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Arkansas River Fishing Report - November 4, 2022

Upriver guide, Eric Smith, shows off a beauty during a recent guided trip on the Dream Stream section of the S. Platte River.

Date: 11/04/2022 @ 4:00 PM

Arkansas River Flows

Leadville (Empire Gulch): not available in winter

Browns Canyon/Nathrop: not available in winter

Wellsville: 401 cfs

Twin Lakes Release: 20 cfs

Arkansas River Fishing Report:

October has come and gone, most of the cottonwood and aspen leaves have all fallen. Fall has really settled into the upper Arkansas River valley, complete with snow-capped Collegiate Peaks.

Fishing remains good to great on the Ark! Overnight lows are now regularly well below freezing here in BV, so we have started to focus our fishing to the middle part of the day when temps have warmed a bit. From here on out, we won't expect much insect activity, apart from midges and the sporadic BWO (but really, mostly midges). We recommend indicator or euro nymphing the deeper runs and pools to find the most fish. As usual, fishing with tungsten bead nymphs will help your flies get down and stay down, which is going to lead to more hookups. Zebra midges and perdigons with slim bodies will get the job done, but don't stray away from any of your confidence patterns. A good friend of Upriver had a recent quality outing where a tandem golden stonefly/red two-bit hooker caught dozens of fish. A stonefly is always a good winter attractor nymph. It is all about getting the fly in the right depth, with a good drag-free drift. Fishing with 5x or 6x tippet will help with your presentation, and it will allow your nymphs to sink at a faster rate.

Fortunately for us, these methods will catch fish all the way through the winter here on the Arkansas River. Come see us at the shop in BV, Wednesday-Sunday 8-5, all winter long for anything you might need out on the river.

Also, stay tuned for announcements of Fly Tying nights here at the shop in BV! Do you like tying up your own bugs? Want to learn more, or share your expertise with others? Then you will want to come and hang with us. We gotta get through the winter somehow...

Leadville Area: It now truly feels like the offseason in the headwaters. The crowds have all left, and now is the time to enjoy some solitude on the upper Ark. The fishing remains good to great.

Buena Vista Area: Fishing is good right now. Most success has been on slim nymphs with a nice heavy bead.

Salida and Downstream: Fishing very good right now, throughout the day. Most success has been on slim nymphs with a nice heavy bead.

South Platte and South Park:

Dream Stream: Fishing on the dream stream is good right now, with the potential for hooking into a real trophy. There are kokanee in the system, and they will remain there for the coming weeks. Drifting an egg pattern down and through the deep runs should produce lots of hook ups. Keep your eyes out for trout raising for tricos or midges. It can be very enjoyable to sight fish sz. 20 dries to a actively feeding trout.

From now and as we move further into fall, keep an eye out for fish on exposed sections of gravel (Redds). These fish are spawning, and should be left alone in order to ensure good populations of fish for years to come. And watch where you step and you cross the river - avoid the gravel sections, particularly if they look recently disturbed.


The cooler fall weather has improved the fishing at Antero and Spinney Mountain Reservoirs, especially for the shore/wading fisherman. Upriver staff have had a few recent outings where the fishing was good to great. More fish are in the shallow water now, making them more accessible to target. Stripping crawfish patterns has been very effective at times. Dropping leeches, chironomids and/or egg patterns under an indicator will have success as well.

High Alpine Lakes and Streams:

We have officially called it a season for the high country lakes and streams. Late May and early June of 2023 will be the beginning of a new year for us fisherfolks who love the high country. I guess we will ski for now?


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