Current Conditions

Seasonal Reports

Seasonal Report: Arkansas River

The Arkansas river runs from the headwaters around Leadville through Salida to Buena Vista all the way through Pueblo. Tons of public access and great dry fly fishing during the summer and spring months. 

SPRING HATCHES – SUGGESTED NYMPHS AND STREAMERS

Midges: #20-22 Black Fly Larvae, #20-22 Manhattan Midges, #20-22 Mercury Midge, #22-26 Top Secret Midge, #20-24 Medallion Midges, #20-22 Mercury Blood Midge, #20-22 Mercury Flashback Black Beauty, #20-22 Tungsten Flashback Black Beauty, #20-22 Minute Midge, #20-22 Periwinkle, #20-22 Pearl Jam, #20-22 Brassie, #20-22 Buckskin, and #20-22 Chironoflash.

Blue Winged Olives: #20-22 Stalcup’s Baetis, #20-22 Sparkle Wing RS 2, #20- 22 Mercury Flashback Pheasant Tail, #20-22 Jujubaetis, and #20-22 Chocolate Foam Wing Emergers

Caddis: #16-18 Buckskin, #18 Graphic Caddis, #14-18 Bead Head Breadcrust, #16 Mercury Cased Caddis, and #16-18 Tungsten Bead Mercury Cased Caddis

Streamers: #6 Lunch Money, #10 Olive Crystal Bugger, #10 White Crystal Bugger, #10 Pine Squirrel Leech, #6-10 olive, black, rust, and gray Meat Whistle, and #6-8 olive and rust Slumpbuster

SPRING HATCHES – RECOMMEDED DRY FLIES

Midges: #22-26 Parachute Adams, #22-24 Griffith Gnat, #20-24 Matt’s Midge, and #20-24 Hi Vis Griffith Gnat

Blue Winged Olives: #22-24 Parachute Adams, #22-24 Barr’s Visa Dun, #20-24 Blue Dun, #20-24 Mathew’s Sparkle Dun, #20-24 Cannon’s Snowshoe Dun, and #20-24 Hi Vis Baetis

Caddisflies: #16-18 Elk Hair Caddis, #14-18 Puterbaugh Caddis, and #14-18 Goddard Caddis

About the Arkansas River

With over 300 miles of river, the Arkansas River starts it journey deep in the Sawatch Mountains (highest mountain range in Colorado) and runs unobstructed until it reaches the eastern plains and a dam in the town of Pueblo.

While it’s the longest river in Colorado, this river is mostly fished from Twin Lakes to Canon City and on into Pueblo. One of the most well known hatches in the west is the Mother’s Day Caddis hatch. Late morning hatches and evening dry fly fishing are highlights of this annual hatch from Mid-April to Mid-Late May.

Terrestrials such as ants, beetles, grass hoppers, and crickets are great choices during the hot summer months of June through September. Mayflies are thick during their spring hatch of late March through mid May, while thinner during the fall hatch of mid September through early November.

The river’s spring runoff starts mid May, with peak 3,000 cfs mid June, 1,300 cfs mid July, slowly dropping into the fall months. Typically flows between 300-500 cfs from late fall through early spring. Winter months are great time to fish with consistently clear water days and great midge and Baetis hatch below Pueblo Reservoir.