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
November 30th, 2015
We hope everyone had an enjoyable and safe Thanksgiving! As for things on tap on the Upper Arkansas....things look fairly promising this week after some pretty cool weather since Thanksgiving Day. We are expected to see near 60 degree daytime highs in Canon City starting Thursday, which will bode well for some opportunities to get on the water!
November is a month that is often overlooked on the Upper Arkansas. The fact is, we've got bug activity, hatches, and very productive fishing in Canon City and Bighorn Canyon especially....through Thanksgiving. Remember, the Lower Arkansas Basin (Canon City through Wellsville) is situated in the Banana Belt, and the weather is much more temperate than the high country or even the Front Range. As long as we see fair daytime temperatures, fish will be feeding heavily on the lifecycle of the Midge and BWO along with Stonefly nymphs and Cranefly Larva. The Middle Basin and Upper Basin (Salida through Leadville), becomes a bit tougher fishery in November, with much cooler overnight lows and daytime highs (on average 10-20 degrees cooler than Canon City), however, on warm days, you will find great opportunities even on the upper river.
BWOs and Midges are the staple diet of the trout population in November with a ton of Stonefly Nymph involvement additionally. Our guides will cover on a variety of methods (Triple Nymphing, Dry/ Dropper, Dry/ Emerger, Double Dry), based on water temperature and other variables for best success.
Streamer fishing is at its peak now due to the majority of the Brown Trout Population in pre-spawn or actively spawning. Stop by to check out the latest tandem streamer rig suggestions!
The time is now to enjoy fantastic Fall fishing on North America's longest Gold Medal River! New to the Arkansas or want to add to your skill set?
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Flows are now stabilized around 550 CFS with the first flow increase for the winter flow program. Expect to see flows int he 600-650 cfs range by November 20th in Bighorn Sheep Canyon. This is a typical winter flow, and will be helpful for maintaining a bit higher water temps (36-42 degrees) during the cold winter months while also making room for snow melt in June.
Arkansas River Video Fly Fishing Report
Triple Nymph rigs and Tandem Streamer Rigs are the name of the game right now on the Ark. It definitely behooves you to have a good selection of hatch matching dries to cover BWOs & Midges that can be found in Bighorn Canyon right now. Your bright days will bring a more keen focus on Midge Hatches, and overcast days a focus on BWOs. Anglers will be very successful if they cover the lifecycle of BWOs and Midges along with Stonefly nymphs and Cranefly Larva, and have the ability to change depth regularly.
With the Brown Trout population is now post-spawn and the majority of fish will be found in middle to low turbulence water. Look for deep tailouts to hold the majority of the trout population throughout the Winter months.
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The Arkansas Tailwater below Pueblo Reservior
Flows are now stabile in the 100 cvs range and will hold there through early Spring, as dictated by the Water Storage Program on the Arkansas. The fishing since the flows decreased and stabilized has been astonishingly good! To our surprise, our guides have witnessed extremely strong BWO hatch activity almost every day, and midge activity is solid. With the great weather this week, expect for things to be fantastic on the tailwater!
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 Fall 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….