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Arkansas River - Upper


Prior to yesterday’s rain storm, Upper Ark flows in Salida and Leadville were holding steady around 250 cfs and 80 cfs, respectively. Flows are gradually increasing and will likely rise a bit more as additional rain is in the forecast today. There’s some color in the water but it isn’t enough to negatively impact the fishing. Despite, lower flows and warm afternoons, water temps are in check and trout are active throughout the day. Anglers looking to fish dry flies should be prepared for morning and evening midge hatches and BWOs, caddis and red quills during the late morning/early afternoon. Terrestrial activity has dwindled on the upper stretch in Leadville but until overnight temps consistently drop below freezing, hopper patterns will be productive between BV and Salida. At the current flow, hopper droppers with one or two nymphs are highly effective when fishing soft or shallow water. Splash free presentations are easier to achieve and you’ll get snagged less frequently. Classic searcher/attractor patterns such as Frenchies, Pheasant Tails, Guide’s Choice Hare’s Ears, Prince Nymphs and Rainbow Warriors are great dropper patterns. When nymphing, lead with one of the patterns mentioned above and trail a midge pupa or baetis emerger (Zebra Midge, Mercury Midge, Black Beauty, RS2, Chocolate Foam Back Emerger etc.). Pronounced pools and runs are producing the most consistent results right now but don’t overlook pockets and riffles during the afternoon.

Water Levels

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