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 Colorado Fishing Report

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Information for fishing reports is gathered by a number of ways including angler contact, state agencies and bait and tackle dealers.

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June 30, 2015

Conditions Report - Metro Denver Area

Aurora Reservoir

The reservoir is open to boating and the water temperature is 72 degrees. Trout fishing from shore is rated as slow to fair. Fish will be deeper so cast out 40-50 yards. Most reports are of trout being caught using power bait from a slip rig and some reports using crawlers and a float. Boaters report success ranging from slow to good on trout trolling with rapalas, spoons, and pop gear with crawlers. Walleye fishing is slow to fair with a handful of good reports from boats trolling with bottom bouncers with crawlers and jigs. Fishing for smallmouth and largemouth bass is fair to good using jigs, spinner baits and swim baits. Also some reports of yellow perch being caught using jigs and worms. This reservoir is restricted to electric motors only and all watercraft must be inspected prior to launch. For more information call 303-326-8425. The July hours of operation is 5 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Chatfield Reservoir

The walleye fishing is good near the outlet, and along the dam at night. The walleye bag limit is three: two 18 inches long, with one over 21 inches. The bass fishing is picking up, as the lake temperature increases. The bass bag limit is five, 15 inches long. The Trout fishing is slowing down. The trout bag limit is four, any size. The perch fishing has been slow, the perch bag limit is 20, any size. 

Quincy Reservoir

The reservoir is open to boating and the water temp is 74 degrees. The water level is good. Fishing is fair to good at this time for bass! Bass being caught shallow using jigs, soft plastics, jerk baits and crank baits. Top water action is fair to good in the early morning and evenings. There has been some reports of perch being caught using jigs. Fishing is restricted to artificial flies and lures only. Only watercraft capable of being launched by hand permitted and electric motors only. All watercraft must be inspected prior to launch. New for this—year--the fee system is now per vehicle and the West access gate has been permanently closed. Access will only permitted through the East access gate. The July hours of operation are 5 a.m.- 9:30 p.m. For more information call 303-326-8424.​

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Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado

Barr Lake 

​ The water temperature is at 72 to 75 degrees and the water clarity is at two to three feet of visibility. The shore fishing has been tough with the high water conditions. But fishing will improve once the water begins to drop. For boaters, the trout have been biting. Average fish size has been trout in the 18 to 21 inch range. Trolling has been best. Lead core and snap weights has had the best success. Deeper has been best for trout with spoon wobblers and small crank baits like flicker shads. Walleye are scattered over open water. The best way to catch them right now is by trolling spinner rigs or crawler harnesses, crankbaits, and flicker shads (size #7)​. Try also dragging worms or leeches on the humps on the west side of the lake. Wipers are active shallow in the smart weed, eating carp minnows and fat heads. Casting lipless crankbaits and in-line spinners has been the best way to catch them.

Boyd Lake

The current water temperature is approximately 69 degrees with a depth of approximately 46.2 feet. The bass fishing for the smallmouth and white bass has been good with anglers catching them on lures at the Marina, pump house, and the North Cove. The largemouth bass fishing has been fair at the same areas as the small mouth and white bass. The catfish and crappie fishing has been fair using lures and worms in the inlets and lakewide. The walleye fishing has been good using bottom bouncers in shallow waters at the Marina Inlet. Lastly, the trout fishing has been excellent, as always, by using lures, worms, and power bait lakewide. Any live fish collected for use as bait may only be used in the same body of water from which they were collected. All live bait/fish from a commercial source and transported by anglers must at all times be accompanied by a receipt for the source. See the Colorado Fishing Regulations for further clarification and information.

Carter Lake

Walleye are becoming more active and have been caught trolling along the west shoreline. Night crawler harnesses, as well as a night crawler on a jig head, are being used for walleye and large trout. Trolling spinners have landed a few very large trout. Trout can be caught from shore on the south and north ends with spinners and power bait.

Eldorado Canyon

Fishing conditions in the canyon are currently poor. The water flow is at 146 cubic feet per second and the water levels are starting to fall. Colorado Fishing Licenses are required and are available for purchase at the park Visitors Center.

