Fishing Report for the Arkansas River

 

 

Arkansas River Fishing Report

 

 

 

 

NEW Fly Fishing Video Report (Early Spring)

 

 

 

February 23rd, 2020

 

Arkansas River (Lower Freestone Basin)

 

General Overview

Well folks, it really feels like the early stages of Spring are here...the last few days have been in the 60's in Canon City! Although we know we're in for a few more winter storms, typically we really turn a corner the last week of February...and this year is no different. We've begun to see Stoneflies crawling rather heavily in the Canon City and Bighorn Canyon sections indicating the start of the Molting activity that will span from now through March. This is a key indicator that Spring has begun and these Stoneflies will ramp up fishing productivity dramatically over the next several weeks. Ice flow has been rather minimal due to the massive warm up this past weekend. Canon City and most of Bighorn Canyon are offering strong options from the late morning through late afternoon.

 

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


Stream Conditions

Wellsville Flowrate: 259 CFS 

Cañon City Flowrate: 273 CFS 

Clarity: Gin Clear

 

The *Winter Flow Management Program has begun which introduces a pretty good release out of Twin Lakes via Lake Creek into the river. This program is in place to move water downstream and open up capacity in our upstream reservoirs for snowmelt next Spring. However, release has been cut due to very low snowpack at the headwater thus far. We probably won't see much more than 400cfs at the Wellsville gauge this winter, with a dry winter forecast and not much carryover from last season...but more water in the system does keep water temps more consistent and typically allows for less shelf ice formation.

 

Arkansas Tailwater Fly Fishing Guide

 

Suggested Methods

 Immature Stoneflies and Caddis Larva are always part of the program in the winter, especially as attractor flies in nymphing rigs. In addition, fish have responded well to Cranefly Larva and Stonefly nymphs over the course of the last several weeks. As the Stonefly Molt starts to crank up, look for fish to really respond to those crawlers along with a continued focus on Midge Lifecycle activity. As you prepare for the early Spring season, understand that much of it consists of nymphing with a key focus on dark and light Stoneflies (to follow the Molt).

 

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

*Note: Please CLICK HERE for Chaffee County’s current restrictions and guidance for recreation.

After the coldest week of the year in the 2nd week of February, things have warmed up dramatically on the entire drainage...potentially as an indicator that the first few weeks of "early Spring" have arrived. Still a little ice flow from Salida up in the mornings, and plenty of shelf ice to deal with in shady areas...but plenty of open water to take advantage of. Stonefly Molt activity happens a little later on the Upper Basin, but we should see some bugs become more active in the coming weeks which will really ramp fishing up!

 

Stream Conditions

Granite Flowrate: 90 CFS (ICE)

Salida Flowrate: 258 CFS (ICE)

Clarity: Clear 


 

Suggested Methods

  Immature Stoneflies and Caddis Larva are always part of the program in the winter, especially as attractor flies in nymphing rigs. In addition, fish have responded well to Cranefly Larva and Stonefly nymphs over the course of the last several weeks. As the Stonefly Molt starts to crank up, look for fish to really respond to those crawlers along with a continued focus on Midge Lifecycle activity. As you prepare for the early Spring season, understand that much of it consists of nymphing with a key focus on dark and light Stoneflies (to follow the Molt).

 

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...

 



Royal Gorge Anglers Ask a Question