August is winding down and so are our flows! The Arkansas River is sitting at a beautiful 470 cfs right now. Water is low, crystal clear and the fishing is great! Nights temps are dropping and mornings are starting out crisp in the high 40’s/low 50’s. Days are warming up though and we are still seeing temps in the upper 80’s.
With these big swings in temps and warm afternoons it is still best to get out fishing early morning or later in the afternoon, avoiding the hottest parts of the day. We are seeing fish moving off the banks and into the faster riffles where the water is cooler and there is more oxygen. You’ll find them sitting on shelves as well.
Hopper droppers are still our go to during the day and we are moving towards double dries in the evenings. Chubby Chernobyls or other large, foam body hopper patterns are getting quick reactions from fish. Following behind that we are rigging a shallow dropper. Pheasant tails, specifically Frenchies, are doing a great job at tricking fish. Other attracter nymphs and variations of them are getting the job done as well: Rainbow Warriors, Hare’s Ears with a hot spot, red Two Bits, Prince Nymphs.
In the evenings we are seeing some lingering Caddis hatches, Red Quills, and lots of Hoppers. Still leading with a Chubby or a hopper pattern, double dry rigs with Caddis Hi Vis are working great. Other classic dries are working well such as Yellow Sallies, Madam Xs, and Royal variations. Gone are the days of 3X leader and tippet. With the clarity we are seeing, the trout are seeing it all too. You may still be able to get away with 4X but 5X is definitely the sweet spot.
Flows are still good for boats to get down, depending on the section you are running. The Arkansas gets technical and bony at low water but we are still managing with our 14ft RMR and full fishing frames. Just watch out for that downstream oar and those sneaky gravel bars. And for that rock that wasn’t there yesterday…
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