Fishing Report – Fall best time for northern pike
Information for Anglers
FALL FISHING TIPS FOR NORTHERN PIKE
Fall is one of the best times of the year to fish for northern pike. As water temperatures begin to cool, the pike will move into shallower, warmer water. Look for water that is 3-10 feet in depth and fish the edges of weed beds, submerged logs and close to brush piles. Sight fishing for pike can be very productive, with fish over 30 inches not being uncommon. Unlike many species of fish, pike do not school up; but typically, where you find one, there are several more in the general area.
Large baits such as, Jointed Rapalas, gold or silver hammered spoons, Zara Spooks, Mepps spinners with a pork trailer, Flatfish, and crankbaits are all good choices. When using floating type baits such as a Zara Spook, Flatfish or Jointed Rapalas, the bait should be allowed to set a few seconds before beginning the retrieve; a figure 8 or a zigzag motion works to help trigger a strike. For baits like hammer spoons, Mepps spinners with a pork trailer or any bait that sinks, the countdown method is preferred. Baits that sink will do so at a different rate. Try casting your bait well past the fish, waiting for it to reach its preferred depth and then retrieving the bait through the area where the pike are located. TIP: If you are seeing fish but are not getting strikes, speed up your retrieve; generally, faster is better.
Anglers are reminded that there are no statewide limits for northern pike (see the regulations brochure for specific water limits that may be in place). Because pike are aggressive predators, managers generally encourage the harvest of pike, especially in western Colorado, to balance other fish populations.
FISHING IMPROVING IN BACA COUNTY
September is primetime for late summer fishing, and local residents in Baca County are lucky enough to have opportunities to catch fish close to home.
“We got just enough precipitation this spring to revitalize Two Buttes Reservoir and we recently drilled a new well at Turk’s Pond to help maintain water levels to improve fishing opportunities there,” said Colorado Parks and Wildlife District Wildlife Manager Aaron Bartleson.
Both reservoirs were stocked earlier this year, and there are plans to stock them again before year’s end. Turks Pond has crappie, channel catfish, wiper, bass, bluegill, saugeye, trout and black bullheads. Two Buttes has crappie, bass, saugeye and blue catfish.
As shorter days usher in cooler weather, fishing improves greatly. As an added bonus, Colorado Parks and Wildlife will put trout in the local fishing holes in October to add even more fun for anglers.
Because Two Buttes was dry for so long, the best fishing at Two Buttes is for crappie, but most fish are on the small size because there hasn’t been a lot of time for the fish to grow. A project to strengthen the dam should help improve fishing conditions for years to come.
According to Bartleson, the population of decent-sized black bullheads at Turks Pond has increased dramatically. “Anglers can catch one almost every cast when targeting bullheads with bottom baits,” he said.
Bullheads strike hard and are notoriously stubborn fighters. Rolled in cornmeal and fried, they are delicious.
Night crawlers are a common bullhead bait but chunks of hot dogs or bacon are good and chicken livers are hard to beat. Bartleson said that he’s never tried it, but he’s heard that soaking worms in red beet juice makes them more enticing. People who swear by it say that it toughens a worm’s “hide,” making it harder for a bullhead to steal it off the hook.
A word of caution, bullheads are very sensitive to sunscreen, gasoline or any solvent that gets on bait, so be careful to avoid getting it on your hook, line or bait.
Bartleson notes that there are so many bullheads in Turks Pond they are starting to take over. He encourages the harvest of bullheads to help restore a healthy balance to the fish population. Bartleson said there is no bag limit on black bullheads, so anglers can keep every fish they catch. “We really appreciate that anglers are stepping up to catch bullheads to help other sport fish flourish,” said Bartleson.
