Arkansas Upper Basin

Fishing Report

UPDATED: 11/29/23

 Flow: LOW & FROZEN. Upper Gauges have been turned off


The Headwaters of the Arkansas start near Climax Mine along Fremont Pass (Highway 91 South), and then flow along Highway south of Leadville, all the way to Buena Vista. The upper stretches near Leadville offer tighter fishing along cut banks with willowy vegetation. Good dry fly fishing can be found here as a large variety of aquatic insects dwell in the freestone river. The Caddis population is especially high, and is always a good insect to imitate in the Arkansas River. As the Arkansas flows downstream it becomes wider, with fast canyon areas containing large boulders. These lower stretches from Granite to BV are sometimes better fished with a heavy hopper dropper set up, or a nymph rig.

Current Conditions:


LOW & FROZEN. Upper Gauges have been turned off




3-6ft to minimal visibility after inclement weather. 


Small Golden Stoneflies | Caddis | Midges | Baetis | small fish, leeches, eggs, etc. |

Flies to Try

Guides Choice Dozen $24.99


 | Pat's Rubber Leg's olive, or black size 10-12 | TDJ golden STone size 14-16  | Egan's Iron Lotus olive size 14-16 | RS2 olive or grey size 18-22  | Sunkist 18 | Ninja 18-20 | Foamback emerger brown 20-22 | Two Bit Hooker dark olive size 18-20 | Bars BWO Emerger | Natural pheasant Tail or black Pheasant jnTail size 18 -22 | UV midge black & brown size 20-24 | Zebra Midge Purple or Blacksize 20-22 | Eggs


Parachute Adams size 18-24 | extended Body BWO 18-22 | CDC Baetis Dun Size 18-22 | CDC Morgans Midge size 18 - 22 | Snowshoe midge size 18-24


Baby Gongas | Craven's Dirty Hippie | Barely Legal olive/white | Thin Mint size 04-08 | Near Nuff Sculpin tan or olive size 04-06 | Ishiwata’s Articulated Snitch olive |  Bead Head Pine Squirrel Leech black size 12 |

Guide Tip of the Week:

Flows on the upper ark have been dropping quick and have frozen almost solid. Twin Lakes and Clear creek releases have finally been decreases. Things are low and frozen for the year.…if you find fishable water, Bobber rigs with a caddis nymph and a classic P-Tail have been great. You also cant go wrong with a small stone, jig or midge. Midge patters are some of my most productive fall flies on the Ark. Look for fish in pools and below gravel shelves. Fish are getting colored up and are starting to pack on the pounds for the spawning season. Avoid fishing Redds and spawning fish. We personally consider anything above BV to be done for the season…



Also check out the Town of Silverthorne's Blue River Fishing Access Map


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