Our weather has been all over the place, but that winter weather is behind us and the summer days are here, at least for this week.
Current river conditions:
Flows have drop significantly this last week regardless of the moisture we just got. Those cold temps last week shut down the melt. Now even though the days are warming up releases were cut from Twin Lakes this weekend due to some repairs needed on one of the power plants. We can expect flows to rise throughout the week as the run off kicks back in.
Where to fish:
The caddis hatch is in the Salida area and working its way upstream. If you are looking for those splashy takes on dry flies, fish around Salida for the best caddis hatch activity. The Buena Vista area is fishing well also, but the caddis have not made much of an appearance above Browns Canyon National Monument.
Below Coaldale is still not fishing well due to added sediment in the water from a burn scar. Fish numbers are down and the bug life is limited.
The cold weather shut down the caddis hatch, but as soon as the sun came back out so did the caddis. Mid day has been when the most adult caddis have been flying around, but the fish are looking for them so you can entice a fish to take a dry fly anytime of the day. Like I mentioned above, stick close to Salida, the early part of this week, and then start working upstream as the week progresses. We might have a good showing of caddis in Browns Canyon by this weekend, if not before! I can't wait for rapids and dry fly action from the boat.
What to fish:
If you are focusing on the caddis hatch you don't have to get too crazy. The good old Elk Hair Caddis in size 14 has been working well. Go for olive or tan, the fish have been liking them. One of the best things you can do when throwing a caddis dry is to make it dance a little when it first hits the water. Give it a try and wait for the the explosion! If the surface action is slow drop a caddis larve (Caddis Lime Tungsten) size 14 and 16 below the surface, that should get a few fish.
Planning to fish the upper sections of the Arkansas near Buena Vista and further upstream to Leadville think BWO and Stone Flies. I have heard some reports of great BWO hatches around the Granite area in the past few days, so throw a few Mayfly Extended Bodies in your fly box. It may not be much of a secret, but if you want a good day of nymph fishing tie on one of these Patt's Stone's in a size 6. They don't disappoint.
These perfect conditions won't last all spring, but they are here now! So come and get it while you can. If you are looking to book a guided trip give us a call (719) 221-4571 and stop by to check out the best fly shop in Salida, located downtown, The Next Eddy. If you are in the Buena Vista area check out BV Fly, our new fly shop, located inside CKS Main Street. BV Fly is now open, supplying all you will need to get out and land fish on the Upper Arkansas River.