Roaring Fork River
Home to over 9,000 miles of trout streams, Colorado plays host to literally a fishing paradise. Of this total, only 322 miles have been designated as Gold Medal by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission for fisheries that consistently produce outstanding angling opportunities. The Roaring Fork has 22 miles of this elite classification and backs it up with large healthy populations of above-average sized trout. The Fork is a classic western trout stream with all the surrounding beautiful landscape you would expect including high alpine forest, flower-covered meadows and red, iron-rich rocky cliffs. Most impressive are the multicolored rocks on the river bottom that seem to brag with shades of red, green, yellow, grey, black and blue creating a magical glimmer as the cold water passes above. Once you make a cast here, it will stay in your memory always as one the best.
This fast-paced rocky mountain freestone originates in the high peaks of Independence Pass and flows north, picking up the infamous Frying Pan River on its way to join the Colorado River in Glenwood Springs. Perhaps best fished from the comfort of a drift boat, the Fork can be big and pushy though much of the spring and early summer with significant rapids, rocky riffles and boulder-filled runs dominating the pace. Prolific hatches of Caddis, Baetis, Yellow Sallies, Golden Stones and everyone’s favorite Green Drakes are as good as it gets, literally filling the air during the spring, summer and fall months.
The guides here are all pro’s; many were born and raised along its banks, and there is a healthy, competitive, camaraderie as we jockey boats full of excited anglers up and down eddy lines in sometimes tight spaces to fish down the same run. Nothing is more rewarding than having your clients double when it’s your turn to make a pass and know you got it right with your fly selection for often picky, educated trout that are constantly changing their minds. We know of no other creature that can be feasting on hot dogs and then refuse a hamburger. The trout’s diet on the Roaring Fork can be incredibly selective and unforgiving to an inexperienced guide.
The spring float season on the Fork is unrivaled anywhere in the state, with midges so big they are nicknamed “Midgezilla” and a hatch so intense that they create piles of shucks along the banks for days. Once the Baetis also get going, the fish will be on the surface and our guests can’t believe that we are crushing with dry flies this early in the year. I dare you to take a day off from the ski slopes on a warm, sunny, March day and come experience some of the best float fishing of the entire year. You too will become a regular year after year after just one great spring day on the Roaring Fork.
Our guides have rafts to take the best care of our guests when it’s low and bony in the winter months and early spring, and switch over to drift boats during the rest of the year, always providing a clean, safe and comfortable ride down this thrilling freestone. This is the only Gold Medal water we float; it’s hard to argue that there is a better place for your next trip with Trout Trickers.