BOATING AND FISHING ADVISORIES
Fish salvages: Barr Lake State Park (Adams County, NE of Denver); Jumbo Reservoir (Logan and Sedgwick Counties, SW of Julesburg)
Voluntary fishing closures: Bear Creek (Jefferson County); White River (Rio Blanco County, Meeker)
Boat Ramp closures/restrictions that have been reported to us:
· Adobe Creek/Blue Lake (Kiowa and Bent Counties): only one of the low-water ramps is usable
· Antero Reservoir (Park County): Use north ramp. South boat ramp is closed for construction of a larger ramp.
· Blue Mesa Reservoir (Gunnison County): Ponderosa and Stevens Creek boat ramps closed
· Brush Hollow Reservoir (Fremont County): unusable due to low water level
· Crawford State Park (Delta County): all ramps closed for the season
· Harvey Gap State Park (Garfield County): boat ramp is out of the water
· Holbrook Reservoir (Otero County): ramp is out of the water
· Horsetooth Reservoir (Larimer County): south ramp still OPEN, other ramps closed
· Jackson Lake State Park (Morgan County): boat ramp closed, hand launch only
· Jackson Gulch Reservoir, Mancos State Park (Montezuma County) concrete ramp is out of the water, hand-launch only
· John Martin Reservoir State Park: Use east ramp. Very large, deep-draft boats may have trouble launching
· Jumbo Reservoir (Logan and Sedgwick Counties): boat ramp closed due to low water level
· Meredith Reservoir (Crowley County): main ramp closed due to low water, gravel ramp is “use at your own risk” due to shallow, muddy conditions
· Mountain Home Reservoir (Costilla County) ramp is out of the water
· Nee Gronda Reservoir (Kiowa County): ramps closed.
· North Sterling State Park (Logan County): Elks Boat Ramp very low water, use south boat ramp
· Paonia Reservoir (Delta County): Boat ramp is closed
· Platoro Reservoir (Conejos County): Boat ramp is out of the water, hand launch only.
· Prewitt Reservoir (Washington County, NE of Brush): ramp closed, hand launch only
· Taylor Park Reservoir (Gunnison County): ramp is out of the water, shore launch only
· Thurston Reservoir (Prowers County): ramp is out of the water
· Turks Pond (Baca County): ramp is out of the water
· Two Buttes Reservoir (Baca County): ramp is out of the water
· 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
The following waters were recently stocked with catchable (approximately 10”) trout:
Metro Denver – None this week
Fairplay Kids Pond – Town of Fairplay
Jefferson Lake – Park County
Pine Valley Ranch Lake – Jefferson County, W of Pine
Meadow Creek Reservoir – Grand County, E of Tabernash
Ranger Lakes, Lower and Upper – Jackson County, State Forest State Park
Ruedi Reservoir – Eagle and Pitkin County
Shadow Mountain Reservoir – Grand County, S of Grand Lake
Monument Reservoir – Las Animas County, W of Trinidad
O’Haver Reservoir – Chaffee County, W of Poncha Pass
Pueblo Reservoir – Pueblo County, Lake Pueblo State Park
San Isabel Lake – Pueblo County, NW of Rye
Turquoise Reservoir – Lake County
None this week
METRO DENVER AREA
Aurora Reservoir (City of Aurora) – Water temp is 66 degrees. Trout fishing from shore is slow to fair. Best success has been from the East and West end of the Dam using power bait and crawlers from a slip rig. 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 using jigs, spoons and bottom bouncers. Most are not of legal size to possess. Perch action is good using jigs and worms. Most are on the small size. We should start to see most species pick up as the water starts to cool off in the next couple of weeks. Boats are restricted to electric motors only. The park hours for September hours are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information please call 303-690-1286.
Arvada Reservoir (City of Arvada) – Not much good news from the reservoir this week. Still no new stocking due to the high temps. Fishing remains poor. The water level has dropped considerably but it has not hampered boat launching. The good news about the lower water level is that shore fishermen can walk out further and cast further into the deeper water. Our new hours for September and October are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Barr Lake State Park (Adams County) – No update this week.
