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Fishing Report For Colorado

Updated January 13, 2023

Dvorak Expeditions offers fly fishing trips on some of the West‘s best Trout rivers, including the Arkansas, North Platte, San Miguel, and Gunnison Rivers.

Fishing Gold Medal Waters in Colorado Here Fishy Fishy….

Fly Fishing in Colorado is Golden! In Colorado, you will have the opportunity to catch over 30 species of both warm and cold-water fish.  Dvorak’s has two of the best rivers to choose from 6,000 miles of streams, 14,000 miles counting all headwater streams, and more than 2,000 lakes and reservoirs to choose from”.  Between the Gunnison River Gorge (partnered concession with Ed’s Fly Shop), 14 miles, and over 145 miles on the Arkansas River to make 159 miles of pure  Gold Medal rivers.

Fishing on the Arkansas River: We definitely see winter conditions coming into play.  January warmth has motivated more activity in our resident trout population, and we’ve had some good reports this week of those getting out on their favorite winter run.  Fish are in classic winter mode, stacking up in a select few of the winter pools.  The upper river near Buena Vista is fishable in many areas but anglers will probably find better success heading down toward Salida.  Expect the best fishing now late morning till 3:00 pm.  Wade fishing access is excellent at current levels as the river is approachable. Anglers should be careful in shaded areas of the river where edge and shelf ice are developing.

Nymphing is your best tactic now with little surface activity (besides midges) and cooler water temperatures.  Expect fish to be congregating in their normal winter areas: deeper runs and pools with moderate depth and slow, consistent current.  Your time will likely be spent outside of a hatch scenario, pairing midge larvae/pupae or Baetis nymph in #18-22 with a larger stonefly or attractor nymph can be a great way to probe prime holding lies for active fish.

However, we had some good midge hatches last week that offered some fun, late-season, technical dry fly fishing so be prepared.  The spring molt of immature golden stonefly nymphs will begin in February so now is a good time to stock up.

We find that adjusting weight and depth is usually more beneficial than changing flies; fish aren’t likely to move very far to intercept food, so the more you can dial in your drift to the appropriate depth the more success you’ll have.  Expect takes to be subtle in the cold water; any hint of a strike should be investigated immediately!

The weather outlook for the next few months looks winter cold but wadeable.  With temperatures reaching the mid-30-to-40s during the day fishing on the Arkansas River will remain good for a few weeks before the open flows will take over during the spring (late April-May).  So get your time in mid-day for great winter fishing.

The “Gunny Gorge”  is fishing, but a challenge to get into the trailheads with the unseasonably cold weather and big snow this winter, you will need to watch the roads. Most will not be accessible until spring hits. The main Bug this time of year is midges but, don’t be afraid to throw some larger flies as your lead. Nymphing is your best bet if you do hike down into the Gorge. We will have an up-to-date conditions report closer to your trip date (May-Sept).  Booking the stonefly hatch (June) is happening now and some dates are already full.  BOOK NOW or choose the July – September dates still available.

Please email with any questions and we’ll direct you to one of our custom fishing guides for more details.