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Arkansas River Fishing Report - May 31, 2024

Upriver shop manager (Michael) and head guide (Eric) show off their stillwater Brown Trout double from a recent stillwater outing.

Date: 05/31/2024 @ 8:00am

Arkansas River Flows

Leadville (Empire Gulch): 1100 cfs

Browns Canyon/Nathrop: 1700 cfs

Wellsville: 2100 cfs

Twin Lakes Release: 190 cfs

Turquoise Res. Release: 445 cfs

Arkansas River Fishing Report:

The Latest:   True runoff is upon us! The past 4 days have brought a steady increase in Arkansas River flows, as well as almost every tributary stream in the upper Arkansas basin. We expect this rising trend to continue for the next 10-15 days. Fishing the river will be more challenging during this time, and it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with checking stream flows on the Colo Div of Water Resources online. If you see river flows stabilize for 2-3 days, that should be a signal that fishing conditions are likely worthwhile. This is also a great time of year to focus on fishing local lakes. They go mostly unaffected by runoff, and June is regularly a great month for fishing stillwater.

General Fishing Report/Tactics: When the water clarity is good, and flows have stabilized for a couple of days, the fishing during runoff can be very good. Dry-dropper fishing with a big foam attractor becomes a very good method now through the duration of summer. With high water, we can fish heavier leaders and tippets. I would recommend 3x to the big dry, with 4x down to the dropper nymph. This just simplifies the fishing experience, leading to less tangles, and gives you the ability to horse in those trout in heavy flowing water. Streamer fishing is usually productive this time of year, particularly if you have the advantage of fishing from a raft. Using an indicator with a couple of larger nymphs is also a great options right now, and allows you to adjust your depth on the move.

Lake County: The upper Ark through Hayden Meadows is a real challenge to fish right now. The release from Turquoise Res will have this section flowing over 1000cfs for as long as the next couple of weeks. This is quite unusual for this section, and has made fishing tough.

Buena Vista/Browns Canyon: Fishing well, when flows stabilize and water clarity improves.

Salida and Downstream: Fishing well, when flows stabilize and water clarity improves.


Stillwater season is here! We are hearing good reports from Antero, and more mixed reports from Spinney Mtn. If you locate the fish at Spinney, then the action has been quite good, but if you're having trouble locating them it can be quite slow. Balanced leeches and chironomids under an indicator on 3x fluorocarbon is the way to go until callibaetis really start popping off.

High Alpine Lakes and Streams:

We expect some of our first alpine reports to begin coming in the next week or so...


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