The Arkansas River between Buena Vista and Salida 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.
The Ark has been nice and fishable on most days. Prolonged cold fronts, or heavy snow fall can cause some freeze over and slush problems, but in general this area is a great winter fishing option.
River Flow (Cubic Feet Per Second)
Flows near Salida have been fluctuating a bit, and are currently near 350 CFS.
3' to 5' depending on runoff and warm temperatures
Current Food Sources
golden stonefly nymphs | caddis larva | Baetis nymphs | midge larva/emergers/and adults | eggs if you must | small fish, leeches, 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 | Hare's Ear size 18 | Radiation Baetis Pink size 18-20 | Tungsten Sparkle Wing RS2 olive or black size 18-20 | UV Midge black or brown size 18-22 | WD-40 black or grey size 20-22
Elk Hair Caddis size 12-18, olive, brown, or black | Parachute Adams size 12-22 | Parachute Extended Body BWO size 16-22 | Matthew's Sparkel Dun BWO 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
ORDER ONLINE, OR CALL THE SHOP FOR FLY AND PRODUCT PICK UP
IN STORE HOURS 9:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. everyday!
guide tip of the week:
Fishing below Salida is a great winter option. Our best technique recently has been fishing near the bottom of deep/slower holes and runs, with heavy nymph rigs and small flies. If a decent hatch is going on, or rising trout are seen then dry flies and emergers are a good idea too.
**We love seeing and hearing about your outings as well. Send any fishing photos or stories you want to share over to email@example.com, and we'll throw 'em up in the reports.**
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...