williams-fork-1.jpgWilliams Fork River

The upper stretch of the Williams Fork River is a small mountain stream. This stream has decent fishing for small rainbows and brook trout even though the catch-and-keep crowd has taken its toll on the fish population. This is still a good choice for an angler looking to escape the crowds. The small water and little fish offer a perfect training ground for novice anglers looking to improve their skills. As far as Breckenridge fly fishing is concerned Cutthroat Anglers know plenty of mountain streams that are hidden from the traffic so drop into our tackle shop for more insight.

The Williams Fork Valley was once one of the most picturesque valleys for Breckenridge fly fishing. The recent onslaught by the pine beetle has ravaged the valley and killed a majority of the trees. While the flora in the area may be suffering, the fishery is still top notch.

The Tailwater

The Williams Fork River is most famed for the tailwater stretch below the reservoir. The tailwater became public over a decade ago and was mistakenly left off the state’s Gold Medal Water list. The Kemp State Wildlife Area is one of the best state land fisheries. The tailwater of the Williams Fork tumbles through grassy meadows and towering aspen groves on its way to its confluence with the Colorado River at the town of Parshall. Breckenridge fly fishing trips are frequently taken to this excellent fly fishing areas.


During drought, the Williams Fork can suffer extremely minimal flows. During sufficient flows, the Williams Fork holds a good stock of large rainbows and browns that grow to large sizes and fight hard.


The tail water is either accessed from the Kemp Unit parking lot or the Upper Breeze Unit lot (on the Colorado River). Both accesses require a twenty-minute hike to reach the river, so anglers need to be prepared by stocking up in tackle shops and packing ample drinking water and gear to be comfortable on the river.