Williams Fork River
Rob Herrmann Photography

Williams Fork River

Difficulty Intermediate/Advanced
Ideal Days To Fish 9/17, 9/18 & 9/21

Weekly Report

Report DateSept. 16, 2021

Flows on the Williams Fork dropped by over 100 cfs on Tuesday (9/14) and are now in line with the historical average for this time of year. While the drop in flow led to brief hindrances from a productivity perspective, things are getting back to normal and trout are feeding regularly throughout the day. The drop was meaningful, but there is still plenty of moving water and trout are spreading out throughout the day. While hatch activity has been fairly consistent over the last few days, the nymph rig or dry dropper will produce the best results. Dry droppers or hopper droppers will be effective in the shallow water along the banks and through the riffles and seams. Trout will favor the slack water along the banks in the early hours so we’d recommend kicking things off with a dry dropper rig. Elk Hair Caddis or any Stimulator/Hopper pattern like an Amy’s Ant, Chubby, PMX or Hippie Stomper will make for a great lead fly. Trail any of these with one or more smaller imitative midge, baetis or caddis imitations like a Black Beauty, Zebra Midge, Top Secret, Rojo Midge, Split Case BWO, Stalcup’s Baetis or Darth Baetis. Otherwise, searchers/attractors like red Copper Johns, Flashback PTs, Guide’s Choice Hare’s Ears, Perdigon or Rainbow Warriors (chartreuse) are all great options as well. As the day progresses, trout will gravitate to the deep and slow water, especially on Thurs (9/16) and Sat (9/18) through Monday (9/20) as air pressure will hold below normal levels. During this time, you’ll want to lead with bigger patterns in the Stonefly, leech and caddis variety when nymphing as trout will feed opportunistically on larger bugs. Otherwise, on Friday (9/17) and post Monday (9/20), you’ll want to stick with smaller imitations as air pressure will hold at normal levels most of the day and trout will feed regularly.

Recommended Flies

River Flow

Flow Region

Detailed River Info

Background

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. 

Angling

Let us start off 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 its 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. 

River Access

The tailwater 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.