The middle section of the Arkansas river goes from Buena Vista downstream to Salida. There is more fishable water here than you could cover in a month. It is one of the healthiest rivers in Colorado in terms of insect life and there is always a variety of hatches going on from spring to fall with great fishing opportunities anywhere you find access. Browns and rainbows are the majority of the fish you will catch and though some are small, most are the perfect size ranging from 12” – 18”. There are a lot of fish in this section and it is Colorado’s newest and longest Gold Medal Water which means this river is in the top 10% of all fishable rivers in Colorado for size and quantity of fish. Nymphing, dry fly fishing and streamers all produce fish in this river so get out on the river with some friends and mix it up a bit, you’ll likely find fish no matter what you technique you use.

Fly Fishing Tips

  • Know Your Bugs – The beauty of the Arkansas is the plethora of insects the fish eat year round. This can often pose a problem for the novice angler however, because if you can’t identify what the fish are eating and the fly to match to their feeding patterns, this river can be frustrating. Check out our Online Entomology Course to learn what you need to know on matching the hatch both above and below the waters surface.
  • Spend Time Dialing it In EarlyFor this kind of river, fish are in every hole, so if you aren’t catching fish, it’s likely your fly selection, depth, presentation etc. All of these take time to adjust and dial in so spend time in the first hole you fish to adjust your depth, add or remove split shot and change flies until you find success. Doing this will save you time and catch you more fish through the rest of the day and you’ll be better off for it.