Colorado Fishing Report: Crawford State Park closes boat ramps for season
Tuesday, August 21
Information for Anglers
DENVER WATER TO BEGIN CONSTRUCTION ON LARGER ANTERO BOAT RAMP
Denver Water is gearing up for construction of an expanded boat ramp on the south end of Antero Reservoir in Park County. The current south ramp will close for the season beginning Sept. 4 in order for work to begin on increasing the ramp from the current single boat capacity to a ramp that will allow three boats at a time to launch. The north ramp will remain open for launching boats through the remainder of the season.
“The new ramp will improve access to the water for boaters at Antero,” said Neil Sperandeo, manager of recreation for Denver Water. “More boats will be able to get on and off the ramp at the same time, making the area less congested.”
The 38 campsites at the south side of the reservoir will remain open during construction, but the south side parking lot will be closed during this time for the staging of construction materials and equipment. The north side of Antero Reservoir is open for day use only, and no camping is allowed.
The north ramp at Antero will remain open through the end of the boating season Oct. 31. The north boat ramp is open seven days a week from a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset. All boats must be inspected for aquatic nuisance species before entering the water.
THIS WEEK’S BOATING CHANGES INCLUDE CRAWFORD AND HORSETOOTH
The boat ramps at Crawford State Park (Delta County) have been closed as the water level has dropped below the end of the ramps. Trailered watercraft are unable to utilize the ramp so officials from Colorado Parks and Wildlife have closed the lake to motorized boating for the season. The boat ramp will reopen next spring when water levels begin to rise. Hand-launched, non-motorized boats such as canoes and kayaks are still allowed at Crawford State Park.
Larimer County Natural Resources has announced that the boat ramp at Horsetooth Reservoir will close this Saturday, Aug. 25. See http://www.larimer.org/naturalresources for details.
An updated list of boat ramp closures and restrictions that have been reported to Colorado Parks and Wildlife can be found below.
BOATING AND FISHING ADVISORIES
Fish salvages: Barr Lake State Park (Adams County, NE of Denver) see press release for details; Jumbo Reservoir (Logan and Sedgwick Counties, SW of Julesburg) see press release for details
Voluntary fishing closures: Bear Creek (Jefferson County); Tomichi Creek (Gunnison County); White River (Rio Blanco County, Meeker); Yampa River (Routt County, Steamboat Springs)
Boat Ramp closures/restrictions that have been reported to us:
· Antero Reservoir (Park County): Use North ramp - South boat ramp will close Sept. 4 for construction of larger ramp
· Blue Mesa Reservoir (Gunnison County): Stevens Creek boat ramp closed due to low water
· Brush Hollow Reservoir (Fremont County): unusable due to low water level
· Crawford State Park (Delta County): all ramps closed due to low water
· Horsetooth Reservoir (Larimer County): ramps close 8/25 due to low water
· Jackson Lake State Park (Morgan County): closed to boating due to low water level
· Jumbo Reservoir (Logan and Sedgwick Counties) boat ramp closed due to low water level
· Meredith Reservoir (Crowley County) boat ramp closed due to low water
· North Sterling State Park (Logan County) Elks Boat Ramp very low water, use south boat ramp
· Prewitt Reservoir (Washington County, NE of Brush): hand-launched, small craft only
· Vega State Park (Mesa County) Use Island boat ramp. Early Settlers and Oak Point ramps closed
· Williams Fork Reservoir (Grand County): boat ramp closed due to low water level
ANGLERS REMINDED TO MONITOR WATER TEMPS
Drought conditions and low water flows throughout the state have Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminding anglers to monitor water temperature when they are out fishing. Several water-specific recommendations have already been released this summer; however aquatic biologists recognize that fish can be stressed due to temperatures in many different coldwater fishing locations.
“Handling fish in waters that are 68 degrees and above can put undue stress on them, causing mortalities and compromising the fishery as a whole,” said Ken Kehmeier, senior aquatic biologist for the Northeast region. “We ask that anglers keep in mind the production opportunity of a fishery and not solely the fishing opportunity. Get out and fish, but bring along a thermometer and try to fish early in the day for the best opportunities.”
