The Arkansas River Pueblo Tailwater is quickly becoming known
as one of Colorado’s best winter (and otherwise) fisheries. Not
only is the fishing good, but the relatively low elevation keeps
temperatures warmer than other locations. It’s worth a trip
to the Pueblo Tailwater.
Strong baetis hatches occur all winter long, and trout mow them. Midges are also a staple of the trout’s diet here. Flows stabilize in the winter around at 100 cfs so wading is
In the summer, it gets tough to wade due to increased flows for irrigation purposes. But keep an eye on the gauge throughout the year, there’s always the chance that flows could be low and stable. The water tends to dirty in the summer, however, so if you do wet a line, the venerable San Juan Worm or something flashy might be your best bet.
As with any tailwater, the fish tend to congregate in the stretch below the dam. Fortunately, this is also the public stretch (you’ll need a state parks pass).
Trout typically get up to 20 inches, and 12- to 16-inch fish are common. Rainbows are dominant, but brown trout appear now and again. Trout over 20 inches are rare and are often browns.
Alongside the trout are walleye, smallmouth bass, catfish, carp, suckers, and more. It is a diverse fishery with many opportunities to suit all tastes. The stillwaters that mark the area are also good bets for warmwater fish.
There are special regulations in this section, so be sure to check the current regulations brochure.