Eleven Mile Reservoir

The trout fishing is very good--the fish must love all the extra oxygen and food flowing in with the big water because they are in a frenzy. Trollers are having a field day. The West End is still the best for a lot of action. The East End provides less action, but better opportunities for much bigger fish. Look to areas around Duck and Deer Islands. Lots of baits are working, but color is still important. Green and chartreuse are the colors to pick with orange starting to pick up as well. Kokanee salmon fishing is not quite good, but way better than it has been. Opportunities to catch are all about timing and location. The unpleasant weather is really bringing them out. When everyone is evacuating the lake because a weather front is moving through and wind conditions prevail, the bite is on. Look to Duck and Deer Islands in the main channel for the best results. Pink has been their favorite color. Dodgers, Sling Blades trailed by dick nites, or tasmanian devil #55 in 7 and 13 gram sizes on a lead core rig or down rigger have also performed well. Late morning and weather disturbances are good times for the salmon. Northern pike fishing action has picked up significantly. Work shallow water 2-6 feet. They are still stacked up and will attack large rapala's, husky jerks and tube jigs. A slow retrieve works best. Very slow with an occasional twitch. No giant ones reported yet, but you might be able to catch enough to feed a small army. Numerous catches by those working the shallows and weed beds...pike bunnies, tubes, dare devil  and kastmaster's are all working well. The upper parking lot is closed due to flooding. Please plan accordingly. Flows are considerably higher than their normal historic flow regimes at the Dream Stream. As far as "matching the hatch"...there are no evident hatches to speak of. An occasional midge here and there...and that's about it. Effective flies have been #14 san juan worms, #10 leeches, #14 scuds, #18 mercury pheasant tails, #18-20 buckskins, #16-18 mercer's swing nymph, #18 graphic caddis, and #20 barr emergers. You might also try #20 Mercury Blood Midge, #20 Minute Midge,  #20 juju baetis, #18 orange span juan worm, #18-20 mercury flashback pheasant tail, and #20 foam wing chocolate emerger. Fish the softer currents and along the edges. Anglers willing to work hard are picking up a mixed bag of browns, rainbows, and cut bows. Look for the City of Aurora to match incoming flows. There is a lot of snow left up on Weston Pass, Bald Mountain, and the Mosquito Range. The flows will remain high for a while.   

Flatiron Reservoir

Trout are being caught with spinners and power bait of various colors along the western shore.


North Sterling Reservoir

Fish were biting hard this weekend for boaters and anglers on the shore. Leeches from the North side Marina were the bait of choice this week along with worms. The water temperature is now 78 degrees and continues to rise. The South Boat Ramp has been reopened on a day-to-day basis depending on weather. Large walleye 20-inches plus were caught over the weekend on both the Cunningham and Darby arms as well as at the overflow parking area East of the Swim Beach. Walleye daily bag limits were caught at the West Trail head. Twenty-one-inch plus wiper were caught up the Darby arm and many were biting up the Cunningham arm at the West Trail Head and at the Overflow parking area East of the Swim Beach on worms, minnows, minnow lures, and leeches. Trout were caught along the dam and up both arms of the lake on worms and power bait. Crappie were also caught along the dam up the Cunningham arm. Large perch were caught at Sunset Cove.  Fishing licenses can be purchased at the Visitor Center that is open 8 a.m.- 4:30 daily.


Pinewood Reservoir

Flies on a clear bubble using a bead-head june bug have been productive. Power bait of various colors has been productive as well.

Spinney Mountain Reservoir

Fishing on the river above Spinney Mountain Reservoir and between Spinney Mountain and Eleven Mile Reservoirs is currently discouraged due to high river flows, but campgrounds, parking areas and other facilities within the park remain open and unaffected by high water levels. Scuds, prince nymph, damsels, hares ears, tazmanian devils, HD trout, and rapalas have been productive baits for trout. The pike fishing has been fair when using rapallas. The river above Spinney has very high flow rates and has over run the river's banks. The bridge at the Spinney Wier has been closed for safety reasons. Fishermen are discouraged from fishing in this area due to high waters and unpredictable flow patterns.

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​Conditions Report- Southeast Colorado

Arkansas Headwaters

Upper river: Above the Clear Creek confluence, the fishing is starting to come back on line, driven by a slowly receding flow and clearing edges and also by the inception of several of our summer hatches. Golden stoneflies, yellow sallies, caddis, and some large brown mayflies are all feeding the appetites of fish that have struggled with high, dirty water for the last month. The river is still high and caution is advised. Dry-dropper rigs are the game right now. Ignore the river and focus on the "small stream" - the narrow strip of slower water that runs right along the shore. Buena Vista to Salida:  The fishing on this section of the river has gone from challenging to dangerous and also not productive. The river is moving very swiftly, has high turbidity, and is very cold. I do not expect for these conditions to persist for very long, but while we have them, folks should stick with stillwater options. Cottonwood, Clear Creek, and other low to mid elevation lakes are a much better option. Below Salida:  The river has peaked and is now starting to decline in flow and improve in clarity. We still have a long way to go to get down to a good fishable level in Bighorn Sheep Canyon, particularly for float fishing, but the process has begun! On the upper river, we are starting to see some daylight along the edges of the river and that, coupled with the beginning of summer hatches, has brought fish in along the shore. Dry-dropper rigs are doing well above the Clear Creek confluence, though anglers should resist the urge to wade and focus instead on walking the actual shoreline. Hayden Meadows has been dropping 50-100 cubic feet per second a day. Reservoir releases will start to be reduced. The end of runoff is in sight.


