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Vail Valley Anglers
Fly Fishing on the Roaring Fork River with Vail Valley Anglers in Vail, CO

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Reporter: Ray Kyle

Report Date: February 22, 2018

Current Conditions: Cold nights and mornings have created ice shelves all throughout the Fork. Be careful when walking out on the ice. These iced over areas are going through a thaw and refreeze process on a daily basis, making for slushy conditions in some sections. Small BWOs and midges are the most prolific hatches. Nymph with small stonefly or egg patterns followed by a very small (size 18-22) baetis or midge pattern. Pulling a sculpin streamer pattern through some deeper runs have proven to be deadly throughout the Fork. The bridge project is complete in Glenwood Springs, so driving is much easy with less delays. Bundle up and enjoy some winter fishing in Colorado!

Guide Tip: Focus your efforts in the afternoons this time of year.

Hatches: Midges, Baetis, Stoneflies, and BWOs

Recommended Files:
NYMPHS: Two Bit Hooker Dark Olive 16-18, Iron Lotus 16-18, Pats Rubber Leg Stone 10-12, Formerly Known As Prince Nymph 14-18, Twenty Bomb 12-14, Zebra Midge 20-22, Top Secret Midge 20-22, Juju Midge 20-22, Jujubaetis 20-22

DRIES: Renegade 16-18, Parachute Adams 20-24,  BWO Comparadun 20-24, Hackle Stacker 20-22

STREAMERS: Sculpzillas Blk and Olive, Platte River Spider, Tequilly, Thin Mint, Autumn Cheech Leach, Motor Oil



The Roaring Fork River originates high in the mountains south of Aspen and runs from Independence Pass to the confluence with the Colorado River at Glenwood Springs.  Its major tributaries are the Frying Pan and the Crystal River.  The Roaring Fork is a true freestone stream and  is one of the finest rivers in all of Colorado. Heavy hatches of Green Drakes, caddis, yellow sallies and PMDS create outstanding fishing thoughout the summer but fishing is also great the rest of the year and the Fork is one of best winter fisheries in Colorado. Float fishing can be excellent from Woody Creek down, however the majority of the float fishing is done from the confluence of the Frying Pan near Basalt down stream to Glenwood Springs. The Roaring Fork is a Gold Medal river and boasts an excellent population of medium to large size trout that make a day on this river one not to miss when in the area.  

Select the updated graph for a larger version. River Levels


Other Information
The fishing on the Roaring Fork is good every month of the year and is one of Colorado's most productive winter fisheries.  The Fork is floatable all year and weather conditions in February and March are often very comfortable with temperatures between 40 to 55 during winter! We provide GUIDED FLY FISHING TRIPS, even throughout the winter. Let us show you some tips to catching fish by hiring a guide for the day.  If you would like we can meet you in Glenwood Springs or anywhere in the Roaring Fork valley.