August 13, 2020:
The Williams Fork is fishing great right now and is one of the better options across the Colorado River Basin. While flows continue to fluctuate, they have held relatively steady at ideal levels for this time of year. While you can’t go wrong with the double or triple nymph rig, the hopper dropper has been a lot of fun and very productive. Hatch activity has been strong with terrestrials, caddis, PMDs, stoneflies, and BWOs all coming off the water throughout the day. Rig up a Chubby Chernobyl, Amy’s Ant or Hippie Stomper followed by one or more imitative midge, baetis, caddis or stonefly nymphs and hit the banks hard. As air temps rise and hatch activity materializes, swap your pupa/larva dropper for an emerger and lighten the load. When nymphing, you’ll want to favor bigger lead flies like a Pat’s, Iron Sally or Pine Squirrel Leech. Trail any of the aforementioned lead flies with one or more smaller imitative nymphs like an RS2, Black Beauty, Top Secret, Darth Baetis or Electric Caddis.
Ideal Days to Fish: Sunday through Tuesday
Go to flies:
Sub-surface - RS2's (#20-22), JuJu baetis (#20-22), WD 40 (#20-22), Black Beauties (#20-22), Top Secret (#22-24), Mercury Midge (#22-24), Foam Wing Emerger (#20-22), Electric Caddis (#16-18), Super Pupa (#16-18), Frenchie (#16-20), Guide's Choice Hare's Ear (#16-20), Psycho Prince Nymph (#18-20), Pheasant Tails (#18-20), Copper John (#16-18), Pat's Rubber Legs (#12-14), San Juan Worm (#10-12)
Surface - Parachute Adams (#20 - #22), Griffiths Gnat (#24 - 26), Elk Hair Caddis (#16 - 18), Resting Caddis (#16-18), X2 Caddis (#16-18), Amy's Ant (#10), Yellow Sally (#10-12), Chubby Sally (#10-12), PMD Thorax Dun (#18-22), Parachute PMD (#18)
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 of 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 it's 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.
The tail water 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.