Chatfield State Park (South of Littleton, Douglas and Jefferson County) – No update to things this week. Fishing action is still slow, especially during the warm afternoons. Cooler weather forecast for later this week bodes well for improved fishing. Bluegill fishermen are still having luck on worms in the King Fisher area and Gravel Ponds. Rainbows are slow. Walleye are slow. Catfish are being caught in King Fisher, especially late.
Cherry Creek State Park (South of I-225 and east of I-25, Arapahoe County) – With the water temperature at 70 degrees, the lake is finally starting to cool down. Cooler temperatures are also helping the gizzard shad. There was some die off but that appears to have slowed down. Shore fishing from the Marina and Dixon Grove has produced some walleye, bluegill and bass. Worms and leeches are reported to be the best bait. For boaters, a trolling depth of 20 feet; trolling 2 mph and changing out your spoons until you get a bite is your best bet. A 26 inch, 5 lb walleye has been caught recently and more boaters are catching keepers. 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. Starting Oct. 1, look for changes in the inspection hours. No launching is permitted outside those hours without previous inspection.
Quincy Reservoir (City of Aurora) – The water level is low and shoreline conditions are muddy. Trout fishing is slow at this time. Some reports using flies. Bass fishing is slow to fair using plastics, jigs, crank baits and top water lures. The park hours for September hours are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. 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) – Cooler temps are holding up high and anglers are seeing increased activity for rainbows and browns. Try a variety of lures above the weed beds and see what works. The anglers who get the right combination are having success but the right lure seems to change throughout the day. Morning fishing continues to be best as sunshine after 10 a.m. tends to slow things down.
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) – The current water temperature is estimated to be hovering in the mid 70’s with a depth of 31.8 feet - 591.30 Surface Acres, 35 percent from full capacity. Walleye fishing is reported to be good in the deep waters in the central part of the lake. Trout fishing is fair lakewide on lures but picking up as the weather cools. Largemouth and smallmouth bass activity is keeping anglers busy with success lakewide on soft tubes. The white bass seem to prefer minnows. Bowfishing is still going well for carp in the shallows. Catfish are hitting bait near the marina, especially late . 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) – End of summer has not shown to be the end of the fishing season at Carter Lake. Walleye have been biting around the western end of the lake. Swim baits as well as worms have been reported as being effective in the evening and the early night hours. Trout fishing has also been good from the shore on both the south and the north ends. Most shore trout fishing reports have been from the Saddle area of the lake. As water levels continue to drop keep aware of ramp inspections and closures prior to launching boats.
Eldorado Canyon State Park, South Boulder Creek (Boulder County) – Fishing in South Boulder Creek is picking up as the weather cools down. The creek is running low for this time of year, but low water can bring great fishing. The water level is currently running at 18 cfs. South Boulder Creek holds some nice fish, mostly browns in the 8 to 12 inch range, and an occasional 12 plus inch fish. We have also seen more and more rainbows that make it down from Gross Reservoir, one recent report of a 14 inch rainbow. 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) – Trout (GOOD TO VERY GOOD) Shore fishermen are catching all around the lake. On the North side limits are being reached at Coyote Ridge and on the South side the hot spot seems to be Rodgers Mountain. Boat fishermen are reeling them in throughout the Reservoir in 15 - 30 foot range despite the weeds. Fishermen are reporting that PowerBait (various), Nightcrawlers with marshmallows, crawfish and various lures are doing well. Pike (GOOD) Big ones are being caught throughout the reservoir. Try Pike Bunnies, CrankBaits and jerk baits from Rocky Flats to Stoll Mountain. Salmon (FAIR) There are no new reports this week. Try fishing in about 20’ to 30’ around Deer Island or straight out from the North Boat Ramp. Down Riggers are essential, try with flashers, needlefish or Arnies lures.
