Arkansas River Colorado
James Marsh fishing Arkansas River
Copyright 2015 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Gear and Trout Flies for the Arkansas River
In Colorado

Fly Line:
The Arkansas River is a fairly simple river to outfit for because the size of most of the trout
is consistent and the type of water is very similar with the exception of the tailwater section
below Pubelo Reservoir. We would say the ideal fly line size would be a 5 weight, floating
fly line. You could get by with just this one fly line size. Certainly he upper headwaters can
be fished with a 4 weight fly line.

If you fish heavy nymphs, such as the Golden Stonefly imitations, then we suggest
something larger. I would say a 6 weight fly line would deliver most of the streamers and
heavy nymphs. You may want to use a sinking tip line for the streamers.

Fly Rod:
You would want a fly rod to handle each of the above line sizes if you chose to fish them.  
The four, five and six weight rods would be ideal at a length of nine feet. We think a
medium to medium fast action would be best.

Fly Reel:
The reel for the 4, 5 or 6 weight lines should have good drags You don't want to hang a
large brown or rainbow trout and loose it because of a poor drag. It should be smooth and
adjust to fine increments.

You should be using at least a seven foot leader on the Arkansas River. A nine foot length
would probably be the best all around length. The only exception would be when you are
fishing streamers. You may want a shorter leader in that case. You should have them in
sizes ranging from 0X for streamers, up to 6X for small midge imitations.

Carry plenty of extra tippet in sizes ranging from 0X to 6X.

Waders are necessary and we suggest them even if your use a drift boat. You may want to
get out and fish certain areas. We prefer the breathable type but you may need neoprene
waders if you are fishing during the winter.

Wading Boots:
Felt soles would be our choice.

Wading Staff:
In many areas of the river you may want to use a wading staff, especially when the water is

Trout Flies:
We always recommend our own "Perfect Fly" Trout Flies. We have specific imitations of
every important insect that hatches on the Arkansas River. It is best to use the hatch chart
and select the flies to use for the period of time you will be fishing.
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Arkansas River
Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.

2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.

3. Email us (
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.

All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $50 are shipped via
Priority Mail.