Fish contest offers up to $2 million in prizes

Ready to fish for $1 million?

Lake Pueblo State Park and Blue Mesa Reservoir will again draw anglers from around Colorado during the next two months as they try to land specially tagged fish that could bring them up to $2 million in cash or one of more than $225,000 in prizes during Cabelas’ “Wanna Fish for Millions?” contest.  Colorado is one of 19 states participating in this year’s contest, which is designed to give anglers a little extra incentive to get outdoors and on the water. The contest runs through July 8. Complete details of the contest and registration are available online at Cabela’s website.

Colorado Fishing Report – Tuesday, May 8

Anglers, please keep in mind that fishing conditions change on a constant basis. A lot can change in a week from the time this fishing conditions report is produced. If the water you are interested in knowing more about is not listed here or if you’re looking for the most current information, we encourage anglers to explore some of the numerous private websites that offer fishing condition reports. Examples include:,, and Many other fly shops and marinas also offer fishing condition reports on their websites as well. The statewide fishing conditions report is available at


Delaney Buttes, Cowdrey and Lake John (Jackson County) – A fresh report from the team at Lake John Resort this week: Besides being somewhat breezy, North Park’s weather has been fairly cooperative over the past week and weekend - and up here “somewhat breezy” ain’t all that bad!  I believe the word has been getting around, for Lake John at least, about the hot action, due to the numbers of families with small children that were here.  The fish were cooperating also, because I heard one young father say that he hadn’t been fishing in years, but he would have to take it up again because his four-year-old son caught his first fish and had the time of his life doing it. Spring always finds me with more work than time, so I haven’t been around to any other lakes lately.  One of my long-time customers, an avid Delaney Lakes angler, has been spending time fishing North and South, doing very well using large tube jigs.  I don’t know if it’s being viewed by the trout as a crawdad or minnow imitation - I suspect crawdad - but it’s attracting and hooking some huge fish in both lakes. Flipping these 2.5” to 4” motoroil-colored tubes from shore wherever a drop-off can be reached is working very well for him. Due to irrigation priorities, the inlet water to Lake John is now off.  We are currently about a foot from the high-water level, and boat ramps are in good shape.  If all goes well, the lake should be topped off this fall.  Speaking of boat ramps, the docks have been put in at many locations - the north end of Lake John, North Delaney,  South Delaney, and Cowdrey.  The docks at the south end of Lake John and East Delaney have been damaged, but hopefully will be fixed soon.

Elkhead Reservoir State Park (Moffat County) – Muddy conditions continue to limit the fishing activity.

Fryingpan, Crystal and Roaring Fork Rivers (Pitkin and Garfield County) – Here’s some information on the lower Roaring Fork from Carbondale downstream to Glenwood Springs from the folks at Taylor Creek Fly Shop: FLOW: 678 cfs in Glenwood Springs.  FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Midges 18-22, Stoneflies 16-20, Beatis 18-22, Caddis 16-18. The lower fork is the best section if you are looking to float or chase some of the bigger trout that call the lower reaches home. Still having good midge and beatis hatches throughout the day between the hours of 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The stonefly bite has been just as good nymphing: Cat Poohs, 20 inchers and Prince nymphs trail by beatis and midge patterns. Awesome hatches of midges and beatis mixed with golden and spring stoneflies and with caddis in the evening hours. The dry-fly fishing has been good mid-day when the beatis have been coming off in numbers and the trout have suspended in the first 2 feet of the water column looking up. Yellow humpy with little beadhead nymphs dropped below has been deadly.”

Harvey Gap State Park (Garfield County) – No report this week. Got a report on Harvey Gap, send it to us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Highline Lake State Park and Mack Mesa Reservoir (Mesa County) – Trout are still biting at both Mack Mesa and Highline Lakes - some nice sized trout have been taken from both lakes recently, along with the stockers. Bass and crappie are finally biting, as the water finally warms up to 60 degrees or so. Near the dam at Highline Lake seems to be the best fishing area for bass and crappie, from the bank or from a boat. PowerBait is now available in the Visitor Center, along with nightcrawlers and fishing licenses. Get ready to be “Gone Fishin” at Highline or Mack Mesa Lake! For those who prefer to troll Highline Lake, ANS boat inspections are available at the WEST ramp, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. only. As always, “. . . the worst day fishing is better than any day at work!” If you catch or see a northern pike at either lake, please remove it from the water if possible and turn it over to park staff.

James M. Robb Colorado River State Park (Mesa County) – Fishing continues to be good at Island Acres. At Corn Lake the trout fishing is excellent as well and most people are using PowerBait. The water at Red Rocks Lake in Fruita is warm enough now for the crappie and catfish to be active and trout are biting on power bait and flies. The fishing at Connected Lakes has been somewhat slow but there have been a few people catching bass.

Lake Granby (Grand County) – The lake trout are hitting well, according to the chatter on Sounds like anglers in deep water trolling from boats are bringing them in. Water temps are in the 46-48 range so laker fishing is still hot this week at Granby.

Pearl Lake State Park (Routt County) – Belly boaters are doing well around the willows, bank fishing has been OK. The dam area has been producing pretty well also. Please remember Pearl Lake is regulated to flies and lures only, with a bag limit of two 18”+ trout.

Rifle Gap State Park (Garfield County) – Park staff is hearing some stories of success by the anglers targeting perch (no limit), pike (no limit) and trout (limit 4). There have been some large walleye spotted on the bottom of the lake off the Cedar campground loop. Park staff also heard about a 22” walleye and a 24” northern pike that were caught by the same angler.