The following waters were recently stocked with catchable (approximately 10”) trout:
Metro Denver: None this week due to high temperatures
Northeast Region: Estes Lake, Estes Park; Evergreen Reservoir, Evergreen; Mary’s Lake, Larimer County, SW of Estes Lake.
Northwest Region: Breeze Pond, Grand County, Kemp State Wildlife Area; Camp Hale Pond, Eagle County, SE of Red Cliff; Copper Mountain Pond, Summit County, Blue River; Fraser Lions Club Pond, Grand County; Muddy Pass Lake, Jackson County, E of Rabbit Ears Pass; Officers Gulch Pond, Summit County, I-70 W of Frisco; Willow Creek Reservoir, Grand County, N of Granby;
Southeast Region: Cottonwood Lake, Chaffee County, SW of Buena Vista; Mt. Elbert Forbay, Lake County, N of Twin Lakes; Sands Lake, Chaffee County, Below Mt. Shavano Fish Hatchery.
Southwest Region: Big Meadows Reservoir, Mineral County, SW of South Fork; Mountain Home Reservoir, Costilla County, SE of Ft. Garland; Ridgway Reservoir, Ouray County; Tucker Park Ponds, Mineral County, NE of Wolf Creek Pass.
METRO DENVER AREA
Aurora Reservoir (City of Aurora) – Similar to the past few weeks, trout fishing from shore is slow to fair. Best success has been from the east end of the dam using PowerBait and crawlers from a slip rig. Cast as far as possible! Boaters are reporting fair success on trout trolling with crawlers. Try anchoring in 25-35 feet of water and dropping down crawlers and power bait. Walleye action is fair to good. Most are not of legal size to possess. Most anglers are using bottom bouncers and jigs. Perch action is good using jigs and worms. Some reports of blue gill being caught on worms in Senac Cove. Bass fishing is fair to good using soft plastics and crank baits along the weed beds in the coves. Boats are restricted to electric motors only. The park hours for August are 5:30 a.m. - 9 p.m. For more information please call 303-690-1286.
Arvada Reservoir (City of Arvada) – No new stockings. Water level is high. Water temp is high. Fishing has been poor. Only a few catch limits have been coming out. Some trout have been taken on pop-gear deep out of boats. Good catches on perch using jigs out of boats. But a lot of trollers out of boats have been coming back empty handed.
Barr Lake State Park (Adams County) – Colorado Parks and Wildlife announced a public fish salvage at Barr Lake State Park beginning Monday, July 23. Due to high irrigation demand created by severe drought, the water level in Barr Lake will be lowered to a conservation level to meet the needs of its intended agricultural use. A valid Colorado fishing license is required in accordance with state statutes. A state parks pass is required ($7 Daily Pass or $70 Annual Pass). All legal fishing methods are allowed. Bag, possession and size limits are suspended for Barr Lake only until this emergency public salvage is lifted.
Chatfield State Park (South of Littleton, Douglas and Jefferson County) - Everything is slowing down with the afternoon heat. Blue Gill are good from King Fisher and Gravel Ponds off worms. Bass are good close to the shoreline off worms and jigs. Rainbows are slow. Walleye are slow. Catfish are being caught from King Fisher off egg sacks.
Cherry Creek State Park (South of I-225 and east of I-25, Arapahoe County) – Fishing success at the Cherry Creek Reservoir remains low due to the unseasonably warm temperatures that we are experiencing. The current water temperature is 74 degrees. Any time the water temperature is above 68 degrees, the fish will be stressed to the extent that they will not survive if handled too much. The best time to fish is the early morning and the evening, when temperatures are cooler. Boat fishermen are having more success because they are able to access cooler, deeper water. In general, boat fishermen are catching small catfish, crappie, trout and walleye. Night crawlers and leeches are being used with some success. Boaters, please remember to stay at least 60 feet away from in front of the tower structure. East and West boat ramps are open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. No launching is permitted outside those hours without previous inspection.