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) – The water levels have stayed high enough that rangers have been able to keep the south boat ramp open. Water levels are low so boaters are advised to call ahead and make sure the ramp is open. Senior Ranger Jim Hawkins says the walleye fishing is great right now. Bass fishing remains moderate.
Jackson Lake State Park (Morgan County) – The reservoir is very low due to the water release. 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. Some of the water edges are muddy. Water temperature is approximately 78 degrees. Shore fishing 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) - Water levels are low but the wiper fishing is good with lots of fish being caught in the 20” range. Anglers are still doing best around Darby Point. Green mussel bait or shad imitation lures are working the best. Rattle traps and soft plastic shad lures in black and silver or white and green are working by casting or trolling. Crappie are still along the dam but have slowed some with the heat. Smallmouth bass up to 15” are coming out along the rocks of the dam on small minnow imitation lures. Some catfish are being caught along the flats on the south end of the reservoir using cut shad. Best times to fish have been early morning before the heat of the day and some action in the evenings as it cools.
Prewitt Reservoir (Washington County) – Prewitt water levels have dropped and the boat ramp is unusable and closed for the rest of the season.
Spinney Mountain State Park (Park County) – Spinney – Trout (GOOD) The bite is improving. Reports of successful catches are coming in from fishermen using Callibaetis, Damsels, Caddis, midges and Hoppers. Fishermen are reporting that shore fishing is good with a variety of Tazmanian Devils and Kastmaster lures. Pike (GOOD) Reports are coming in that the bite is picking up. Try large spoons, Spinner baits and larger tube jigs along the western shorelines. South Platte above Spinney – 24.5 cfs on 9/9/12 at 5:45 pm. Dream Stream – (GOOD) Fishermen are reporting good flows. Between Spinney & “bridge”, San Juan worms, Barr’s emergers, Pheasant Tails and Trico’s are working well. Between “bridge” & 11Mile, try Midges, Trico’s, Hoppers and Elk Hair Caddis. Stream flow: 87.2 cfs on 9/9/12 at 6:30 pm, gage height .92 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.
Adobe Creek Reservoir/Blue Lake (Kiowa and Bent Counties) – Fishing for catfish has been from fair to good with most of the fish being caught at night using a variety of baits. The water levels at Blue Lake are low, but the low-water boat ramp is still usable.
Arkansas River (Lake, Chaffee and Fremont Counties) – Here’s an update from Greg at ArkAnglers: ” The Arkansas has gone through a significant transformation since Labor Day, with water temperatures cooling down and the fall blue wing olive (baetis) mayfly emergence getting underway. Days with significant cloud cover will generate strong localized hatches of the mayflies in the afternoon. A size 18-20 blue wing olive pattern like a parachute adams, olive gulper special, or sprout baetis will serve as good imitations of the adult. On brighter days, when hatches are less likely, one should nevertheless anticipate a nymphal drift from around 12:00 to 4:00. During this time, fish will move up into fast riffly water to feed on the nymphs as they leave the riverbed. A size 18-20 Barr emerger, loopwing emerger, RS-II or Juju baetis will imitate the drifting nymph well. One can find similar feeding on midge pupae during the first half of the morning. WD-40s in a size 20-22 are a good pattern for that. Late in the day, think streamers or big stonefly dries along the edges. “
Brush Hollow Reservoir (Fremont County) – Fishing is slow. Boat ramp is inaccessible due to low water levels.
Clear Creek Reservoir (Chaffee County) – As the end of summer approaches an improvement in the weather has been accompanied by an improvement in fishing. All summer long there have been three or four hatches of callibaetis flies; when this occurs, almost any dry fly pattern works well, but an Adams Parachute seems most consistently productive. From shore most fishermen have caught their limit of trout in from one to two hours, with the bait of choice various colors of PowerBait fished on the bottom. Fish have also been attracted to various lures, although not as strongly, and flies fished with a bubble on spinning gear have worked well also.