Stagecoach State Park (Routt County) – Anglers fishing from the shore or a boat have had good luck near the inlet. Pike and trout reports have slowed, but people are still catching plenty of fish. Tailwaters anglers are using San Juan worms, RS2’s and zebra midges. CR 18 is now open. During the busy season for the Tailwaters, anglers are asked to be mindful of the resources and help avoid overcrowding.

Steamboat Lake State Park (Routt County) – The reports on fishing are great! Parks staff has had reports of 17-20 inchers being caught. The fish seem to be hitting just about everything. The inlets are still producing well as is the dam area. Meadow Point on the Mill Creek side is doing well also.

Sylvan Lake State Park (Eagle County) – Fishing has been great! There are a variety of hatches going on right now. For fly fishing, fish are biting on olive wooley worms #12, olive. Midge flies with white beads in olive and red. The stocker cutthroats and rainbows, along with native brook trout are moving around in schools close to shore, eating a variety of midges. As for bait fisherman, red and green power bait has been doing very well, along with a variety of spinners.

Vega State Park (Mesa County) – Fishing has been great with rainbows being caught in the 14 - 18 inch range with Power Bait, worms, salmon eggs and Panther Martins. The lake was stocked with fingerling trout on May 2nd. Please remember to stop at the entrance station and have your boat inspected prior to launching.


Blue Mesa Reservoir (Gunnison County) – Andy sent an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). He says that water temps have been rising into the mid-50’s at Blue Mesa and that’s pushing browns and lake trout deeper and off the shoreline areas. Kokanee fishing remains excellent with limits being caught throughout the lake from 10-25 feet deep. Fish reporter Brett says he caught a limit of browns in the 17-21 inch range in the Soap Creek arm just north of the dam.  He caught one on a dead minnow that he let sit on the bottom with an egg sinker/splitshot set-up and open reel that let the trout take the bait and swallow it before feeling the pull. He also caught the others on various lures (purple/gold spoons, tiny minnow swimbaits) near rocky underwater outcrops.  All the browns had 1-4 small green crayfish in their stomachs.

Crawford Reservoir (Delta County) – Pike fishing is still consistent with fish upwards of 20 lbs. and 43” still being caught. A few bass have been reported, as well as crappie and catfish.

Jackson Gulch Reservoir, Mancos State Park (Montezuma County) – The snow continues to melt in the high country so the inlet on the north side of the lake is flowing and this is always a good place to fish. Ten inch rainbow trout are being stocked monthly through the summer. Fishing has been excellent for rainbow trout around 10-12” and 4-6” yellow perch with an occasional large brown trout. The trout are especially active in the flowing water near the inlet and enjoy various PowerBaits (especially garlic), florescent green and gold spinners and worms. Perch love nightcrawler, mealworm, or waxworm so a small jig tipped with nightcrawler works well. Perch are spending their time right down on the bottom of the lake. 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. Remember to purchase your new fishing license (your old one expired 3/31/2012).

Navajo Reservoir State Park (Archuleta County) – The crappie have started biting in the mooring cove and at the breakwater tires. Water temperature is approximately 56 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) – Brown Trout fishing has slowed down. There have been several browns in the 3-6 lbs range caught, but the larger browns have seemed to move to deeper water. In April the reservoir was stocked with over 31,000 catchable (8”-14”) Rainbow Trout. Shore fishermen are doing especially well between Dutch Charlie Fishing Pier and the mouth of Mears Bay. Shore fisherman should continue to try gold KastMasters, yellow/black Panther Martins, and pink power bait or salmon eggs off the bottom. Boat fishermen are having luck with gold pop-gear and black and silver sinking Rapalas. Fishing in the Uncompahgre River in Pa-Co-Chu-Puk is still exceptional. The river flows are currently at 94 cfs but will continue to rise as spring runoff continues. Fly fisherman are doing well on prince nymphs and hairs ears, but other small early season emergers are working as well. Spin fisherman are doing well with gold Mepps and yellow and 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 water immediately. The Ponds at Pa-Co-Chu-Puk have a good population of holdover rainbow and brown trout. Fishing the ponds this spring has been very good. Fishermen have been doing well with night crawlers and salmon eggs on top in the mornings and evenings, and various colors of PowerBait off the bottom in the middle of the afternoon. Please remember that the Uncompahgre River running adjacent to the ponds is restricted to flies and lures only and all fish must be returned to the water immediately.

Sanchez Reservoir (Costilla County) – Sanchez Reservoir is currently closed to all trailered watercraft.  The boat inspection station will open this Friday, May 11 at which time trailered boats will be allowed on the reservoir.  The inspection station will be open approximately 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.  Please be aware that the concrete boat ramp is currently closed due to low water.  However, boats may be launched from the shoreline after being inspected.

Taylor Park Reservoir (Gunnison County) – Taylor Park Marina is open for the season. No boat inspectors yet, so everyone needs to have an inspection and get a green seal at another location prior to launching at Taylor. The inspectors will be onsite starting this Friday, May 11. We had our first northern pike caught Saturday. It weighed 6 lbs. They are hanging in the shallows. Some small macks were caught and released. Rainbows are hungry and you can easily catch your limit.

Stocking Report

Northwest Region

Alder Park Pond, Garfield County; Corn Lake, James M. Robb Colorado River State Park, Clifton; Harvey Gap State Park, Garfield County; Highline Lake State Park, Mesa County; Mack Mesa, Highline Lake State Park, Mesa County; Red Dirt Reservoir, Grand County; Rifle Gap State Park, Garfield County; Seymour Reservoir, Jackson County; Slack and Weiss Reservoir, Jackson County; Teal Lake, Jackson County; Tiago Lake, Jackson County.

Southwest Region

Chipeta Lake, Montrose; Home Lake, Rio Grande County; Pericles Pond, Ouray County; south pond Ridgway State Park below dam.


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