Colorado Fly Fishing Conditions Arkansas River 3/29/11

This is from Greg Felt at Arkanglers in Salida Colorado.
March 31, 2011

Tuesday (March 29, 2011),  I floated from Cotopaxi to Texas Creek. Yes, the flows were low but we managed to get through just fine. Yes, we had some wind, varying in direction and intensity, but not enough to become the defining aspect of the day. Yes, we had a strong blue wing olive hatch, a regatta of mayflies skating down the surface and yes, the fish were up and on them.

It’s true that before that hatch began we caught a lot of fish subsurface on a red two bit hooker and a small chocolate midge and that after the hatch subsided we found plenty of browns still hanging along the edges, willing to take a dark streamer or a royal stimulator.

I’d be exaggerating if I said we saw more than one wade angler over that entire nine miles or that there were any other boats on the water. Truth be told, it was a day that spoke to many of the great attributes of this river and that reinforced for my guests and me why we love the Arkansas and keep returning to her currents.

Back in the office and looking at the forecast, I’d be remiss if I didn’t send word of more fine days ahead. We had a 67 degree afternoon today, with tomorrow projected to be 64 and Saturday 71. Sunday looks cloudy with a chance for rain but still a high of 64. Monday sounds wet and cold, a high in the 40s, and then we return to 60 degree weather again.

We tend to look for cool, wet days as the drivers for our better blue wing olive hatches but this week has seen strong hatches in full sun, with fish taking adults and emergers at or just beneath the surface. The low flows are allowing fish to spread out, as there is more slower water in which a brown trout can effectively hold, and this decreases the competition while making more of the river productive for anglers. Wading is easy now and one can cross and recross the river as the terrain dictates. It all begs the question: What exactly are people waiting for? Caddis? Probably, but one needn’t forego good fishing until then.

There’s a lot of good public water that is accessible to the wade angler. The low flows have kept boat traffic light. We have good availability for wade or float trips and our two miles of private water, now available for rod fee fishing, have been sitting vacant most days. Our shops are fully stocked, the staff fresh and ready to assist. Everything seems to be in place, ready to roll.

I don’t have any special deals to offer. No “operators are standing by” sort of call to action. All I can tell you is that there are great days ahead down here, great days that have already gone by, and that my fervent wish is for as many of you as possible to experience soon a day like the one I had on Tuesday. It will be with me for quite awhile, I’m sure of that, and I didn’t even take a cast.

Greg Felt


If you want a great guided trip stop in at Arkanglers. Greg, Carol Neville or any of the other guides will give you a quality experience.

Tight Lines,

Marshall, Editor
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