Colorado Division of Wildlife’s weekly fishing report, June 15, 2010

Seasonal Report: Variable Conditions

The runoff is fast and furious! However, all indications are that this will be a strong, but quick event this year. Look for extreme conditions to last a few more weeks, depending on the location. Once things calm down, get ready some of the best fly fishing conditions of the year.

During these peak periods of high water, anglers should use extreme caution when wading. It is also important to keep an eye to the sky for strong spring storms. If you are fishing in a canyon or other low-lying areas, be sure you have identified a quick escape route so you can climb to safety in the event of a flash flood.

Parts of the northern Front Range are feeling the effects of the high waters. The Big Thompson River, in Estes Park and the Poudre River are both running dangerously high. Fast-moving thunderstorms, resulting in heavy rainfall, have produced flooding.

Lakes and reservoirs are popular destinations for anglers this time of year, as both cold and warm-water species are fishing great this time of year. 
Standley Lake, in Arvada, has been fishing well for catchable rainbows.  Flatiron Reservoir, southwest of Loveland, Antero Reservoir in South Park and Monument Lake in the town of Monument are also doing well for catchable rainbows

Walleye have been a popular catch at Horsetooth Reservoir, west of Fort Collins, Chatfield Reservoir, in Littleton, Cherry Creek Reservoir, in southeast Denver, Jumbo Reservoir, in northeastern Colorado, Bonny Reservoir, north of Burlington and at Trinidad Reservoir, near Trinidad.

Crappie action has been good at Adobe Creek Reservoir (Blue Lake) in southeastern Colorado and at Holbrook Lake, east of Rocky Ford.

Some kokanee salmon are taking baits at Blue Mesa Reservoir, near Gunnison.

Quote of the Week

“Fishing is not an escape from life, but often a deeper immersion into it…”  Harry Middleton

Recent Stocking: June 15, 2010

Andrews Lake — 37 miles north of Durango
Arvada Reservoir — Arvada
Beaver Lake — Grand Mesa
Bellaire Lake — Red Feather Lakes
Big Creek Lake — North West of Walden
Big Meadows Reservoir — South of South Fork
Big Molas Lake — 40 miles north of Durango
Boulder Kid’s Pond — Boulder
Buckeye Reservoir — West of Paradox
Carter Reservoir — West of Loveland
Casey Pond — Steamboat Springs
Chapman Dam — East of Basalt
Chatfield Reservoir — South Denver
Cherry Creek Reservoir — Aurora
Cochetopa Creek — Gunnison
Columbine Ponds — Nucla
Cottonwood — Buena Vista
Cowdrey — North of Walden
Crystal — Leadville
Dry Creek Pond — Hayden
Emerald — Leadville
Evergreen Reservoir — Evergreen
Fairplay Kids Pond — Fairplay
Fetcher Pond — Steamboat Springs
Flatiron Reservoir — West of Loveland
Grand Lake — Grand Lake                
Hahns Peak — North of Steamboat Springs
Harvey Gap Reservoir — North of Silt
Jumbo Lake — Grand Mesa
Mesa Lake — Grand Mesa
Mix Lake — Platoro
Monument Lake — Monument
Mountain Home Reservoir — Fort Garland
Muddy Pass Lake — Near Rabbit Ears Pass
Nichols — Woodland Park
North Fork Michigan River — East of Walden
O’Haver — Salida
Pass Creek Pond — South of South Fork
Pinewood Reservoir — West of Loveland
Platoro Reservoir — Platoro
Pothole Lakes — Almont      
Quail Lake — Colorado Springs
Rampart — Woodland Park
Ranger Lake Lower — East of Gould
Ranger Lake upper — East of Gould
Ranger Lake upper — East of Gould
Red Dirt Lake — East of Kremmling
Road Canyon Reservoir — West of Creede
Rosemont — Divide
Ruedi Reservoir — East of Basalt
San Isabel — Colorado City
Seymour Reservoir — Rabbit Ears Pass
Shadow Mountain — North of Granby
Smith Reservoir — Blanca
South Platte #3B — Deckers
Spectacle Lake — West of Antonito
Spring Creek Reservoir — Almont
Summit Reservoir — Between Mancos and Dolores
Sunset Lake — Grand Mesa
Tarryall Reservoir — South of Jefferson
Tucker Park Ponds — South of South Fork
Upper Dome Lake — Gunnison        
Wetherill Pond — South of Saguache
Willow Creek Reservoir — Granby
Windsor Reservoir — Windsor

