Arkansas River – 4/21/2011

Time: 9:30AM – 4:30PM

Location: Below Spike Buck

Fish Landed: 17

Arkansas River 04/21/2011 Photo Album

I was pretty well caught up at work, and the weather forecast for Thursday was high of around 72 degrees for Canon City. It was supposed to turn cooler for the weekend, so I decided to make another trip to the Arkansas River. Royal Gorge Angler reported caddis hatching in Canon City, so I felt there was a remote chance that I’d catch the hatch between Parkdale and Texas Creek, but if not, I knew from the previous trip that the flows were ideal, and I could probably have some luck working the water with nymphs.

I packed the night before and left the house at 6:40. It looked like rain in Denver, and I encountered dense fog as I drove south between Castle Rock and Monument. But the fog cleared and the sun broke through just north of Colorado Springs. I arrived at my chosen destination at around 9:15 and was on the river by 9:30AM. I parked in a small pullout .5 mile downstream from the Spike Buck access area.

I began fishing with a royal stimulator trailing an emerald caddis pupa. I wasn’t getting any action on the stimulator, but twice as I worked along the left bank, I experienced momentary hookups as I lifted the flies to make another cast. I was having great difficulty following the stimulator as it was too small to support the beadhead pupa, so I switched the top fly to a bright yellow Charlie Boy hopper. This was much more visible, and I landed three brown trout on the emerald caddis pupa before breaking for lunch at 11:30.

Brown Trout Landed Early in the Day

After lunch it was partly cloudy, and it seemed that every time the sky clouded over, the wind would pick up. I removed a layer, and overall it was quite pleasant for fishing. The water I was fishing was mostly nice pockets, and small runs within 15 feet of the bank. When I reached one point where there was a deeper run, I tried the strike indicator nymphing technique with a prince nymph and emerald caddis pupa, but this didn’t produce and I lost two sets of flies.

Typical Brown from Afternoon Fishing

I switched back to the yellow Charlie Boy with an emerald caddis and a beadhead RS2 below that. I spotted caddis dancing on the water very sporadically as well as an occasional BWO. I was landing fish at a fairly regular pace. It wasn’t fast and furious, but enough to hold my interest. I was moving from pocket to pocket at a fairly rapid pace and making a lot of casts.

Charlie Boy Hopper with One Leg

Low Clear Flows below Spike Buck Access

At one point the Charlie Boy hopper lost its entire wing, so I was fishing with a yellow foam strike indicator with legs. I clipped it off and replaced with a Chernobyl ant but retained the emerald caddis and RS2. I caught one trout on the Chernobyl ant. Toward the very end of the day, the number of caddis skittering on the water became more abundant, so I clipped off the Chernobyl and droppers and tied on a gray body caddis. I caught my last two trout on the caddis dry.

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