Southeast of Salida, the section of the Arkansas River near Cotopaxi is well known for fly fishing. The Arkansas River is one of the longer rivers in the state of Colorado. The headwaters are just north of Leadville and it flows south through Buena Vista and Salida. Beyond Salida, the river turns east heading toward Canon City and beyond through Pueblo and Lamar on its route to Kansas.
The most popular fly fishing section is the 75 mile stretch from Buena Vista to Canon City that includes Cotopaxi. There are plenty of pools, riffles and pocket water, and the river runs between 70 to 100 feet wide. You can expect to find plenty of brown trout and acceptable numbers of rainbow trout; typically the fish are about 14 inches long. Access along this stretch is off US50 from Salida to Canon City. There are many nices sections to wade, just make sure to be careful during winter runoff from May through early July. The caddis hatch is typically July and August, but midges can be found from March through October.
Note: The printable fly fishing river map is provided courtesy of HANDYMICROFIBERCLOTH.COM.
If you are looking for a downloadable GPS Arkansas River fly fishing map, click here.
Overall, Arkansas River - Cotopaxi is the 19th most popular fly fishing river of all 47 fly fishing spots in Colorado.