Date: First Week of September, 2011
Flow: 585 CFS
Clarity: Very Clear
Rating: EXCELLENT/FUEGO/BONKERS/HOT HOT HOT!
Flies: #12-16 Yellow & Tan Stimulators, #14-16 Yellow, Black & Tan Puterbaugh Caddis, #8-12 Stimi Chew Toy, #8-14 Amys Ant, #8-10 Aerial Assault
Misc: 3x-4x tippet, Dry Shake, Floatant
The Arkansas River has always been one of those rivers I’ve never fully explored. It always seams that if I’m going to drive 2 hours to float I’m going to the Colorado, Eagle or Blue. After this trip from Rincon to Cotopaxi, I can say with all certainty that I will be back! This is probably one of the most dry fly oriented rivers I have ever been on. From start to finish we threw nothing other than dry flies. Virtually every dry we tied on was eaten at one point or another. The fish eat on the dead drift, strip, swing, skate…doesn’t matter. The key is to tie on a fly that can withstand a lot of fish and continue to float well so that you can keep your fly in the game. The #8 Aerial Assault, and #14-16 Yellow foam puterbaugh caddis were my top producers. Jamie Christian of Parker turned some serious fish on a #8-12 Stimi Chew Toy. Jason Neve of Pueblo worked in a lot of his own caddis/yellow sally type flies that moved a lot of fish. Jason and Jamie have both spent A LOT of time on the Arkansas and they both agree that this was one of the better if not best dry fly days they have seen on the river. If you don’t have a boat, wade fishing is also great on dries. While we were running shuttles I walked up the bank and hit fish about everywhere a fish should be. I’m also happy to report a very encouraging population of quality rainbows on a stereotypically brown trout dominant river. Thanks again to Jamie and Jason for showing me the ropes on their favorite river!