One of the most consistently productive waters in Colorado, the Roaring fork holds a large amount of brown, rainbow, cutthroat, brook trout and whitefish depending on where you fish.  The lower sections contain mainly browns and rainbows while the upper reaches by Aspen and it’s tributaries hold cutties and brook.  Whitefish are also plentiful in this river though are hit and miss.  Usually when you find one you’ll find 100.  You can float and wade a lot of this river and many public access points are made available to anglers.  When the water is low you can wade most of the river.  You can float the river through late spring into early fall before the flows make it difficult to get over the rocks.

For Colorado it’s a pretty large river and breaking it up into smaller sections as you fish it will help you find the trout.  There are so many fish in this river and it’s a great place for beginners.  Don’t worry when the water gets off color, the fish don’t seem to mind and can see right through the murky water for even the smallest flies.  I catch a lot of fish up here in the spring and it’s a great place to spend a weekend.  Glenwood springs, Carbondale and Aspen are all along the river and there are many shops, restaurants and more to keep you busy.  If you prefer to get away into the wilderness some, try the service roads or up the frying pan road to get to some camping and out of the cities. Much of this river runs through towns and homes in the valley, though once you are on the water, all the civilization drops away as you chase the hard-fighting and often eager trout of the Roaring fork river.

Upper Section

The upper section holds smaller fish, but a lot of them.  Many tributaries are up here around Aspen and the river is more braided creating a more small stream fishing environment.  This is a fun place to explore and there is plenty of access.  Lot of whitefish in this area too.

Middle Section

This is the most scenic part of the river and upstream and downstream of carbondale is the middle section.  The frying pan and crystal river come into the roaring fork here making the river larger and more floatable.  You can typically float from this section all the way to the Colorado river confluence and below.

Lower Section

The lower section has more private water, but you can float over it and as you get near Glenwood and the confluence there are a few parks that give public access and eager fish.  Though this receives more pressure the fishing can still be good.  This section gets hot in the late summer and care should be taken to revive fish well and play them quickly so you don’t kill them by exhausting them.