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 Colorado Fishing Report

Help The Angler keep others informed by emailing fishing reports to us. Include your name in the message part of your report if you'd like to receive credit for the report.

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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October 21, 2014

Conditions Report - Metro Denver Area

Aurora Reservoir

All watercraft must be inspected prior to launch in the lower parking lot at the entrance of the boat ramp. This includes all hand launched watercraft. Trout fishing has started to pick up some and is rated as fair to good! Some trout have been caught in the 2-3lb range. Best areas have been from the dam and coves using power bait and crawlers. Boaters have been reporting success ranging from fair to good trolling with spoons, rapalas and crawlers for trout. Walleye action is reported as slow to fair from boats trolling bottom bouncers with crawlers, jointed shad raps and jigs. A handful of reports of walleye being caught from the west end of the dam using swim baits. Some reports of smallmouth bass being caught from the West side of the dam using jigs and swim baits. The fishing is expected to improve in the next few weeks as the water temp continues to drop.  All other species are slow or no reports. The fall fishing can sometimes be one the best times of the year! Restricted to electric motors only. For more information call 303-326-8425. Park hours for October 6:30 a.m. -7:30 p.m. Reservoir will close to boating December 1st.

Chatfield

Trout are good from entire lake. Trout bag limit is 4, any size.  Bass are slowing down. Bass bag limit is 5, 15 inches long. Walleye are slow. Please remember, Walleye bag limit is 3, 18 inches long, with one of those over 21 inches. Some Perch are being caught from the Gravel Ponds area.

Quincy Reservoir

All watercraft must be inspected prior to launch in the lower parking lot at the entrance of the boat ramp. This includes all hand launched watercraft. Trout fishing has started to pick up some and is rated as fair to good! Some trout have been caught in the 2-3lb range. Best areas have been from the dam and coves using power bait and crawlers. Boaters have been reporting success ranging from fair to good trolling with spoons, rapalas and crawlers for trout. Walleye action is reported as slow to fair from boats trolling bottom bouncers with crawlers, jointed shad raps and jigs. A handful of reports of walleye being caught from the west end of the dam using swim baits. Some reports of smallmouth bass being caught from the West side of the dam using jigs and swim baits. The fishing is expected to improve in the next few weeks as the water temp continues to drop. All other species are slow or no reports. The fall fishing can sometimes be one the best times of the year! Restricted to electric motors only. For more information call 303-326-8425. Park hours for October 6:30 a.m. -7:30 p.m. Reservoir will close to boating December 1st.

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Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado

Eldorado Canyon

Fishing conditions in the canyon are currently average.The water flow is low (14.7 CFS as of Oct. 13). Reconstruction of the picnic area is underway and the creek from the vehicle bridge adjacent to the picnic area to the west boundary of the park is CLOSED to fishing. Fishing is still allowed from the vehicle bridge to the East park boundary. Some are having success with  #18-22 midge patterns. Repairs to the picnic area are progressing well and we hope to have the area reopened soon. This site will be updated when the creek through the picnic area reopens for fishing.

Eleven Mile

Trout (Fair-Good): There have been long stretches of calm conditions and the fish are just not very active. Lots of fish can be caught in a short period of time. Mostly Rainbows and Cuttbows running 16 - 18 inches. If you are prepared clothing wise and have the right equipment the catching is often rewarding. Tasmanian Devils and the Arnies Dynamac are productive. Tube jigging has been slow and the fly folk are walking quite a bit looking for the Fall cruisers. Shore fishermen may wish to try nightcrawler and marshmallow combos still, as well as chartruese power bait. KOKANEE (Slow): A few surviving four year olds getting into spawn mode are still biting, but they are few and far between. A few trollers are going deep with down riggers and bringing in a few.  The older ones should be moving up river so Sucker Cove and Cross Creek are good areas to visit. Snagging is legal effective October 1, but so far there is no discernable "run". NORTHERN PIKE (Fair-Good): It is still all about the timing and lately it is anybody's guess. Those working rock drop offs see big fish. The action on the West end continues to be decent with a lot of smaller fish. Large Rapala's, Taz's and stick baits get the follow ups, but calm conditions prevent the hit as they approach the boat. You can catch them from shore, but its best to work the rocks around North Shore.  Try around Stoll Mountain and the Shoals  (Courtesy of 11 Mile Marina)

