Fishing Report for the Arkansas River

 

Arkansas River Fishing Report

 

Fly Fishing Sale

 

Check out our latest Streamside Report!

 

 

October 3, 2022

 

 

Arkansas River (Lower Freestone Basin)

 

General Overview

Welcome to October and fantastic fishing on the Lower Basin of the "Mighty Ark!" Really, the last several weeks have featured some of the most consistent fishing of the year...due to overnight temperatures dropping nicely, great conditions (flows & clarity) and alot of bug activity. This week's weather looks absolutely prime with cooler/ overcast conditions, we expect for fishing to continue to be very, very productive with a key focus on the BWO lifecycle! Get here soon to experience some continuing strong dry/ dropper fishing and hatch activity!

 

Flows are now completely ramped down to "native" with the end of the voluntary flow management program...the Wellsville gauge has now dipped down to 350cfs and Granite is holding at approximately 100cfs.  As of today, we've looking at gin clear clarity in Bighorn Canyon and Canon City. It looks like conditions should hold nicely (and flows may even drop slightly) in the coming weeks. Our primary focuses continues to be on the Red Quill, Trico, Midge, and Caddis lifecycle; however, there has been a huge upturn in BWO activity along with residual Hoppers, Flying Ants and Craneflies in the mix. In addition the Streamer bite continues to be very strong and that will only build with the Brown Trout population entering pre-spawn.

Fall is one of our favorite seasons of the year as guides...there are 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: 402 CFS

Cañon City Flowrate: 365 CFS 

Clarity- Clear *A little release at Clear Creek Reservoir accounts for the majority of the flow bump. No clarity issues at this time.

 

 Releases out of Twin Lakes have now been fully stepped down with the end of the VFMP (Voluntary Flow Management Program), and we expect to see the river hold at round 300-350cfs in Bighorn Canyon. Clarity has been exceptional, and that will continue.

 

Suggested Methods

Wading is now optimal, and we recommend you steer clear of floating at this point in time...but conditions will typically be very stable and the Brown Trout population will be entering "pre-spawn" which typically turns their feeding habits and aggressiveness up a notch...get out there to enjoy!

We're now firmly in the the Fall season on the Arkansas, which can truly be one of the most productive seasons of the year! Our guides are still seeing substantial amounts of Red Quills, Caddis, 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 Trico, Yellow Sally, BWO and 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!

 

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" has been in phenomenal shape for the past month or so, with low/ gin clear conditions. This does present some hurdles for many anglers, however, as fish are alot spookier! Stealth is the name of the game now upstream...long leaders and long casts. We've seen alot of the same bug activity continue on the Upper Basin as on the lower, however BWO lifecycle activity is now front and center.

Stream Conditions

Leadville Flowrate: 45.5 CFS

Granite Flowrate: 145 CFS

Salida Flowrate: 394 CFS

Clarity: Clear *A little release at Clear Creek Reservoir accounts for the majority of the flow bump. No clarity issues at this time.  

 

Suggested Methods

With flow-rates returning to a more native level over the course of the next few weeks, wading will become optimal and floating a bit more technical...but conditions will typically be very stable and the Brown Trout population will be entering "pre-spawn" which typically turns their feeding habits and aggressiveness up a notch...get out there to enjoy!

We're nearing the end of that Summer Primetime window on the Arkansas Freestone and moving into early Fall, which is an exceptional time of the year to be fishing many drainages in Colorado! Our guides are still seeing substantial amounts of Red Quills, Caddis, 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 Trico, Yellow Sally, BWO and 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...

 



Royal Gorge Anglers Ask a Question