Colorado River (near Granby)—The spring runoff is stronger than usual. The water flows below Windy gap and below Parshall are 1810cfs and 2754cfs respectively, creating a “blown out” situation. Copper Johns, RS-2s, Prince nymphs and other emerger patterns, San Juan worms and egg patterns will do well when the river slows down. Rain has helped keep the flow rate up. In the immediate Granby area and downstream to the bridge at the lower end of Byers Canyon, bait fishing is permitted and two fish may be kept. From the east side of the bridge abutments (the west end of Byers Canyon) down to Troublesome Creek, including the Williams Fork River from the reservoir, catch-and-release rules apply and fishing is by artificial flies and lures only.

Crystal River—Do not curse the Whitefish! Under appreciated, especially here in Colorado, the mountain whitefish is more of a sub-surface feeder and is usually not thought of as aesthetically pleasing as trout. In other states they readily rise to dries and many anglers are disappointed after working a pod of rising fish to hook and discover they have been fishing to “Whities”! Here in Colorado they rarely feed on the surface, but take nymphs readily. Especially for kids and new comers to our great sport, the “whitie” is a great sport fish. Once you locate them, they can provide hours of enjoyment. They are great to learn proper nymphing techniques such as, how to set the hook, how to fight, land and properly release fish.

Delaney Buttes—There is some open water on the Delaney’s. East Delaney is about 95% open. Fisherman are having fair to good success using a variety of dry flies and hardware.

Dillon Reservoir—The launch ramp at the Dillon Marina will be open 8:30am to 5:30pm daily weather permitting. The only boat launching areas will be at the Dillon and Frisco marinas. All boats launched and retrieved at the Dillon Marina will require an Invasive Species Inspection. We recommend that you check ahead with the marinas staff for hours of operation before you launch or retrieve your vessel. Inspection station hours will vary during the year depending on weather and time of season. We recommend that you check ahead with the marinas staff for hours of operation. The launch ramp at the Dillon Marina will be open 8:30am to 5:30pm daily weather permitting. The only boat launching areas will be at the Dillon and Frisco marinas. Phone (970) 468-5100 for information.

Elkhead Reservoir—The reservoir is open to fishing and boating the water is rising daily and the reservoir is full. The water will remain muddy for some time so be patient a couple of weeks and things will improve. ANS inspections will continue again this summer and will be the driving force for the boat ramp opening and closing schedule.

Frying Pan River—The flows have been at around 660cfs over the last few days. We’re seeing fish actively feeding on shrimp. Sight fishing on the flats is just about as much fun as you can have on the Upper Pan right now. The BWO hatch is gaining strength. Look for a string of good weather followed by a nice overcast day to produce one of the Pan’s most prolific hatches!

Granby Reservoir—Both Stillwater and Sunset Point boat ramps are open. Rain and snow has kept the surface temps down and fishing continues to be good from the banks as well as in boats. J13, F18 Rapalas are being used with great success. Jigging is also productive. Fly fishing the inlet streams, the Colorado river below Shadow Mountain and Arapaho Creek is very good. The water level continues to rise very quickly, covering ground that has not been covered for quite some time; these areas are new feeding grounds for the fish. Water is being pumped into Rainbow Bay. Natural flow is coming in from Stillwater and Arapaho creeks, which carries food that attracts fish and helps make fishing good. Arapaho Bay has also been a very productive area.

Grand Lake—This lake is over 270’ deep. It can be difficult, but very rewarding to learn to fish this lake. Very large lake trout, nice rainbows, browns, and kokanee salmon are available. Trolling, jigging, bait, lure, and fly fishing are all productive ways of catching these fish. From Oct. 1st-June30th, all lakers 26-36 inches long must be released immediately. Rapalas, Kastmasters, and Blue Fox spinners are only some of the lures used. Jigging with sucker and shiner meat is common. The only boat ramp open on Grand Lake is at the east end. Bank fishing is good from the public areas. Worms and lures are popular. 6/13/2010

Green Mountain Reservoir—Due to the lake rising about a foot a day the fishing is slow. Trout are being caught on nightcrawlers, red power bait or salmon eggs.

