The Arkansas River between Buena Vista and Peublo offers at least 10 boat ramps for float fishing, and numerous wade fishing access areas. There are some serious class III-IV rapids throughout this zone, so educate yourself before you go. Being a freestone river, the Ark supports diverse bug life, including tons of Caddis, Baetis, PMD's, Drakes, Golden Stones, and more.
River Flow (Cubic Feet Per Second):
Flows between BV and Salida are currently near 300 cfs with 60 cfs coming out of Twin Lakes.
Water Temperature (Degrees F):
low 50's through low 60's
3' or better normally but heavy precipitaion events can muddy the water quickly in zones with numerous feeder creeks.
Current Food Sources:
golden stonefly nymphs/adults | caddis | Baetis | PMDs | midges | Drakes | small fish, leeches, worms, etc.
Flies to Try:
Guides Choice Dozen $24.99
Jigged Biot Epoxy Stonefly size 12 dark | TDJ Golden Stone size 14 -16 | Shot Glass Baetis olive size 20 | Tungsten Hare's Ear size 12 -18 | Nitro Caddis tan or chartreuse size 14-16 | Tungsten Sparkle Wing RS2 grey or black size 18-20 | UV Midge black or brown size 18-22 | Zebra Midges assorted colors size 18-22 |
Elk Hair Caddis size 12-18, olive, brown, or black | Parachute Adams size 12-22 | Parachute Extended Body BWO or PMD size 16-22 | Matthew's Sparkel Dun BWO or PMD size 18-22 | purple Parachute Adams size 16-24 | CDC Morgans Midge size 18 - 22 |
Double or Baby Gongas | Craven's Dirty Hippie | Wooly Buggers black and olive size 04-08 | Near Nuff Sculpin tan or olive size 04 - 06 | Crystal Buggers white size 08-10 | Pine Squirrel Leech black size 12
guide tip of the week:
Flows have come down substantially to 300 cfs near Salida. 60 cfs is coming out of Twin Lakes but fishing has been good. Trout have been feeding in riffles sheltered from the main current, and behind large rocks, or other river structure that creates a break in the current. We have been hooking fish with a dry-dropper rig, featuring a size 8-14 terrestrial or golden stone dry, trailed about 3 feet underneath by nymphs imitating golden stones, caddis, and Baetis.
Water on the lower Ark is looking nice, and trout where feeding in protected riffles like the one behind the boulders pictured here...
Large Golden stones where getting some attention on this day...
Smaller Baetis and caddis nymphs where also doing the trick....
Trout are starting to look up for bigger bugs on the Ark...
locked and loaded... Steamers, dries, and nymphs where all viable options on this day.
A look at the water conditions in, and below Salida
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Fishing a deep nymph rig with a few split shots, and imitaions of stonefly nymphs, Baetis, or midges produced some nice looking brown trout like this one...
Locked and loaded for a few days of campin, fishin, and relaxin on the Arkasas River near BV...
High sticking a hopper dropper rig through fast pocket water produced quite a few trout...
We found a few empty shucks of caddis pupa floating near the bank, and decided to try a few differnt caddis pupa imitations. A size 18 Natural Hare's Ear ended up being the one responsible for most of our nymph eats, and it was often taken at the end of a drift, a.k.a "on the swing".
Jacob Lutz spent a day on the Arkansas near Salida. There wasn't much aquatic insect activity on this day but a few nice fish where still caught on terrestrial patterns, golden stonefly nymphs. A few random takes were also had on caddis pupa, and midge emergers.
Stoneflies were on the menu...
Even though it was a slow day, the Arkansas still produces the double.....
Family time on the Arkansas near Buena Vista. The primary hatch of the day was size 16 Baetis, with a few caddis and golden stone adults here and there. Trout where found mainly in large deep pools, but they where holding the top 4 feet of the water column, and near the head of the pool a lot of the time.
Size 16 BWO Dun freshly emerged
Size 16 BWO nymph compared to size 16 golden stonefly nymph
Size 8 Cranefly Larva, these can be a yummy treat for trout during run off. An olive or brown Pat's Rubber legs can imitate these well.
Lucky hat of the day..... check out our custom lids if you could use some more luck.
it's all in the details sometimes...