Williams Fork River
Rob Herrmann Photography

Williams Fork River

Difficulty Intermediate/Advanced
Ideal Days To Fish 9/24 through 9/26

Weekly Report

Report DateSept. 21, 2023

Flows on the Williams Fork increased slightly in the last couple days, but have since held steady and are at a very productive level for this time of year. At this flow, the fishing is good and there is plenty of water for trout to spread out. Water clarity remains on the upper end and trout are somewhat skittish and selective. Midges remain the primary hatch, but we’re seeing a fair number of BWOs and tricos as well so come prepared to fish dry flies in the late morning through the early afternoon. Otherwise, expect to come across the occasional caddis hatch starting in the afternoon. Trout are stacking up in the deep and slow runs and pools as well as the pocket water in the cooler hours of the day, but have been prone to move in and out of the more prominent feeding lanes like the outer seams, riffles, transitions and tail outs during a hatch. Do your best to sight fish as this will make all the difference. Nymphing with bigger lead flies to one or more smaller midge, baetis or caddis imitations will do most of the heavy lifting.

Recommended Flies

River Flow

Flow Region

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.