Pearl Lake—6/4/10 Anglers are having some luck at Pearl. As usual though, it is a very picky lake to fish. No reports of any Grayling caught yet as of last weekend. All areas and campground are open and fishing is good until the wind kicks up. Remember all boats on trailers have to be inspected before launching. So CLEAN DRAINED DRY are the key words for a fast inspection. Use this link to view our Hahn’s Peak web cam that we turned so you can see the cove behind the Visitor Center

Shadow Mountain Reservoir—Most of this reservoir is shallow, but trolling the channel, spin or bait fishing the east shoreline north of the dam can be productive. The south boat ramp area can also be good. Fishing the pump canal and below the dam can be highly rewarding using flies, slip bobber rigs, lures, and nightcrawlers on the bottom. Small jigs tipped with wax worms, mealworms, power bait or eggs are commonly used. The south boat ramp is open. The flow rate below the dam continues to be stronger than usual making fishing impossible, at times. However, when it slows down and is fishable, all species are being caught.

Stagecoach Reservoir—The water level at the tailwaters has been fluctuating and the reservoir is spilling over the dam. RS2’s, zebra midges, ants, and barr emergers have been working well for fly fishing. The redds are down and fenced for protection so please be aware of footing and stay off the beds. Stagecoach State Park asks anglers at the tailwaters to be aware of overcrowding on the river. Pike activity has picking up with warming water temperatures around 60 degrees. Rainbow trout have been hitting on brightly colored power bait, kastmasters, and rooster tails. Mainly stocker size trout around 13” have been landed with a few reports of 4-6 lb trout. Releasing stocker size trout will ensure for an ample catch next year. A boat inspection for aquatic nuisance species is required prior to launching.

Steamboat Lake—6/4/10 Fishing is going fast and furious right now. All anglers are having luck with just about everything, both bait and lure. All areas are open and fishing is good until the wind kicks up. Remember all boats on trailers have to be inspected before launching. So CLEAN DRAINED DRY are the key words for a fast inspection. Use this link to view our Hahn’s Peak web cam that we turned so you can see the cove behind the Visitor Center

Vega Reservoir—Vega is open for boating. Fishing is picking up and should continue to improve.

Williams Fork Reservoir—Rainbow and brown trout, lake trout, northern pike and Kokanee are available. Boat inspections and ramp access are from 6:00AM to 8:00PM seven days a week; ramps are closed at night. Bank fishing is very good at the inlet and by the east boat ramp. The “Fingers” have also seen many fish caught. The pike continue to be in the shallows, exciting many fishermen; floating Rapalas, “poppers”, and other surface lures are effective (worms and sucker meat are also still popular). Inquire in Granby for the latest conditions. From buoy line at Williams Fork River inlet upstream to first CR bridge: Fishing and snagging prohibited Sept. 15-Nov. 30. 6/13/2010

Willow Creek Reservoir—Rainbow, brown trout and Kokanee salmon are available. This is a beautiful area with easy fishing access around the boat ramp area and the next bay. This reservoir is a good place to take kids, and gets less fishing pressure than other area lakes. Worms, Powerbait, salmon eggs and many different lures are commonly used. Catch rates have continued to be very good making the fishermen happy. Trailered boats are still not allowed on the reservoir. Fly fishing is also very productive from shore and out of canoes and belly boats. Inquire in Granby for updates. 6/13/2010

Yampa River (Hayden through Craig)—Spring runoff is in full swing on the Yampa. The river has muddied as flows increase, try moving up stream and fish early mornings. We are in peak runoff so try some of the local lakes that are fishing great.

Yampa River (Stagecoach through Steamboat)—The run-off is in full swing. If you must fish, do so at Bank Eddy with big stones or dark buggers. The clear water in the morning is best. Wade at your own risk.


Beaver Creek Reservoir—The Colorado Division of Wildlife is continuing to lower the level of the water at Beaver Creek Reservoir so that state engineers can inspect the dam and related structures. The water will be lowered until the water level reaches 40 feet below the spillway. The water may need to be maintained at that level for the entire summer. However, fishing continues at the reservoir and the fish will likely become more concentrated with less water in the reservoir. Anglers are advised to be cautious on the steep-sided slopes.

