River & Fishing Report - September 2022

Water Information
Water Temperature
Middle Roaring Fork
505 CFS
Lower Roaring Fork
741 CFS
North Star
21.3 CFS

September Rafting and Fishing Report


We will be wrapping up our rafting season Monday. We can continue booking private trips as long as the river stays up. Otherwise, we recommend fly-fishing trips! 

We offer snacks, local beers, water and other beverages after the trips, and, best of all, we have FREE PHOTOS!!

The Middle Roaring Fork is great for families with kids 5 and up, and at least 40lbs. 

Inflatable kayaks are a fun, adventurous trip in your own kayak! Guides will give you on-shore instructions as well as when you’re on the water. Everyone must know how to swim. This half-day adventure is great for kids 12+ and adults looking for an adventure but don’t have the time for a full day trip. 

For those with young children and folks that just want something relaxing, the Lower Roaring Fork is a beautiful section with great scenery and the occasional wildlife sighting! 

Northstar Nature Preserve has low water, but it’s still a scenic and relaxing way to enjoy the river. We’re putting in at South Gate now, so no need to worry about beaver dams! 


The Roaring Fork is now in late season mode until the beginning of fall when the weather starts to cool off. This means generally low flows and clear water. Luckily we have been seeing fairly consistent rainfall which has kept the river cool and fish happy. The quality of the fishing has been day by day and weather dependent.

The lower roaring fork seems to be past the mid summer bout of warm water temps and people are now fishing the river all day long. We still recommend getting out in the morning when the water is cooler but you should be ok for an afternoon fishing session, just keep your eye on the temperature (see link at bottom of report) or better yet bring a thermometer on the river with you. Rule of thumb is not to fish water over 68 degrees. Our guides have been focusing on suspended fish in the deep and fast water as well as the shallows near the banks and on inside bends. The best way to cover these zones is either with a short and light nymph setup or a dry dropper “chubby rig”. The chubby rig consists of a larger dry fly, preferably a chubby chernobyl to 2 small nymphs (one beadhead and one unweighted nymph is my preference). Most of the larger insects of summer have come and gone, so keep your flies small and your tippets light down here. Midges, beatis and tricos are the main hatches at the moment.  We have been seeing lots of storms on the Crystal drainage which has been blowing the river out to the point of not being fishable. Usually the blowouts clear in a day or two. If you are lucky enough to catch the river when it’s first rising or while it’s clearing the streamer fishing can be outstanding and a great way to land some true trophies.

The upper Roaring Fork has been relatively consistent. The action generally starts with midges early morning then ramps up with the short but intense trico hatch. This hatch can be difficult to fish as these insects are almost too small to imitate with a fly and there are so many naturals in the water.  A lot of days the fishing can be quiet until after the tricos roll through. After the trico hatch you can get away with a mix of standard beadhead attractor flies as well as small RS2’s, midges and the like. When nymphing on this section don’t overlook the riffles. You would be surprised at how skinny and fast these fish will hold.

The dry fly fishing can be fantastic this time of year on the upper river. Sight fishing opportunities abound with the water so low and clear the fish have nowhere to hide. Pocket water plinking with a dry dropper rig can also be a blast. When fishing the pocket water the key is a very buoyant yet small dry fly paired with a #14-#18 beadhead nymph. I especially like small foam flies for this purpose, Yeager’s 409, Foam Caddis and Mini Chubbies are all good options.

Best Flies Include:

  • Stimulators #10-14
  • Foam Caddis #14-16
  • Parawulff #16 PMD color, #18-20 olive
  • H&L Variants #10-12
  • Hares Ears #14-16
  • Soft Hackle Caddis #14-16
  • Sally Nymphs such as Micro Wired Stones or UV Sallies #14-16
  • Pheasant Tails #14-18
  • Frenchies #14-16 
  • Split Wing PMD’s #16
  • Prince Nymphs #10-18
  • Swiss Emergers #16 for PMDs, #20-22 for Tricos
  • Variety on streamers
man in a boat showing off the tiger trout he caught
River Section
Age Minimum
Middle Roaring Fork
5+ 40lbs
Inflatable Kayaks
12+ adventurous & strong swimmers
Lower Roaring Fork
4 and at least 35lbs
Pine Creek
16+ Must be physically fit and a strong swimmer
14+ Must be physically fit and a strong swimmer
Browns Canyon
10yo adventurous and strong swimmers
Wade Fishing
8 +
Float Fishing
12+, experience recommended
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