River & Fishing Report

Water Information
Water Temperature
47º
Slaughterhouse
899
Upper Roaring Fork
1300 CFS
Lower Roaring Fork
3430 CFS
North Star
266 CFS

Rafting and Fishing Report

Rafting

Snow is melting and the rivers are running! Now is the time to get on the river. 

We are currently running all rafting trips on the Roaring Fork River. We have wetsuits, neoprene boots, and splash tops to keep everyone warm during this unpredictable spring weather.

As water levels rise, so will our age minimums. 

Slaughterhouse is at a fun level with big drops, big splashes, and lots of paddling! Physical fitness is a must and everyone in your group needs to be a strong swimmer!

The Upper Roaring Fork is great for groups that want excitement, but aren’t ready for Class IV or have kids from 10-14. 

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 a few beaver dams that are fairly easy to get over, but make sure you have shoes with you! 

Fishing

Spring is here and the days are getting longer! With the warmer weather, snowmelt is in full effect and spring runoff has begun. We’re expecting the water levels to be on the rise until sometime in early June. The river level is on the rise but that doesn’t necessarily mean the fishing is poor. Using the appropriate tactics and techniques for high, fast water, our clients have been quite successful.

We are very fortunate that, due to the unique geology in our watershed, the upper sections of the Roaring Fork River never get entirely “blown out” or too murky to fish. As you move downstream below Basalt water clarity becomes much more of an issue. We recommend sticking to either the upper Roaring Fork or the Frying Pan River (which is dam controlled) for the best conditions. Afternoons tend to be best since that’s when the water is the lowest.  Float fishing in our area all takes place on the lower Roaring Fork and the Colorado Rivers and will most likely not be fishable till early June.

For best results we’ve been sticking to nymph fishing with larger and or brighter colored attractor nymphs. The murkier and higher the water the bigger and brighter you can go with your flies. Use heavy flies and or split shots to get down to the bottom. Focus on the edges and slower moving water behind rocks and on the inside bends. One of the advantages to high water fishing is that you can get away with large flies and stout tippet (3x or even 2x).

Best flies include: 

  • Stoneflies, such as Pat’s rubber leg #8-10
  • Drake Nymphs, 20 inches and Prince Nymphs #10-12 work well 
  • Flashy flies such as Rainbow warriors #16, Lightning bugs #16-12, and Psycho Princes #16-12 
  • Also, as the wetlands flood, tons of worms end up in the river, especially close to Aspen. 
  • San Juans and Squirmies work well in various colors and sizes.

 

Looking forward, as we head into June, the fishing will improve dramatically. As soon as the river peaks and starts to come back down we will be seeing a plethora of hatches including the famous Green Drake Hatch. By late June we should be experiencing some of the best dry fly fishing of the year. The best way to experience this epic fishing is by doing an evening float on the lower Roaring Fork or Colorado Rivers.

Spring time fly-fishing rainbow trout
River Section
Age Minimum
Slaugherhouse
15 +
Upper Roaring Fork
9 +
Lower Roaring Fork
4 and at least 35lbs
Wade Fishing
10 +
Float Fishing
Not Recommended at this time

Aspen

71°F
Broken clouds
Thursday
22%
11:50 AM
Min: 36°F
771
02:16 AM
Max: 70°F
SW 8 mph
Thursday
73°F
48°F
Friday
52°F
28°F
Saturday
33°F
19°F
Sunday
45°F
18°F
Monday
44°F
30°F
Tuesday
52°F
26°F
Wednesday
55°F
31°F