Welcome to the trout's stream flows for Arkansas River Basin.

Last update 05/05/16 - Trout Frisco Guide - Mike Price: The famed Mother’s day Caddis hatch is very much a reality on the lower and middle sections of the Arkansas river right now. Fish are looking up and actively feeding on emerging Caddis pupa and egg laying adults. Fish are moving into feeding lies such as shelves, drop offs, riffles and runs as early as 10/11 a.m. and as always looking for the dark green(depth change) zones in the bright sunlight of mid-day. The majority of the Caddis you will encounter are the Brachycentrus or “tan” Caddis in a size #16 and #14. If the presentation is on point the size and color are not that important. You will also encounter sporadic hatches of Blue winged olive mayflies throughout the day. Trailing a RS2 or Flashback pheasant tail off a Barr’s graphic Caddis or standard soft hackle PT's on your nymph rig in the morning will put fish in the net. As soon as you see/here splashy rises and Caddis bouncing on the surface of the water then go single or double Elk hair Caddis or pretty much any other #14/#16 Caddis dry fly and hold on!

River Information

The Arkansas River begins it's 1500 mile journey towards the Missisippi right here near the town of Leadville, CO. Ideal for a 3-5 wt rod, this portion of the Arkansas is largely a meadow stream and provides anglers the chance to target rainbow and brown trout in a high altitude, extremely scenic environment. 

Aside from fishing the Arkansas River, there are countless lakes and small streams that offer anglers a variety of places to spend a day. Turquoise lake, Hayden Meadows, Crystal Lakes, Busk Creek, Halfmoon Creek and the East Fork of the Arkansas are just a few of the many nearby waters this area has to offer. Many of these smaller creeks provide the oppurtunity at a "Grand Slam"-- a Rainbow, Brown, Brook and Cutthroat trout all out of the same river in the same day! 


Hatches

Winter/Spring: Midges, sporadic Baetis

Pheasant Tail

size 16-22

Tungsten JuJu Baetis

size 18-22

RS2

size 18-22 (blk, olv, gry)

Rainbow Warrior

size 18-22

Two Bit Hooker Nymph

size 18-20

Tungsten Poison

size 18-22

Mercury RS2

size 18-22

JuJuBee Midge

size 18-22

Barrs Emerger

size 16-22

Black Beauty

size 18-22

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Summer: Caddis, Stoneflies, Terrestrials, multiple varieties of Mayflies (PMD, BWO, Red Quills), Small Streamers

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Fall: Caddis, Stoneflies, Mayflies, Streamers 

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Seasonal Conditions

The primary months to fish this section of the river will be from late March-November. Due to the altitude, (approx 10,000 feet) this area is very cold during the winter and the fish quite lethargic. Seasonal closures on some stretches exist as well. 

It is without a doubt the warmer months that make this river come alive. Anglers can expect to find fish heavily relating to the various and prolific mayfly, caddis and stonefly hatches this river sees. Terrestrial patterns can also be very effective during the summer. 


River Access

River access for the upper portion of the Arkansas River is plentiful as well. Hwy 24 parallels much of the river and multiple parking areas, designated with a "P" sign,  can be found along the roadside. Crystal Lake State Trust Lands, Reddy State Wildlife Area and the hayden Ranch Recreation Area are all productive areas to check out when fishing this stretch of river.