Time: 9:00AM – 5:30PM
Location: Pinnacle Rock Area
I got an early start in anticipation of crowds, as the Royal Gorge Angler report stated hatching began on the lower river around Canon City. I was cognizant that off days were not an option during the coming week, so I concluded that this was my only chance to meet the heavy spring caddis hatch on the Arkansas River.
I parked slightly downstream from the Pinnacle Rock access area in the canyon section between Royal Gorge and Texas Creek The report suggested using caddis pupa until surface activity appeared, so I rigged a strike indicator, split shot and beadhead hares ear trailing a beadhead emerald caddis pupa. Initially action was absent, but when I approached a rocky wide stretch near Pinnacle Rock, I began to land fish. There was a gentleman fishing a pocket behind a rock above me, so I crossed over to the far bank and continued working upstream. I was catching trout mostly on the swing, with around 80% going for the pupa and 20% on the hares ear.
I noticed more fishermen above Pinnacle Rock, and it was 11:30, so I headed back to the car for lunch. I netted 10 browns by this time, and all were twelve inches or smaller. I ate my lunch overlooking the river on a high bank and watched a couple guys who waded into their waists, as they flailed the water. I took a couple photos of them, and then gathered my stuff and hiked back to where I ended the morning and resumed my upstream progression.
Once again, because of other fishermen on the roadside bank, I crossed over to the far shore and hiked the railroad tracks for a while to get above a fisherman. In a stretch where the canyon narrowed along with the river, I landed two trout by stripping the pupa upstream along the bank streamer style. Generating strikes was more difficult, and extra searching and movement were required to entice fish. But I persisted and caught several on the swing in the wide tail next to where I typically park to fish the braided section above Pinnacle Rock.
I encountered some geese in this area, and then I moved up to the braided section and proceeded to fish the extreme right channel. Because the river splits, these channels carry less volume, so I switched over to my favorite technique of using a large attractor with a nymph dropper. I tied on a Chernobyl ant trailing a beadhead prince in case egg laying adults made their presence known. I worked the channel thoroughly all the way up to where it split from the main stem and caught four trout in the process. One was probably the biggest of the day, but not much more than 12 inches. One of the four surfaced and inhaled the Chernobyl. I ended up the day with 20-25 trout landed. I was disappointed that I did not meet the heavy dry fly action, but it was a good day nevetheless.
Fish Landed: 24