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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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September 16, 2014

Conditions Report - Metro Denver Area

Cherry Creek

As of 9/13 the water temperature in Cherry Creek Reservoir is around 68 degrees. Rainbow Trout have been reported in various areas throughout the Reservoir; Tower Loop, West Shades, and Lake Center. Walleye have also been caught near Tower Loop using worms. As always, please remember a valid Fishing License is required as well as a Park's Pass: $9/Daily or $73/Annual.

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Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado

Carter Lake

The fishing has been slow with anglers only seeing success for Walleye by slow rolling worm harnesses off of the bottom. People have been using what is called the "Slow Death" hook made by Trokar on bottom bouncers teamed up with night crawlers and have been producing both Trout and Walleye in 20-30 foot of water . The bass fishing has remained steady with anglers having the most success on copper colored tube jigs and wacky rigged (thin) senkos at South Shore and North Pines.

Eleven Mile State Park

Trout (Good): Big fish are being caught frequently by many happy anglers. Tube jigging has been very effective. White, Pearl Pepper and Pumpkin Pepper have consistently produced fish over four pounds. Trolling is consistent. Try Tasmanian Devils in 13 and 7 gram size. Kastmasters are always a favorite of the fishermen and the fish.  Lots of different patterns have been working. Lead Core and down riggers have done extremely well. Shore anglers feeling good particularly at sunset and at night. KOKANEE (Slow): The fish being caught are large four year olds. The primary area is from North Shore to Goose Island, HowbertPoint to Duck Island. We have caught them in 35 feet of water off of Howbert, in 45 feet off of Goose and in 60 feet in the Channel off North Shore. Down riggers more effective than lead core. Arnies Dynamic and Reflecto in green, pink and white Needlefish , #55 Tasmanian Devil and Macks Wedding Ring have been productive. NORTHERN PIKE (Good): The action is getting better and better each day.  Look to early to mid morning and mid to late afternoon. Black and Brown Spinner Baits have done well although you should try all the colors in your tackle box. Big stick baits work well if you are persistent. Fire tiger always a favorite of the big ones. Work the weed line not the beds at Stoll Mountain, Howbert, and Witchers Cove. As the Fall weather progresses the Northern fishing will only get better and better. We love the first week of October but the action is heating up now. Big fish at the contest was over 22 pounds and total weight was over 47 pounds. (Courtesy of 11 Mile Marina) DREAM STREAM (Fair): No significant report.


The fishing is excellent for numbers of trout, and perfect this time of year to take out the kids and catch some rainbow trout! The size of the trout being caught have ranged anywhere from 8-16 inches. The bait of choice is brightly colored plastic power bait balls in either salmon egg or garlic scent. The best place to fish has proven to be along the west shore especially at the walk up dock.

Horsetooth Reservoir (Larimer County)

Water temperature was 73 degrees, and the water level has been dropping. Walleye are starting to bite during day now on worm harness; try shallow first with shad raps and worm harness down 12-15 feet.  Still best fishing evenings and early night, and look deeper if they aren't up!  A 27" walleye was caught Saturday. They sometimes move out 22-30 feet. Bass have slowed and mostly smaller fish.  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 senko type worms, top water baits early morning. Trout is fair; try worms just off bottom in Satanka and Inlet Bay, and also worms and shad tubes deeper, and Mepps style spinners.


The fishing has been fair/good with anglers seeing success using drop shot rigs with salmon eggs or night crawlers attached to them. There haven't been any reported Muskie catches recently but as the fall season goes into full swing I predict there becoming more reports.

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. 

DREAM STREAM: Tricos, Black Ants, Pale Morning Duns, and Jojo Bees are doing well. Work the edges of the banks and along the rock outcroppings in the bends of the river.  (Courtesy of Chaparral Park General Store)

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Conditions Report - Southeast Colorado

Arkansas River

The Arkansas River has returned to prime fall form with clear flows in the upper 400s. Current hatch activity includes blue wing olive and red quill mayflies, golden stoneflies, caddis,and midges. There also remain many active hoppers and other terrestrials in the streamside vegetation. The stage seems set for another 30-45 days of very productive fishing, particularly in Bighorn Sheep Canyon where warmer, drier weather and a lower elevation keep fish and bugs active right into November.

Arkansas River (Middle Basin)

Expect cool, wet, cloudy weather Tuesday - perfect conditions for a blue wing olive mayfly hatch - and then a warming drying trend into the weekend. The middle river is a great place for wade anglers at this time of year. The rafting season in Browns Canyon has pretty well ended, one can wade across the river at Hecla Junction, and the blue wing olive mayfly hatches are getting 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 thirty days offer some great opportunities for both fishing and solitude, perhaps nowhere more so than on this section of water.

Arkansas River (Lower Basin)

We are now in prime fall form on the Arkansas River, with flows tracking close to 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. Bighorn Sheep Canyon is in prime form with 440 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.