Quincy Reservoir (City of Aurora) – The Quincy Reservoir water level is low. Trout fishing is slow at this time. Some reports using flies. Bass fishing is slow to fair using plastics, crank baits and top water lures. Some reports of perch being caught on jigs. The park hours for August are 5:30am-9:00pm. Restricted to artificial flies and lures. Hand launched and electric motor propelled boats only. For more information please call 303-693-5463.
Standley Lake (City of Westminster, Jefferson County) – No fishing report this week from the City of Westminster. Standley Lake is open to boating and camping for the season. You must obtain a Sail/Fish boating permit ($200.00) to have access to the lake or purchase a Single-day use fishing permit ($15.00). These are available for boats with 20 horsepower or under engines only and must meet current quarantine times to access to the lake. Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) regulations are in effect. Fishing times are 7 a.m. to sunset and will be strictly enforced. Aquatic bait is not allowed at Standley Lake; this includes salamanders, leeches, crayfish, frogs and minnows. Call for more details. A $7 fee is charged for all drive-in traffic. Drive-in access is available from 70 a.m. to sunset. For more information, contact the Standley Lake Nature Center at (303) 425-1097.
Antero Reservoir (Park County) – Boaters should be advised that the south ramp at Antero will be closing on Tuesday, Sept. 4 for renovations. Denver Water is expanding the south ramp to ease congestion. The north ramp is expected to remain open until Oct. 31. The new south ramp will open next spring. Daytime fishing has been slow but anglers are reporting that evening and early morning fishing has been excellent. Weed growth continues to be the biggest problem anglers face. Try using gear above the weeds where fish seem to be feeding aggressively, otherwise head for the deep waters and use some kind of weight rigging to get to where the fish can be found.
Bear Creek (Jefferson County) – Voluntary closure due to high water temperatures. Anglers are asked to find alternate waters in the area.
Boyd Lake State Park (North of Loveland, Larimer County) – Trout fishing has slowed with warmer temps. Anglers report limited trout success on spinners and spoons lakewide. Bass fishermen are enjoying better conditions with largemouth hitting crankbaits in the north end. Smallmouth anglers report good action with spinners in the shallow, reedy areas. Bluegill anglers are landing fish on worms near the marina. Bowfishers are taking carp in the shallows. Other species are fair to poor. Try catfish in the north end and crappie with minnows near the pump house. The current water temperature is estimated to be hovering in the mid 70’s with a depth of 34.79 feet. PLEASE NOTE: 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 baitfish from a commercial source and transported by anglers must at all times be accompanied by a receipt for the source. See the Colorado Fishing Regulation for further clarification and information.
Carter Lake (Larimer County) – Water levels at Carter are below seasonal average however Carter is still very boatable. Fishing continues to be average for this time of year with some fisherman reporting limits of walleye. Bass have also been seen being caught from the south end. With Labor Day approaching please remember to boat safely on Larimer County waters.
Eldorado Canyon State Park, South Boulder Creek (Boulder County) - Anglers are reporting some success with the recent cooler weather. The creek is running low for this time of year, but low water can bring great fishing. South Boulder Creek is currently running at 23 cfs. The creek holds some nice fish, mostly browns in the 8-to-12-inch range, and an occasional 12 plus fish. We have also seen more and more rainbows that make it down from Gross Reservoir. The water is clear, cold, and is home to an abundant number of fish. The best time to fish is 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Fish are hitting on a variety of nymphs: #16 RS-2s, and yellow CDC flashback pheasant tails, #18 midges and purple psycho princes just to name a few, but most any dry fly we have seen success with. For the younger kids and non fly fishers we have also seen some success with live worms and salmon eggs. Live bait spinning rods and fly fishing all permitted and success rate for each is high. Come early (at sunrise) and avoid the picnic crowds and please be careful on the slick rocks. We also now sell fishing and hunting licenses at the Visitor Center please come in and get yours today!
