Overall River Rating:


Williams Fork River Fly Fishing Report

Latest update: 3/20/2018 -- Flows have remained low around the 40 CFS mark for some time now. As the fish are stacked in those deeper pools, look to set up your nymph rig with some split shot to get it in the feeding lane. We recommend bringing your small nymph box, which should include Copper Johns (#18-20), Hares Ears (#18-20), and smaller Baetis patterns in the #18-22 range like the Juju Baetis, Foam Back Emerger, Shotglass Baetis, Radiation Baetis, and Barr's Emerger. Egg patterns are still effective this time of year, and expect the fishing to pick up as the flows increase. As the days continue to warm, be prepared to see the occasional Midge or Baetis hatches, we recommend bringing some dries in the #18-22 range such as the Challenged Baetis, Para. Extended Body BWO, Film Critic BWO, and Griffith's Gnat. Definitely have some emergers (#18-22 range) to help secure those picky fish: the Loop Wing Emerger, Flashback Emerger, Foamerger, and Pablo's Cripple are all great options.

River Information

The Williams Fork river is another tributary of the Colorado worth exploring. The river is divided by Williams Fork Reservoir. The upper section is a classic high mountain stream ideal for a small 1-3wt fly rod and a box of bushy dry flies. The tailwater section below the reservoir is where most people head when fishing the "Willy's Fork". This tailwater can be quite susceptible to annual flows and the fishing can be very tough during low water years. During normal to high water years, the fishing can be superb, offering anglers the chance to catch sizeable, hard fighting Rainbow and Brown trout. This tailwater section is fairly short, coming in at about 2 miles long, before it reaches the Colorado River in the town of Parshall. 

Recommended Flies

Summer: Mayflies, Caddis, Shrimp

Pheasant Tail

size 16-22

Tungsten JuJu Baetis

size 18-22


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


Seasonal Conditions

The Williams Fork can be fished 12 months a year, however Summer and Fall will certainly be the most productive seasons. Come summer, hatches abound and the dry fly fishing can be phenomenal. Mayflies, Caddis, Terrestrials, and small Stoneflies will all catch fish in both their dry and nymph varieties. 

River Access

The tailwater section of the Williams Fork can be accessed in two locations - both of which require approximately a 20 minute hike so make sure to bring some hydration. The river can be accessed off Hwy 40 at the town of Parshall by crossing the Colorado River and walking to the confluence. The other option is to head down County Rd 3, just east of Parshall, like you're headed to Williams Fork Reservoir. There is a DOW parking area on the west side of the road, approximately 1/3 mile south of the Colorado RIver. From here, follow the foot path to the river which is about 1 mile away.