Fishing Report for the Arkansas River

 

 

Arkansas River Fishing Report

 

 

Arkansas River Private Water Fly Fishing Guide Trip

 

 

NEW Fly Fishing Video Report (Spring)

 

 

 

May 12th, 2021

 

Arkansas River (Lower Freestone Basin)

 

General Overview

After some much needed precipitation over the course of the last 72hrs, we've now returned to more blue-bird weather and forecasts for highs in the low-70's for the remainder of the week. The river is holding at around 250-300cfs in Bighorn Canyon and clarity is strong (2-3ft). Its really been a variety-show of bug activity out there for the last week or so. We've continued to see a fair amount of egglaying Caddis returning to the river in the low light time periods, with small localized hatches in the afternoons. Though the blizzard hatches are behind us, anglers can still find a substantial amount of Caddis in parts of the canyon. Fish still seem to be heavily focused on the lifecycle of the BWO, as well as Stonefly nymphs and Cranefly Larva/ Adults regardless of the weather. Based on the forecast we should see another 10 day to 2 weeks of excellent wading conditions on the Freestone...and based on the snowpack (60% of Average), we expect runoff to be very short lived this season.

 Plan some days...fishing has been strong, and consider a guided trip if you want to maximize your time (888) 994-6743.

 

For guided trip bookings on the Arkansas Freestone/ Tailwater, other drainages and our private ranches. Remember, we have options on public & private sections as well as float options on both the Freestone and Tailwater! Call Us Toll Free (888) 994-6743 or CLICK HERE for more information.


Stream Conditions

Wellsville Flowrate: 298 CFS 

Cañon City Flowrate: 250 CFS 

Clarity: Tinted to Clear

Conditions are extremely low, not much release with low snowpack...but clarity has been great for early May! At this stage, we may not see mother river hold at more than 350-400cfs at the Wellsville gauge this Spring, with only 80% snowpack on the drainage...a difficult prospect for floating yet optimal for wading.

 

Arkansas Tailwater Fly Fishing Guide

 

Suggested Methods

 Spring is a Blue Winged Olive and Caddis game on the Arkansas. However, fish will continue to respond very well to Stonefly Nymphs and Cranefly Larva. At this point in time, our rigging simply follows the lifecycles. Be prepared to nymph the BWO and/ or Caddis Lifecycle early in the day and do focus your efforts on the substrate. As soon as bug activity begins to ramp up, change your rig accordingly into either a shallower emerger style nymphing rig, dry dropper or pure adult focused dry fly rig. Always keep a streamer rod handy as well...streamer fishing will be consistent from here on out with 45 degree plus water temps. Laslty, don't forget to have a few Cranefly adults handy, as there have been quite a few on the water in areas...and are a blast to fish along side Caddis and BWOs!

 

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

Hasn't been a whole lot of Caddis activity with the cool down this week. With the warm up this weekend, we may see some more hatch movement (potentially heavy in the Brown's Canyon section). Otherwise, fish are still on BWO lifecycle heavy on the Upper Basin, along with Stonefly nymphs, Craneflies, etc. We expect to see relatively strong activity from now until runoff on the Upper Basin.

 

Stream Conditions

Granite Flowrate: 156 CFS

Salida Flowrate: 297 CFS

Clarity: Clear

 

Suggested Methods

Spring is a Blue Winged Olive and Caddis game on the Arkansas. However, fish will continue to respond very well to Stonefly Nymphs and Cranefly Larva. At this point in time, our rigging simply follows the lifecycles. Be prepared to nymph the BWO and/ or Caddis Lifecycle early in the day and do focus your efforts on the substrate. As soon as bug activity begins to ramp up, change your rig accordingly into either a shallower emerger style nymphing rig, dry dropper or pure adult focused dry fly rig. Always keep a streamer rod handy as well...streamer fishing will be consistent from here on out with 45 degree plus water temps. Laslty, don't forget to have a few Cranefly adults handy, as there have been quite a few on the water in areas...and are a blast to fish along side Caddis and BWOs!

 

 

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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