Arkansas River

While flows are still elevated, the Arkansas River has been dropping at a dramatic rate, about 200 cubic feet per second a day. Visibility is good and fish have returned to feeding, particularly from edge water habitat where they can efficiently hold their position out of the main current. Golden and yellow sally stoneflies, caddis, pale morning duns, and hoppers have all been active. Utilizing a single dry or dry-dropper rig has been the most effective approach. Anglers should keep to the shoreline, target even small pockets of holding water, and move quickly, giving each spot a couple of good drifts and then moving on. Conditions will improve dramatically in the week ahead – the summer fishing is definitely coming on line.


Blue Lake

Fishing is slow at Blue Lake. A few channel catfish are being caught from shore using a variety of baits.  The low water boat ramp is totally submerged; the high water boat ramps are usable. Camping spots are limited due to high water.

Brush Hollow Reservoir

Fishing at Brush Hollow has been good. Bass fishing is picking up, most bass are being caught from a boat. Crappie fishing is still good along the tree line on the east side of the reservoir. Rainbow trout are being caught with pink and yellow power bait from shore. The best bait for bluegill- bubble with a 3 foot leader and a single hook with a worm. The mosquito fly is working very well in the evening. The road at the north end of the reservoir is still under a temporary closure. Please obey all road closures.

Clear Creek Reservoir

Fishing last week at Clear Creek Reservoir was good. Anglers mostly caught 8-12 inch rainbow trout with the occasional 18-25 inch rainbow trout being landed too.  Fishing access at the boat ramp parking area has been reduced because of both high water levels and willows right at the shoreline.  Either sherbert power bait or yellow Berkley's floating magnum eggs typically works well for shore fisherman. Green woolly buggers are usually a productive fly for fly fisherman. Fishermen from boats trolling with rapalas, mepps spinners coupled with worms, and krocodile lures along the southern part of the reservoir has been very productive for trout. Kokanee salmon fishing remains very slow from a boat. Squids and dodgers are the best lures to employ for anglers targeting kokanee salmon.  Successful tiger musky anglers caught the fish on rapalas.  The reservoir is closed to trailer motorized watercrafts on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  The current boating hours are from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Cottonwood Lake

The water level is still high but stabilizing and clearing up. Early morning and late evening tend to be the best time, as fish have been hitting on flies. Normal trout gear such as power bait, salmon eggs, and worms have still been effective. Brighter colored lures seem to be working best. Those fishing from boats have the best luck. Cottonwood Lake allows hand-propelled watercraft only and no trolling motors are allowed.

Crystal Lakes

Fishing at Crystal Lakes has been great. There are increased numbers of fly fishermen along the shore and using belly boats. Fishermen are having great success using both fly rods and flies with a clear bubble.

Forebay Reservoir

Fishing has been good along the south and east shores. Fishermen are catching 10-16 inch rainbow trout using assorted colors of power bait. There is a closure along part of the southwestern shore due to an osprey nest.

Henry Lake

This lake went dry in 2013 and experienced a complete loss of its fishery. In 2014 this lake was stocked with sub-catchable crappie, channel catfish, saugeye, and wiper. This lake is currently full, but will take a few years to develop to pre-2013 levels.  

John Martin Reservoir

The lake water is at 78 degrees. White bass are being caught mostly on hard bait on the reservoir; crappie fishing is still slow on the reservoir. Catfish of all sizes are being caught in the stilling basin. Several catfish above 20" are being caught. Anglers are having good luck using shad, chicken livers, and worms. Although the reservoir level continues to rise, debris is starting to settle, which is causing anglers to have more luck.

Lathrop State Park

Fishing has been good on both lakes, stocked trout on both along with a decent catch of northern pike on Martin Lake using spinning rigs. Boat Ramps are open, sunrise to sunset. Fishing has been good on both lakes, stocked trout and pike fishing has been good when using spinning rigs. Stop by the visitor center to let staff know how the fishing is or to show off an impressive catch!


