Updated: Jun 16, 2022
Date: 05/12/22 @ 9:00am
Arkansas River Flows
Leadville: 237 cfs
Browns Canyon/Nathrop: 974 cfs
Wellsville: 947 cfs
Twin Lakes Release: 95 cfs
Over the last few days the Arkansas River has been rising substantially. Due to the warmer weather, the river flow has increased nearly 600cfs in 6 days at the Nathrop gauge. In turn, this has caused the fishing to become a bit more tricky. Causing the fish to push to shallower water out of the main current and hold closer to the banks. A good approach in these situations is to throw larger, flashier patterns such as; Streamers, Golden Stones, Pats, Crane Larva, and any oversized nymph patterns that'll stand out in the off- colored waters. A large attractor dry that can suspend a heavy nymph dropper will likely produce action close to the banks.
In general, the river will fish best on days when the flows are relatively stable. This is also when you will find better water clarity. Trout don't seem to feed as actively immediately following significant changes to flow. If able, try to fish days when the hydrograph has plateaued or stabilized to have better action.
When 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 Buena Vista and is continuing to improve. Although we are in the midst of the hatch, the rise in flows has cooled the water and therefore has reduced the caddis activity. 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 few days in the upper Arkansas Valley!
Upstream: Anticipate cooler, lower, and somewhat clearer water. In the late morning, expect roughly 2 feet of visibility in the Ark near Hayden Meadows Reservoir. Our staff has experienced quality fishing on the upper Ark lately. Focus more on nymphing the obvious lies.
Downstream: Expect slightly higher, 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 Buena Vista down.
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! Check out our newest YouTube Video from our trip out on Opening Day!
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’!