Fishing and Conditions Report 5/5/22

Date: 05/05/22 @ 8:30am


Arkansas River Flows

Leadville: 107 cfs

Browns Canyon/Nathrop: 389 cfs

Wellsville: 346 cfs

Twin Lakes Release: 85 cfs


Watch our latest Youtube video, "Hot Flies for Spring", under the Fishy Videos tab!


Fishing Report:

Fishing over the past couple weeks here on the upper Arkansas River has been nothing short of phenomenal. We are still at pre-runoff flows with small bumps starting to affect clarity, but nothing close to a “blow-out” hitting the system yet. Although it has been quite cool over the past week, the forecast shows significantly warmer weather on the horizon, so the river will begin to incrementally rise. Twin Lakes releases are still relatively low (85cfs), but that will change in the near future.

With spring weather patterns finally starting to settle in, bug activity is at an all time high for this year! Expect to see BWO hatches on most afternoons and evenings, especially on overcast, moodier days. Trout during these hatches key into both emerging baetis as well as adult duns on the water surface.

The famous “Mother’s Day caddis hatch” is very much upon us! Currently the hatch is centered around Salida, where you can find yourself in a cloud of fluttering caddis flies. We expect to see increased caddis presence centered around BV within the next couple weeks. In addition to caddis and mayflies, golden stones have been moving around within the river and are always a great bet for a larger, protein-filled trout snack.


Upstream: Anticipate cooler, lower, and clearer water, with fish mostly feeding on baetis and midges for now. Our staff has experienced quality fishing on the upper Ark lately. Focus more on nymphing the obvious lies, but keep an eye out for trout rising to adult midges.


Downstream: Expect slightly higher, potentially off-colored water with fish gorging on BWOs, Caddis, Golden Stones, smaller fish, and pretty much anything they can swallow. Our float trips have had great fishing action from Salida to Vallie Bridge.


South Park:

Dream Stream: The spring rainbow run has come and gone, and fishing on the dream stream is currently somewhat of a challenge. Plenty of quality, resident fish to be caught, but larger lake fish are few and far between. 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.


Stillwaters: Spinney Mountain Reservoir will open to fishing this Saturday, May 7th!

Antero and Elevenmile 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. Balanced Leeches and Chironomids fished in the chop are a good bet.


High Alpine:

Still frozen… Expect to see lower elevation lakes opening early to mid-June with everything getting good around July 1st. It is never too early to swing by the shop and talk high lakin’!