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  1. Default Brit on vacation

    Greetings from the sister forum in the UK!
    Got a family holiday / road trip in Colorado coming up in a couple of weeks from the UK. Among walking, visiting national parks and sight-seeing, I'm hoping to fit in some fishing and had a few questions I hoped some knowledgeable folk could help with:
    • Thinking of trying the Arkansas River and South Platte - anyone know what water levels would be like this time of year?
    • Would you suggest a 9ft 5wt rod as a good general-purpose rod or take a dedicated 10ft 4" 3wt nymphing rod? Only have room for one
    • Would it be warm enough to wet wade or should i try to fit waders in?
    • Any other tips?

    Many thanks
    Steve
    Last edited by sweave; 08-12-2019 at 12:38 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Brit on vacation

    I would do the 9 ft 5 wt. Big water year this year in Colorado, but I drove over the Arkansas at Buena Vista this weekend, and there was plenty of water that you could wade. Kind of depends on your pain tolerance regarding waders. 2 tips that could help you avoid them: 1) bring a pair of heavy long underwear bottoms. they will trap a little water, which your body heat will warm, and you have a bit of a poor man's skin suit, that will add 5-10 degrees. 2) think about smaller streams. Plenty of good fishing on Ark and other tributaries (or Ark headwaters), and you are a whole lot warmer wading in water knee deep than waist deep.

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  4. Default Re: Brit on vacation

    Wet wadding is the way to go. Pick up some wadding socks and good pair of closed toed sandals, quick dry shorts and you can fish 90% of the water here in Colorado. The Ark is some great pocket water so, no need to stand waste deep to fish it. What are your dates to fish? Maybe we can help show you around a bit. Also agree that 5wt will work just fine.

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Northern Colorado
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    2,231

    Default Re: Brit on vacation

    I just checked water flow for the Ark.

    In Browns Canyon, above Salida it's flowing at 973cfs.

    Bighorn Sheep Canyon between Salida & Canon City it's at 1190cfs.

    Down by the Royal Gorge, flowing at 1190 as well.

    So it depends where you go on that river if you'll be able to wade or not. But the good news is it'll get better by the time you arrive, so I think you'll be just fine.

    I'd say fish in Canon City because the river levels out and the fish don't have to fight the faster currents like up in the canyons. There are many areas in the river as it flows through town that hold big trout because they just lay in their holes and eat. I grew up in Canon City, so there are a few spots I know about, but you probably want to get out of town and fish the canyons.

    But if you fish the canyons, be safe and get a State Park pass. Many parking areas are designated State Park, so you'll need that pass to park and fish. But ther are parking areas that are free of charge to park, so just pay attention and read the signs. There are pullouts about every few 100 feet right off the highway, so parking is easy. Just play it safe and buy a pass from a local major grocery store.

    The Ark in my opinion is one of the best dry fly rivers in Colo. So I also agree with the others and will say bring your 5 weight.
    Caddis flies are the way to go on the river in Sheep Canyon. There are so many species of caddis, I think I read around 70 species, and that includes the pupa and larva, so fishing with soft hackled wet flies is a good idea.

    There are areas where rainbows must be returned back into the water, like outside of Salida on County Road 102 to Badger Creek. This area is artificial flies and lures only.

    Some of the flies you'll want is: sizes 18 -20
    Barr's Web Wing Caddis
    Peacock Caddis
    Larry's Black ice

    Fly size 16-18
    Beadhead Barr Emerger
    Flashback Pheasant Tail
    Cripple Dun

    Fly size 10-16 You must have terrestrials!
    High Vis foam beetle
    Charlie Boy Hopper
    Ants, any kind about a size 12-14

    Size 16-20
    Para Adams
    Vis-A-Dun
    Sparkle Dun
    Renegade

    But as always, check the local fly shops and get their advice. They make a living fishing the Arkansas, so they should be able to mention other flies too, along with certain areas to fish.

    I hope this helps a little.
    The only thing human kind ever learned through history, is that through history, human kind has learned nothing.

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  8. Default Re: Brit on vacation

    Sounds like fun.

    Here’s a link for flows: Colorado Stream Flows – Fly Fishing Colorado

    As mentioned above, we had an epic snowpack this year. The Arkansas is pretty much a freestone river and although it’s still flowing pretty high it’ll drop some over the next weeks. The South Platte is a chain of reservoirs. Water management has been shuttling that snow melt all spring and summer so there have been some pretty odd flows at times. That too should settle some by the you get here.

    Water temps have been fine for wet wading. That nymph stick will work anywhere here and would probably be a lot of fun, but the Platte gets windy in places. It’ll be a good time for hoppers and caddis in both drainages. If you are in or around rocky mt. national park, you might give a go at some of the lakes. Might favor the 5wt unless you really love tight line nymphing.

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  10. Default Re: Brit on vacation

    Many thanks for all the replies, tips and advice - plenty for me to think about.
    Think my best chances of getting some fishing in are when staying in Buena Vista 4th and 5th Sept and near Lake George 6th and 7th Sept.
    Steve

  11. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Northern Colorado
    Posts
    2,231

    Default Re: Brit on vacation

    Quote Originally Posted by sweave View Post
    Many thanks for all the replies, tips and advice - plenty for me to think about.
    Think my best chances of getting some fishing in are when staying in Buena Vista 4th and 5th Sept and near Lake George 6th and 7th Sept.
    Steve
    Both are very nice areas, and you should do well in either location.
    The only thing human kind ever learned through history, is that through history, human kind has learned nothing.

  12. #8
    Join Date
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    Location
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
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    Default Re: Brit on vacation

    Hi Steve,

    I'll let the guys currently living down there give the pointers but wanted to say hello. Also wanted to say that the post title should read; Brit on Holiday I'm Hardyreels on your UK forums.

    Ard

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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