DREAM STREAM (Fair):  Tricos, Black Ants, PMD's and Jojo Bees are doing well.  Keep to the edges of the banks and along the rock outcroppings in the bends of the river.  (Courtesy of Chaparral General Store)

Horsetooth Reservoir (Larimer County)

Water temperature was 63.3 degrees, and the water level has leveled off. Walleye are starting to bite during evenings on worm harness; try shallow first with shad raps and worm harness down 12-15 feet. Then as deep as 35 feet while harness is down 12-15 feet for suspending fish. Still best fishing evenings and early night, and look deeper if they aren't up! Bass have slowed and bigger fish are starting to show up! Lots of bass found on main lake and dams, and should be found in deeper water 15-28 feet. Very slow presentation on tubes works, as well as shad colored crank baits, and top water baits early morning. Some larger fish were located in coves over the weekend. Trout is fair; try worms just off bottom in Satanka and Inlet Bay, and also worms and shad tubes deeper, and Mepps style spinners. Some rainbows and Cuttbows being taken deep that are in with bass and walleye feeding on shad and smelt. Good luck and may all your fishes come true!

Spinney Reservoir

SPINNEY RESERVOIR (Fair): Zebra midges, Callibaetis, Damsels and Scuds are catching nice trout. Pike have been hitting on Rapalas, Tazs, and Kastmasters. Early in the morning and after 4pm will see the most action.  (Courtesy of Chaparral Park General Store)  DREAM STREAM: Fishing at the Dream Stream has been mediocre at best.  Recommended flies include #18-20 Mercury Blood Midges, #18 Egg patterns, #18-20 Buckskins,  #18-22 Flashback Mercury Pheasant Tails,  #20 Flashback Barr Emerger (BWO), and #20 JujuBaetis.  Anglers can expect to find  hatches of sporadic  midges, blue-winged olives, and Tricos.  Anglers have been catching mostly smaller fish, but on occasion, you will encounter some surprisingly large trout. Work hard and cover a lot of water...that's the formula for success right now.  There are a few spawn-run brown trout entering the river system now.  Egg patterns, red larvae, red copper Johns, leeches, San Juan Worms, and streamers have been fooling these fish. The brown trout are holding in the deeper holes as hordes of anglers have been hammering the Dream Stream. (Courtesy of Pat Dorsey's Stream Report)

Jackson Lake

Lake level is only about 2-3 feet below full. Surface water temperature as of October 17th - 54 degrees. Fishing has been fair for all species.   A few trout have been taken with your typical bait, as well as drum and wipers using nightcrawlers.

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Conditions Report - Southeast Colorado

Arkansas Headwaters

The Arkansas is in beautiful shape between BV and Salida - very wadable and clarity is good. Afternoon mayfly activity is taking center stage right now - any rig should include a trailing baetis emerger from 1:00 to 4:00 - and cloudy days are producing some great hatches and surface feeding. The middle river is a great place for wade anglers at this time of year. The rafting season in Browns Canyon has ended, one can wade across the river at Hecla Junction, and the blue wing olive mayfly hatches are well underway. Further downstream in the Big Bend area, the afternoon hopper fishing has been good and the lower flows are allowing fish to move off the edges and populate more of the river bed. The next two weeks offer some great opportunities for both fishing and solitude, perhaps nowhere more so than on this section of water.

Arkansas River

The Arkansas River continues its incredible fall season with flows through Bighorn Sheep Canyon in the low 400 cfs range and excellent visibility. As of 10/20, the brown trout spawn is getting underway for some fish but rainbows and otherwise unoccupied browns are still hard on the feed. Midges, blue wing olive mayflies, drifting caddis larvae, and some remaining terrestrials make up the bulk of a fall fish's diet. Water temperature is becoming increasingly important as a regulator of aquatic insect activity and, thereby, a driver of fish behavior. With current mid-term weather forecasts predicting drier and warmer weather for the upper Arkansas, expect active fish until at least early November.