Eleven Mile State Park (Park County) – The trout bite has slowed this week, but some fishermen still catching their limit. Shore fishermen are having success near Cross Creek down to Rodgers Mountain on the south side and near Stoll Mountain on the North. Boat fishermen are reeling them in throughout the Reservoir in 15 - 35 feet of water. Fishermen are reporting that PowerBait (peach and green), Tazmanian Devils in pink and red, Trout HDs and Needlefish are doing well. Pike (FAIR) To catch pike try from Lazy Boy to Witchers Cove near the weed beds. Try large Rapalas, Husky Jerks, and large tube jigs. Salmon (POOR to FAIR) There are no new reports this week. Try fishing in about 35’ to 50’ around Deer Island or straight out from the North Boat Ramp. Down Riggers are essential, try with Dick Nites or Rapalas.
Golden Gate Canyon State Park Ponds (Jefferson and Gilpin Counties) – Golden Gate Canyon State Park offers five fishing ponds open year-round to all park visitors. The ponds are Kriley, Slough, Ranch Ponds East and West, and Dude’s Fishing Hole. Each angler is allowed four fish per day with eight being the maximum number in possession. Anglers have the best success in the early morning and the hour before dark. No live baits are allowed with the exception of worms. Please call the Visitor Center for directions at 303-582-3707.
Horsetooth Reservoir, Lory State Park (Larimer County) – Larimer County Natural Resources has announced that the boat ramp at Horsetooth Reservoir will close this Saturday, Aug. 25. You can still access the six northern-most bays in Horsetooth Reservoir from shore via Lory State Park. Reservoir levels are dropping and currently at approximately 71 percent of capacity.
Jackson Lake State Park (Morgan County) – The reservoir has dropped significantly due to the water release which began on 06/03/2012. Our boat ramp is closed due to no water at the ramp. We will allow hand carry vessels (canoes, belly boats, etc.) but you will have to carry them out to the water. Water temperature is approximately 82 degrees. Shorefishing has been good from the outlet catching walleye using nightcrawlers, rapalas, jigs, and minnows. Shorefishing in the lake has been fair for all species.
Jumbo Reservoir (Logan and Sedgwick Counties) – The boat ramp at Jumbo Reservoir (Logan and Sedgwick Counties) has been closed as the water level has dropped below the end of the ramp. The boat ramp will reopen next spring when water levels begin to rise. Hand- launched boats are still allowed. Shore anglers at the reservoir are asked to harvest any fish that are caught using legal methods. The fish salvage order currently in effect at Jumbo Reservoir means that size, bag and possession limits at the lake are currently lifted however only legal methods of take are allowed. No commercial fishing is allowed under the salvage order. The reservoir will be stocked next spring when water levels begin to rise.
North Sterling State Park (Logan County) – North Sterling remains open to boating. The lake has been dropping and the Elks Boat Ramp is closed, however the South Boat Ramp currently has 16 feet of water. The folks at the park say that the wipers are currently concentrated at the top of the water column to find the abundant shad. They recommend staying in the top six or seven feet of water. Success seems to be had on lures especially pearl or white/green shad imitators.
Prewitt Reservoir (Washington County) – Prewitt water levels have dropped and the boat ramp is unusable and closed for the rest of the season. Shore anglers report extremely good fishing for large crappie off the dam using 1 1/2” tube jigs.
Spinney Mountain State Park (Park County) – Trout (GOOD) Reports of successful catches are coming in from fishermen using Tasmanian Devils, Caddis, Callibaetis and Chironomids. Fishermen are reporting that shore fishing is good along the eastern shorelines. Pike (GOOD) Try Tasmanian Devils, Kastmasters and Rapalas. South Platte above Spinney – 61 cfs on 8/14/12 at 1:45 pm. Dream Stream – (GOOD) Fishermen are reporting late morning and evening best time right now. Between Spinney & “bridge”, Tricos, Midges, BWO’s, Woolly Buggers and Caddis are working well. Between “bridge” & 11Mile, try PMD’s, Midges, Trico’s and Elk Hair Caddis. Stream flow: 175 cfs on 8/14/12 at 1:30 pm, gage height 1.43 ft.
