Arkansas River Report
ARKANSAS RIVER TAILWATER (below Pueblo Reservoir)
The time has come folks.....we have clear edges and great flows! Get to the Ark and experience "fishing in a barrel".....
We are prebooking for PMD and Yellow Sally hatch action. If you haven't experienced peak summer season on the Arkansas, hire one of our experienced guides for a Walk Wade or Float to show you the ropes!
Arkansas River (Canon City- Granite)
June 18, 2013
General Current Conditions:
The time we have all been waiting for is upon us. This morning's flows at Granite are 700 cfs, and we have great edge clarity (36"+) all the way down river. From here on out, clarity throughout the water column will improve on a daily basis, and the river will level out at a very manageable flow rate. Remember, however that the prime time is when the river is still at 800-1100 cfs, when fish are still hugging the edges....that "fishing in a barrel" scenario. The fact is, fish will act very silly during this time period, because they have been deprived of typical nutrition for several weeks now with high/ off color water. Typically fish will continue a feeding frenzy on the edges as long as we maintain a bit higher flows. After flows subside, and maintain in the 600-700 cfs level, fish will migrate back to standard feeding lies, so don't wait!
Grab your hiking boots, or throw on some wet wading socks/ wading boots and work the edges of the river with big Stonefly/ Dropper Rigs and streamers.....Keep your eye out for Pale Morning Duns and Yellow Sallies as well, our guides have already started to see some localized hatches. If you like to float, this a prime time to do that as well.....so get that boat ready and give us a call if you need any help preparing for a float section.
Please keep an eye on our reports, as we will update fly fishing and water conditions daily......
Check out the Arkansas Valley Weather Forecast HERE
Suggested Current Techniques
Fish in the grass. All of the fish are huggung the edges post-runoff. Big bugs and streamers, and cover water.
Current River Conditions
Flows: Wellsville 1100 cfs dropping
Parkdale 1200 cfs
Canon City 1100 cfs
Temperature: 45 to 55 degrees
Forecasting June Productivity on the Arkansas:
Upper Arkansas (Canon City through Salida)*June Conditions
June will offer anglers the shot at throwing some really big dries and streamers to hungry fish on the Ark. Expect runoff to typically finish with good clearing edges the first week of June. Flows will level at around 600-800 cfs, leaving fish hugging the edges in post-runoff mode. It can be very much like "fishing in a barrel." It just so happens that the vast majority of the river's Stonefly population will be migrating and hatching on the shores. A perfect combination of variables in June can mean the most productive fishing of the entire season.
Stoneflies will be a focal point on the Arkansas with lingering Caddis and PMD's showing at the end of the month. Expect Stoneflies to hatch in the late morning through mid-afternoon, and fish to key on them throughout the day. Stonefly nymphs and caddis larva will continue to be a major food source in the water column. Expect Pale Morning Duns and Gray Drakes to show up towards the end of the month, as the water begins to warm slightly.
Rigging procedures should focus on daily lifecycle stages of the current hatches. Typically we suggest double or triple nymph rigs in the morning with focus on Stonefly Nymphs, Caddis Larva/ BH Pupa, and PMD nymphs. Stoneflies will be hatching on the edges so focus on the nymph early followed by a big dry during the day. When fish start to see emergent activity, and move up in the water column, anglers should switch to a lighter nymph rig with focus on Caddis Pupa and PMD emergers. Around the noon time period, the river will see multiple adult phase hatches, so a focus on double dry or dry/dropper in the Caddis and Stonefly category will be the ticket. Don’t forget your late day egglayer activity. Typically we see female caddis return to the river to ova posit eggs around the 5pm time period. Make sure you have extended body Caddis egglayers in your box, because this can be the best dry fly activity of the day.
