Fishing Report for the Arkansas River

 

 

Arkansas River Fishing Report

 

 

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April 1st, 2020

 

Arkansas River (Lower Freestone Basin)

 

General Overview

This past week has been characterized by some very strong BWO hatch activity (Rain or Shine). Full lifecycle activity continues to be very productive throughout the day, and fish are continuing to eat Stonefly Nymphs and Cranefly Larva. Flows are now holding under 250cfs which has made for very easy wading and access, and the river is in phenomenal shape. Snow pack is now under 90% for the Arkansas River Basin, so we may not see much more water until runoff. All in all, fishing the Freestone is moving into the Spring Season as it typically does...on fire! 

 We've moved into the Spring flow management time frame...releases have been cut out of Twin Lakes and our overall flowrate in Bighorn Canyon is around 250cfs. This overall flow rate is in the target window for the Brown Trout Fry emergence, heavy hatch season and Rainbow Trout spawning. This flowrate should hold until downstream water calls are made.

 

For guided trip pre-bookings 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: 236 CFS

Canon City Flowrate: 277 CFS

Clarity: GIN Clear

Suggested Methods

We're moving into the Spring window from Canon City to Salida, which means a continuation of nymphing but also a major uptick in emerger and dry fly fishing. Stonefly Nymphs will still be a focal point for the next month or so as they continue to be very active in the substrate. Be sure to be prepared with a variety of size ranges and colors to take advantage of this part of the Spring season. Midges will still be key throughout the lifecycle, and we're also seeing fish move heavily to BWO nymphs and emergers. When the sun is high, be sure to migrate to heavier nymph rigs with the a-for mentioned bugs...and look for fish in deeper tailouts below oxygenated water. As we see building momentum within the BWO lifecycle, be sure to be prepared with emergers and adults as well. 

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

The Upper Basin is coming into great fishing shape...its Spring! We've had some great reports from the Browns Canyon and Buena Vista areas, and things in the Salida or "Milk Run" section have been consistent for 10 days or more. As on the Lower Basin, its officially BWO season, with a continuation of heavy Stonefly Nymph and Cranefly Larva activity. Its alot of fun on the mighty Arkansas Freestone, and will be until runoff (Mid to Late May)...plan your days.    

 

Stream Conditions

Leadville Flowrate: Offline (ICE)

Granite Flowrate: 111 CFS

Salida Flowrate: 190 CFS

Clarity: Clear

 

Suggested Methods

In the Early Spring on the Upper Basin we still focus on heavy nymphing rigs and midge dries. We're taking most of our fish on the typical Winter fare...Cranefly Nymphs, Midge Larva/Pupa, and Stonefly Nymphs. When the sun is high, be sure to migrate to heavier nymph rigs with the a-for mentioned bugs...and look for fish in deeper tailouts below oxygenated water. As water temps begin to roll into the mid 40's more widespread, be sure to be prepared with the full lifecycle of the BWO.

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