Upriver Guide, Eric Smith, casts his 3 weight into one of our area small streams. Clear and cold, these headwater streams hold a great number of feisty brookies, browns and cutthroats.
Date: 06/10/2022 @ 9:00 am
Arkansas River Flows
Leadville: 377 cfs
Browns Canyon/Nathrop: 1640 cfs
Wellsville: 1720 cfs
Twin Lakes Release: 325 cfs
It look like we are currently experiencing peak flows on the Arkansas River. This morning the Nathrop gauge recorded 1,650cfs, the highest we have seen this spring. Yesterday and the day before, we saw the same gauge peak at 1,630cfs. After 8 consecutive days of a slowly rising hydrograph, flows seem to have plateaued for 3 days straight. Fishing the river right now, although challenging, should be worth the effort right now. Streamers or a hopper (chubby)-dropper setup should have you on plenty of fish. Focus on fishing the slower velocity water near the banks. Swing by the shop and we can get you all set up for a quality outing!
Arkansas River Fishing Report:
One look at the Ark River hydrograph from the past month, and you can recognize just how unique the flows have been over the past 2 weeks, specifically. A couple of cold fronts put a complete halt to rising flows, and so we are stuck to deal with exceptional flows/visibility on the Arkansas River. Fishing on the river has been very good lately. Visibility on the upper Ark has simply remained remarkable for late May/early June. Dry-dropper rigs, tandem nymph rigs, streamers... Pick a method and get on the water for an exciting outing. Swing by the shop to ask about patterns that have been very productive for us, and we will set you on your way.
Our staff has had very good action fishing streamers from a boat, or using a large/attractor style dry-dropper rig. We are seeing some fish come up to the attractor dries, but they aren't exactly devouring those patterns yet. Focus most of your fishing effort close to the banks where water velocity is slower.
A good approach in runoff conditions is to throw larger, flashier patterns such as; Streamers, Golden Stones, Pats, Crane Larva, and any oversized nymph patterns that'll stand out in the off- colored waters. A large attractor dry that can suspend a heavy nymph dropper will likely produce action close to the banks. With higher water like this, fish tend to seek easier lies behind rocks and up shallow on the banks. Streamers are incredibly effective for targeting fish during these transition periods containing constantly changing flows and temps.
In general, the river will fish best on days when the flows have been recently stable. This is also when you will find better water clarity. Trout don't seem to feed as actively immediately following significant changes to flow. If able, try to fish days when the hydrograph has plateaued or stabilized to have better action.
Leadville Area: Anticipate cooler and clearer water. Although flows are much lower up near Leadville, the river channel is much smaller, so the same highwater challenges apply here. When flows are up this high, try working a streamer right against the bank, let it sink, then use quick strips or twitch your rod tip to create action away from the bank. Be ready! If streamer fishing isn't your cup of tea, go for a dry-dropper setup and focus on fishing near the bank, or any areas where water velocity has been slowed.
Buena Vista Area: Expect high flows, with great water clarity. All methods described for upstream will apply in the BV area as well.
Salida and Downstream: Expect higher, more off-colored water. However, water clarity is remaining very good until you get down near the Vallie Bridge area. Our float trips have had great fishing action in the Salida area, mainly focusing on streamer fishing or big bugs that will get trout's attention.
South Platte and South Park:
Dream Stream: Fishing on the dream stream is currently somewhat of a challenge. Plenty of quality, resident fish to be caught, but larger lake fish have mostly returned to the reservoir. Covering water and fishing a combination of larger attractor patterns and small tailwater bugs will be your best bet for finding a trophy fish here as of now. Recent success has been found using med/large streamer patterns, but you’ll have to work to spot larger fish.
Antero, Spinney, and Eleven-mile Reservoirs are open and fishing pretty well, depending on the conditions. Fish are keyed into weather patterns, and bite windows seem to be concentrated around the mid-morning, early-afternoon time frame when a light chop starts to pick up. The dreaded "W" has been a nuisance for anglers all over the state for the past month or so... when stillwater fishing, it can be daunting to try and fish through these gusty spring conditions. However, those who stick it out will eventually encounter a bite window and have the chance at crossing paths with fish in the two-foot plus range. Balanced Leeches and Chironomids fished in the chop are a good bet. Fish on drop-offs where there is an obvious color change in the water. If this isn't fruitful, take time to search the banks, fish in all of these reservoirs will cruise shallow looking for easy meals. If indicator fishing isn't productive, try stripping larger streamers, leeches, and crawfish patterns for shallow-munchin' monsters. That being said, as these lakes see continued angling pressure and warmer weather, these fish will start to move towards their summer lies. This includes drop-offs (specifically near structure), as well as shallower flats near weed-beds that are home to all their favorite food sources. Currently, a slip indicator rig set at 10-15 feet, fished in depths of 10-20 feet has been a good approach.
Twin Lakes lake trout are fired up and still shallow. These fish are gorging on freshly stocked rainbow trout. Fish large streamers on gravel flats, or get out on a boat and try and sight fish cruising monsters. if this isn't productive, try covering water or trolling at different depths until a bite pattern is figured out.
High Alpine Lakes and Streams:
All of our low elevation lakes have now been open for a couple of weeks. These lakes make great day-trip opportunities to catch cutthroat or brook trout. Swing by to ask us about a good day trip option, we will put you on some high country trout.
The vast majority of our alpine lakes are still frozen, or are difficult to access due to remaining snow. A lot will change in the next week or two, so be sure to check back with us. We love fishing the high country!
Today, a couple Upriver guides will be going into the high country to get a full report on some of our more popular alpine lakes, so check back here tomorrow for a full update.