Arkansas River – 3/31/10

Time: 10:00AM – 2:00PM

Location: Braided area above Pinnacle Rock

Fish Landed: 0

Arkansas River 03/31/2010 Photo Album

I caught up on all my work at Saddleback and another nice spring day was forecast with high’s in the low 70’s. I was able to get an early start on Wednesday, so I read the report on the Arkansas River. It sounded encouraging with the potential of a BWO hatch, so I decided to make the trip. I stopped at the Royal Gorge Angler and purchased four golden stonefly nymphs recommended by Bill Edrington, the owner. Bill said the golden stoneflies were molting and fish were taking them at the top of pools. He advised to switch to bright green caddis pupa and BWO nymphs in the afternoon. He also cautioned that the river had quite a bit of discoloration. This should have been a red flag.

I drove to the area above Pinnacle Rock where the river splits into four channels. Quite a bit of discoloration was an understatement. The river was the color of dark olive split pea soup. Visibility was 6 inches at best in the riffles and along the edges. I rigged up and tied on the chenille rubber leg stonefly nymph I purchased and trailed a beadhead hares ear and began working the top of runs with a strike indicator. I did this for an hour and a half in some nice juicy deep runs to no avail.

Murky Arkansas River on Wednesday, Mar 31

I walked back to the car to eat my lunch, but decided to drive to Texas Creek and check out the water on the smaller tributary. Texas Creek was raging and murky, so I returned back to the braided stretch and ate my lunch. After lunch I waded across two channels to get to the nice northern most run which historically is one of my favorites. The water was discolored, but not high, so I switched to a yellow Letort hopper trailing a beadhead hares ear and beadhead RS2. This produced nothing in some nice riffle stretches that normally hold fish.

Willows in Foreground of North Channel
Willows in Foreground of North Channel

When I got to a third nice stretch of water, I replaced the flies with a glass bead caddis nymph followed by an emerald caddis larva fly. I finally managed to hookup with a small brown, but as I set the hook and lifted, the fish turned its head and got off the hook. I worked my way upstream some more hoping to see a BWO hatch. When I reached a point where the streambead narrowed and the water wasn’t as enticing, I decided to walk back to the bottom of the north braid and rest on a log and observe the water in hopes of a BWO emergence. I lied down on the ground with my head propped up on a log and dozed off. I woke up and discovered I’d taken a 45 minute nap and it was 2:45. I decided I’d had enough fun and returned to Denver.

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