Colorado Division of Wildlife’s weekly fishing report — July 27, 2010
Seasonal Report: Mid-Summer Fishing
Late-July is often the time when anglers start to turn their attention to the many warm water species that can be found throughout the state. When cold water species move to deeper water and become less active, many warm water species come to life.
In many waters across Colorado, good fishing opportunities can be found from mid-summer thru fall. Several waters are specifically set-up to give youngsters and handicapped anglers better fishing access.
More than a few warm water species are active this time of year including; wiper, large and smallmouth bass, walleye, channel catfish, black crappie, yellow perch and green sunfish.
The majority of these species can be found on the eastern plains of Colorado, but don’t be surprised to find warm water fisheries up and down the Front Range and in suburban areas across the Denver metro area.
Chatfield Reservoir, in southwest Denver, has been a hot spot for walleye over the past couple of weeks. Fish are being caught along the roadbeds and the dam, from boats and from shore, using live bait and grub lures. The reservoir has also been active for smallmouth bass, bluegill and perch. Chatfield is a State Park, and has several other amenities and activities such as; bicycle and hiking trails, camping, boat rentals, restrooms, hot-air ballooning and more.
In addition to big walleye, Trinidad Lake State Park, southwest of Trinidad, has bass in the 16 – 20” range that are bending rods on a daily basis. Trinidad Lake is very well known and well thought of in bass angling circles. The lake has a variety of underwater structures and habitats where bass can be found. Many bass fishing tournaments have been held at the park as well.
If it’s catfish you’re after, then you’re in luck! Big catfish, some up to 30”, are still being caught in the Cunningham Arm of North Sterling Reservoir. Fat cats are being caught on cut shad, nightcrawlers and chicken livers. If things slow down in the Cunningham Arm area, try moving to the inlet using cut shad.
Recent Stocking: July 27, 2010
Andrews Lake — Molas Pass, Southwest of Silverton
Big Creek Lake — Cowdry
Big Molas Lake — Molas Pass, South of Silverton
Cottonwood Lake — Buena Vista
Dolores River #4 — Dolores to West Fork of Dolores River
Dolores River #5 — West Fork to headwaters
Gunnison Pond — Gunnison
Lake Estes — Estes Park
Mix Lake — Platoro
Mountain Home Reservoir — Fort Garland
North Fork Michigan Lake — Gould
North Platte River — Walden
O’Haver Lake — Salida
Pac-Man Lake — Gunnison
Riverway Pond — Gunnison
San Juan River #2 — Pagosa Springs
San Juan River, East Fork — South of Wolf Creek Pass
Sands Lake — Salida
Spring Creek Reservoir — Almont
Taylor Reservoir — Gunnison
Trout Lake — Southwest of Telluride
West Fork Lakes — Southwest of Wolf Creek Pass
West Fork of Dolores River — Northwest of Stoner
Yankee Doodle Lake — Southwest of Nederland
Colorado River (near Granby)—Flow rates have come way down and leveled out. The water flows below Windy gap and below Parshall are 268cfs and 417cfs respectively. Copper Johns, RS-2s, Prince nymphs, stone fly nymphs and other emerger patterns, San Juan worms and egg patterns are doing well. Chartreuse wooly buggers also are working. Hatches should make caddis, pale duns, yellow sallys, and other dry flies productive. 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. 7/25/2010
Delaney Buttes—The fishing action on the Delaneys is really picking up. Anglers are having good, to excellent success for big trout, 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 daily and the reservoir is full. The water has improved in clarity and the fish are on. We are seeing large crappie holding in structured areas. Small Mouth have finished spawning and are headed to deeper water. Good size Pike are being caught and not as many hammer handles as last year. ANS inspections will continue again this summer and will be the driving force for the boat ramp opening and closing schedule.
Frying Pan River—Depending on the stretch of the river, flows have been around 13cfs to 164cfs. We’re still 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.
Granby Reservoir—Trolling deeper using deep diving lures, lead line, and downriggers can find kokanee and lake trout. Jigging is very productive. Fly fishing the inlet streams, the Colorado river below Shadow Mountain and Arapaho Creek is very good; streamers, wooly buggers, emergers egg patterns, and some dry flies are working well. Rainbows can be found all around the reservoir. The water level is higher than it has been in years, covering ground that has not been covered for quite some time; these areas are new feeding grounds for the fish. Fishing the Stillwater and Arapaho inlet areas continues to be productive. Arapaho Bay is also fishing well. Bank fishing is good, especially in the early morning and late evening. Worms are working better than usual. 7/25/2010 Ill.
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. Belly boats are useful. Trolling for kokanee is working well. Two prime bank fishing areas are the mouth of the channel and around the West Portal. 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. Hot weather is making early morning and late evening the best times to fish. 7/25/2010
Green Mountain Reservoir—Fishing is slow due to the heat and activity on the lake. Trout are being caught on nightcrawlers, power bait or salmon eggs. Popular colors for lures are hot pink, orange, red and green. Best fishing times are early morning and evening.
