I don't think you could ask for a better line up of weather and flows for fishing than what is in store for us next!
Current river conditions:
Flows have stabilized since last week and are holding again right around 530 cfs. That's making for clear water and eager fish. Water clarity is good down as far as Coaldale and with the favorable weather forecast we should have prime fishing conditions through next week
Where to fish:
If you are visiting the valley to fish this week, I would go fish your favorite honey hole or float your favorite section, because it's all going to be good! The Salida area will be a great place to start.
Below Coaldale is still not fishing well due to added sediment in the water from a burn scar. Fish numbers are down and the bug life is limited.
Sunday and Monday are shaping up to be the best Blue Wing Olive days. There's a little precipitation forecasted and that cloud cover will get those fish looking up. More caddis will likely start flying around in the next week or so in the lower sections near Canon City, but there has not been much action yet, just the occasional one bouncing around the boat.
What to fish:
Start your day off fishing a nymph rig and key in on the deeper runs. Run a size 12-14 tungsten Prince Nymph or other attractor nymph as your lead fly then tie on an Element Quill Body Jig TB or a Frenchi Jig Hook TB, those flies have been doing well this week both in size 14-16. Running that heavy jig on the bottom will help reduce snags.
When you find some fish actively rising during the day, they are likely feeding on BWO's; switch up fast and take advantage of the opportunity. A size 18-20 Parachute Adams should do the trick. If you get into a really strong BWO hatch and there seems to be too many bugs on the water and the fish are not finding your fly, throw on a size 12-14 Royal Wulff or other attractor dry and then add your Adams or size 18-20 BWO dry behind that. That Wulff will get their attention, leading them to see your other fly and give you a better chance of hooking up. This also makes it easier to see those tiny BWO dries. Once the surface activity slows down switch back to the nymph rig.
Fish have been holding in ideal feeding lanes this week: look for fishy water that provides the fish the ability to conserve energy in a slow moving pocket of water adjacent to some swift current and you will catch fish.
Don't put off a fishing trip to the Arkansas River any longer, the conditions could not be better, so come on up! If you are looking to book a guided trip give us a call (719) 221-4571 and stop by to check out the best fly shop in Salida, located downtown, The Next Eddy.