Williams Fork River
Rob Herrmann Photography

Williams Fork River

Difficulty Intermediate/Advanced
Ideal Days To Fish 4/9, 4/11 & 4/12

Weekly Report

Report DateApril 8, 2021
At the beginning of the week, flows on the Williams Fork increased nearly 100%, but have since corrected and are back to pre-bump levels. While productivity suffered initially, given the dramatic change, it is great right now! The recent bump stirred up a variety of bugs and is having trout feeding on bigger bites. Water clarity is improving and slowly returning to normal levels. That said, use the off colored water to your advantage as trout will be more ambitious and will have less time to scrutinize your flies. Nymphing continues to produce the best results. However, dry flies and small streamers are a great option as well. The next few days (4/8 through 4/11) will be hit or miss given erratic air pressure. Trout here are particularly sensitive to these sorts of swings so you’re going to need to time it right. By and large, air pressure will hold on the lower end, but dramatic swings overnight will make for a slow start. When nymphing, lead with bigger patterns like a Barr’s Tungstone, Woven Stonefly Nymph, Pat’s Rubber Legs, Mini Leech, caddis larva or San Juan Worm. Otherwise, stick with small and simple midge/baetis trailers in the red, black and purple variety. Trout will spread out in the afternoon, but you’ll want to address the slow runs and deep pools to start. While the aforementioned time frame will present a number of challenges, hatch activity could easily trump the fundamentals. The midge hatch is strong and we’re starting to see some BWOs make an appearance as well. As such, if you see surface action and actively feeding trout, rig up a double dry or dry to an emerger rig and focus on the soft water. Starting on Monday (4/12), conditions will start to normalize and trout will feed at normal rates. That being said, storm activity is set to roll in. However, the precipitation will work in your favor.

Recommended Flies

River Flow

Flow Region

Detailed River Info

Background

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. 

Angling

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.