Williams Fork River
Rob Herrmann Photography

Williams Fork River

Difficulty Intermediate/Advanced
Ideal Days To Fish 11/26, 11/27 & 12/2

Weekly Report

Report DateNov. 25, 2021

On Tuesday (11/23), flows on the Williams Fork dipper further and are now roughly 40 cfs below the historical average for this time of year. While the drop led to lower productivity initially, trout have had time to normalize and are beginning to feed regularly. Despite the drop, trout still have enough water to spread out during the day. However, they are largely sticking to the deeper pools, slow runs and pockets. Water clarity is great so do your best to sight fish. If you can spot one trout, there are likely to be more lurking around as they are stacking up. Nymphing has been and will continue to be the most effective tactic, but we’re still seeing some decent surface action with midges making regular appearances throughout the day. If you see trout actively rising, don’t hesitate to rig up a Parachute Adams (#20-24) followed by an emerger or cluster pattern. Trout will feed most heavily on surface flies in areas with cover like trees and overhanging brush, but you’ll want to survey the more exposed slow water along the banks as well. When nymphing, small and simple midge and/or baetis imitations will do the trick. Focus on the slack water and banks in the early hours and as the day goes on and water temps rise, hit the deep and slow water. During this time, increase your depth and ensure plenty of weight. In the late morning and afternoons, emergers will be key as the hatch materializes. As such, we recommend trailing with a smaller pupa pattern like a Mercury Black Beauty, Manhattan Midge, Chocolate Foam Back Emerger, Mercury RS2 or Juju Emerger.

Recommended Flies

River Flow

Flow Region
Holiday Sale 2

Detailed River Info


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. 


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.