Adventure: Colorado – Nathrop – Arkansas River

Every summer for the past 28+ years, we have our big annual Guys Fishing Weekend. In between these main events, we try to get together for other fishing adventures. This spring, we found ourselves in Nathrop, Colorado along the Arkansas River, just south of Buena Vista. In typical spring fishing fashion, we were beholden to the weather gods who threw us some curve balls. But none of that deterred us from having a great weekend of fishing, friends and laughter. Here is a breakdown of a trip we would absolutely load up again!

Region/Destination: Nathrop, Buena Vista and Salida, Colorado

Duration: 4 days, 3 nights

Size of Crew: Four (4) men

Accommodations: Silver Trout Lodge

Great accommodations that sleeps up to 8 people. There are four rooms, three with queen and/or king beds, and a fourth room with two twins.

The kitchen was fully stocked with modern appliances and utensils. Enough plates, silverware and glassware to feed an army each day.

The living room area is large with comfy couches to unwind on for the day in front of a TV supported with YouTubeTV and Netflix. The entire property has wifi.

The three (3) full bathrooms, all modern and clean, fully stocked with towels, body wash and shampoo, all of which are hotel quality. There is a mud room/laundry room which is great for storing your gear at night or doing a load of laundry from a tumble in the river.

Outside there is a large wrap around porch that has a stainless steel grill and ample lounge chairs to stare in awe at Mount Princeton. There is a gravel parking area that can park four full size trucks.

We highly recommend these accommodations!

For more information on these accommodations: Airbnb


We have a stellar cook who accompanies us on every one of our trips, for free, because he is one of the guys!

…And he loves to chef up great meals.

This trip was a little impromptu and we had to improvise on some of our meals because someone purposely sabotaged accidently forgot some equipment and ingredients.

But we persevered and this trip had some great grub… we only go pictures of the truck-bed sandwiches though (we are sorry we will try to do better).

  • Thursday
    • Dinner: Spaghetti and Marinara Meat Sauce
  • Friday
    • Breakfast: We were breakfast-less because we Reid forgot to bring the eggs
    • Lunch: Truck-Bed Ham and Cheese Sandwiches (pictured above), assortment of chips, and a few sleeves of Oreos
    • Dinner: Cheeseburgers, Baked Beans and Potato Salad
  • Saturday
    • Brunch: Due to weather, getting out of the house was not a priority, and breakfast turned into Lunch
      • Egg, Bacon and Cheese Breakfast Sandwiches
    • Dinner:
      • Attempted to make Crockpot BBQ Ribs, but they did not cook in time to eat
      • Fried Spaghetti and an appetizer plate of chips & salsa, Bitchin’ Sauce and Doritos
  • Sunday
    • Breakfast: Over Easy Eggs, Hashbrowns and Crockpot BBQ Ribs

Bodies of Water

  • Thursday: Arkansas River @ Hecla Junction Recreation Area (less than 10 minutes from Silver Trout Lodge)
    • Dry dropper fishing, with fish striking at both flies. Middle of the river was fishing too high (river was clocking 650 CFS at the time), so focus was mostly along the banks, which was fruitful. Nymphs were more successful, although fish were caught on the dries too. Using small dry patterns to imitate Blue Wing Olive hatches, so primarily olive and grey were working. Nymphing with Prince Nymphs and Zebra Midges.
  • Friday: Arkansas River, near Swissvale (Approximately 35 minutes from Silver Trout Lodge)
    • Primarily streamer fishing. Thin Mint pattern was crushing. Water was flowing at ~750 CFS until mid-afternoon and then started to rise towards ~900 CFS by the end of the day. Dry dropper was slightly working along the bank and in eddies.
  • Saturday: Arkansas River, near Howard, CO (Approximately 45 minutes from Silver Trout Lodge)
    • Completely ineffective fishing due to water levels being extremely high (>900 CFS). But this stretch of water would have been extremely fun with lower water levels. Lots of structure, pools and eddies to explore.

Fish Targeted/Caught

Brown Trout, 10 inches to 18 inches

Special Memories

  • Reid forgot the eggs and crockpot… A major setback that nearly ruined the weekend. But we prevailed, against our wives’ predictions.
  • Robb sat in a cactus on the first day, while walking down to the river. Opposite to popular opinion, it turns out that waders are not impervious to cactus quills, and he spent the next 45 minutes gingerly removing them from his skin and all layers of his clothes.
  • We recorded our first live podcast. A fun discussion about the GFW start and how it has evolved over time.
  • Watched the Nuggets go 1-1 with the Lakers in the NBA Playoffs, and the Avs win 1 against the Winnipeg Jets.
  • Rides in the car listening to comedy skits (Louis C.K. and Shane Gillis) and solving the worlds problems.
  • New Robb’s that we met: C-Robb-PO

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