Bighorn Sheep Canyon

Bighorn Sheep Canyon is in prime form with 475 cfs and good visibility. Both browns and rainbows are very active at this time of year, with fish moving off the edges now and inhabiting any part of the river bed that offers some shelter from the current. Low light times/weather will find many browns out along the edges, while bright sun will drive them into deeper water. As a result, combining nymphing with dry or dry-dropper tactics will yield better results over the course of the day. Blue wing olive hatches are now getting underway, there is a strong golden stonefly emergence going on, and we still have plenty of caddis and hoppers. We expect good conditions and float/wade fishing through late October.  Blue wing olive mayflies are very active at this time - afternoon nymphal drifts on sunny days and strong hatches when there is cloud cover. Midges are also doing well, particularly in the morning, and late in the day an attractor dry paired with a caddis, or turning to streamers, will address the ambush-type behavior so typical of brown trout at this time of year. We are now in prime fall form on the Arkansas River, with flows tracking a little above the fifty year average and excellent visibility. Wade anglers will find the river more approachable than during summer, and the boat traffic has pretty well declined to float fishing. For those casting from boats, the current flow allows excellent float fishing from Stone Bridge to Texas Creek (about 45 miles), with the easier navigated segments falling between Big Bend and Rincon.

Lake Pueblo

The water temperature on the lake is starting to drop, which has had an impact on fishing.  Fisherman are still having limited success for wiper and catfish using worms on the bottomon the westend at the mouthof Turkey Creek.  As for the Arkansas Tailwater below Pueblo Dam fishing is picking up.  The water is approx 58 degrees at the dam.  Fisherman can expect the best success when the river is running below 200 CFS.

Lathrop

Boats Ramp Close to boating October 15. The lakes will be closed to all trailered boats, and only open for hand launching. Fishing is picking up slightly along the shoreline for catfish. Northern Pike should be picking up along the Martin Inlet as well. Stop by the visitor center to let staff know how the fishing is, or to show off an impressive catch!


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Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado​​

Elkhead State Park

The lake is fishing well for crappie, bluegill, crappie, small and large mouth bass and pike although reports have slowed coming in due to boat ramp hours being cut back for the season. 

Harvey Gap

BOW FISHING NOT ALLOWED!!  There are trout being caught throughout the lake.  If you fish along the dam, you have a good chance of catching any of the species that are in Harvey Gap.

​Lower Fryingpan

OVERALL RATING: 8 out of 10. THE SHORT AND SWEET: Hatches get rolling down on the lower river before the upper due to warmer temperatures, and we are seeing good numbers of caddis, PMDs and baetis. IN DEPTH REVIEW: The fish in the upper miles do trend towards being larger, but they also tend to be much, much more selective. The fish closer to town face far less angler pressure and tend to be opportunistic feeders, meaning you can get away with larger tippet and larger flies, in general. The baetis and PMD hatch has been rock-solid with increasing numbers of caddis.

Lower Roaring Fork - Carbondale to Glenwood

OVERALL RATING: 6.5 out of 10 nymphing with 8 out of 10 streamer and high-low fishing. FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: There are plenty of caddis, BWOs, PMDs, and even a few hoppers moving around these days. THE SHORT AND SWEET:  Like the other sections of water along the Roaring Fork, nymph the fast water with larger flies and the soft water with smaller flies. As the water continues to fall, look for the fish to make the transition from holding along the edges eating big flies (stoneflies, caddis, etc) to holding more mid-river and eating smaller flies (BWOs, PMDs).

Middle Fryingpan

OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10. THE SHORT AND SWEET: The middle section of the Fryingpan generally sees far, far less pressure than the upper miles, and this can play to your advantage. The middle river also offers plenty of places to duck out of the ever-present wind. IN DEPTH REVIEW: Some people skip this section of river in their quest to go hog-hunting in the upper mile, but truth be told, we catch the majority of our big fish and heavier hatches are found in the middle river. Some of the top spots to hit are Seven Castles, Big Hat, and the ever-popular Eagle Pool and Rosie's. Stop by the shop with your map and we can show you these spots along with a few more. This section holds the infamous seratella, a flightless, small mayfly that has been baffling most anglers here for years. When you're getting your ass kicked and seeing fish profusely rising everywhere, but can buy a strike, you've found the serratella hatch. This week we are seeing green drakes, BWOs and PMDs in decent numbers, with a few caddis and craneflies as well. Hatches are typically similar to the upper river, meaning midges early and late with mayflies and sporadic caddis hatching mid-day. Caddis need to be fished skated, bumped, picked up and laid back down to reassure the fish and get them interested in your offering.