Caddis Larva: #14-16 Uncased Caddis, #16 Kingrey's Metallic Larva, #16 TB Caddis Larva, #16 Chartreuse Copper John
Stonefly Dries: #4-12 Chubby Chernobyl (Tan/ Brown/ Black), #2 Sofa Pillow, #6-12 Tantrum, #10-14 Mama Ape
Caddis Dries/ Egglayers: #14-18 Better Foam Caddis, #16 Corn Fed Caddis, #16 Clown Shoe Caddis, #16 Little Hottie, #16 Spotlight Caddis, #16 Mother Superior
Stonefly Nymphs: #10-14 Wired Stonefly, #12 Iron Sally, #8-12 Kingrey's Rubberleg Stone, #6 Arkansas Bitch Creek, #8 Hogan's Two Tone Stone, #8 Double Bead Stonefly, #12-16 Morrish's Iron Sally
PMD Nymphs: #16 Biot PMD Nymph, #16 Gold Ice, #14-18 Quasimodo PT
Arkansas Tailwater below Pueblo Reservoir
General Current Conditions
Flows are Erratic
Flows have been dropping, but releases are starting up again. Fish are still on the edges. As flows come down fishing will be productive.
Suggested Current Techniques
This fishery is best approached with a variety of mindsets. An angler needs to focus on heavy structure due to low flows during the nymphing time periods and then make a switch to Dry/ Emerger when bugs hit the water. Fish will bump out of structure and into deeper slack water and tailouts to feed on adults, so switch your focus to these types of areas as bugs come off. Bigger fish will remain tight to structure in deeper riffles/ seams/ and pocket water. Watch for hatches to occur around mid-morning to early afternoon. Don't forget that there is a lot of water available to fish down towards Pueblo Blvd. So if your fav spot is crowded, find some new water.
Current River Conditions
Flow: 952 CFS (Plus inflow from the hatchery of around 14 cfs 1/4 mile below the Reservoir)
Temperature: 45 to 55 degrees F
Midges, Blue Wing Olives, Tan Caddis
Current Fly Patterns
Nymphing: Top: Attractor Nymph (San Juan Worm, Egg Pattern, etc.) Bottom: Variety of Midge Larva/ Pupa, Dark BWO Nymphs, Small Red Attractor Nymphs
Dries: Small Midge Adults, Small BWO Adults
Forecasting May Productivity on the Arkansas Tailwater:
The Arkansas Tailwater will offer anglers very varied results during the month of June. Due to downstream water demands and water movement for for those demands, the flow can be extremely variable. Fish do not respond well to extreme bumps and drops in flow. Additionally there can be some clarity concerns on a very sight fishing oriented tailrace. If flows maintain under 600 cfs, this river will offer anglers some good opportunities, however if fluctuation occurs at rapid pace, the upper Arkansas River will be a better choice.
Insects and Natural Food Sources
During the month of June many insects begin their emergent activity on the tailwater. We start to see some sporadic tan caddis hatches and the BWO hatches can really come into their own. With bumping flows the introduction of larger quantities of annelids also factors into the equation. Towards the end of the month Pale Morning Duns and Slate Drakes can become players.
Recommended Rigs/ Patterns
Rigging procedures should focus on nymphing until steady adult feeding activity is observed. Focus un 2-3 static nymph rigs with larger attractor nymphs on top followed by hatch matchers. Annelid attractors will be productive on top as a lead fly followed by your midges/ BWO nymphs as well as micro caddis larva. Adult BWOs will typically come off between the hours of 11AM-3PM. Anglers will need light tippet (6x) and long (12-13ft) leaders to be productive on BWO, Caddis and PMD Adults.
Nymphs: #20-22 Barr's Pure Midge (Olive, Chartruese, Red, Orange), #18-20 Chocolate Emerger, #20-22 Gray RS2, #16 Tung. Floss Worm, #14 Red San Juan Worm, #18 Micro Flashtail Egg, #20-22 Barrs Emerger, #18-20 Nosepicker, #16 Splatte Roller, #16 Metallic Caddis Larva, #16 Chartreuse Copper John.
Dries: #22 Sprout Midge, #18-20 Kingreys Flashover Midge, #20-22 Sprout Baetis, #20-22 Film Critic BWO, #16 Tan Foam Caddis, #16 Midget Caddis, #16 Last Call Caddis, #16 Film Critic PMD, #16 Kingery's PMD Comparadun
Dry Fly Heaven
BWO Dries, Caddis & Stoneflies
Fish hard on BWOs and Caddis Emergers