Williams Fork River
Rob Herrmann Photography

Williams Fork River

Difficulty Intermediate/Advanced
Ideal Days To Fish 5/17, 5/21 & 5/22

Weekly Report

Report DateMay 12, 2022

The Williams Fork remains in delicate shape. Flows have held steady over the last several weeks and are sitting well below the historical average for this time of year. As a result, water clarity is good, making trout easier to locate. However, it goes both ways and trout can be fairly skittish. Trout will stack up in the deep and slow water most of the day, but will move in and out of the faster runs and riffles to feed. Don’t overlook the banks and slack water, however, as you will likely find the occasional trout in these areas, especially during extended periods of sun exposure. Small and simple nymph rigs are the name of the game right now, but come prepared to fish some dries or a dry dropper during the hatch. When nymphing, try leading with an Electric Caddis, Pat's, Flashback PT or Rainbow Warrior to one or more smaller midge, baetis or caddis imitations like a Mercury Black Beauty, JuJu Baetis, Stalcup's Baetis or Sparkle Pupa. As far as hatches go, expect to see midges coming off sporadically throughout the day starting in the early hours followed by BWOs and caddis in the late morning and afternoon. A single dun to a cluster or emerger pattern will be an effective route during the hatch. However, a single dry fly is a good option if you’re having trouble presenting a clean drift. Otherwise, an Electric Caddis or Buckskin Caddis to a smaller midge or baetis emerger will be effective when nymphing. Regardless, productivity on this tailwater is fairly consistent. However, expect improvements as air/water temps rise throughout the day.

Recommended Flies

River Flow

Flow Region
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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.