Happy Fourth of July Weekend! After weeks of high water, it looks like the Roaring Fork is dropping! Flows have come down significantly in the last two days. With lower flows and better water clarity, it’s time to adjust rigs your rigs slightly. Though leading with larger bugs like stoneflies and worms will still catch fish, we’re starting to see a lot of caddis out there! Caddis nymphs like Guides Choice Hare’s Ears, Sparkle Caddis, UV Caddis, Dirty Birds and Plan B caddis have all been producing. Try fishing larger (size 12-14) caddis patterns as lead flies, or trail smaller caddis nymphs (size 16-18) behind a stone, worm or drake and see what works!
It has been a high-water year so far, and after dropping/clearing water last week, increased flows and decreased visibility are the hallmark of the river once again! Clear skies, warm days, and an unbridled natural flow from the top of the drainage this week means that we will be seeing a full river for a while still. Break out those bigger bugs that were working earlier this spring, increase your tippet size, and get ready to fight fish AND river! Have fun and mix it up, intrepid anglers will may even be rewarded with hopper/dropper rigs and streamers in certain locations.
Water levels continue to fluctuate throughout the day and have risen over the past week. Keep an eye on the weather when anticipating flows, as cooler temps will cause them to drop, and warm weather will bring them up. As is normal during this time of the year, flows generally peak around midnight and bottom out around noon before climbing again. As far as fishing goes, focus your efforts on the mid morning through mid afternoon for the best results. That being said, our Guide Trips have been slaying fish all day! The fish are hungry and feeding opportunistically on worms, big Stoneflies and Caddis nymphs right off of the bank and in slower water! If you’re fishing earlier or later in the day, larger nymph patterns and streamers have been the ticket. During the middle of the day we’re finding a lot of success on caddis nymphs.
Things got a little western on the Roaring Fork on Monday and Tuesday! The river was ripping and visibility was low, but water clarity has improved slightly and flows have returned to a similar level to last week– our Guide Trips that went out yesterday were slaying fish! Though projected high temps in the 60s this weekend and next week mean snow melt could level off, we’re anticipating some rain and thunderstorms – particularly in the afternoons. That’ll mean daily ebbs and flows in river levels, and precipitation will likely decrease visibility. Lower visibility and rain means that fish should be crushing worms, big Stoneflies and Caddis nymphs right off of the bank and in slower water!