The Arkansas River in Colorado provides Gold Medal fly fishing for Brown and Rainbow trout. Your fly fishing trip will be unique – you’ll be floating the river by raft! You will experience some of the fastest dry fly action in the West for predominately 10″ to 16″ Browns. We begin in late April with our famous Caddis fly hatch and continue into the fall, fishing with attractor and terrestrial patterns. We take you to feeding and holding zones accessible only by raft as we drift through private and public lands. We drift within casting distance of trout other anglers only dream about! Our float fishing trips show you a side of the Arkansas few experience – no crowds, beautiful sunsets, wildlife and fishing where walk / wade anglers can’t reach due to private land, difficult hikes or swift currents. We promote catch and release with single barbless hooks. Only flies or lures are allowed – no bait! Anglers should be proficient in casting skills to insure a rewarding experience. Novices should consider our instructional fly fishing course prior to float fishing.
Colorado Outfitter Registration # 1626.
- DATES: Late April – September, when the river is clear before and after runoff.
- TRIPS: Evening floats launch at 4 PM and go until dark. Full day trips launch at 9 AM and return mid to late afternoon.
- PRICES: Full Day trips – $ 435 per boat for 1 or 2 anglers. Evening Float – $ 325 per boat for 1 or 2 anglers. Our limit is 2 anglers per boat.
- INCLUDES: Guide, all boating gear, transportation from our base and lunch on full day trips. Flies are not included and should be purchased ahead of time at Royal Gorge Anglers in Canon City. Price includes the State Park use fee.
- YOU BRING: Your fishing gear with an adequate supply of flies or lures from our recommended list. Fly rods and light action spinning gear work best. Quick drying clothes and shoes you don’t mind getting wet and rain gear. Cleated wading shoes are not allowed.
- LICENSES: A valid Colorado fishing license is required and is available just east of ART at the Cotopaxi Store, at Royal Gorge Anglers or online at www.cpw.state.co.us/fish/buyapply. A non-resident license is $9 for one day, $21 for 5 days or $56 for an annual pass. Resident licenses are $ 26 annual.
- RECOMMENDED FLIES: May to early June: Elk Hair Caddis # 14-16, Golden Stone Fly Nymphs, Bead Head Prince and Pheasant Tail Nymphs Nymphs, and other Stonefly patterns. Mid-summer to fall: Grasshoppers, Stimulators, Yellow Humpys, Royal Wulffs and other attractor patterns. Streamers are a mandatory fly to carry. Visit Royal Gorge Anglers website at www.royalgorgeanglers.com for current flies and conditions.
- RECOMMENDED LURES: #1 – 2 Gold and Silver Blue Fox, Panther Martins in Black and gold, Mepps in red and silver and small Rapalas. Anglers using lures must clip 2 hooks off and pinch the remaining barb.
- MEET: At Arkansas River Tours base in Cotopaxi one half hour prior to launch time.
Bighorn Sheep Canyon – Fishing Overnight Trip
Bighorn Sheep Canyon – The Bighorn Canyon option combines 2 different sections of the Arkansas River above and below Cotopaxi. Trip includes guides, camping at our base in Cotopaxi and a hearty breakfast. Please eat a late lunch or bring your own food for after your evening float. Trip concludes about noon on the second day.
- PRICE: $ 250 per person. Minimum of 2 anglers, includes State Parks Use fees.
Brown’s Canyon National Monument Float Fishing Trips
Float fish our newest National Monument! We float fish water that is very rarely fished due to access. Never ending pocket water, bush banks and deep pools define this section. We try to time our trips to miss the busy whitewater rafting trips. Anglers must be in good shape to ride through the Class III rapids.
Overnight in Brown’s – We launch late afternoon and float fish from rafts until we reach our riverside campsite where walk/wade opportunities await. We will serve a steak dinner and a hot breakfast on this trip. In the morning we will continue our float until around noon.
PRICE – $ 400 per person, minimum of 4 anglers or 2 anglers can book this trip for an additional $ 150 so we may have 2 boats on every trip.
Evening Float in Brown’s – We launch late afternoon, time depends on water levels and time of the year. This is a magical time of the day in this canyon!
PRICE – $ 350 per boat for 2 anglers, minimum of 2 boats per trip. 2 anglers can book this trip for an additional $ 150 so we may have 2 boats on every trip.
Full Day in Brown’s Canyon – Spend a full day, with lunch, working the busy pocket water and casting until your arm falls off !
PRICE – $ 450 per boat for 2 anglers, minimum of 2 boats per trip. 2 anglers can book this trip for an additional $ 100 so we may have 2 boats on every trip.
Half and Half – Walk/Wade and Float Fishing Combination Trip
This has become a very popular summertime trip for those who like to walk/wade fish and float fish as well. We start each day with a morning wade trip beginning at Arkansas River Tours in Cotopaxi at 7:30 AM with a guide from Royal Gorge Anglers fly shop. This portion of the trip lets you shake loose the cobwebs and concentrate on the great early morning dry fly fishing. At noon, you are free to spend a few hours on your own relaxing during the heat of the afternoon or pursuing Browns rising to hoppers along shorelines. Meet us at 4:30 back at Arkansas River Tours in Cotopaxi for an evening float using large dries and streamers. The best of both worlds ! You’ll need to provide your own flies and lunch. Mid June through August.
- PRICE: $ 535 for one or two anglers.