Fishing Report for the Arkansas River

 

Arkansas River Fishing Report

 

Fly Fish Colorado

 

Summer Primetime Video Report!

 

 

August 13, 2022

 

 

Arkansas River (Lower Freestone Basin)

 

General Overview

Conditions are exceptional and fishing has been very strong this week on the "Mighty Ark." Flows are right in the average range (700cfs at Wellsville)...presenting both the wade and float angler alot of fantastic options. Summer hatches have continued to ramp up...it is a literal buffet line of bugs out there right now. Our primary focuses will be on the Red Quill, Trico, Caddis and Yellow Sally lifecycle; however, there are still PMDs, Midges, Hoppers, Flying Ants and Craneflies in the mix. In addition the Streamer bite continues to be very hot and is especially effective from the boat.

Alot of options right now! Strong options up and down the Arkansas Freestone no that we're in Summer Primetime, with guides positioned all the way from the Upper Basin (Buena Vista to Leadville) down through Canon City. The Arkansas Tailwater continues to fish very well with flows now in the Fall range...clarity is great and hatches are plentiful. Our backcountry options, South Platte trips and lake powerboat trips are now entering prime time as well, so those are great options. Limitless fly fishing opportunities in the Royal Gorge Region...so give us a shout to get out on the water! Questions? Call us (888) 994-6743 or CLICK HERE for more information.


Stream Conditions

Wellsville Flowrate: 742 CFS

Cañon City Flowrate: 684 CFS 

Clarity- Clear to Tinted, 3-4ft of visibility  

 

Flow augmentation from the voluntary flow management program is in place. We should have plenty of water in storage for the program to hold flows at or above 700cfs until mid-August, at which time flows will return to native. Currently clarity is strong and water temperature is in a very manageable level for the trout population.

 

Suggested Methods

We've now moved into that Summer Primetime "feeding frenzy" on the Arkansas Freestone. Our guides are now seeing substantial amounts of Yellow Sallies, Caddis, Red Quills, Tricos, Stoneflies...and of course Hoppers on a daily basis. Dry/ dropper fishing will of course be your fan favorite...be prepared with strong floating/ big bushy dry flies and heavy tungsten nymphs in the Sally, PMD, Red Quill category for droppers. Streamer fishing has been absolutely exceptional with a keen focus on Black and Olive...and go big or go home...with a sink tip to keep it in the strike zone. Nymphing should also be readily available if you want to maximize productivity (especially in the middle of the day as the sun gets high), so be sure you're prepared with a strong selection of Stonefly nymphs, leeches, Annelids (worms), and Cranefly Larva for lead flies on a double nymph rig.  Be sure to handle and release fish carefully during the heat of the day, and keep 'em wet!

Fish have certainly began to spread out with more consistent flows in the 700cfs range, so you'll need to cover water for best success...and if you've got gin clear water be sure to size your tippet diameter down (5x-6x).

 

Royal Gorge Anglers operates the oldest fly fishing guide service and full service flyshop on the Arkansas River Freestone and Arkansas River Tailwater. Our guide service also offers various guided fly fishing experiences on the South Platte River, Gunnison River, Stillwater, Private Ranches, Backcountry and more. CLICK HERE to Learn more about our Guided Trip Options or Call us (888) 994-6743 ext 2 to talk to us directly...

 

Interactive Arkansas River Map

 

 

 

Arkansas River (Upper Freestone Basin)

 

General Overview

 
Looking very strong on the Upper Basin...with steady flows, clear water and ALOT of hatches. Nothing too different on the Upper Basin compared to the Lower...fishing has been exceptional stem to stern! It looks like we've got a fantastic weather week ahead of us and the hatches (Yellow Sallies, Tricos, Caddis and Red Quills) are really beginning to ramp up substantially. Fish are opportunistic...we are in SUMMER PRIMETIME on the Arkansas! Clarity is now in the 3-4ft range from stem to stern, and flows are now below 800 cfs range.  As a reminder, wading is still tricky, and it's still a time period to walk the edges or float and hammer the edges with a dry/ dropper rig or streamer, as fish are still holding in the outside third of the river.  Continued drops in flows will allow the fish to begin moving off the edges.

Stream Conditions

Granite Flowrate: 470 CFS

Salida Flowrate: 775 CFS

Clarity: Clear

 

Suggested Methods

We've now moved into that Summer Primetime "feeding frenzy" on the Arkansas Freestone. Our guides are now seeing substantial amounts of Yellow Sallies, Caddis, Red Quills, Tricos, Stoneflies...and of course Hoppers on a daily basis. Dry/ dropper fishing will of course be your fan favorite...be prepared with strong floating/ big bushy dry flies and heavy tungsten nymphs in the Sally, PMD, Red Quill category for droppers. Streamer fishing has been absolutely exceptional with a keen focus on Black and Olive...and go big or go home...with a sink tip to keep it in the strike zone. Nymphing should also be readily available if you want to maximize productivity (especially in the middle of the day as the sun gets high), so be sure you're prepared with a strong selection of Stonefly nymphs, leeches, Annelids (worms), and Cranefly Larva for lead flies on a double nymph rig.  Be sure to handle and release fish carefully during the heat of the day, and keep 'em wet!

Fish have certainly began to spread out with more consistent flows in the 400cfs range, so you'll need to cover water for best success...and if you've got gin clear water be sure to size your tippet diameter down (5x-6x).


 

 

 

Royal Gorge Anglers operates the oldest fly fishing guide service and full service flyshop on the Arkansas River Freestone and Arkansas River Tailwater. Our guide service also offers various guided fly fishing experiences on the South Platte River, Gunnison River, Stillwater, Private Ranches, Backcountry and more. CLICK HERE to Learn more about our Guided Trip Options or Call us (888) 994-6743 ext 2 to talk to us directly...

 



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