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)
October 21st, 2016
Clarity: Gin Clear (Top to Bottom)
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Very unseasonably warm weather has the river fishing above average even for the Fall, which is typically one of our most productive seasons! This is a great window of opportunity for anglers to take advantage of very opportunistic feeding within our Brown Trout population as they try to store calories for spawning. Currently, with cooling overnight lows, the lower basin (Bighorn Canyon) will be your most productive section throughout the day. While there are windows of great opportunity in the Middle and Upper Basins, it is taking some time to for radiant heat to warm the water column and get bugs moving around, effectively cutting productive fishing time down.
Fish are still very opportunistic on attractor dries and dry/ dropper rigs, and we will see that continue with heavy pre-spawn feeding...however, our guides are running a bit longer leaders and smaller tippet diameters with the gin clear water. Nymphing has been a staple with the brighter conditions, especially as the sun gets high in the sky from 11AM-3PM...and fish are hard on Stonefly nymphs deep again. Streamer fishing has really turned on again, and that will continue to heat up as fish get more territorial along with their pre-spawn behavior. All in all, fishing is great, and its one of the most enjoyable time periods of the year on the Arkansas!
**Please be aware that in the coming weeks our Brown trout population will begin spawning. Fishing will continue to be very productive during this time period, however, please be cautious when wading to steer clear of Redds (clean patches of gravel) where fish are actively spawning, and please do not target any fish that are actively spawning on Redds.
The flow augmentation portion of the voluntary flow management program ended on August 15th. The river has stabilized at right around 250cfs at Wellsville, and right at 100cfs at Granite. Flows don't get any easier for wading, however fish get a bit more technical out of the boat. All in all, fishing has been lights out after the flow step-down, and with cooling weather in the long term forecast, that excellent fishing will continue!
Fall hatches are really underway in a big way at this point in time. Midge Lifecycle Activity and Red Quill Spinnerfalls are on scene in the mornings, and we are seeing heavy Blue Winged Olive lifecycle activity in the afternoons. Fish are definitely still in that opportunistic feeding mode, so our guides are still taking advantage of great Dry/ Dropper and Dry/ Copper/ Dropper activity along with great streamer productivity during certain time periods. It's Fall Primetime on the Arkansas...plan a day soon!
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The river moved out of the Voluntary Flow Management Program time period on August 15th. Native flows have stabilized in the 100cfs window on the Upper Basin and 250-300cfs window in Bighorn Sheep Canyon. These are excellent wading conditions, but its getting low and technical for floating....
Arkansas River Video Fly Fishing Report (October)
Fall Primetime is now on the Arkansas River, and this time period is hard to beat from a productivity standpoint! Our guides are still witnessing large Red Quill spinner falls, along with residual heavy Red Quill lifecycle activity...and a strong push of Blue Winged Olive lifecycle activity in the afternoons. Mornings are a bit cooler this time of year, and typically we are witnessing heavier feeding on Stonefly nymphs and Midge Larva/ Pupa until around 11AM. Anglers should focus on double/ triple nymph rigs, deep in the water column in the mornings...however, you may witness a heavy Spinnerfall of Red Quills in the 8AM-10AM window, so make sure you are prepared for that. Around mid-day Blue Winged Olives will begin to drift throughout the water column, and if conditions are right, anglers will witness heavy emergence and Adult activity in the afternoons. Our guides continue to focus on BWO nymphs and Emergers in collaboration with Stonefly nymphs until fish are witnessed keying on mergers or drys in the film or on the surface...at which time a switch to Dry/ Emerger rigs will be effective. With our Brown Trout population going into pre-spawn, fish are still very opportunistic feeders...they will still eat a big dry or dry/ dropper. Streamer fishing has been excellent, and expect that to continue as fish become more territorial. Tandem streamer is the way to go, big up front with a rubberleg stone or trout fry trailer.
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The Arkansas Tailwater below Pueblo Reservior
Flows are stabilizing around 100cfs finally! We expect fishing to be very productive in October. BWO lifecycle and some lingering caddis are the main items on the menu, along with standard attractor nymphs....
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, Caddis, 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, Caddis Larva or BWO Nymph. When fish key to a hatch, anglers will need to focus on very long leaders and small tippet, especially on the bigger fish. Of course emergers in the subsurface film will also be productive. With lower flows, hatches may become quite productive again….