Local Reports

Pueblo Tailwater

Arkansas River Canon City to Salida




Conditions: October 17th

Current Flow: 265 cfs

Water Temp: 58 - 62F

Clarity: Variable, 6" - 18"


There has been sporadic construction activity on the river just below the dam this past week that has caused notable swings in water clarity. The work being done is related to the small hydro-power plant being built on the north side of the river. Fishing has been pretty decent when water clarity has been a foot or better and carrying a greenish stain. However, when heavy equipment has been active, clarity can drop to about six inches and fishing becomes tough. I am trying to get detailed information on when these "active work" periods will occur, but at this point all I've been told is that a coffer dam is scheduled to be constructed in the river about halfway between Juniper Bridge and the dam over the next 4 - 6 weeks. I hope to have more info sometime next week. Thus far, we haven't noticed any work being done on weekends but I can't guarantee that will be the case going forward.

We do know that water temperatures are trending down and will remain in the ideal range for both fish and bugs from now until the end of the year. I was out Tuesday afternoon and the caddis and aquatic moths where out in force! Water clarity was about a foot at the time and I had a good flurry of action drifting streamers during the last hour of daylight. There was evening some fish feeding on top despite poor water clarity and fading light. I guess that shouldn't surprise me considering trout have had a couple of eons to adapt to fluctuating flows and water clarity. Nonetheless, I was impressed! We also had a six person guide trip out earlier in the day, all of which were completely new to fly fishing. By the end of the trip, everyone had landed fish and several of them got to experience the speed in which a big trout can snap 4x tippet.

For those of you that have waited all summer for better water clarity, it seems as though you will need to wait a bit longer. For those of you that have gone out despite poor water clarity, you probably discovered the same thing I did. The fish are still there and they are still feeding! If you put in the extra effort you can be rewarded with both good fishing and solitude.... something that is getting harder and harder to find on Colorado's easily accessible river fisheries.

We will continue to offer guide trips on the tailwater, so if I haven't scared you off by now give us a call and reserve a date to fish the Pueblo Tailwater with one of the Drift's experienced guides.



Arkansas River Parkdale to Salida


Conditions: October 13th

Flow @ Wellsville: 568 CFS

Water Temp: 48 - 54F

Water Clarity: Good


Water clarity throughout Bighorn Sheep Canyon is back in the 2 - 3 foot range with just a hint of green. Combined with slightly higher than normal flows, the upper Ark is bucking the typical "gin clear, low flow, better have a 15' leader with 6X tippet" kind of fall fishing generally found on most freestone rivers this time of year. These conditions bode well for wader and float fishers alike. Water temps are mostly in the low 50's and the BWO's hatches have been very reliable as a result. You should be prepared to match the complete life cycle of these small but prolific mayflies for the coming weeks but don't forget to bring some streamers along too. The browns are starting to build redds but are still very much interested in feeding and have been aggressively hitting streamers.




Arkansas River Above Lake Pueblo


Conditions: October 13th

Flow @ Portland: 675 CFS

Water Temp: 50 - 58F

Water Clarity: Stained with 2 - 3 feet vis


This section is just coming into prime form with improved water clarity and cooler water temperatures. The BWO's are just getting going and there is still good caddis and hopper activity. The browns are still in pre-spawn mode and have yet to start building redds. All this adds up to a smorgasbord of dry, dry/dropper and streamer action! The best way to fish this section of river is from a boat as most of it is private. Lucky for you, The Drift now offers float trips and there isn't a better time to hit it than October and November. (Although spring is a close 2nd!) This float offers quite seclusion through a riparian, cottonwood corridor with great fall colors and some big, burly browns, chunky smallmouth bass and feisty rainbows. We have limited dates available over the next six weeks so give us a call or stop by the shop to reserve a date!



Current Flow for the Arkansas River Tailwater in Pueblo

Arkansas River Tailwater Flows

Arkansas River - Salida up to Headwaters

Please click the following link for current conditions on the upper Arkansas River: Ark Anglers

Current Flow for the Arkansas River near Wellsville

Arkansas River Near Wellsville Flows

Flow Charts are courtesy of the Colorado Division of Water Resources http://www.dwr.state.co.us