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Report for the Roaring Fork Valley--Updated 6/4/19

Runoff is here - Upper elevation streams and the Frying Pan River are still in good shape.

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 6/4/19):  LOWER RIVER: (Carbondale to Glenwood Springs):  0 out of 10 rating: 3,340 cfs in Glenwood Springs with increasing water flows due to a big snowpack. Warm days are rendering runoff conditions and muddy, unfishable water. Stonefly nymphs are active and being seen with good regularity. Caddis are becoming more prevelant and even a few PMDs have been seen. Generally speaking, fly pattern is less important than water-type being fished at this time of year. Worms, eggs, stoneflies, caddis and drake nymphs are all great patterns to fish. We'd be surprised if the river is in good shape this entire moth. See you in July - just in time for the green drake hatch!

MIDDLE RIVER: (Carbondale to Basalt) 5 out of 10 rating: 1,250 cfs in Emma with rapidly increasing flows and variable water clarity and fishing conditions. The rating will fluctuate wildly with the weather. Expect the same fishing conditions as the Lower River with the exception of it's reliability - which is BETTER due to being above the Crystal River (the frequent cause of serious mud below Carbondale on the Roaring Fork). The water clarity is varying with the weather - hot weather will hamper the fishing, cooler weather might you a short fishing window. 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 heavy rigs on big tippets are sufficient.  Give us a call for daily water conditions and clarity reports - 970.963.5741

UPPER RIVER: (Basalt to Aspen)  5 out of 10 rating:  682 cfs below Maroon Creek with decent-good clarity and high water levels. Like other stretches of river on the Fork, the weather will dictate the fishing. Fish the soft pools, seams and pockets. Where you find one fish, there's probably another. 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. Worms, stones, drake nymphs and caddis are about all that's needed.

ONE MONTH FISHING FORECAST: The best fishing will certainly take place along the upper river this entire month. Runoff is here to stay (with very short periods of clarity) and won't be going away anytime soon. Look for conditions to change in early July.
HOT FLY PATTERNS: STONEFLIES--- NYMPHS---Pat's Rubberlegs, 20 Inchers, Soft Shell Golden, Prince, Black CJs  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 6/4/19): 6 out of 10:  344 cfs with good clarity and increasing water flows due to the large snowpack and runoff from Rocky Fork Creek. 80% of the fishing pressure is taking place in the top four miles below the dam BUT good fishing and hatches throughout are being seen on most days. Recent outings have found that the exact fly pattern hasn't mattered nearly as much as it's size, color and movement. Skating and skittering midge/bwo dries is often just as effective as dead drifting them! Light tippets of 6x fluoro and small size #20-24 midges in black and gray are best. Nymph fishing has been good using the usual mysis shrimp, various dark BWO nymphs and small midge larva and emergers in black, red, white and gray. The Flats have been fishing pretty well with the increase in water levels and the influx of mysis shrimp.

ONE MONTH FISHING FORECAST: Expect the BWO hatch to intensifly each and every week. The midge hatch has been fairly solid daily. Often the hatch starts and finishes with midges and BWO punctuated inbetween. As other fisheries falter with runoff the Frying Pan stays fishable the vast majority of the time!

HOT FLY PATTERNS: 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, Two Bits, Pandemics, MYSIS-Solitude Mysis, BTS Mysis, BC Mysis ATTRACTORS-Egg patterns (small) 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 6/4/19)-- 0 out of 10 rating: 8,560 cfs at Glenwood Springs. Runoff is in full swing and it's doubtful the river will clear until July - just in time for green drakes! See you then!

1 MONTH FISHING FORECAST:  Give us a call for daily river reports and water conditions - 970.963.5741  Probably won't be fishable until early July.

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 6/4/19):  5 out of 10 rating above Redstone - 995 cfs in Redstone with varying to good water clarity and 1,460 cfs in Carbondale with lesser, poorer water clarity and unfishable conditions. We're in runoff mode and it might be a while this year for the lower river to come back into consisant shape. The upper river is clear and the soft pockets and pools have been fishing better than expected. Conditions in Carbondale are in runoff mode and not fishable. 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 5/28/19: 7.5 out of 10 rating. Surprisingly still in great shape with the lack of warm weather and runoff yet to hit! 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.  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 5/28/19:  2 out of 10 rating.  See you in Summer - currently runoff conditions! 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.