St. Vrain State Park ponds (Weld County) – Fishing for trout is slow but warmwater species are biting well. Bass, sunfish and catfish have been biting well in the mornings and evenings and catfish are active, especially at night. Bass are being caught on a variety of soft plastics, flies, crank baits, and spoons. Sunfish have been active on worms and flies with casting bubbles. Catfish have been caught on worms and stink baits. Please note that Bald Eagle Pond has the following restrictions: 1. Fish with flies and lures only. 2. All bass must be returned to the water immediately. PLEASE REMEMBER TO CARRY YOUR FISHING LICENSE WITH YOU WHILE FISHING.
Adobe Creek Reservoir/Blue Lake (Kiowa and Bent Counties) – Some channel catfish are being caught but otherwise slow for all species.
Arkansas River (Lake, Chaffee and Fremont Counties) – Here’s an updated from the Greg at ArkAnglers: “With recreational flow augmentation now finished for the summer, flows have receded on the Arkansas River. As of 8/20, we have about 150 cfs in the Granite Gorge, 340 cfs in Browns Canyon, and about 300 cfs in Bighorn Sheep Canyon. The entire river corridor has a clear/green flow and water temperatures are staying cool enough to keep fish active throughout the day. With mostly cloudy skies and some moisture in the forecast, it seems likely that the cool conditions will continue and that flows will be bolstered by rain. Hatches now include golden stoneflies, caddis, midges, red quill and some early blue wing olive mayflies. Attractor dry fly fishing has been very good early and late in the day. Afternoons have been productive with stonefly nymphs and mayfly emergers.”
Brush Hollow Reservoir (Fremont County) – Fishing is slow. Boat ramp is inaccessible due to low water levels.
Clear Creek Reservoir (Chaffee County) – The dog days of August are keeping the fishing conditions mostly unchanged at Clear Creek Reservoir. Shore fishing has been spotty. Most fish were caught on nightcrawlers and PowerBait, but some with dry flies similar to an Elk’s hair Caddis fly on a No. 16 hook. From boats, trolling has been OK but fly fishing has still been the best. Although wet flies trolled deep have done well - just above the weed beds on the bottom. Trolling with a night crawler on a hook has worked well for both trout and salmon, if fished at the proper depth. Clear Creek Reservoir is open to trailered, powered boats every day of the week except Tuesday and Wednesday, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Our new dock makes launching and retrieving boats much easier.
DeWeese Reservoir (Custer County) – Fishing has been slow. Remember, there are no size restrictions for the smallmouth bass in DeWeese. The daily bag limit for bass in DeWeese is five of any size.
Henry Lake (Crowley County) – Small numbers of wiper and channel catfish are being caught. Anglers report conditions as fair to good for bullheads.
John Martin Reservoir State Park (Bent County) – Fishing remains at a standstill. White bass and carp are still being caught on the reservoir in small numbers off the north side of the dam, and a few smaller catfish at night in the stilling basin. One gate open at the spillway with 100 cfs going out and the lake temperature is 70 degrees. Fishing should pick up as the water is slowly cooling.
Lake Dorothey State Wildlife Area (Las Animas County) - A fish kill occurred at Lake Dorothey in Las Animas County in early August. Wildlife managers and biologists say the fish kill is likely due to a combination of factors including ash and sediment from the Track Fire that burned in 2011. Recent warm temperatures exacerbated the situation. Anglers are advised to find alternate fishing locations. Colorado Parks and Wildlife will assess the lake soon to determine the extent of the fish kill and what steps will need to be taken.
Lake Pueblo State Park (Pueblo County) – The level in the reservoir has remained steady this week despite continued high temperatures with little or no rain. Morning and evening continue to be the most productive times for many species. Fishermen have been reporting positive results for bass and other sunfish on the north shores and coves of the reservoir. Try using live bait, like leeches, floated off the bottom with a lindy float. Overnight fishing for catfish has been steady as well. Below the dam, fishermen have been reporting “stocker” sized rainbow trout caught on various types of PowerBait. There have also been several reports of smallmouth bass in the Arkansas River.