Pearl Lake—7/15/10 Anglers are having some luck at Pearl. As usual though, it is a very picky lake to fish. All areas and campground are open and fishing is good. Remember all boats on trailers have to be inspected before launching. CLEAN DRAINED and 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 http://22.214.171.124/view/index.shtml
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. The canal pumps are being run again, making the canal and the area where it enters the reservoir, prime fishing sights. 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 is low, but the spillway and the river is fishing well. All species of fish that reside in the reservoir are being caught in the spillway area. 7/25/2010 Ill. No change.
Stagecoach Reservoir—Midges, San Juan worms, emergers and RS2’s have been working well for fly fishing the tailwaters below the dam. Pike activity has been picking up. Pike have been hitting on spoons, tube jigs and Kastmasters. Rainbow trout have been hitting on brightly colored PowerBait, Kastmasters, and trolling with a crayfish lure has yielded some larger sized trout. Mainly stocker size trout around 14” have been landed with a few reports of 4-6 lb trout. A boat inspection for aquatic nuisance species is required prior to launching. The water level in the reservoir began to be lowered in mid July for a construction project at the dam. Morrison boat ramp will close for the season August 13th, and the marina ramp will close September 7th.
Steamboat Lake—7/15/10 Fishing is still good all around. As of last weekend, most anglers are using a variety of baits and doing well. Meadow Point and Rainbow ridge are very popular all day long. The coves won’t hit hard until the weekend. Remember all boats on trailers have to be inspected before launching. CLEAN DRAINED and 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 http://126.96.36.199/view/index.shtml
Trappers Lake—No current fishing report is available at this time
Vega Reservoir—Vega is open for boating. Fishing is picking up and should continue to improve throughout the year.
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 staying good at the inlet and by the east boat ramp. Rainbows have been plentiful and large. Bait fishing using bottom rigs, jigs, trolling worm harnesses are productive methods of catching fish as well as lures and fly fishing. Early morning and late evening are the best times to fish since the weather has turned hot. 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. 7/18/2010
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. If a person likes to hike, taking the trail to the inlet area can be rewarding. 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 are 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. Over the 4th of July holiday, most visitors caught many fish. 7/25/2010 Ill. No change.
Wolford Reservoir—No fishing report available
Yampa River (Hayden through Craig)—The Yampa is cleared and has dropped fast. Fishing has been very good all through the valley. Fishing dry flies as well as nymphs is very effective right now. Rapalas and rooster tails are working like a charm. Fish early or late; mid day seems to be slow right now. Fish the seams and deeper pools. As water temperatures, increase be very aware of your landing techniques if you are going to release.
Yampa River (Stagecoach through Steamboat)—The water is high but clear, and water level is going down every day. The fishing is good, and we recommend using nymphs and streamers. Dry fly fishing should pick up next week. Use PMDs and yellow sallies. The conditions for the lakes remain consistent.
Animas River – Finally, the monsoons arrive and water levels are up. Bad news, expect turbid conditions at times. Fishing has been generally slow with the low water levels and warm temperatures.
Beaver Creek Reservoir—The Colorado Division of Wildlife will be raising the level of the water at Beaver Creek Reservoir to approximately 20’ below the spillway. The water level will be maintained at this level so that state engineers can inspect the dam and related structures. 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. Several reports indicate anglers are having good success and catching their limits. Anglers are advised to be cautious on the steep-sided slopes
Conejos River—Flows on the Conejos are around 320 cfs on the lower river and 224 cfs below Platoro. Fishing conditions are excellent. Caddis, and Mayflies are hatching and fish are feeding on dry flies. Angling techniques also include dry/droppers (e.g. stimulator dry fly followed by stonefly nymph), nymphing, spinners, and bait. The Conejos has two sections of special fishing regulation waters. The first is from the upper boundary of Aspen Glade campground to Menkhaven Resort: artificial flies only and a daily bag and possession limit of two trout 16 inches or longer. The second is from the confluence of the South Fork to the lower bridge at Platoro: artificial flies and lures only, with a daily bag and possession limit of two trout 16 inches or longer.
Crawford Reservoir—The boat ramp at the Iron Creek launch area is open and ready for anglers. You must have your boat inspected prior to launching at any time of the day. This past week, anglers have been regularly catching crappie, and catfish. We have had reports of some VERY large catfish. Chicken livers seem to be the bait of choice. Come out and throw in your line to see what comes out on the other side!
Dolores River (lower)—The river below McPhee Reservoir is running 70 cfs. Large browns have made a comeback over the last 3 years and the forecast is for a good summer.
Echo Canyon Reservoir—Trout fishing is tapering off due to warm water conditions. Fishing for green sunfish, black crappie, catfish, and largemouth bass is good. Be prepared for very “weedy” conditions. Fishing for trout has been slow, but some are hitting wooly buggers and worms in the early morning hours.