Merrideth Lake

This lake went dry in 2013 and experienced a complete loss of its fishery.  In 2014 this lake was stocked with sub-catchable crappie, channel catfish, saugeye, and wiper. This lake is currently full, but will take a few years to develop to pre-2013 levels.  

Skaguay Reservoir

Trout fishing at Skaguay has been steady. Trout are being caught from the shore and on boats. Most baits are working, but salmon eggs seem to be doing the best. Pike are also being caught near the inlet.

Trinidad Lake

The lake is at 893 surface acres with a surface elevation of 6198.67. The water temperature is in the upper 60's. The trout have been biting on power bait and night crawlers. There were reports of perch being caught on jigs with night crawlers on the north shore. We are getting a few reports of catfish on chicken liver. Boaters are reporting catching walleye on jigs tipped with night crawlers and also using bottom bouncers. The boat ramp is open. Boaters are reminded that they need to have their boat inspected prior to each launch.


Turquoise Lake

Turquoise Lake had good success along the shore on both sides of the Sugarloaf Dam, Abe Lee, and between both boat ramps. Fishermen are using an assortment of baits and lures. The Matchless boat ramp is up and running and boat fishermen are reporting decent success. Fishermen are catching both rainbows and mackinaw from shore with lures, worms, and power bait.


Twin Lakes

Fishing on Twin Lakes has been good from the shore with assorted baits, lures and spinners. Fishermen are catching 12-16 inch rainbow trout from the shore, and some are catching mackinaw as well. The boat ramp is open and there is decent success being reported from those fishing from boats.

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​​​Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado​​​

Lower Fryingpan

The water conditions are stained and the overall rating for this section of the river is a 4 out of 10. Head on farther up the river for the best conditions unless you're willing to rock hop and work for those fish. The food sources present are stoneflies, worms, caddis, and green drake nymphs. Because of the slightly higher flows, this section, especially the canyon above Basalt, can be pretty tough. The flipside to this is the water below Seven Castles. Locals love the lower river due to lack of other fishermen more than anything else. This isn't park and fish water. For the most part, you have to billy goat your way around and there aren't many or any trails. The juice is certainly worth the squeeze, though. Hatches begin on the lower river and gradually work their way on up towards the dam. Thusly, in addition to BWOs and midges, PMDs and caddis are of more importance down here than anywhere else along the river.

Lower Roaring Fork (Carbondale to Glenwood)

The water flow is sitting at 5,310 cubic feet per second in Glenwood Springs, and the water conditions are high but starting to shape up! The overall rating for this section of the river is a 3 out of 10. Keep in mind, as soon as the river begins to drop and clear, the fishing goes from 0-100 in no time flat yielding the best fishing of the entire year. Get ready in the next week or so for some exceptional fishing! The food sources present are stoneflies, worms, drake nymphs, caddis, and PMD's. Obviously, the river is still high but is dropping and clearing significantly daily. At these flows and clarity, it's more about being in the right spot than it is to have the "right" fly.


Middle Fryingpan

The water conditions are slightly stained, but pretty clear for the current flows. The overall rating for this section of the river is a 7 out of 10 due to lesser crowds and equally good fishing. The food sources present are worms, stoneflies, caddis, PMDs, and drake nymphs. It is exciting to see improving water conditions. The river is still on the high side, but has dropped pretty significantly over the past few days. Nymphing has been best, as the dry fly fishing and the hatches are still on the upswing. PMDs, caddis and stoneflies are also in higher abundance along the middle river versus the first mile or two below the dam.

Middle Roaring Fork (Basalt Downstream to Carbondale)

The water flow is at 3,130 cubic feet per second in Basalt and stained but getting better every day! The overall rating for this section of the river is a 4 out of 10. The food sources present are stoneflies, worms, caddis, PMDs, and drake nymphs. Some side channels and soft pockets are fishable but challenging. It's time to start getting ready for the drake hatch, and, in the meantime, caddis, stones and PMDs should keep you busy out there. Conditions are still on the big water side, so exercise caution out there. The edges and soft water are holding the most fish as of late. Visibility is improving on a daily basis.

