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Arkansas River Sponsored by
Date 20-May-20
Water Condition
Water Temperature  


Conditions : Arkansas River - Leadville to Buena Vista Information provided by Braden Baker with Ark Anglers. As of 5/20/2020, “runoff is definitely underway, and right on schedule. Tributary flows are starting to leap upward on a daily basis, and the reservoir releases to the north are matching their outflows to incoming snowmelt. If you have to fish moving water, trying to time your outing to coincide with the downward trend in the diurnal cycle will give you the best chance at any improvement (though marginal) in clarity. You will want to focus on fishing the few soft pockets of slower water along the edges, and your best luck will probably come with flies that contrast the dark water. Some anglers swear by bright, flashy attractor flies during high water while others prefer black and white patterns for maximum contrast. For the next month, your stillwaters will be the best alternatives while we melt some snow! We anticipate quality float fishing conditions to return by June 20.” Flows: 461 CFS at Hayden Meadows, 1,340 CFS at Hecla Junction, 1,540 CFS at Wellsville (5/20/2020)

Buena Vista to Salida Information provided by Braden Baker with Ark Anglers. As of 5/20/2020, “runoff is definitely underway, and right on schedule. Tributary flows are starting to leap upward on a daily basis, and the reservoir releases to the north are matching their outflows to incoming snowmelt. If you have to fish moving water, trying to time your outing to coincide with the downward trend in the diurnal cycle will give you the best chance at any improvement (though marginal) in clarity. You will want to focus on fishing the few soft pockets of slower water along the edges, and your best luck will probably come with flies that contrast the dark water. Some anglers swear by bright, flashy attractor flies during high water while others prefer black and white patterns for maximum contrast. For the next month, your stillwaters will be the best alternatives while we melt some snow! We anticipate quality float fishing conditions to return by June 20.” Flows: 461 CFS at Hayden Meadows, 1,340 CFS at Hecla Junction, 1,540 CFS at Wellsville (5/20/2020)

Reported by: Colorado D.O.W


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About: - Much of the Arkansas River is surrounded by beautiful mountains. Driving on Route 24 along the headwaters provides a spectacular view. The most heavily fished and popular section of the Arkansas is from Buena Vista to Canon City. This section is approximately 75 miles long, with beautiful pocket water, pools, riffles and runs holding an excellent population of browns and a good population of rainbows. Trout in the Arkansas average 13-15 inches although fish to 18 inches and better are not that uncommon.

Camping: Stretching for 148 miles along one of the West's premier recreation rivers. AHRA operates five campgrounds along the river with a total of 86 campsites available.

From Steamboat Springs go west two miles on U.S. 40 to County Road 129. Turn north and drive 26 miles.

  • Brown Trout
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Cutthroat Trout
  • Brook Trout

Misc Info: -


Arkansas River Flows
Frying Pan River
River Flow Stages


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