HomeFishing ReportGuide TripsLodging & Guide ProfilesOur Shop



Report for the Roaring Fork Valley--Updated 8/3/19

Drakes, Caddis and PMDs are hatching in the big waters of the Roaring Fork - lower flows for the Frying Pan with lots of dry action!

Stop on by our Carbondale headquarters and let us get you dialed-in or visit our new location on the Crystal River in Redstone.




for periodic updates (every 4-8 weeks) on important river events and hatches, special sales at the shop and our online store. Simply type "Subscribe" in your e-mail, and we will gladly take any other questions, comments, or requests from you. 


ROARING FORK RIVER (Flows Updated 8/3/19):  LOWER RIVER: (Carbondale to Glenwood Springs):  7.5 out of 10 rating: 1,600 cfs in Glenwood Springs with dropping and clearing water now being abundant. Green drakes have pushed through already to the middle and upper river - though caddis, PMDs and yellow sally's are all in good numbers. The water is still fairly big but is dropping - meaning flies are tippet are also starting to get downsized. Expect a good streamer bite during early mornings (or during periods of overcast) followed by dry/dropper or double nymph rigs midday. Decent to good caddis dry fly fishing is occuring most every evening. A wide variety of flies are fishing right now due in large part to the big water for this time of year - and the fish are quite happy and hearty after a big runoff and feeding on the big bugs (stones, drakes) of a few weeks ago.


MIDDLE RIVER: (Carbondale to Basalt) 7 out of 10 rating: 1,190 cfs in Emma with great water clarity. Expect the same fishing conditions as the Lower River with the exception of green drakes. Fishing the side channels, below islands and near the banks in soft water is key - more so than fishing the "right" fly. Access is easy here too as the road and highway parallel the river closely. Two Rivers Road, 7-11 Bridge, Hooks Bridge, Catherines Store and Gianetti access areas are all great options to jump into the river and wet your line. Fish the soft and slow water - where you find one fish there's probably more. Short and moderately heavy rigs on substantial tippets are sufficient. Drakes are moving up quickly - take advantage NOW. 

UPPER RIVER: (Basalt to Aspen)  6.5 out of 10 rating:  856 cfs below Maroon Creek with superb water clarity and fairly high water levels still. Fish the soft pools, seams and pockets. Where you find one fish, there's probably another. Cover water. Though the fishing isn't easy here, it will reward you with some of the prettiest and largest fish in the entire river system. Keep your flies basic right now - short and heavy nymph rigs fished in the soft water is key, as is being mobile. Stones, drakes, PMDs and caddis are about all that's needed. This is also the current green drake hotspot, thus expect good dry fly lightning-rounds in the last hour of light which easily yields the best fishing of the day.

ONE MONTH FISHING FORECAST: The river is finally beginning to drop in volume and more and more water is becoming accessible and fishable daily. Drakes are going strong, as are the caddis. The fish are feeding hard after a long runoff - Feel free to give us a call for daily river conditons: 970.963.5741
HOT FLY PATTERNS: GREEN DRAKES---NYMPHS---Crown Jewels, 20 Inchers, BH Gilled Drake, Princes,  EMERGERS---Winged Drake Emerger, New Trick Soft Hackle, Peacock Soft Hackle---DRIES---Challenged Drake, Comparadun Drake, Royal Wulff, White Wulff, Para Drake  STONEFLIES--- NYMPHS---Pat's Rubberlegs, 20 Inchers, Soft Shell Golden, Prince, Black CJs---DRIES---Chubbys, Fat Alberts, Roque Stones, Stimis  ATTRACTORS---Prince, Rainbow Warrior, Worms, Eggs MIDGES---DRIES-Cluster Midge, Trailing Shuck Midge Emerger, Bills Midge Adult, Griffiths, Stillborn Foam Midge EMERGERS-RS2's, Biot Midge Emerger, Pulsating Emerger, Rojos, CDC Loopwing Black LARVA-Zebra Midge, UFOs, Mercury Black Beauty, FlashBangs, T.Midge 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, Darth Baetis, PTs, Micro Mayfly Brown  CADDIS---NYMPHS-Cold War Caddis, Little Caddis Pupa, Breadcrust, BH Electric Caddis, BH Western Coachman, Electric Caddis, Prince EMERGERS - Partridge Caddis, Zaddis, Sparkle Pupa DRIES- Foam Stimi's, Foamulators, EthaWing Caddis, Goddard, Elk Hairs STREAMERS--- Skully Bugger, Mini Sex Dungeon, Sculpzilla, Beldar Bugger, Baby Gonga, Cofey Minnows


FRYING PAN RIVER-- (Flows Updated 8/3/19): 8.5 out of 10:  180 cfs with good clarity below the dam and recently decreased flows. Along with BWOs, the PMDs are now coming off with regularity - even a few green drakes are being seen on the lower and middle river now. These flows provide pretty a pretty ideal climate for the angler and fish alike with the dry fly fishing finally resuming. Hatches are midday with sporadic rusty spinner falls during the evening hours. Nymphing is best with small PMD and BWO patterns in sizes 16-22. Light fluorocarbon tippets of 6x are needed again with the lower water and small flies. Crowds are heavy now, even on weekdays, especially from 9am-5pm. If you want some solitude, fish the lower river or fish early and late in the day. 

