Arkansas River
Lower

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Recent Guide Reports

Forecast






Trending Flies in Recent Reports

  1. Parachute Adams  

  2. Pheasant Tail  

  3. Foam Caddis  

  4. Caddis Larva  

  5. Juju Baetis  

  6. Baetis Nymph  

  7. Midge Larva  

  8. Sprout Baetis  

  9. Barr's Emerger BWO  

Current Conditions

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Fly Shop Directory

Recent Guide Reports

May 30 ArkAnglers

Saturday 5/30, 2020

Flow at Wellsville: 2,000 cfs

Water Temp.: low to mid 50s

Clarity: Dirty,

This report was written by ArkAnglers: http://www.arkanglers.com
719-539-4223

May 28 ArkAnglers

Thursday 5/28, 2020

Flow at Wellsville: 1,460 cfs

Water Temp.: low to mid 50s

Clarity: Stained, 18-24" visibility along the edges.

Thursday Report - Braden Baker

*Our retail stores and guide service are open for business! We are currently conducting river, lake and reservoir trips for both local residents and travelers from outside the county, as well as booking for the summer season. Call (719) 539-4223 for information on current offerings and parameters.

COVID-19 Chaffee County is the best resource for up to date information on the county.

Runoff is definitely underway, and right on schedule. Tributary flows are starting to leap upward on a daily basis, and the reservoir releases to the north are matching their outflows to incoming snowmelt. Currently we are seeing a plateu on many of the gauges following some cooler nighttime temperatures, and clarity has improved slightly to a fishable level. If you want to fish the river or creeks, try to time your outing to coincide with the downward trend in the diurnal flow cycle. This will give you the best chance at any improvement (though marginal) in clarity. The river to the north above Buena Vista will generallly offer the best conditions during this time of year. You'll want to focus on fishing the few soft pockets of slower water along the edges, and your best luck will probably come with flies that contrast the dark water. Some anglers swear by bright, flashy attractor flies during high water while others prefer black and white patterns for maximum contrast. For the next month, your stillwaters will be the best alternatives while we melt some snow! We anticipate quality float fishing conditions to return by June 20.

Spinney and Antero Reservoirs are kicking into gear with the start of their summer hatches. Currently, small chironomids are the ticket. As the weeks progress, the larger sizes will become increasingly effective. Then come the callibaetis and damselflies. Mostly you'll want to rely on subsurface patterns to imitate the juvenile insects, but later in the season there can be times when the large resident fish can be persuaded to come to the surface in search of adult flies. Call our shops for more information on lake trips.

Follow us on instagram at @ArkAnglers!

Salida Location - 7500 W. Highway 50, Salida, CO 81201. (719) 539-3474.

Open Monday-Saturday, 8:00am-6:00pm. Sunday 8:00am-5:00pm.

Buena Vista Location - 517 S. Highway 24, Buena Vista, CO 81211. (719) 395-1796

Open Tuesday-Saturday, 8:00am-6:00pm.

Email [email protected] with questions or to make your reservation.

This report was written by ArkAnglers: http://www.arkanglers.com
719-539-4223

May 26 ArkAnglers

Tuesday 5/26, 2020

Flow at Wellsville: 1,500 cfs

Water Temp.: low to mid 50s

Clarity: Stained, 14-18" visibility along the edges.

Tuesday Report - Braden Baker

*Both of our retail stores are now open to to limited walk-in traffic and curbside service. Please come prepared with your shopping list to minimize time shopping and maximize time on the water! We also ask that all customers wear a protective face mask while waiting in line and shopping. If you need a face covering, we have Buffs for sale that are excellent for this purpose. Our retail staff will be adhering to the health guidelines set out by the county health department, wearing protective face coverings and taking all precautions of cleanliness and sanitation in the shops themselves.

*As of May 22 we are resuming all guide trip operations! We are currently conducting river, lake and reservoir trips for both local residents and travelers from outside the county, as well as booking for the summer season. Call (719) 539-4223 for information on current offerings and parameters.

COVID-19 Chaffee County is the best resource for up to date information on the county.

