Special to The Denver Post
“The Arkansas tailwater offers the best winter fly-fishing in the state,” said Ron Van Valkenburg, proprietor of the Anglers Addiction fly shop/guiding service just north of downtown.
Van Valkenburg might be just a little partial, but the one-time insurance executive has the perspective of having worked as a fly-fishing guide on a number of the state’s most popular rivers.
“This is the only one where I can stay busy throughout the winter,” he said. “That’s why I opened the shop here.”
Indeed, a mixed hatch of Baetis mayflies and midges was evident on the river Monday afternoon, and two rainbow trout were visibly feeding in a back eddy by the coffee shop at the Pueblo Nature Center.
Though the activity would be uncharacteristically slow this day, one angler nevertheless managed to catch and release a trout reported to measure 24 inches. Exceptional, yes, but not unprecedented, according to Lou McCullough, one of Van Valkenburg’s guides and an active member of the Pueblo-based Greenback chapter of Trout Unlimited.