Williams Fork River
Rob Herrmann Photography

Williams Fork River

Difficulty Intermediate/Advanced
Ideal Days To Fish 12/3 through 12/5

Weekly Report

Report DateDec. 1, 2022

Flows on the Williams Fork dropped slightly but remain at a productive level for this time of year. The drop in flow had an immediate impact on productivity. However, it shouldn’t last long and trout will likely resume their normal feeding behavior in the next day, if they haven’t already. Cold weather and sub-freezing overnight temps, in particular, have led to a sluggish and selective trout. The early hours of the day will be slower, from a productivity perspective, so give it some time to warm up before hitting the water. Look to the slack water during this time and be cautious when approaching the water as trout will hug the banks and spook easily. Otherwise, seek out the deep and slow runs, pools and pockets the rest of the day. Midges have quickly become the prominent food source and remain the primary hatch. Surface action has been hit or miss and we expect more of the same in the days to come. However, if you see trout actively rising, don’t hesitate to rig up some dry flies. Regardless, nymphing with plenty of weight and smaller midge imitations will be a good place to start. Midge larva will be effective in the early hours and a midge larva to one or more pupa will be the way to go in the late morning/early afternoon. Be meticulous with your approach and spend plenty of time adjusting your depth and flies before moving on as you’ll need to hit them on the nose with your flies in order to see success.

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.