Headed up to see the fall colors this weekend – and I’m talking browns and rainbows! Absolutely gorgeous up around Salida on the Arkansas this weekend. The fishing was great – mid-morning through mid-afternoon. Fish are hungry and active as they are increasing their calories and proteing to prepare for winter. Admit it -- you want to be a fall fishing fanatic!
First, the flows are great for wading. Just upstream from Salida, in the Big Bend area, the flow is around 215 cfs. Further downstream, in Bighorn Sheep Canyon, the flows are ranging from 305-365 (Wellsville to Parkdale). Be cautious, though. The rocks are slick and you need to be steady as you wade. Watch for those unexpected deep holes, too. You can go from mid-calf to mid-thigh in one step.
We fished from 10:00 a.m until 2:00 p.m. around the Big Bend area above Salida. Fish were active in deep holes along the bank and in fast, shallow riffles. They were taking copper-colored Copper Johns trailing a black foam wing RS-2. Fish took both in the riffles and a nice 16” rainbow hiding in a deep hole beneath a fallen tree along the bank took the RS-2.
Fish were rising with enough consistency that I put on a size 16 BWO and had good success fishing that in the foam and in the seams. Fish were interested, too, in a size 12 Amy’s Ant but we couldn’t get one to stay on for too long!
Fishing can be at its finest in the fall in Colorado. Come into the shop and talk it up with our staff and guides. We have prime water within an hour of the shop – Deckers, Elevenmile Canyon – and if you want to drive just a bit further, the Arkansas is going to be on fire through October.
Orvis 101 Introduction to Fly Fishing
Orvis 201 Streamside