Date: Jan 25, 2012
Flow: 64 CFS
Water Temp: 40 Degrees
The Arkansas River below Pueblo has been fishing great this week. We have been blessed with some warm weather (45-50 degrees) and this has gotten the fish going again. The midges have started to hatch in good numbers again. The majority of the action has been during the middle of the day from 11-2PM. You can expect to see some dry fly action around noon, with fish searching out midges in the riffles and tail outs.
5 to 6X tippet has been catching most of the fish. Use small indicators and small amounts of weight to get your flies to the fish. Most of the active fish have been sitting in 3-5 feet of water. Set your rig about 5 feet deep and use a #04-06 piece of split shot. Leader length has been moderately long. The clear skies has made the fish a bit spooky. I have been using a 9 foot leader with a couple of feet of 5X tippet.
The Arkansas River below Pueblo Reservoir is one of the best winter fisheries in Colorado. Here the rainbows grow large and develop a deep red coloring on their gill plates and sides. This is a tailwater in all respects, but a unique one compared to other fly fishing tailwaters in the state. Huge numbers of fish and easy access make the Arkansas River in Pueblo a must see Colorado Fly Fishing Destination.
In the years of 2004 – 2005, a multimillion-dollar stream improvement project was completed. This project deepened the stream channel and also added rock weirs and boulder gardens to the nine river miles between the dam and the confluence of Fountain Creek. Since the stream improvements, the Rainbow Trout have taken root and thrived. This is due to the consistent flows released from Pueblo reservoir, improved structure, fishing regulations, fish management programs and an abundance of food.
The Caddis and Trico hatches begin in September/October and last into November and December. After November, BWO’s should be the main focus in your fly box. Midges begin to take over in January and February. It is a rare day when the fish below Pueblo will not rise to a dry fly. The Arkansas River below Pueblo can have some incredible Blue Winged Olive and Midge hatches through out the year.
As March approaches, midges remain the dominant hatch as the spring BWO’s usually don’t start hatching in great numbers until water temps rise into the mid 40’s. However, BWO nymphs are very abundant and are top producers when there is not a midge hatch occurring. March also triggers the tailwater bows to start their spring spawn and egg patterns become a top attractor fly. April is the month when water releases begin again, and the river grows into a monster. Making it challenging to wade and fish.
Arkansas River Below Pueblo Real Time Stream Flows