Middle Roaring Fork – Basalt Downstream to Carbondale

OVERALL RATING: 7.5 out of 10, and picking up weekly. FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: BWOs, Caddis, PMDs. THE SHORT AND SWEET: We are back in business on the Roaring Fork now that the monsoonal rains have generally past through. THE IN DEPTH REVIEW: The hatches have been decent during the day with rock solid nymph and high-low fishing. With such a plethora of insects around, we generally dumb it down and fish the larger insects (stones, caddis) in the faster sections of water, and the smaller flies (PMDs and BWOs) in the softer sections of water. In general, look for the fish to be holding mid-river and less and less along the banks. Along with dropping water conditions, the fish are also beginning to focus more and more on the smaller and more prevelent BWOs and caddis. As fall approaches, the hopper starts fishing better also!

Stagecoach

Fishing has improved with anglers reporting up to 24" rainbow trout just outside of the coves and at the inlet with powerbait as a top choice for anglers. Shore fishing has been good off Keystone point below the park office.  Boaters are having luck with rapala suspending lures/stick baits, tube jigs, buzz baits, green powerbait, and Kastmasters.The responsible harvest of pike at Stagecoach is encouraged. For current flows p lease visit the USGS website .

Sylvan Lake

Fishing has improved for flies & lures; try streamers with a little bit of color. Still good with worms & powerbait. Try West Brush Creek below the dam. Inlet Creek is closed to fishing September 1-November 30. 

Upper Fryingpan

OVERALL RATING: 9 out of 10 October is a longstanding favorite month of ours. It's all about summer fishing and hatches with fall crowds (or lack thereof). THE SHORT AND SWEET: Hatches are consisting of PMDs, BWOs, caddis and midges, with a few green drakes still in the mix. FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Green Drakes, PMDs, BWOs, Midges, Caddis, Mysis Shrimp.
IN DEPTH REVIEW: The Fryingpan has seen a drop in flows over the past week to 174 CFS, which has improved the dry fly fishing quite a bit. We will probably be near a normal winter flow of 120-160 CFS pretty soon. Green drakes and Flavs are starting to sputter out, although our guide staff is still experiencing a light hatch here and there. It's all luck of the draw for the drake hatch right now, it pays to move around and try to find them. The drakes have been starting up later and later these days, often between 2pm and 3pm, in the upper mile or two below the dam. As always, if you get into a good green drake hatch, flip and flop that fly on the surface to reassure the fish. An emerger tied just six in inches or so below a dry can be quite effective.

Upper Roaring Fork – Aspen downstream to Basalt

OVERALL RATING:8 out of 10. If you enjoy pocket water fishing and hiking, this upper section of river is right up your alley. Additionally, this section of the river is yielding the best dry fly fishing along the entire river, as well as picture perfect water to streamer fish in (due to the canyon and lack of penetrating sunlight). THE SHORT AND SWEET: It's the beginning of autumn, and the fishing and water conditions are much, much improved now. In general, look for the fish to be stacked up in the softer and shaded water eating general attractor patterns. Hatches are consisting of predominately caddis, PMDs, BWOs and midges. FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: BWOs, Caddis, PMDs, Midges. IN DEPTH REVIEW: Look for the best dry fly fishing to take place in the shade along the banks, early and late in the day. Midday, look to nymphing the pocket water and deep pools. It's fall, so don't leave out the streamers either!

Yampa River

Fishing reports are slow coming in but from the Steamboat area to west of Craig at the last report Anglers are still catching browns and a few pike are being taken out of the river as well.

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​Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado​​

Mancos State Park

Fishing is very good for rainbow trout averaging about 11" with a few over 16". Typical baits (PowerBait, salmon eggs and nightcrawlers) are working just off bottom, along with inline spinners. Works well to hang a small jig with a piece of worm just off the bottom on a slip bobber, with a second hook about three feet up with PowerBait or eggs. The worm will attract the perch while the trout go after the higher bait. The brown trout are largely preying on small yellow perch. Imitate the perch with crankbaits early and late. A couple browns to 20" have come out lately. Fall colors are amazing right now. Hand-powered craft (belly boats, kayaks, canoes) exempt from ANS inspection requirements can still be launched. Ramp is closed to trailered boats.

 

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