The Royal Gorge Region is an outdoor paradise, and when it comes to casting flies, it is often considered to have some of the best fly fishing in Colorado. This is in part due to the Arkansas River, which cuts through the region, pumping life like a vein.
The Arkansas River, a Gold Medal River, runs from Leadville to Cañon City, offering nearly 80 miles of public access and boasting great catches of brown and rainbow trout. It’s popular for wake, walk, and float anglers, and in April/early May, the caddis flies hatch in a blizzard, although they also continue to hatch throughout the year.
Bighorn Canyon, along the Arkansas River, is one of the most picturesque fly fishing landscapes in the Southern Rockies. It’s just one part of the 40 miles of public fishing access that stretches from Salida to Cañon City. Check out Parkdale, it’s a local favorite! Another great spot is along the Arkansas Riverwalk in Cañon City, where six miles of public access on the south side of the river await.
The Royal Gorge Region is also home to some of the finest trout streams and lakes in North America. The Skaguay Reservoir in Victor offers 114 acres of scenic angling in a remote setting and near some historic gold mines.
Just below this reservoir is Beaver Creek, which makes a 12-mile journey through a secluded canon, all within the Beaver Creek State Wildlife Area. The stream is only about 10 feet wide but has rainbow and cutthroat trout. Other great fly fishing creeks in the region include Grape Creek, Badger Creek, and 4-Mile Creek.
Please note, the time of year is important to tout here as the Arkansas River is famous for its Blue Wing Olive hatch in the spring (April/May). The time of year is also great as many other rivers are still iced over while the Arkansas is available with over 70 miles of public access.