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Report for the Roaring Fork Valley--Updated 6/20/17.

Runoff 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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ROARING 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. 

UPPER 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.
 

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FRYING PAN 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


 

 

 

 


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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.

BAR 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

 

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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.
 
 
 
CRYSTAL RIVER PRESERVE AT THE REDSTONE INN:  Updated 6/20/17: 3 out of 10 ratingThis 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 day $85
 
CRYSTAL 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.


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