Williams Fork River
Rob Herrmann Photography

Williams Fork River

Difficulty Intermediate/Advanced
Ideal Days To Fish 5/6, 5/9 & 5/11

Weekly Report

Report DateMay 6, 2021

After dropping nearly 180 cfs at the end of April to merely a trickle, flows on the Williams Fork have held steady for the last several days. It’s hard to say what exactly is going on and why they’re keeping flows so low, but we can safely say that productivity has suffered. Trout are now limited to the deeper runs and pools and are stacking up in numbers. Water clarity is good, but trout are on high alert and are feeding selectively. While you will likely land a fish or two, we’d recommend fishing elsewhere for the time being. The confluence with the Upper Colorado is a short walk or drive away and is fishing great! If you’re dead set on fishing here, go with a nymph rig and fish smaller imitative bugs. Imitative midge and baetis nymphs, particularly pupa, will be high producers. Otherwise, caddis larva, stonefly larva and leeches will turn some heads as well. Do your best to sight fish and target the deep and slow water for the best results. It will likely come with some amount of frustration, but if you cycle through flies and go with a stealthy approach you should be in for decent results. Hatch activity has been good as well and trout have been looking to the surface for an easy meal. That said, low air pressure over the next few days and the fact that trout are already on edge due to low flows, don’t count on a lights out dry fly day.

Recommended Flies

River Flow

Flow Region

Detailed River Info


The Williams Fork River a.k.a Willy's Fork, is a two mile tail water below the Williams Fork Reservoir that feeds into the upper Colorado River. The most common access point to the river requires a 20 minute walk but trust us, the serenity and beauty is well worth the hike. The Willy's Fork provides a more peaceful outing compared to the other tail water options in Colorado.The Cotton Wood Tree lined river consists of deep runs, pools and pocket water. If you're looking to spend some time on the river make sure to bring plenty of water, sunscreen and beer. 


Let us start off by saying this is hands down one of the most beautiful rivers that we've ever fished. A bad day on this river (which isn't likely), is still an amazing day because of the scenery. The Willy's Fork provides anglers with a wide variety of fishing options due to its abundance of deep runs and pools as well as pocket water and undercut grass banks. If you're fishing for numbers, targeting the banks will be your best bet. If you're searching for the 20 - 24 in. trout, add some weight and get down deep in the pools and runs. Besides the typical Caddis and Mayfly hatches, the Willy's Fork experiences a solid Stonefly hatch similar to the Colorado River. The most common trout found in this stretch are Browns and Rainbows. 

River Access

The tailwater section of the Williams Fork is located in the town of Parshall, CO. Anglers can access the river from two locations. You can park at the Williams Fork Division of Wildlife parking lot located at the intersection of county road 3 and county road 36. Parking at this location will require a 20 minute hike to the water. If you're looking to fish from the confluence, park in the town of Parshall off of Highway 40 and wade across the Colorado River.