Martin Lake and Horseshoe Lake, Lathrop State Park (Huerfano County) – Fishing continues to be good on both lakes. We are still seeing trout being caught with the majority of the trout being in the 10-14 inch range. Trout are being caught on PowerBait. We are still getting reports of catfish on chicken liver and nightcrawlers.
Meredith Reservoir (Crowley County) – Fishing is slow for all species. Boat ramp closed.
Mueller State Park (Teller County) – Ponds were stocked in May. Dragonfly Pond is seeing a lot of use this summer. Rock Pond and Brook Ponds are very scenic but they are a 2 mile hike from the trailhead.
Thurston Reservoir (Prowers County) – Colorado Parks and Wildlife is closely monitoring water levels at Thurston Reservoir in Prowers County. Anglers are encouraged to harvest the fish they catch in the event the water levels drop below what is necessary to sustain the fishery.
Turquoise Reservoir (Lake County) – The fishing pattern for the week of Aug. 19 has been “lethargic” at Turquoise Reservoir. No boaters or shore anglers interviewed for a creel census survey reported catching their limit of fish on Aug. 19. Anglers experienced some success of catching rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) by employing typical baits. Rainbow trout comprised 81 percent of the overall catch for Aug. 19. Lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) fishing has been slow. The reservoir is approximately 10 feet low from normal capacity with surface temperatures around 64 degrees.
Trinidad Lake State Park (Las Animas County) – Trinidad Lake is approximately 447 surface acres with the surface temp about 68 degrees. Fishing continues to be steady. Rainbows, walleyes, catfish, and yellow perch are being caught from shore. Boaters continue to hit the deep water for walleyes. Night crawlers, bright-colored PowerBait and chicken liver seem to still be working the best. ANS boat inspections are taking place so be sure your boat is “CLEANED, DRAINED, and DRIED”. Boaters beware of floating debris and unmarked hazards as the water level continues to slowly fall. Anglers are reminded to check the regulations for bass and walleye and to always wear your PFD. All camping and bath-house facilities are now open. For more information call the Visitor’s Center at 719-846-6951.
Twin Lakes Reservoirs (Lake County) – Twin always experiences a slow down success-wise in August but this year seems worse perhaps because of a lack of fishing pressure that started back in July. Twin’s water level is continuing to drop noticeably. The wildlife officer in the area reports that he only found six folks fishing at Lower Twin and none on Upper on Sunday, Aug. 19 and only one fish reported caught.
Delaney Buttes, Cowdrey and Lake John (Jackson County) – Here are some highlights from Bill up at Lake John Resort: “Not a whole of changes on the Lake John scene. As for the crowds, things have been fairly quiet around the lake the past week or two. The catching on John remains consistent with all methods of take. Anglers must still contend with weeds, but good quantities of fish are being landed despite. The night fishing was once again a hoot this week, claiming a number of decent ‘Bows with a crawler and lighted bobber. Fly fishermen are also having great entertainment getting their line stretched and their rods bent by John’s ever-growing trout. 12 to 15-inchers are the norm, with larger ‘Bows and Cutts becoming more common. Fly guys are having no problems trying to match-a-hatch, ‘cause these fish are hitting anything that even resembles a minnow or a bug. With cooler nights and shorter days, water temps are beginning to drop and trout are being found in abundance throughout the water column. Trollers are having good success moving fairly quickly, and pulling just about anything flashy and colorful. Large spinners, Z-Rays, Tasmanians, and Kastmasters are just a few that are adding to the stringer. And of course the landlubbers using the dough-baits are fine dining on trout — just keep the lead off and use a slip-rig with a bubble filled with water.”
Dumont Lake (Grand, Routt and Jackson County) – Dumont Lake is currently drained for repairs. Dumont is not expected to reopen until 2013 or 2014.
Elkhead Reservoir State Park (Moffat County) – Northern pike fishing remains strong with anglers taking mostly pike between 20” and 36”. Bass and crappie fishing is good; average bass is between 2 and 3 pounds. Catfish remain elusive.
Harvey Gap State Park (Garfield County) – No report this week.
