Fishing and Conditions Report 5/8/22
Date: 05/8/22 @8:30am
Arkansas River Flows
Leadville: 119 cfs
Browns Canyon/Nathrop: 537 cfs
Wellsville: 514 cfs
Twin Lakes Release: 156 cfs
Fishing over the past couple weeks here on the upper Arkansas River has been nothing short of phenomenal. We are starting to see small bumps affecting clarity, with increased flows from twin lakes and other tributaries. The forecast shows significantly warmer weather on the horizon, the river will continue to incrementally rise.
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 right on time as well. 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 days, with upper reaches of the hatch in Browns Canyon already. 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.
Expect windy conditions for the next 4 days in the upper Arkansas Valley!
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.
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. Recent success has been found using med/large streamer patterns, but you’ll have to work to spot larger fish.
Stillwaters: Spinney Mountain Reservoir is open to fishing as of 5/7/22!
Antero, Spinney, 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. 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 are currently cruising shallow looking for easy meals. If indicator fishing isn't productive, try stripping a larger streamer, leeches, and crawfish patterns for shallow-munchin' monsters.
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’!