Leadville Water News: Fishing, Fun and Flows!
As the storms roll through the spring season, high mountain residents’ thoughts turn to water.The Arkansas River was recently named favorite trout fishing destination in Colorado!
Rafting it, fishing it, how much of it there is, and where it will end up. With that in mind, here’s some waters news, from a report on the new rafting company casting anchor on Harrison Avenue to the official word from the Bureau of Reclamation regarding plans for the Frying-Pan/Arkansas water flow, to the local fishing report, let the rivers flow . . . and be grateful they still do!
Lakota Guides Drops Anchor on Harrison
As the snow starts to melt, and the calendar turns to spring, Leadville locals will start to see the river rafters roll through town; all except for one. There’s one rafting company which is smart enough to drop anchor in downtown Leadville: welcome Lakota Guides!
At the end of last summer, before the snow started to pile up, there was a lot of activity down at the south end of historic Harrison Avenue. Tucked in between the administrative offices of the Leadville Race Series and Leadville Dental Associates, Lakota Guide’s official address is 221 Harrison Avenue. Leadville Today caught up with one of the adventure company’s owners, John Seelig to welcome the new neighbors and find out what they have in store for the upcoming summer season.
Who: Lakota Guides has been offering whitewater trips in Colorado since the late 80s. Their mission remains the same, “to provide high adventure with your safety in mind”.
What: Offering whitewater and off-road adventures. The company offers raft trips on the Arkansas River as well as off-road trips, including Camp Hale.
Where: While their sales office location at 221 Harrison Avenue is still somewhat under construction (and snow!), the company plans to have the doors open for the summer season. Lakota Guides main office is out of Edwards over in Eagle County. In addition to offering Leadville visitors expanded recreational opportunities, Seelig hopes that the guests they bring up from the Vail Valley will enjoy the uniqueness of Leadville. “With our new sales office in Leadville, we hope to have our guests extend their visit in town with maybe a meal or a museum tour,” stated Seelig, underlining Lakota Guides desire to foster partnerships in the Leadville community.
When: “We hope to have our Leadville office open by June 1st” said Seelig.
Fishing Fore“cast” for the Upper Arkansas
The local fishing report for the Upper Arkansas River (Between Leadville and Buena Vista), brought to you by Tim Hill with Colorado Fly Fishing Guides in downtown Leadville. Although air temps. have remained relatively cold, the access on the Upper Ark is loosening up from Hayden Meadows to Granite. Above Granite there is still not much in the way of adult flies outside of occasional sporadic midge and/or blue wing hatches, but good action can be had nymphing with golden stones and a variety of mayfly and/or midge trailers. Look for the deeper runs and seams for trout that remain in their winter holding pattern. Expect favorable wading conditions with cold weather persisting over the next week in the higher elevations and a reduction in flows coming out of Twin Lakes.
Let the rivers flow
By Kara Lamb, Public Information Officer, Bureau of Reclamation. We are getting ready to start importing water from the West Slope collection of the Fryingpan-Arkansas system to the East Slope.
As long as minimum flows at both the Thomasville and Hunter Creek gages are met, we can begin diversions of additional water through the Boustead Tunnel. Here are the minimum flows for the Fryingpan River at Thomasville:
Date Min Flow, (cfs)
- Oct. 1 – Mar. 31 30
- Apr. 1 – Apr. 30 100
- May 1 – May 31 150
- Jun. 1 – Jun. 30 200
- Jul. 1 – Jul. 31 100
- Aug. 1 – Aug 31 75
- Sep 1 – Sep 30 65
Additionally, at Twin Lakes dam, we are curtailing releases to Lake Creek and the Arkansas River Monday and Tuesday. On Monday April 14, we scaled back to about 100 cfs. Tuesday, we continued scaling back to 0 cfs while a regular review of the dam is conducted. Once the review is complete, we will bring releases back up.