Fishing Season: Year Round (Prime March 1 - October 31)

Arkansas River - CO

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Water Temp:


ArkAnglers's Tip of the Week

Fishing has been excellent this week with afternoon cloud cover muting the heat of the day and moderating water temperatures. Through August 15, expect flows to remain relatively constant as flows are augmented for recreation out of Twin Lakes Reservoir. Afternoon monsoons are providing much needed moisture but can temporarily cause pockets of discoloration to move through the river. Typically a move upstream can get you above the source of discoloration and put you back into favorable water conditions.

Directions open in app

Map of Arkansas River

Water Flow Data

Tidal Conditions

Orvis-Endorsed guides nearby

Royal Gorge Anglers
Breckenridge outfitters

5-Day Outlook as of 7/27/22

Temperatures are cooler this week with highs only touching 80 degrees in Salida a few days. Afternoon showers are forecasted most days so be prepared with rain gear.

Techniques & Tips as of 7/27/22

Dry-dropper and two nymph combos fished in velocity shelters like back eddys, pocket water, and slow edgewater can find fish seeking respite from the higher flows of the main river channel.

Local Species Available Year Round (Prime March 1 - October 31)

  • Fish Icon

    Brown and Rainbow Trout

ArkAnglers's Recommended Fly Patterns

"Must-have" fly fishing patterns in descending order of importance:

Name: Colors: Size(s):
Chubby Chernobyl Gold, Orange, Tan 12-16
Beadhead Pheasant Tail Natural 14-18
Perdigon/Bullet Brown, Olive, Yellow 14-18
Hopper Tan, Yellow 10-14

Chubby Chernobyl

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ArkAnglers's Recommended Gear

Description: About Arkansas River

The Arkansas River traverses about ninety miles between its headwaters above Leadville to the point where it rolls onto the prairie near Canon City. Over that distance, it flows through a high alpine meadow, drops through steep canyons of granite boulders and Ponderosa Pine, and courses through a high desert canyon. In each environment, populations of wild brown trout inhabit a river environment that teems with mayflies, stoneflies, caddis…small wonder that the Arkansas River was named Colorado’s most popular fishery in a recent Division of Wildlife survey. Along the banks of this river sit two remarkable mountain communities – Salida and Buena Vista. ArkAnglers has fly shops in both towns and our guide service spans the entire ninety miles of river, as well high mountain lakes on the Continental Divide, tributary streams, segments of the upper South Platte River, and some mid-elevation lakes known for their burgeoning trout populations. The range of altitude and climate in the upper Arkansas River valley allows us to guide year-round, the river providing a continuous supply of aquatic foodstuffs that keep fish active even in the winter. Contact us for a complete menu of trip options or for help in planning your visit!

Nearest Airport:

Colorado Springs Airport


Golden stoneflies, pale morning duns, red quills, caddis.

Best Time to Fish:

8:00am to 9:00pm

Best Stretch:

All basins are fishing well.

Best Access:

Kobe, Granite, Railroad Bridge, Ruby Mountain, Big Bend, Salida, East, Vallie Bridge, Texas Creek.