Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Arkansas River - Leadville - Colorado

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

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Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

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Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midges Afternoon 18-24 Black Beauty, Zebra Midge
February Midges Afternoon 18-24 Griffith's Gnat, Gray RS2
March Midges Afternoon 18-24 Mercury Midge, Top Secret Midge
Blue Winged Olives Midday 18-20 RS2, Pheasant Tail
April Midges Afternoon 18-24 Mercury Midge, Zebra Midge
Blue Winged Olives Midday 18-20 Juju Baetis, Sparkle Wing RS2
May Caddis Morning to Evening 14-18 E/C Caddis, Stimulator
Blue Winged Olives Midday 18-22 Juju Baetis, Sparkle Wing RS2
June Caddis Morning to Evening 14-18 Elk Hair Caddis, Goddard Caddis
Stoneflies Midday 4-8 Salmonfly, Kaufmann Stone
July Caddis Morning to Evening 14-18 Elk Hair Caddis, Goddard Caddis
Stoneflies Midday 6-12 Yellow Sally, Golden Stone
August Caddis Morning to Evening 14-18 X-Caddis, King's River Caddis
Tricos Morning 20-24 Trico Spinner, Griffith's Gnats
September Blue Winged Olives Midday 18-20 BWO Emerger, Pheasant Tail
October Blue Winged Olives Midday 18-22 Sparkle Dun, BWO Cripple
Midges Afternoon 18-24 Mercury Midge, Zebra Midge
November Midges Afternoon 18-24 Black Beauty, Zebra Midge
December Midges Afternoon 18-24 Mercury Midge, Top Secret Midge

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

If you’re looking to fly fish in Leadville, Colorado, the Arkansas River offers some incredible spots.

  • Granite Gorge: This section of river is 14 miles long and ends at the town of Granite. It’s known for its large wild brown trout.
  • The Steps: A popular location just below the Granite Gorge. The Steps has fast-moving water, perfect for catching trout.
  • Hayden Meadows: An ideal spot for wading, offering a more peaceful fishing experience. It’s known for its native cutthroat trout.
  • The Box: This section below Salida East is perfect for both beginners and experts. It has easy access points and abundant holes loaded with trout.
  • Browns Canyon: This is the busiest section of the Arkansas due to its numerous deep holes and boulders that are perfect for trout habitat.

Best Access Points

The Arkansas River in Leadville, Colorado is a premium destination for fly fishing enthusiasts. Top access points include:

  • Arkansas River Headwaters Recreation Area: This expansive park covers 148 miles of the Arkansas River and offers numerous spots for fly fishing.
  • Clear Creek Reservoir: Although technically a lake, Clear Creek feeds into the Arkansas and offers great fishing opportunities.
  • Granite: An access point near the small town of Granite offers excellent fishing just off Highway 24.
  • Vallie Bridge: This is a popular spot for launching rafts but proves just as productive for fly fishermen.

Fishing licenses are required to fish in Colorado and can be obtained through the state’s Department of Natural Resources. Always remember to respect the natural environment and follow Leave No Trace Principles while fishing.

Local Fish

  • Trout
    • Brown Trout: The Arkansas River has a healthy population of Brown Trout, making it one of the top species for fly fishing.
    • Rainbow Trout: This species is highly sought after by anglers given their beautiful coloration and spirited fights.
    • Brook Trout: These fish are particularly popular in the smaller tributaries of the Arkansas River near Leadville.
    • Cutthroat Trout: Native to the area, the Colorado Cutthroat is a prized catch for anglers fly fishing in the region.
  • Whitefish: While not as popular as trout, Mountain Whitefish can also be targeted in the Arkansas River.
  • Salmon
    • Kokanee Salmon: These are a landlocked version of the Sockeye Salmon and can be found in the Arkansas River.
  • Pike: Northern Pike populations have been increasing in the lower sections of the Arkansas River.
  • Smallmouth Bass: Found in the lower elevations of the Arkansas River, they are a fun target for fly anglers.
  • Bluegill: These are great for beginners and are found in the quieter, warmer sections of the river.

About The River

The Arkansas River – Leadville is a significant gem within the United States, steeped with fascinations that span numerous centuries. Originating from Colorado’s Rocky Mountains near Leadville, it’s notably regarded as the sixth-longest river in the United States.

  • The river’s steady development began roughly 70 million years ago, shaped by the forces of nature across geological timescales.
  • Many Native American tribes called the areas around the Arkansas River home, long before European explorers ever set foot on the continent.
  • In the 1800s, it played a crucial role during the Gold Rush, with hopefuls panning its waters in their search for fortune.
  • Today, it’s a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering opportunities for rafting, fishing, and sightseeing along its scenic banks.

Embark on a journey exploring the Arkansas River – Leadville and step into the pages of an enticing historical tale, beautifully illustrated by the forces of nature and mankind’s adventures.

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