Highline Lake State Park and Mack Mesa Reservoir (Mesa County) – Bluegill averaging 8” were recently stocked in Mack Mesa. Between the new bluegill and our regular stock of sunfish, kids have been loving the fishing at Mack! Drop a line and get some immediate action. Carp are spawning at the dam and begging to be bowed at the East inlet. Want more information on fishing at Highline? So do we! Stop in and let us know how your fishing went at Mack and Highline.
James M. Robb Colorado River State Park (Mesa County) – Trout are being caught at Island Acres and Fruita early in the morning and late evening. Most fish are small in size. There have been some bluegill caught at Fruita as well. If you are a skilled fisherman you might have some luck catching bass at Connected Lakes. NOTE: Fishermen are encouraged to keep all trout within the catch limit as the trout are experiencing stress due to the heat and are not as likely to survive if returned to the water.
Lake Granby (Grand County) – Shore fishing is best early and late in the day, otherwise use a boat to access the trout in the deeper, cooler parts of the lake. Shore anglers can try the north end coves but even action there has slowed in the last few days.
Pearl Lake State Park (Routt County) – No report this week.
Rifle Gap State Park (Garfield County) – Trout fishing has slowed with the warm weather. The water levels are still dropping. Boat ramps open. Did hear that some shore anglers can have success getting into the yellow perch at the reservoir right now.
Stagecoach State Park (Routt County) – Tailwater fishing is still hot. Blue winged olives, elk hair caddis and san juan worms seem to be doing the trick. During the busy season for the Tailwaters, anglers are asked to be mindful of the resources and help avoid overcrowding. Pike fishing has been great from shore with many being caught on spinners and kastmasters. Trout have moved to cooler and deeper waters and anglers fishing from boat have had luck using power bait or trolling with lures and spoons. The reservoir is beginning to turn over and algae is noticeable.
Steamboat Lake State Park (Routt County) – No update this week from the park. One angler reports “slow fishing but comfortable temperatures and unbeatable scenery.”
Sylvan Lake State Park (Eagle County) – Fishing has been good with nightcrawlers. Anglers are having trouble finding a fly or lure that is working consistently. Try something small without much flash. If fishing on East or West Brush Creek fish early in the day and follow guidelines to reduce stress during these high temp and low water conditions.
Vega State Park (Mesa County) – While water levels are low, fishing remains excellent at Vega. Successful anglers are using PowerBait (pink, yellow and purple), worms, and Panther Martins. The Island boat ramp is open. Early Settlers and Oak Point boat ramps are CLOSED for the season. Please remember to stop at the entrance station and/or visitor’s center and have your boat inspected prior to launching. A Clean, Drain and Dry inspection with a seal applied can speed up your entry into the park. You can buy fishing licenses at the Visitor’s Center open daily from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sun - Thurs and 7 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
White River (Rio Blanco County) - Voluntary closure due to high water temperatures. Anglers are asked to avoid fishing during the hot part of the day and avoid handling or overplaying fish to minimize stress.
Williams Fork Reservoir – Boat ramp is closed for the year. Hand-launched boats only.
Yampa River (Routt County) - Voluntary closure due to high water temperatures. Anglers are asked to find alternate waters in the area.
Blue Mesa Reservoir (Gunnison County) – The Ponderosa and Stevens Creek boat ramps have been closed due to low water. Large boats should use the Iola, Elk Creek or Lake Fork Ramps. Kokanee fishing is continuing to stay hot. Fish finders are coming in handy as water column temperature depths are fluctuating and so are the fish.
Crawford State Park (Delta County) – We have had reports of numerous catfish being caught both from shore. Pike have been reported. A large 30lb. 44” pike was recently landed. Crappie as large as 12-13” have also been reported, as well as numerous smaller ones. The boat ramps at Crawford State Park (Delta County) have been closed as the water level has dropped below the end of the ramps. Trailered watercraft are unable to utilize the ramp so officials from Colorado Parks and Wildlife have lake to motorized boating for the season. The boat ramp will reopen next spring when water levels begin to rise. Hand-launched, non-motorized boats such as canoes and kayaks are still allowed at Crawford State Park.