Runoff is definitely underway, and right on schedule. Tributary flows are starting to leap upward on a daily basis, and the reservoir releases to the north are matching their outflows to incoming snowmelt. Currently we are seeing a plateu on many of the gauges following some cooler nighttime temperatures, and clarity has improved slightly to a fishable level. If you want to fish the river or creeks, try to time your outing to coincide with the downward trend in the diurnal flow cycle. This will give you the best chance at any improvement (though marginal) in clarity. The river to the north above Buena Vista will generallly offer the best conditions during this time of year. You'll want to focus on fishing the few soft pockets of slower water along the edges, and your best luck will probably come with flies that contrast the dark water. Some anglers swear by bright, flashy attractor flies during high water while others prefer black and white patterns for maximum contrast. For the next month, your stillwaters will be the best alternatives while we melt some snow! We anticipate quality float fishing conditions to return by June 20.

Spinney and Antero Reservoirs are kicking into gear with the start of their summer hatches. Currently, small chironomids are the ticket. As the weeks progress, the larger sizes will become increasingly effective. Then come the callibaetis and damselflies. Mostly you'll want to rely on subsurface patterns to imitate the juvenile insects, but later in the season there can be times when the large resident fish can be persuaded to come to the surface in search of adult flies. Call our shops for more information on lake trips.

Follow us on instagram at @ArkAnglers!

Salida Location - 7500 W. Highway 50, Salida, CO 81201. (719) 539-3474.

Open Monday-Saturday, 8:00am-6:00pm. Sunday 8:00am-5:00pm.

Buena Vista Location - 517 S. Highway 24, Buena Vista, CO 81211. (719) 395-1796

Open Tuesday-Saturday, 8:00am-6:00pm.

Email [email protected] with questions or to make your reservation.

This report was written by ArkAnglers: http://www.arkanglers.com
719-539-4223

May 23 ArkAnglers

Saturday 5/23, 2020

Flow at Wellsville: 1,600 cfs

Water Temp.: low to mid 50s

Clarity: Dirty, ~12" visibility along the edges.

Saturday Report - Braden Baker

*Both of our retail stores are now open to to limited walk-in traffic and curbside service. Please come prepared with your shopping list to minimize time shopping and maximize time on the water! We also ask that all customers wear a protective face mask while waiting in line and shopping. If you need a face covering, we have Buffs for sale that are excellent for this purpose. Our retail staff will be adhering to the health guidelines set out by the county health department, wearing protective face coverings and taking all precautions of cleanliness and sanitation in the shops themselves.

*As of May 22 we are resuming all guide trip operations! We are currently conducting river, lake and reservoir trips for both local residents and travelers from outside the county, as well as booking for the summer season. Call (719) 539-4223 for information on current offerings and parameters.

COVID-19 Chaffee County is the best resource for up to date information on the county.

Runoff is definitely underway, and right on schedule. Tributary flows are starting to leap upward on a daily basis, and the reservoir releases to the north are matching their outflows to incoming snowmelt. This morning we are seeing a plateu on many of the gauges following some cooler nighttime temperatures, and if this plateau holds for a few days clarity may improve to a fishable level. If you want to fish the river or creeks, try to time your outing to coincide with the downward trend in the diurnal flow cycle. This will give you the best chance at any improvement (though marginal) in clarity. The river to the north above Buena Vista will generallly offer the best conditions during this time of year. You'll want to focus on fishing the few soft pockets of slower water along the edges, and your best luck will probably come with flies that contrast the dark water. Some anglers swear by bright, flashy attractor flies during high water while others prefer black and white patterns for maximum contrast. For the next month, your stillwaters will be the best alternatives while we melt some snow! We anticipate quality float fishing conditions to return by June 20.

Spinney and Antero Reservoirs are kicking into gear with the start of their summer hatches. Currently, small chironomids are the ticket. As the weeks progress, the larger sizes will become increasingly effective. Then come the callibaetis and damselflies. Mostly you'll want to rely on subsurface patterns to imitate the juvenile insects, but later in the season there can be times when the large resident fish can be persuaded to come to the surface in search of adult flies. Call our shops for more information on lake trips.

Follow us on instagram at @ArkAnglers!

Salida Location - 7500 W. Highway 50, Salida, CO 81201. (719) 539-3474.

Open Sunday-Saturday, 8:00am-5:00pm.

Buena Vista Location - 517 S. Highway 24, Buena Vista, CO 81211. (719) 395-1796

Open Tuesday-Saturday, 8:00am-5:00pm.

Email [email protected] with questions or to make your reservation.

