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Hey guys,
I'm itching for a small adventure beyond my regular small foothills streams and have read a bit about the william's fork tailwater up towards steamboat. I understand from reading that you have to hike in about a mile from one of two parking areas on the Kemp state wildlife land. What i've read says there is trail access either from the 'Kemp Unit' parking lot or the "Upper Breeze Unit' parking lot. My question is, which one would you recommend, and with either lot, can I assume there is a sign or some kind of well-marked trailhead pointing the way to the william's fork or is it local knowledge and easy to get lost?
also, is the flow there pretty stable this time of year or do i need to watch the stream flow reports closely...is there a chance that it looks good friday night but when i get there saturday it could be blown out with damn release or do they keep things pretty stable? Thanks for any help. i'll probably only get there one day a year but i'm excited about what they say is some pretty scenery and maybe better fish than i'm used to and especially that you have to hike in and there is no road. any suggestions or advice is appreciated...i'm pretty much a dry fly guy if possible so im hoping to get up there and get some action before the run off. thanks!
 

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The parking lot is on County Road 3, just south of the town of Parshall. CR 3 intersects highway 40 immediately east of Parshall. The road takes you immediately down and across the Colorado River and up a steep hill on the other side to a flat bench area south of the river. This is where the parking lot is located.

The hike down to the river is not bad at all, and the flow was pretty low (like 50 cfs) through most of May last year. Lots of Browns up to 14-15 inches, with a very small number of larger Rainbows mixed in.
 

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Once you get to the parking lot just walk around the barn or old building that is there and follow it up the fence line and you won't get lost.

Last year I walked up there durring run off and miss a nice stone fly hatch by about an hour. there were a couple guys that said the water was good an hour before I got there and you could see it starting to get mudded up. This time of year you just got to enjoy the walk and hope the fishing is even better. Good luck and don't forget to post pics of all the nice fish..
 

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I find it easier to get there by wading the Colorado by the big parking pull off near Parshall. But there is the upper parking area.

The upper parking area confused me at first. You hike down a hill on a clearly defined path, but then you turn left in what looks a lot like private property and requires use of a gate. Then you walk west on the south side of the Colorado until you get to a gate that accesses the Willie.

Don't totally ignore the CO on your hike in. The biggest trout I have caught in the lower 48 came out of there on one fine day. It happened while a guy watched me carefully from the private fishing club that owns the rights to the northern half of the river. That made it even better for me.
 
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