ONE MONTH FISHING FORECAST: The hatches and dry fly fishing is superb right now! Sure, the crowds the often tough to deal with - but it's the Frying Pan in August.

HOT FLY PATTERNS: PMDs---DRIES-Melon Quills, Para Quill PMDs, Silhouette Dun, Pink Sparklduns EMERGERS-Barr Emerger PMD, Halfback PMD, Olive RS2 NYMPHS-PTs, Poxyback PMD, JujuPMD, Panty Dropper PMD BWOs---DRIES-Roy's Special Emerger, CDC Indicator Para BWO, No Hackle BWO EMERGERS-Rocky Mtn Emerger BWO, RS2s, Biot Emergers NYMPHS-PTs, BTS Baetis, Two Bits, Pandemics, MYSIS-Solitude Mysis, BTS Mysis, BC Mysis MIDGES---DRIES-Hatching Midge, Hi-Vis Griffiths Gnat, CFS Adult Midge, Trailing Shuck Midge, Stillborn Midge EMERGERS-CDC RS2s, RS2s, Tidbit, Medallion Midge, Biot Midge Pupa, Pulsating Emerger NYMPHS-Disco Midge Red, Glass Bead Midge, Black Beauty, Mercury Blood Midge, TMidge



COLORADO RIVER FROM GLENWOOD SPRINGS TO RIFLE (Flows Updated 7/20/19)-- 3 out of 10 rating: 9,720 cfs at Glenwood Springs. Runoff is tapering down and the fishing is ramping up. The river has some clarity now but in general the volume/speed doesn't offer much soft water. We're not saying its impossible to catch a fish down here, just that it's not beginner/novice friendly - yet. Wear your life jacket and be smart - it's still real big water out there still. Wading anglers are finding soft pockets of water being productive but with very little soft water present. Drakes, caddis and PMD spinners are being seen in the evenings and give a dry fly fisher their best chance of success. Golden stones are hatching during afternoons with Rubberlegs ect fishing well. Big tippets and big bugs right now. Feel free to give us a call for daily river conditions at 970.963.5741
1 MONTH FISHING FORECAST:  Give us a call for daily river reports and water conditions - 970.963.5741  -We're getting close!

BAR ZX RANCH (AKA LAMPTON LAKES) near Paonia Reservoir.  (7 out of 10 rating): The perfect place to avoid runoff! 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 7/20/19):  5 out of 10 rating above Redstone - 1,060 cfs in Redstone with decent water clarity. Few areas of soft water are present but those select few areas have been fishing well. Don't overthink your flies too much here right now - it's of MUCH more importance simply to be fishing the right spot (soft/slow) and covering water. Yellow Foamulators, Rubberleg Stimi's and Foam Body Elk Hairs are great, high-floating attractors that can support a small beadhead Prince, PT or CJ trailing behind. Anticipate on the flows becoming more much managable in August. Get ready for an AMAZING summer and fall on the Crystal! No one knows the Crystal River better than Crystal Fly Shops! Come on in either of our stores and let us dial you in. 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!  
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.
CRYSTAL RIVER PRESERVE AT THE REDSTONE INN:  Updated 7/20/19: 6 out of 10 rating. Surprisingly still in decent shape! This is a fabulous private property on the Crystal River with a lot of river frontage --almost one mile--and a lot of fish. It is also our backyard and adjacent to our satellite location in Redstone. 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.  There is still a lot of water out there but the soft water has been very well - perfect for a half or 3/4 day outing. 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.  PRICING (per person): Half day $45/Full day $85 plus guide fee.
CRYSTAL RIVER CONSERVANCY:  Updated 7/20/19:  3 out of 10 rating.  See you in August - currently still in runoff mode!  Still not enough soft water present. The Darien Property a few miles below Marble is beatiful and wild, and well worth the 45 minute drive from our Carbondale 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--one of 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 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/ 3/4 Day $60/ Full day $80 plus guide fee.

Neutral colored clothing, quiet wading, and stealthy presentations will help you catch fish wherever you are on the Crystal.