This report was written by ArkAnglers: http://www.arkanglers.com
719-539-4223

May 22 ArkAnglers

Friday 5/22, 2020

Flow at Wellsville: 1,670 cfs

Water Temp.: low to mid 50s

Clarity: Dirty,

This report was written by ArkAnglers: http://www.arkanglers.com
719-539-4223

May 20 ArkAnglers

Wednesday 5/20, 2020

Flow at Wellsville: 1,540 cfs

Water Temp.: low to mid 50s

Clarity: Dirty,

This report was written by ArkAnglers: http://www.arkanglers.com
719-539-4223

May 19 ArkAnglers

Tuesday 5/19, 2020

Flow at Wellsville: 1,360 cfs

Water Temp.: low to mid 50s

Clarity: Dirty,

This report was written by ArkAnglers: http://www.arkanglers.com
719-539-4223

May 16 ArkAnglers

Saturday 5/16, 2020

Flow at Wellsville: 934 cfs

Water Temp.: low to mid 50s

Clarity: Stained, 24-36" visibility on edges. Less clarity as you head downstream through Bighorn Canyon.

Saturday Report - Braden Baker

*Both of our retail stores are open to local anglers for Call Ahead/Curbside Pickup and "Drive Through" service. Our doors are closed to foot traffic, but anglers may phone ahead to place and pay for an order for pickup at the shop, or they may stop by to purchase tackle at the window or door. Please come prepared with your shopping list to minimize time in line and maximize time on the water! We also ask that all customers wear a protective face mask while waiting in line and during the sales transaction. If you need a face covering, we have Buffs for sale that are excellent for this purpose. Our retail staff will be adhering to the health guidelines set out by the county health department, wearing protective face coverings and taking all precautions of cleanliness and sanitation in the shops themselves.

*We anticipate being able to resume normal guiding operations in June, and are currently booking for summer 2020, June and beyond. This includes river wades and floats, reservoir trips and alpine lake excursions. At this time we are authorized to conduct guided trips for residents of Chaffee, Fremont and Lake counties under specific guidelines from each county's health department. Call (719) 539-4223 for information on current offerings.

COVID-19 Chaffee County is the best resource for up to date information on the county.

Clarity on the Arkansas is much better than we saw last week, in most places you'll find 24-36" of clarity along the edges. While the hatches of spring are still of some importance, expect fish to be more opportunistic and willing to sample larger attractor patterns.

The clear weather this week may prompt some more sporadic caddis activity in upper Bighorn Sheep Canyon. Before the increase in flows in early May, anglers observed caddis well upstream of Salida, but the trailing edge was still down in upper Bighorn Sheep Canyon. #16 is usually a safe bet for pupa and adult imitations, but sometimes you'll want a #14 or #18 to cover your bases. Our favorite "Mother's Day" caddis pattern is Don Puterbaugh's Black Foam Caddis. Outside of a hatch, anglers might focus on attractor nymphs fished along the edges, as they should get some attention in the stained water. Dry/dropper fishing is a great way to tease fish up along the edges, and streamers can also play to the predator nature of larger fish as they take advantage of vulnerable juvenile brown trout displaced by the higher flows.

We are seeing sporadic blue winged olive hatches in both the middle basin and the lower basin below Salida, bringing with them some dry fly fishing opportunities, especially on cloudy days. You'll want to keep some dun and emerger patterns handy to cover an emergence from here on out (Parachute Adams, Gulper Special, Sprout Baetis, Bat-wing Emergers, Barr Emergers, Jujubaetis, etc. in #16-18). Any pheasant tail imitation is #16-18 will cover your baetis nymphs. Immature stonefly nymphs (#10-12), caddis larva (#14-18), and midge larva/pupa (#18-20) are especially effective in the morning before any hatch activity takes place.

Anglers are still advised to fish upstream from Coaldale. The river below the Hayden Pass burn scar runoff is slowly recovering from the flash flooding and sedimentation of late 2018, but the section still contains only a fraction of the number of trout as the river upstream from Coaldale.

Follow us on instagram at @ArkAnglers!

Salida Location - 7500 W. Highway 50, Salida, CO 81201. (719) 539-3474.

Open Sunday-Saturday, 8:00am-5:00pm.

Buena Vista Location - 517 S. Highway 24, Buena Vista, CO 81211. (719) 395-1796

Open Tuesday-Saturday, 8:00am-5:00pm.

Email [email protected] with questions or to make your reservation.