Clear Creek Reservoir (Lake County)

Fishing from shore has been fair near the dam and boat ramp parking lot area, but slower at the upper part of the reservoir.  Shore anglers that were fishing before 9:00 a.m. were more likely to land at least one fish.  Either green PowerBait or yellow Berkley's Floating Magnum Eggs typically works well near the dam of the reservoir. Sometimes silver Kastmasters (1/4 oz), pink Tasmanian Devil lures (1/4 oz) or rainbow PowerBait can yield a high fish catch at the boat ramp parking lot area.  Worms and sherbet PowerBait usually worked well at the upper part of the reservoir.Most of the catches from shore were homogeneous groups of 8 to 12 inch rainbow trout. Boat fishing for either trout or salmon has been very slow.  Successful boat anglers were landing a trout every one to two hours.  A few boat anglers were not able to land a single fish.  The most efficient method to land trout has been trolling cowbells coupled with worms along the southern part of the reservoir.  Boat anglers experienced moderate success for trout on Pistol Petes and dry flies. No one has been able to figure out the kokanee salmon conundrum.  Boat anglers targeting kokanee salmon usually employ Squids and Dodgers near the dam of the reservoir. The reservoir is closed to trailer and motorized watercrafts on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  Boating hours are 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  The last day open for trailer and motorized watercrafts will be September 29. Midday water surface temperatures averaged in the high 50's F°.


Several smaller catfish being pulled out of both Martin and Horseshoe. The Northern Pike bite has been very good along the Martin Inlet. Recently a fishermen pulled in an impressive Muskie on Horseshoe. Stop by the visitor center to let staff know how the fishing is, or to show off an impressive catch!

Trinidad Lake

The lake is at 457 surface acres and the water temperature is in the low 60's. We are starting to see more trout caught from shore on various colored powerbaits and nightcrawlers. The occasional perch is being caught from shore using nightcrawlers. Boaters are reporting some walleye and some smallmouth bass being caught using jigging techniques.

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Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado​​

Highline Lake

Fishing is still slow for trout at Mack Mesa and Highline Lake, but catfishing near the inlet is really hopping!  There have been several huge catfish and many medium-sized catfish taken from the inlet cove recently.  Check out our Big Fish Board in the Visitor Center for recent photos of some of the fish caught!  Bass should be biting soon, when the weather cooperates.  Try both north and south ends of Highline, maybe in the mornings and evenings.  We have nightcrawlers in the Visitor Center, and if they don't work, we also have a huge variety of Power Bait!  Give them a try! Information for trollers - ANS inspections and decontaminations are available seven days per week, on the WEST side only, 7 am to 7 pm. Saturday and Sunday inspections and decontaminations are also available on the EAST side 8 am to 4 pm. See the Conditions page for information about Boat Capacity procedures. All required watercraft, trailered or not, must be inspected for ANS before launching, unless a seal is attached, and a receipt is in hand. Do Not launch without an inspection or without leaving a seal and receipt in the box provided at the ramp. You can stop by the Visitor Center and pick up your  2014 fishing license or boat registration on your way to the water! Get out and go fishing at Highline or Mack Mesa Lake - it's a great way to spend some time with family and friends.  Or just enjoy the peace and quiet of fishing alone, away from the everyday hustle and bustle.  No matter the excuse for getting outside, fishing is a great way to spend the day, even if you don't catch a thing! 

Sylvan Lake

Fishing has been good. Powerbaits, salmon eggs, woolly buggers, kastmasters. America Cup competitors were using a variety of streamers,"brown & yellow with a bit of flash."  Best in early AM and evening. Inlet Creek is closed to fishing September 1-November 30.


The lake is receding daily and fishing is great. Anglers continue to report that worms, powerbait, salmon eggs and spinners are catching some nice rainbows and cutthroats in the 12 - 16 inch range. Early Settler's and Oak Point boat ramps are closed for the season.  The Island boat ramp will remain open as long as water levels allow. All boats are required to have an inspection prior to launching.  Anyone failing to receive an inspection will be given a citation. The Visitor Center sells fishing licenses and is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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​Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado​​


The reservoir is at 77% capacity and falling. Our most recent stocking of the reservoir, with 2,100 catchable rainbow trout, occurred on September 3rd.  Shore fisherman and boaters are reporting very good fishing for stocker-sized fish (10-12") and a few larger fish (16"-20".)  The catch is mostly rainbows, with a few 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, Power Bait, or worms off the bottom. Boat fishermen are having luck with jigs and black/silver sinking Rapalas near the dam, west shoreline and around the opening to Mears Bay. Fishing in the Uncompahgre River at Pa-Co-Chu-Puk is excellent. The river flows are around 240 CFS and stable. 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. 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 been good. There have been several larger fish (16"-20") caught. Fishermen have been doing well with worms and Marshmallow Bait on top in the mornings and evenings, and various colors of Power Bait off the bottom in the afternoon.

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