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Arkansas River Fishing Report - Oct. 21, 2023

Shop manager, Michael, displays a quality Brown Trout from Antero Reservoir, and an 18'' Rainbow from the Bighorn Canyon stretch of the Arkansas River. Each fish was caught earlier this month.

Date: 10/21/2023 @ 10:00am

Arkansas River Flows

Leadville (Empire Gulch): 17 cfs

Browns Canyon/Nathrop: unavailable

Wellsville: 302 cfs

Twin Lakes Release: 15 cfs

Arkansas River Fishing Report:

General Fishing Report: It is Fall fishing season on the Arkansas River. The cottonwoods are showing off their vibrant colors, and the river is low and clear. Brown trout have begun some spawning behavior, and its now time to keep your eyes peeled for redds as you wade in the river. If you see patches of clean-looking gravel, don't wade right through them, and avoid fishing to actively spawning fish.

This fishing remains good on the river. Your approach and presentation matter more this time of year. Lighter tippets (5x-6x), long leaders and a more stealthy approach will help you fool more fish.

Dry-dropper rigs remains a good option this time of year. Smaller dropper nymphs in size 16-20 ought to do the trick. A number of fish are still coming up to the attractor dry fly.

This is arguably the best time of year to fish streamers in the river, so keep that as an option.

Fish are still occupying a wide variety of depths and flow speeds in the river, so don't overlook fishing the riffle water, particularly towards the head of the riffle feature.

Not a lot of insect hatches happening this time of year, but we are still seeing some caddis, red quill and blue-winged olives. The Salida area and downstream seem to have the best hatches going on right now.

Some suggested patterns right now... #18-20 perdigons, in a variety of colors (dark/olive are a favorite), red copper john, red 2-bit hooker, black/olive articulated streamer.

Leadville Area: Low and technical. Be stealthy!

Buena Vista Area: Fishing well.

Salida and Downstream: Fishing quite well, and bug activity remains more consistent.


The S. Park reservoirs are still fishing well, if you can get dialed in on the location of the fish.

Brown trout are in shallow and spawning in Spinney and Antero right now, making them reachable for the wade angler and boat angler alike.

Spinney Mtn boat ramp is open through Oct 31st, then is only open to shore anglers after that time until Nov 15th.

This time of year, many anglers will find success fishing a leech/egg tandem under an indicator. Stripping streamers is a good idea this time of year as well. Imitating a crayfish can result in some very heavy takes.

High Alpine Lakes and Streams:

Our high lake season has come to an end now that most of our local high lakes have frozen over.

Our tributary streams continue to fish well! A smaller dry-dropper setup of your favorite flies ought to fool a lot of small trout.


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