Blue Mesa Reservoir—Salmon fishing is beginning to pick up with fish being caught at 10-20 feet around the Iola Basin or Sapinero Basin areas. Lake trout are still being caught trolling from 60-80 feet. Browns and small lakers can be caught jigging along the rocky shorelines early morning and late evening or trolling minnow type baits from 20-45 feet. Boat ramps are now open from 5:30am to 9pm.

Conejos County (high country lakes)—Conejos County has a variety of high country lakes that offer excellent trout fishing opportunities. Trout species include native cutthroats, brooks, browns and rainbows. Currently, conditions of high lakes in Conejos County are changing daily. Many lakes are open and ice free. Be prepared for snow drifts on trails on north facing slopes and in heavy timber. Fishing is expected to be excellent throughout the summer as conditions improve.

Conejos County (small streams)—Conejos County has a variety of small streams that offer excellent trout fishing opportunities. Trout species include native cutthroats, brooks, browns and rainbows. Currently, conditions on small streams in Conejos County are changing daily. Flows on many streams are still high. Fishing is expected to be excellent throughout the summer as conditions improve.

Gunnison River (below Crystal Dam)—Flows are 651CFS and clarity has improved to “Gunny Green”. Caddis on top, Lafontaine Caddis Pupa, Pulsating caddis below. RS2s, San Juan worms, #6 Woolly Buggers, egg patterns, #14 orange and green scuds, #10 GB Poxy Back Biot Stones, #12-16 GB Prince Nymphs, #16-20 Copper Johns, Pheasant Tails and Flashback PTs, and #10 20-Inchers and Halfbacks.

Gunnison River (through the canyon)—The flow in the Gunnison Gorge is now steady at 656 cfs. Fishing conditions have been excellent recently. Stone flies are moving below Smith Fork. Fishermen are using Red San Juan Worms, Wooly Buggers and Stone Fly Nymphs, Lots of caddis - big with orange #12. Nymphs first thing in the morning. Also big Black Rubber Legs and Girdle Bugs as well as Super Stones. Best results are fishing tight to the bank. The North Fork is still running high, is off color, and is NOT low enough to wade to get to the Gunnison. Call Gunnison River Pleasure Park at 1-888-782-7542 for information on boat shuttle across the Gunnison.

Jackson Gulch Reservoir—The lake level is rising quickly due to spring runoff. The inlet is a great fishing spot for rainbow trout using PowerBait just off the bottom or slow in-line spinners. The west end of the dam and the coves have also seen some success for rainbow trout and yellow perch. May 1 12,000 10” rainbow trout were stocked, so they should be very active by now. Fly fishing should start picking up as the temperatures warm.

La Jara Creek—Fishing on La Jara Creek has been good for brown trout. Fishing has been best on worms and spinners. Flows are good at approximately 39 cfs.

La Jara Reservoir—The reservoir is open and accessible, and water conditions are good. Fishing pressure has been light. Fishing has been fair. Good fishing for brook trout and splake is expected throughout the summer.

Mountain Home Reservoir—The lake recently was stocked with 3,700 catchable sized rainbow trout. Fishing for rainbows is reported as fair to good with the typical baits and lures.

Navajo Reservoir—Water temp is 66 degrees. Crappie fishing has slowed, with only a few being caught on live minnows. Bass fishing is improving using chartreuse spinners, crankbaits and plastics. Pike fishing along the rocky points of the lake is very good, using floating rapalas and jigs. Catfish are being caught using live minnows, worms and dough baits. For an up to date report call (970) 883-BOAT.

Pastorius Reservoir—Winterkilled BUT we have restocked with catchable rainbows (10 inch) and 93 large broodstock rainbows 15-20+ inches.

Piedra River—The river is too high and muddy for effective fishing at this time!

Platoro Reservoir—Platoro reservoir is open and accessible. Water conditions are good. Fishing has been good on spinners and bait for browns and rainbows. Fishing for kokanee has been slow.

Puett Reservoir—The Lake is open and full. There are no fishing Reports at this time.

