Fishing with Hayden

My guiding career stretches back over 20 years, from whitewater rafting in New Zealand in the mid 1980’s, through fly fishing in both New Zealand and Colorado since 1990. My priorities for a day on the river are: have fun, have fun, have more fun, and catch a few fish. I have a laid back, personable guiding style, and believe I have done my job when my clients leave the river with a smile on their face and hopefully a few new tips and techniques to ponder. Although real estate is primarily what keeps me busy, I am still available on a limited number of days to guide on the Arkansas from April through October.

The Arkansas River is a great river to fish from a boat, and offers excellent opportunities particularly for dry fly fishing throughout these months.

Due to state licensing and permitting regulations, I conduct my guide trips through ArkAnglers Guide Service, the region’s premier guide service. I charge $450 for a full day float trip for two people, $350 for a solo fisherman. This includes lunch and shuttles. Flies, licenses and gratuity are extra. Please contact me directly at to discuss availability, river conditions etc.

  • penny August 17, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    HI Hayd, hows tricks? Tried to contact you via Facebook – but you’ve vanished (or FB has lost the plot). Hope all is well in Salida and that Kym, Soph and Honey Bee are all good.


  • Tom Knoll September 12, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Hi Hayden,
    Just a note to thank you for a wonderful fly fishing experience and hope to have you again next year if it works out with your schedule. This was unequivocally the high point of our fishing trip. You are the BEST in our book. I will be working on mending and hopefully get better at catching HA as well. Have a great day!

  • Hayden Mellsop September 13, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Thanks Tom. I look forward to fishing with you and Mark again. Also, get in touch when you would like to get some info on properties around here.


  • michael hackwith October 29, 2010 at 8:30 am

    are there pike in those 2 little ponds by the hatchery in salida ??? i am working on my still water fishing skills over there when i git over to salida …as i am near guffey but come over there quite a bit …just to hang out with friends an fish the river an those two ponds ….thanks in advance ….

  • Hayden Mellsop October 30, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Hi Michael – no pike that I am aware of. To my knowledge we don’t have any in the valley. Most people I know around here that fish for them usually go over to Taylor Reservoir or over your way.

  • michael hackwith October 31, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    tank you sir ..also you can find my e-mail in facebook

  • Tom Knoll September 16, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Hi Hayden, Mark and I had another great time on the river with our favorite guide. Also enjoyed sharing beer and conversation with you. I will send you information regarding Thailand etc in several weeks when my girls get back. The Knoll Brothers

  • Hayden Mellsop September 16, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Hi Tom. Glad you guys had a good time. Looks like we timed it perfectly too, what with the river blowing out overnight after our trip. Did you get to fish some more?

  • Tom Knoll September 16, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    We fished above Salida and my brother did exceptional well, while I enjoyed the views. He was frustrated that he broke off a large brown as I was ready to net it for him. All in all, a spectacular time spent on the river and mountains. Also, thanks Hayden for your work in preserving the Arkansas River for all of us. Your a good man. The Knoll Bros

  • Hayden Mellsop September 17, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Thanks Tom. I’m glad you found some fishable water. If you’d like to help the cause in protecting the Ark, visit Donations are always welcome, and much appreciated.

  • Tom Knoll September 17, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Thanks for the website, and I will be donating.

  • Hayden Mellsop September 17, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    And you, Sir, are a good man.

  • Tony Kirkham July 8, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Hello Hayden
    It was good to meet you in Steamboat Springs yesterday and to talk fishing. It’s such a small world that we should sit next to a professional fly fishing guide in a Mexican restaurant.
    I love your website and will be following it. I hope one day when I come over to the Bay Area for a meeting that I will make a point of coming out with you dry fly fishing.
    I will let you know how I fair at Jackson Hole on the Snake.
    Tight lines

  • Hayden Mellsop July 17, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Hi Tony

    I trust your trip is going well, although I guess by now tow weeks must almost be up. Time flies when you are having too much fun. Please get in touch if you are ever heading back this way.

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