Fishing Report for the Arkansas River

 

 

Arkansas River Fishing Report

 

 

Arkansas River Fly Fishing Festival

Arkansas River Fly Fishing Festival

 

 

March 18th, 2019

 

 

Lower River (Canon City through Salida)

 

General Overview

This past week was characterized by a major warm up coupled with several releases of project water...presenting both opportunities and challenges to anglers. Warmer temps have brought exponentially more bug activity within our Stonefly and Mayfly populations. Although we haven't seen any dramatic BWO hatches, its been sunny...so with cloud cover and a continuation of this warming trend, we could see some substantial BWO hatch activity this week. Snowpack is holding at 140% of average, so these preliminary Spring releases are to insure we don't have to move a massive amount of water out of our upstream reservoirs in April and May (which would potentially be harmful to our Brown Trout escapement and bug lifecycle activity). However, we do expect for flows to be higher than average as long as snow pack holds/ builds. We don't expect for flows to drop below 700cfs prior to runoff, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, it just requires adjustment on how you approach the river. 

Snow and ice along the banks and edges has diminished rapidly simply due to more sun angle, especially from Cotopaxi Upstream. Still some shelf ice in the lower canyon, however, that will resolve shortly. Long story short, access to and from the river is easy and wading is a breeze. In addition, it looks like we'll have enough contributing release this Spring for solid floating conditions! Its time to make plans to get to the Arkansas River NOW! 

Call Us Toll Free (888) 994-6743 for up to the minute reports or if you have any questions about the other countless fly fishing opportunities in our area. 

For guided trips on the Arkansas, other drainages and our private ranches..... Call Us Toll Free (888) 994-6743 or CLICK HERE for more information. 

 

Stream Conditions

Wellsville Flowrate: 687 CFS

Canon City Flowrate: 745 CFS 

Clarity: Stained to Clear

The VFMP (Voluntary Flow Management Program) is in effect now with around 450cfs of release out of Twin Lakes. We will continue to see some augmented release due to the current snowpack levels (close to 150% of average) in order to make room for incoming snow melt in Late May. 

 

Suggested Methods

Its Early Spring on the Arkansas River Basin. Its time to start thinking Stonefly Molt activity, and we aren't far from heavy BWO lifecycle activity. More consistent warm days will move things along rapidly, and with the exception of a few snow days, it doesn't look like any big arctic fronts in our future. 

You will be best suited to prepare with some smaller Stonefly representations in multiple shades and weights. Fish will also respond well to free swimming Caddis larva and Cranefly larva. There will be a continuation of heavy Midge activity throughout early March, so keep those winter staples at hand. 

Ready to learn how to approach Winter fishing on the Arkansas? Call us (888) 994-6743 to book a guide...

 

Lower Arkansas River Map (Canon City to Salida)
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Upper River (Salida through Leadville) 

 

General Overview

Things are really coming along on the Upper Basin, due to a little bit of a warm up and release water clearing out much of the shoreline and shelf ice. Still, we're about 2-3 weeks behind our normal Spring fishing schedule.  

 

Stream Conditions

Leadville Flowrate: ICE

Granite Flowrate: 510 CFS

Salida Flowrate: 675 CFS

Clarity: Stained to Clear

The VFMP (Voluntary Flow Management Program) is in effect now with around 450cfs of release out of Twin Lakes. We will continue to see some augmented release due to the current snowpack levels (over 100%) in order to make room for incoming snow melt in Late May. 

Suggested Methods

We're moving out of winter into Late Spring on the Arkansas River Basin. The Upper River can be a tough go of it for much of the Winter Season, but we'll start to see some warming trends. On the bug scene, much of what we focus on is in the Midge lifecycle along with our standard staples of Stoneflies, Caddis Larva and BWO nymphs. Focus your efforts on the substrate in deeper tail-outs. 

Ready to learn how to approach low-water Fall fishing on the Arkansas? Call us (888) 994-6743 to book a guide...

 

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Upper Arkansas River Map (Salida to Leadville)