This report was written by ArkAnglers: http://www.arkanglers.com
719-539-4223

May 13 ArkAnglers

Wednesday 5/13, 2020

Flow at Wellsville: 1,020 cfs

Water Temp.: low to mid 50s

Clarity: Stained, 18-24" visibility on edges, slowly improving.

Wednesday Report - Braden Baker

*Both of our retail stores are open to local anglers for Call Ahead/Curbside Pickup and "Drive Through" service. Our doors will still be closed to foot traffic, but anglers may phone ahead to place and pay for an order for pickup at the shop, or they may stop by to purchase tackle at the window or door. Please come prepared with your shopping list to minimize time in line and maximize time on the water! We also ask that all customers wear a protective face mask while waiting in line and during the sales transaction. If you need a face covering, we have Buffs for sale that are excellent for this purpose. Our retail staff will be adhering to the health guidelines set out by the county health department, wearing protective face coverings and taking all precautions of cleanliness and sanitation in the shops themselves. We are still going to be able to fulfil out-of-town anglers' needs by mail, and look forward to when we can officially welcome all back to Chaffee County again.

*We are currently authorized to conduct guided trips for residents of Chaffee and Fremont Counties, under specific guidelines from each county's health department. Call (719) 539-4223 for information on current offerings.

*Chaffee County has restricted all tourist, leisure and recreation traffic to the county, but these restrictions may change in the days ahead. COVID-19 Chaffee County is the best resource for up to date information on the county.

*2020 Licenses are available via the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website, and can be mailed to you. All anglers need a valid license, so take care of this before you hit the water!

Clarity on the Arkansas is much better than we saw last week, in most places you'll find 18-24" of clarity along the edges. While the hatches of spring are still of some importance, expect fish to be more opportunistic and willing to sample larger attractor patterns.

The clear weather this week may prompt some more sporadic caddis activity in upper Bighorn Sheep Canyon. Anglers are reporting hatches of brachycentrus caddis as well as sightings of some adult free-living caddis. #16 is usually a safe bet for pupa and adult imitations, but sometimes you'll want a #14 or #18 to cover your bases. Our favorite "Mother's Day" caddis pattern is Don Puterbaugh's Black Foam Caddis. Outside of a hatch, anglers might focus on attractor nymphs fished along the edges, as they should get some attention in the stained water.

We are seeing sporadic blue winged olive hatches in both the middle basin and the lower basin below Salida, bringing with them some dry fly fishing opportunities, especially on cloudy days. You'll want to keep some dun and emerger patterns handy to cover an emergence from here on out (Parachute Adams, Gulper Special, Sprout Baetis, Bat-wing Emergers, Barr Emergers, Jujubaetis, etc. in #16-18). Any pheasant tail imitation is #16-18 will cover your baetis nymphs. Immature stonefly nymphs (#10-12), caddis larva (#14-18), and midge larva/pupa (#18-20) are especially effective in the morning before any hatch activity takes place.

Anglers are still advised to fish upstream from Coaldale. The river below the Hayden Pass burn scar runoff is slowly recovering from the flash flooding and sedimentation of late 2018, but the section still contains only a fraction of the number of trout as the river upstream from Coaldale.

Follow us on instagram at @ArkAnglers!

Salida Location - 7500 W. Highway 50, Salida, CO 81201. (719) 539-3474.

Open Sunday-Saturday, 8:00am-5:00pm.

Buena Vista Location - 517 S. Highway 24, Buena Vista, CO 81211. (719) 395-1796

Open Tuesday-Saturday, 8:00am-5:00pm.

Email [email protected]glers.com with questions or to make your reservation.

This report was written by ArkAnglers: http://www.arkanglers.com
719-539-4223

May 12 ArkAnglers

Tuesday 5/12, 2020

Flow at Wellsville: 898 cfs

Water Temp.: low to mid 50s

Clarity: Stained, 18-24" visibility on edges, slowly improving.

Tuesday Report - Braden Baker

*Beginning Friday, May 1 both of our retail stores will be open to local anglers for Call Ahead/Curbside Pickup and "Drive Through" service. Our doors will still be closed to foot traffic, but anglers may phone ahead to place and pay for an order for pickup at the shop, or they may stop by to purchase tackle at the window or door. Please come prepared with your shopping list to minimize time in line and maximize time on the water! We also ask that all customers wear a protective face mask while waiting in line and during the sales transaction. If you need a face covering, we have Buffs for sale that are excellent for this purpose. Our retail staff will be adhering to the health guidelines set out by the county health department, wearing protective face coverings and taking all precautions of cleanliness and sanitation in the shops themselves. We are still going to be able to fulfil out-of-town anglers' needs by mail, and look forward to when we can officially welcome all back to Chaffee County again.