Groundhog Reservoir—Fair for 10-16 inch rainbow trout and cutthroats. Fish typically move a little deeper this time of year. The lake has a lot of crayfish in it and lures/patterns that imitate crayfish could be a good choice.
Gunnison River (below Crystal Dam)—Flows are 660CFS. Clarity is Gunnison Green. Caddis and PMDs on top; try Lafontaine Caddis Pupa, Pulsating caddis below. #16 PMDs on top. Also standards like: #6 Woolly Buggers, #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 down to 609 cfs. Fishing conditions have been excellent. Fishermen are using Hopper Droppers, Red San Juan Worms, Red Copper Johns, PMDs and Caddis. Streamers, Big Hoppers and some Stones are working also. The North Fork is low now and clear and fishermen are wading it. Call Gunnison River Pleasure Park at 1-888-782-7542 for other information.
Haviland Lake—Good for 10 inch rainbow trout on Powerbait. Woolly buggers are also working well.
Jackson Gulch Reservoir—Fishing is good for 10-12 inch rainbow trout and small yellow perch early morning and late evening. Panther Martins, Super Dupers and small Rapalas have proven successful while trolling. Along the shore, there has been some success with rainbow and green Power Bait. Small yellow perch are biting on worms. Our next stock date is August 4. Be sure to bring plenty of bait as there is no place nearby to purchase it. Jackson Gulch requires an ANS inspection before launch. An inspector is on duty 8AM to 830PM daily through Labor Day. Jackson Gulch offers canoe, pedal boats and sit on top kayak rentals, a group picnic area, camping and interpretative programs. For more information http://www.parks.state.co.us or call 970-533-7065.
Joe Moore Reservoir—Joe Moore has a mix of rainbow trout, yellow perch, black crappie, and largemouth bass. Joe Moore is typically weedy this time of year and the warm water species should be quite active.
La Jara Creek—Fishing on La Jara Creek has been good for brown trout. Fishing techniques include worms, spinners, and artificial flies. Flows are at approximately 11 cfs. Water is clear and low. Fish spook easily so anglers should take a stealthy approach.
Lemon Reservoir—No recent reports. The lake has been stocked with rainbow trout. Large brown trout are occasionally taken in this reservoir (see today’s Durango Herald 7/23/10) as well as kokanee salmon.
McPhee Reservoir—Most fish species are moving deeper into the reservoir to avoid warm temperatures. The smallmouth bass fishing has been spotty but productive for some bigger bass. A few walleye have been captured in the House Creek arm of the reservoir.
Narraguinnep Reservoir—Walleye fishing has been fair using bottom bumpers and crayfish lures.
Navajo Reservoir—Water temp is 74 degrees and the water is clear. Small mouth Bass are being caught on chartreuse grubs and top water baits early morning and late afternoon. Pike fishing is very good on jointed rapalas. Catfish are being caught on Worms and Live minnows. Stop in and see us at Two Rivers Marina and have your picture taken with your catch! For updated reports give us a call at (970) 883-2628. See you soon.
Pastorius Reservoir—No reports. Typically the fishing slows down as the water temperature warms.
Piedra River—The Piedra River has a good population of brown and rainbow trout. However, fishing conditions can slow during hot afternoons.
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 were stocked again (17 June 2010). Fishing continues to be good. 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 holding steady just below spilling. Fishing is very good. 4,500 catchable-sized Rainbow Trout were stocked the week of July 10th. This totals more than 35,000 this season. Bank anglers have been doing well using night crawlers, green power bait, red salmon eggs and silver or gold Kastmasters. Woolley Buggers are working too. The Brown trout are out of the Mear’s Bay area and in the main reservoir. Try using a short set of cow bells followed by a nightcrawler or a jointed Rapala early in the mornings or late evenings, trolling slowly in the shade for a chance at a large Brown Trout. Remember to have your boat clean, drained and dry when you come in to have it inspected before launching. Good luck fishing!
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 has settled down and conditions are great. The water flows are 172 CFS
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.
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
Taylor Reservoir—Macks are in deeper water 50-75 feet. All the fish are more towards the middle now. Trolling is working the best for most everything. Cowbells and nightcrawlers are working for Rainbows and the smaller Lake Trout. Pike are starting to pick up again in the shallows.
Uncompahgre River in Ridgway Park—Fishing on the river at Pa-Co-Chu-Puk is running at about 48 degrees. Fishing is slow but should pick up as the weather warms. Flows are steady at about 400 cfs, just above the seasonal average. Grasshoppers are starting to show up! Try a “parachute hopper”. Good luck.
Vallecito Reservoir—Fishing has been slow for kokanee and trout. Anglers are finding smallmouth bass along the dam face and rocky points. The pike fishing is slow. Also, large magnum trout will be periodically stocked over the summer.
Williams Creek—Some nice browns have been taken in the last week. Surface temperatures are warm and fishing in the early morning and evenings will work best.
Williams Creek Reservoir—Fish are moving into deeper water as the summer progresses. Try the inlet to Williams Creek.