Crystal Lake (Ouray County) – The emergency salvage order at Crystal has expired. The lake has been drained by the U.S. Forest Service for dam repairs.
Gunnison Gorge, Gunnison River (Gunnison - Delta County) - Gunnison River Expeditions provided the following information this week: “The Black Canyon of the Gunnison Gorge is holding steady at 613 cfs. It is comfortable at 58 degrees. Caddis, small midges, streamers, and hopper droppers are working well at this time. Overall the fishing is good. The Lower Gunnison is running around 650 cfs at the Gunnison River Pleasure Park at about 68 degrees. Caddis, streamers, small midges and hopper droppers are also working well on the lower. We are expecting some weather which could possibly blow out the North Fork causing the lower to run muddy. Call Gunnison River Expeditions or Gunnison River Pleasure Park for updated conditions.”
Jackson Gulch Reservoir, Mancos State Park (Montezuma County) - The lake has dropped due to warm, dry weather and domestic demands on the water supply. Ten inch rainbow trout are being stocked monthly through the summer. In spite of the low levels fishing has been good for rainbow trout around 10-12” and 4-6” yellow perch with an occasional large brown trout. The trout enjoy various PowerBait (especially rainbow and garlic), florescent green and gold spinners and worms. Fly fishing is popular in the early mornings and evenings. Perch love nightcrawler, mealworm, or waxworm so a small jig tipped with nightcrawler works well. Perch are small, averaging about 4-6”, but anglers should keep them if they’ll eat them. There is no limit on the number of perch you can possess and they make great fish tacos! This also helps to work towards thinning the perch population in the lake. The daily limit for trout is 4. Fishing licenses can be purchased at the park entrance station.
Navajo State Park (Archuleta County) – Smallmouth bass and northern pike have been fair, and catfish have been biting. Water temperature is currently approximately 72 degrees. Call our marina at 970-883-2628 for more information. Colorado and New Mexico fishing licenses are available at the Visitor Center.
Ridgway State Park (Ouray County) – The reservoir is at 72 percent capacity and falling; fishing is falling off as well. Our most recent stocking of the reservoir, with 975 catchable rainbow trout, occurred on Aug. 15. Both shore fishermen and boaters are reporting average fishing for stocker-sized fish (8”-14”) with a few larger fish (18”-20”) also being caught. The catch is mainly rainbows, but there have also been some brown trout, splake, and a few smallmouth bass. Shore fishermen are doing best between the Dutch Charlie fishing pier and the mouth of Mears Bay, and also along the Dallas Creek day use area shoreline. Shore fisherman should to try green, orange, and pink PowerBait, or worms off the bottom; Kastmasters and Mepps are the favored lures. Boat fishermen are having luck with Rapalas and Kastmasters near the dam, along the west shoreline and around the opening to Mears Bay. Fishing in the Uncompahgre River at Pa-Co-Chu-Puk is very good. The river flows are currently at around 400 cfs, depending on the downstream call for water. Fly fishermen are doing well on Wooly Buggers (brown), Copper Johns, and Pheasant Tails (red is doing well); small midges are also working. Spin fisherman are doing well with Mepps and 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 good population of rainbows and some brown trout. Fishing in the ponds has been average. There have been occasional larger fish (18”-20”) caught. Fishermen have been doing best with worms and salmon eggs near the surface in the mornings and evenings, and various colors of PowerBait off the bottom at other times. Remember that the Uncompahgre River adjacent to the ponds is restricted to flies and lures only.
Tomichi Creek (Gunnison County – Voluntary closure due to high water temperatures. Anglers are asked to find alternate waters in the area.
Taylor Reservoir (Gunnison County) – No update this week.
Keep in mind that fishing conditions change on a constant basis. We encourage anglers to explore some of the numerous private websites that offer fishing condition reports. Examples include: http://www.fishexplorer.com, http://www.coloradofisherman.com, http://www.fishhound.com and http://www.sportfishcolorado.com. Many other fly shops and marinas also offer fishing condition reports on their websites as well.