*Chaffee County has restricted all tourist, leisure and recreation traffic to the county. This looks to extend through May. County locals are encouraged to recreate responsibly but anyone outside of the county is asked to stay home under the current circumstances. In line with this, all short-term rentals and hotels/motels have been closed for the time being. Camping areas, both state run and dispersed, along the river have also been shut down with no open date expected before June 1. State Park areas are still open for local recreation.

*2020 Licenses are available via the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website, and can be mailed to you. All anglers need a valid license, so take care of this before you hit the water!

With the cooler weather over the weekend, we've seen a small reduction in the outflow of Twin Lakes, slightly decreasing flows in the river. Clarity on the Arkansas is much better than we saw last week, in most places you'll find 18-36" of clarity along the edges. While the hatches of spring are still of some importance, expect fish to be more opportunistic and willing to sample larger attractor patterns.

The clear weather this week may prompt some more sporadic caddis activity in upper Bighorn Sheep Canyon. Anglers are reporting hatches of brachycentrus caddis as well as sightings of some adult free-living caddis. #16 is usually a safe bet for pupa and adult imitations, but sometimes you'll want a #14 or #18 to cover your bases. Our favorite "Mother's Day" caddis pattern is Don Puterbaugh's Black Foam Caddis.

We are seeing blue winged olive hatches in both the middle basin and the lower basin below Salida, bringing with them some great dry fly fishing opportunities, especially on cloudy days. You'll want to keep some dun and emerger patterns handy to cover an emergence from here on out (Parachute Adams, Gulper Special, Sprout Baetis, Bat-wing Emergers, Barr Emergers, Jujubaetis, etc. in #16-18). Any pheasant tail imitation is #16-18 will cover your baetis nymphs. Immature stonefly nymphs (#10-12), caddis larva (#14-18), and midge larva/pupa (#18-20) are especially effective in the morning before any hatch activity takes place.

Anglers are still advised to fish upstream from Coaldale. The river below the Hayden Pass burn scar runoff is slowly recovering from the flash flooding and sedimentation of late 2018, but the section still contains only a fraction of the number of trout as the river upstream from Coaldale.

Follow us on instagram at @ArkAnglers!

Salida Location - 7500 W. Highway 50, Salida, CO 81201. (719) 539-3474.

Open Sunday-Saturday, 8:00am-5:00pm.

Buena Vista Location - 517 S. Highway 24, Buena Vista, CO 81211. (719) 395-1796

Open Tuesday-Saturday, 8:00am-5:00pm.

Email [email protected] with questions or to make your reservation.

This report was written by ArkAnglers: http://www.arkanglers.com
719-539-4223

Fly Shop Directory

Website: http://www.arkanglers.com
Phone Number: 719-539-4223
Address: 7500 West Highway 50, Salida, CO 81201
Website: http://www.breckenridgeoutfitters.com
Phone Number: 970-453-4135
Address: 100 N. Main St., Ste 206, Breckenridge, CO 80401
Website: http://www.fishcolorado.com
Phone Number: 970-262-2878
Address: PO Box 2540, 400,Blue River Pkwy, Silverthorne, CO 80498
Website: http://www.rockymtanglers.com
Phone Number: 303-447-2400
Address: 1904 Araphoe Ave, Boulder, CO 80302
Website: http://www.royalgorgeanglers.com
Phone Number: 719-269-3474
Address: 1210 Royal Gorge Blvd., Canon City, CO 81212
Website: http://www.steelcityanglers.com
Phone Number: (719) 778-3059
Address: 5200 Nature Center Road, Pueblo, CO 81003
Website: http://www.bluequillangler.com
Phone Number: 303-674-4700
Address: 1532 Bergen Parkway, Evergreen, CO 80439
Website: http://thecoloradoangler.com/
Phone Number: (970) 513-8055
Address: 249 Summit Place, Silverthorne, CO 80498
Website: http://www.thepeakflyshop.com
Phone Number: 719-260-1415
Address: 5767 N. Academy Blvd., Colorado Springs, CO 80918
Website: http://troutsflyfishing.com
Phone Number: 303-733-1434
Address: 1303 E. 6TH Ave, Denver, CO 80218