDs will again make their appearance known and fishing will resume. There's not
too much to fish right now due to poor clarity...but it won't be much longer now. It's like the calm before the storm!
Are you ready? We sure are!
CARP REPORT: 5 out of 10 From
the dude that actually owns a carp mount, Kirk Webb - Just as runoff settles in and the trout fishing goes to crap, the
carp fishing turns on again. Most of the carp are in spawn mode right now which is visually fun to watch but frustrating
as hell for a carp angler. A few fish are post-spawn now and beginning to feed actively. As the flows continue
to increase, look for the carp to move into ANY soft back channels and ponds. Nothing is too shallow - don't be afraid
to fish in the newly flooded areas. Perhaps the biggest key to being successful right now is to fish to cruisers (singles
preferably) and NOT to spawners. It won't be long before we have to start using the "dip-tech" technique of
dipping (not casting) flies into exposed areas of heavy weed growth (not exactly the most fun carp fishing but effective no
less). Hot fly patterns have included: Carp Dragonfly, Swimming Nymphs, Swimming Halfback, Carp Stew, BH Leeches, Red Squirrels
and Fiddlers. Want to learn how to carp fish - Kirk's your guy.
ZX RANCH (AKA LAMPTON LAKES) near Paonia Reservoir. (8.5 out of 10 rating): This unique
high altitude property has an abundance of fish lurking in it's many lakes and ponds that weigh 15 to 20 pounds, as
well as thousands of above-average sized trout. Bar ZX is in an absolutely beautiful setting at the base of the
Ragged Mountains near Paonia Reservoir, and we are the closest fly shop to it at about one hour away. Bar ZX
offers a quality experience to experienced anglers as well as novices eager to learn the sport in a controlled private setting,
and we highly recommend every fly fisherman passing through our area to fish it at least once. This is not shooting-fish-in-a-barrel
fishing. These fish are large and educated. About every specie of trout known to man seemingly exists here; rainbows,
browns, cutts, brookies, tigers and more. Currently the fishing has been best suspending nymph rigs midday with good
streamer fishing in the mornings and evenings. Rod fees are $125 per person and a guide is required. Call us to
make a reservation - 970.963.5741
CRYSTAL RIVER (Flows
Updated 6/2017): 1 out of 10 rating below Redstone; 2,270 cfs
just above Carbondale with poor clarity and a large volume of water. See you post-runoff in late June/early July!
If in the Redstone area, we invite you to check out our new store! We are located just over the bridge into town on
your left (across from the Redstone Inn). Call us at 970-963-7359 for up to minute river info. Stop by and check
us out! There's some awfully good fishing going on at Beaver and Lizard Lakes if you're in the Crystal River Valley-
let us get you dialed-in!
It is important to cover water on the Crystal.
The fish tend to be some of the most opportunistic in our valley, so if you are fishing a great looking hole and not catching
fish (especially if that hole is at a very obvious pullout along the road), you should move on. It is usually not necessary
to work fish over with multiple patterns from your fly box like it can be on the Frying Pan. Fishermen who cover water
and hit the pockets, riffles, and runs above and below the most obvious and popular holes along the road will usually
be rewarded with many more fish the the casual or lazy fisherman who doesn't move much--just as on any river.
RIVER PRESERVE AT THE REDSTONE INN: Updated 6/20/17: 3 out of 10 rating. This is a fabulous
private property on the Crystal River with a lot of river frontage --almost one mile--and a lot of fish. This
stretch of river is easy to access and easy to fish and has been fishing very well lately with some large fish being caught.
This property is home to a few very large fish in the 24-26 inch class, that will take you for a wild ride if
you're skillful enough to hook into them. Our guides and clients have had many memorable days here and the
Redstone Inn is a great place to round out your day of fishing with the perfect lunch. There is a stocked pond on the
property that is a great warmup or great place to hone in your casting skills too. Half and full days are available
here, and it is possible to fish this property and the Darien Conservancy property in the same day. Save your money for another
week or two to let the river drop and clear...it won't be long now! PRICING (per person): Half day $45/Full
RIVER CONSERVANCY: Updated 6/20/17: 3 out of 10 rating. The Darien
Property a few miles below Marble is beatiful and wild, and well worth the 45 minute drive from our shop. This
stretch of river is about 1 mile long and is truly wild--featuring a lot of pocket water and wild
rainbows, browns, with a few cutthroat and whitefish. Fishing at the base of Chair Mountain is fabulous,
and this unique property is a must for the fisherman who enjoys serenity and wild fish.
Too many private properties in Colorado have a "canned" feel to them with stocked fish--this
is the furthest thing from that. There are no pellet-fed stockers here. An eighteen inch fish
is a large fish up in this neck of the woods (there are a few in the 18 inch class lurking around, but they are
rare at this elevation)--most of these fish are 12 to 14 inches, and this is more of a high-altitude type
of fishery than the usual haunts in our valley. We recommend 3 and 4 weight rods, and in the summer
you usually don't have to use a nymph rig--occasionally you may want to hang a beadhead dropper off a dry fly in the deeper
holes. The rod fee is modest--the most affordable we know of in Colorado--and use is limited to
4 rods per day. You can call or stop by the shop to reserve a date with or without a guide.
We highly recommend this wild property on one of the last truly wild freestone rivers in Colorado. PRICING (per
person): Half day $40/Full day $50
Neutral colored clothing, quiet wading, and stealthy presentations will help you catch
fish wherever you are on the Crystal.