Williams Fork River
January 14, 2021:
Despite cold weather, the Williams Fork continues to produce with stable flows and high water clarity. Trout here are particularly susceptible to swings in weather patterns so you’ll need to be persistent and be changing with the times. The nymph rig with small and imitative midge patterns continues to produce the best results. So if all else fails, go this route. However, elevated air pressure in the coming days will garner small attractor flies the most effective at the lead. Psycho Prince Nymphs, Flashback PTs, Rainbow Warriors and Copper Johns (red & purple) are a few of our go-to’s this time of year. That said, our bug sampling has shown that small stoneflies are present in the water so don’t hesitate to rig up a small Pat’s or Stonefly Nymph at the lead, particularly on Monday (1/18) as air pressure will sit at or below ideal levels and trout will feed more opportunistically. Otherwise, trail any of the aforementioned lead flies with one or more smaller and imitative midges like a Disco Midge, Black Beauty, Mercury Midge, Jujubee Midge or even an RS2. Pupa/larva patterns will garner the most consistent results in the coming days with cold temps, but don’t hesitate to rig up an emerger and fish the mid to upper water in the afternoon. Regardless, you’ll want to give most of your attention to the deeper runs, pools and pockets ensuring plenty of weight.
Ideal Days to Fish: 1/21 & 1/22
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), Comparadun BWO (#22-24)
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.