Flowing out of Pueblo Reservoir, the Arkansas Tailwater meanders through vast cottonwood groves in the Lake Pueblo State Park and through the City of Pueblo. The upper 4 miles of this tailwater was featured in the top 50 tailwaters in North America and is featured in the book, "50 Best Tailwaters to Fly Fish," by Wendy and Terry Gunn. Our very own Taylor Edrington wrote the chapter on the Arkansas Tailwater, during which he describes the vast bio diversity, strong structural habitat, and high fish populations that make this tailwater one of North America's Premier Tailwater fisheries. Our Arkansas River Guided Fly Fishing can show you the ropes, if you truly want to learn how to be productive on the Arkansas.
Please enjoy our in depth reports on the Arkansas Freestone and Tailwater, and we look forward to seeing you in the flyshop! Toll Free (888) 994-6743
The Arkansas River (Freestone)
June 22nd, 2016
**Clarity: Native Flows Falling...Clear at Hayden Meadows, 2 Ft of Clarity in Upper Bighorn Sheep Canyon
Things are returning to fishable form from the headwater through Bighorn Canyon. All tributaries to the Arkansas along with the native mainstem are receding even with very warm weather. While there is still some snowpack at high elevation up North, it is the snowpack that sustains our tributaries during the Summer and not a dirty water contributor. Flows are 1400cfs at Granite, and 2300cfs at Salida...so, approaching the river at this level is done with caution, walking the shorelines. However, what we have tried to teach people for nearly 30 years, is that all of the fish are tucked against the edges (out of the heavy velocity areas), so the shorelines are where you want to be! We do expect for flows to continue to fall over the next 10 days, so expect the access and fishing to get even better! From a hatch standpoint, we are starting to see all of our Early Summer hatches come into play. We are seeing good numbers of Yellow Sallies, Caddis, Hoppers and PMDs along with a few Golden Stones. The Golden Stone Hatch will only build over the next month, but you still want to have a big bug mindset, as fish are very opportunistic feeders at this flowrate.
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Peak runoff has come and gone, and all native flows are falling on tributaries and the mainstem of the Arkansas. Flows are in the 800 cfs range at Hayden Meadows, 1400 cfs at Granite and 2300 cfs at Salida. We expect for flows to continue to fall over the next few weeks as native flows and tributary flows recede. All you should be concerned with is fishing the edges, whether from a boat or wading.
Arkansas River Video Fly Fishing Report
**Our text reports will return shortly, as conditions become more stable. Right now take advantage of our text reports or give us a call at (888) 994-6743.
Fish are very opportunistic feeders during the clearing edges/ receding water time period. Long story short, go big on your flies! While it is early in the hatch, we are beginning to see a few large Golden Stones up and down the river corridor. In addition, there are a ton of Yellow Sallies, Hoppers, Caddis and PMDs. Our guides focus on Large Dry/ Dropper Rigs and Streamers...while carrying a variety of hatch matching patterns. Rigging a large foam Hopper or Stonefly Dry with a Yellow Sally nymph, Caddis Larva or PMD nymph dropper will be your best route for overall success. Working the afore mentioned dry/ dropper rig up a shoreline, and then throwing a streamer on to work back is a method that will be very productive for you. It is always crucial to have Caddis, PMD, Yellow Sally and Golden Stone hatch matching dries in your box in case you find a pocket of rising fish feeding on a specific hatch. For the most part, cherry picking good shorelines with plenty of slack water/ pocket water and working them with the big dry/ dropper rig and streamers will be your best method.
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The Arkansas Tailwater below Pueblo Reservior
Elevated releases due to water movement have this section offline. However, as flows are reduced, fishing will be hot. Look for flows in the 1500 cfs range or lower before fishing becomes productive...and keep an eye on this report.
Royal Gorge Anglers happens to hold the oldest permit on the Arkansas Tailwater, and our very experienced tailwater guides grew up fishing this section. Ready to learn this section the right way? Give us a call Toll Free (888) 994-6743, to book your tailwater guide today! Prebook for fantastic Winter Fishing Online Now
The tailwater is a technical nymphing fishery for the most part. However, BWO and Midge activity will have fish up for several hours a day. Our emphasis is placed on czech nymphing and high stick nymphing, using many methods similar to the Upper Arkansas, however, with different bugs. Focus on a heavy attractor nymph, i.e. San Juan Worm, Pig Sticker, Crane Fly Larva, etc. And, depending on your rigging (Std, or Czech), drop or lead with a bright (orange/ red/ chartreuse) Midge Larva, or dark BWO Nymph (Purple, Black, Dk. Brown). When fish key to a hatch, anglers will need to focus on very long leaders and small tippet, especially on the bigger fish. 12 ft- 7x leader rigs with size 20-26 BWO Adults, and size 20-26 Midge Adults will be the ticket. Of course emergers in the subsurface film will also be productive. With lower flows, hatches may become quite productive again….