State Forest State Park

Warm weather has continued at State Forest State Park and the fish are biting.  A 14 inch brown was caught in North Michigan Reservoir just days before it was stocked on 6-25-15. It was stocked with 7000 Cutthroat Rainbow Trout Hybrids. That is 275 Lbs. of fish in our largest reservoir averaging 5"-8" inches from the Belleview Watson Hatchery.  As for our smaller alpine lakes, Kelly Lake has been starting to see more backcountry hikers who have reported catching Cutthroat at and below the lake. Snowshoes are no longer required, but, if you are not bringing them, still prepare for a strenuous approach and dodging some snowdrifts.  Lake Agnes has been seeing more anglers as well with the road now open while Jewell Lake has been seeing the least fishing of our more popular lakes here at State Forest State Park. Ranger Lakes continues to provide a reliable catch of rainbow trout having been richly stocked just three weeks ago. Summer seems to have arrived on the western slopes of the Medicine Bow Range bringing with it more plentiful fishing to the State Forest just in the last week.  Ice is just beginning to melt on our alpine lakes. Dry flies and worm lures on the streams below them have been yielding brook trout, with the most reliable catch above and below North Michigan Reservoir in the warm evenings.  A few evening anglers have caught large brown trout (up to five pounds). Salmon fly lures are being phased out but caddis flies are still a viable option. Stream conditions change daily. With surging snowmelt waters, anglers should be careful not to get swept away and consider bringing snowshoes when approaching our alpine lakes. On the western slopes of the Never Summer Mountains, the Ranger Lakes were stocked as of the week of the 14th with rainbow trout measuring an average of 10." For a more challenging catch, make the hike up to Lake Agnes where the ice is just breaking up.


Sylvan Lake

Anglers here are mostly seeking 11-12" inch rainbow trout with a few brook trout mixed in. Anglers have seen success by using gold and silver spinners, a variety of flies, and pink and purple power bait.  

Upper Fryingpan

The water flow is sitting at 344 cubic feet per second and dropping - Ruedi Reservoir is full--it's going be an awesome summer! The water clarity has very minor discoloration with plenty of water visibility. The overall rating for this section of the river is a 6.5 out of 10 and getting better daily! Flows are dropping steadily now that the reservoir is full and inflow is trickling down. Hatches were interrupted with the high water last week but are starting to shape back up! Despite the water being slightly high, the fishing in general has improved big time. For that matter, the larger flows of last week produced some great mysis fishing. As things start to settle down, look for improving hatches of PMDs and caddis, with a few BWOs still on the scene. Green drakes won't be evident until late July or early August, but the nymphs are prolific. Your best chance to see some rising fish is between 11am and 4pm, with another lesser round happening towards dusk with some rusty spinners, caddis and midges present. The mysis shrimp "hatch" is still fairly significant below the dam for you big fish guys.

Upper Roaring Fork (Aspen Downstream to Basalt)

The flow is at 2,170 cubic feet per second below Maroon Creek (Woody Creek Canyon). The water clarity is stained but dropping steadily. The overall rating for this section of the river is a 3 out of 10. The fishing is improving, yet still on the challenging side. Exercise caution while moving around on the river, and don't get in unless you find a soft section with some visibility. The food sources present are stoneflies, worms, caddis, PMDs, and drake nymphs.

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​Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado​​

Pa-Cu-Chu-Puk Ponds

Please remember that the Uncompahgre River in Pa-Cu-Chu-Puk is restricted to flies and lures only, and all fish caught must be returned to the river immediately. The ponds at Pa-Co-Chu-Puk have a population of rainbows and some brown trout. Fishing in the ponds has generally been good. There have been several larger fish (18"-20") caught. Fishermen have been doing well with worms and salmon eggs on top in the mornings and evenings, and various colors of Power Bait off the bottom in the afternoon. Bag and size limits have been removed for smallmouth bass in Ridgway reservoir.  Fishermen are encouraged to take smallmouth from the reservoir to protect our rainbow and brown trout fisheries.

Ridgway Reservoir

The reservoir is at 94 percent capacity and rising. Our most recent stocking of the reservoir, on June 9, was with 2,500 catchable rainbow trout. Both shore fisherman and boaters are reporting very good fishing for stocker-sized rainbows (8"-14") with a few larger fish (18"-22") being caught. The catch is mostly rainbows, but there have been some bigger browns and smallmouth bass. Shore fishermen are doing well along Dallas Creek day-use area and Mears Bay shorelines. Shore fisherman should try gold kastmasters, green and rainbow power bait, or worms off the bottom. Boat fishermen are having luck with gold pop-gear and black/silver sinking rapalas near the dam and around the opening to Mears Bay. Fishing in the Uncompahgre River at Pa-Co-Chu-Puk is excellent. The river flows are currently at 799 cubic feet per second below the dam, and 821 cubic feet per second coming into the reservoir. Fly fisherman are doing well on bead-headed nymphs, wooly buggers, copper johns, pheasant tails, and small midges. Spin fisherman are doing well with gold mepps and yellow/black panther martins.


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