Ridgway Fishing Ponds—The Pa-Co-Chu-Puk ponds of Ridgway State Park are excellent for children because they are the only water below the dam not restricted to artificial flies and lures or catch-and-release fishing. A limit of four trout per person may be kept there, by children and licensed adults, 16 years and older. The ponds have been stocked again. The fishing is excellent. Some of the larger, holdover rainbow trout from last season also are being caught. Try worms and red salmon eggs. Fly fishermen could try a Black Woolly Bugger or gold ribbed hare’s ear size #14. Good luck!

Ridgway Reservoir—The lake is full and spilling over. Fishing excellent. 10,000 catchable-sized Rainbow Trout were stocked this last week (6/2/10), 25,000 plus this season. Bank anglers have been doing well using night crawlers, red salmon eggs and silver or gold Kastmasters. Wolley Buggers are working too. The Brown trout are moving out of the Mear’s Bay area and near the dam. Try using a short set of cow bells followed by a nightcrawler or a jointed Rapala for a chance at a large Brown. Several larger (7 pound class) Brown Trout have been caught since the end of May. Remember to have your boat clean, drained and dry when you come in to have it inspected before launching. Good luck fishing!

Rio Grande River—The river is clearing and dropping. Flows have been fluctuating around 1600 - 1800cfs.

Road Canyon Reservoir—The Colorado Division of Wildlife has investigated the extent of a recent winter fish kill at Road Canyon Reservoir. DOW aquatic biologists sampled the reservoir and found that brook trout have overwintered in the reservoir. However, no rainbow trout were collected. The reservoir will be restocked with rainbow trout the week of May 24th and throughout the summer to rebuild the fishery.

San Juan River—The river is too high and muddy for effective fishing at this time!

San Luis Lake—The lake was recently stocked with 5,000 catchable-sized rainbow trout. Fishing is reported as fair for trout with the typical baits, and fair for carp on nymphs and streamers.

Sanchez Reservoir—The boat ramp will be closed from 8pm to 6am daily with aquatic nuisance species boat inspections taking place when the ramp is open. Spring fishing at Sanchez Reservoir is in gear. Fishing for walleyes and northern pike is reported as fair with crankbaits and jigs.

Smith Reservoir (San Luis Valley)—Smith Reservoir was drained last fall to repair the outlet structure. The reservoir was stocked with 750 14”+ fish mid-April and 2900 catchable size fish the last week of April.

Summit Reservoir—We have reports of some dead fish along the shoreline. We had unusually deep snow for lower elevation lakes and as a result, some smaller, shallower lakes and pond may have winterkilled. A winterkill occurs not when the lake freezes solid but when the dissolved oxygen in the water becomes too low to support fish. Sometimes you can have pockets of water with better-dissolved oxygen conditions and some fish survive in these areas. We will restock with trout in the next week or so.

Taylor Reservoir—Fishing really picked up this weekend! We had several Pike come out; 2 that were 17-1/2 lbs., one 18-1/2 lb., 39” and another 32”. Some were caught with suckermeat, and one was caught with a Perch pattern rapala. Lots of Macks were caught and released; the biggest being about 30 lbs. Many 2-3 lb. Macks were caught mostly with Rapalas and Flatfish. The biggest was caught by Bud Tipton weighing in at 21.6 lbs., 38”. Most were caught in about 20 feet of water. Rainbows are biting as well all over the lake.

Totten Reservoir—The lake is open and full. No fishing Reports at this time.

Trujillo Meadows Reservoir—Trujillo Meadows Reservoir is open and accessible. Fishing for brown trout and rainbows has been good to fair. Fishing has been best on spinners and worms fished off the bottom.

Uncompahgre River in Ridgway Park—DANGEROUS HIGH WATER ADVISORY Fishing on the river at Pa-Co-Chu-Puk is tough, but fish are being caught. Flows are over 1450 cfs - well above our seasonal average of 400 cfs. The smaller rainbows that drifted down river this winter are returning and holding in the larger pools. Fishermen are doing well using a San Juan worm or gold ribbed hare’s ear, weighted. Please be advised that WADING IS DANGEROUS AT THIS TIME. The water temperature in the river is rising, allowing better bug production and growing more fish. This should be another great year.

Vallecito Reservoir—Ice is off as of last week. Look for spawning northern pike up in the shallows on the north end of the reservoir. The trout fishing has been very good in the inlets of the reservoir that are open.


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