From boats, the most productive area of the lake continues to be the southwestern corner and along the south shore. No further catches of Tiger Muskies have been reported although several have been seen in the shallows in the shallows at the upper end of the lake and along the south shore where the trout have congregated. Catches of Kokanee have increased just recently with some having the “hook nose” developed just prior to spawning. Most of them were caught with worms fished about 20 feet deep using “cow bells” and tipped with a piece of corn.
Clear Creek Reservoir is open to trailered, powered boats every day of the week except Tuesday and Wednesday, but with hours from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the month of September. The last day of the season the lake is open to boats is Sept. 30, although it remains open to shore fishing and ice fishing later this winter.
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) – Fishing for catfish has been from fair to good. Anglers are catching catfish using a variety of baits. Some wipers are also being caught. The boat ramp at Henry is still usable.
John Martin Reservoir State Park (Bent County) – The fishing on the reservoir is gradually getting better as the weather cools off, although it could still be considered slow. The white bass are starting to bite a little better again, and the crappie bite is starting to pick up. Carp and drum are also being caught. Fishing should pickup as the water is slowly cooling.
Lake Pueblo State Park (Pueblo County) – The level in the reservoir is getting very low. Fishermen in boats should be aware of changing hazards. While new structure and fishing spots emerge, so do potential hazards. Morning and evening fishing for sunfish species is picking up with cooling nighttime temperatures. The west end of the lake, where the Arkansas river flows in, is a popular area this time of year and usually produces all species of fish. Catfish are still active at night on live on live baits. Below the dam, shore fishermen are reporting fewer trout, due to lower water levels. Fly fisherman continue to report consistent catches.
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 for catfish has been fair at Meredith. Fishing for wipers is fair. Fishing for other species is slow. The main boat ramp is closed. Gravel ramp is ‘use at your own risk’ due to muddy conditions.
Turquoise Reservoir (Lake County) - Turquoise was stocked this past week with catchable size trout from the Leadville National Fish Hatchery. Fishing from boat and shore has been fair. Anglers experienced some success from shore at Abe Lee by employing either worms or green PowerBait. It may be advantageous to fish Abe Lee at dawn, because anglers were more likely to catch their limit of fish at this time. Two out of the five interviewed boaters caught fish. Trolling with a rainbow needlefish has been very productive. Furthermore, fishing with a green woolly bugger (size 12) yielded a high fish catch from a boat. No reports of lake trout action.
Boating hours are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The removal of the dock for the season might make boat launching a more onerous task. The reservoir is approximately 15 feet below maximum capacity with surface temperatures averaging in the low 60’s.
Trinidad Lake State Park (Las Animas County) – Trinidad Lake is approximately 435 surface acres with the surface temp about 68 degrees. Fishing has picked up tremendously the last couple of weeks. We are seeing lots of nice rainbow trout and some walleye being caught. Night crawlers, bright colored PowerBait, and chicken liver seems to still be working the best. Remember as the cooler weather sets in the bigger fish start to show up!!! 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. For more information call the Visitor’s Center at 719-846-6951.
Twin Lakes Reservoirs (Lake County) – Fishing is slow but should start picking up now that the calendar and the temperatures are turning to fall.
Delaney Buttes, Cowdrey and Lake John (Jackson County) – No report this week. Anglers can call the Lake John Resort for an update.
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) – Bass and Crappie are biting at the lake as it continues to drop approximately one foot per week. Pike are biting all over the lake with one angler hooking a 39” and one report of a boat with 20 caught by noon.
Harvey Gap State Park (Garfield County) – Fishing is picking up along the north end as temperatures start to cool overnight. Boat ramp is out of the water.
Highline Lake State Park and Mack Mesa Reservoir (Mesa County) – Fishing is good according to our fishing raptors. Catfish were caught at night along the Uintah fishing access by the dam in August. Bluegill, bass, and crappie are still out there waiting to be caught in Highline and Mack Mesa. As things cool off keep checking back as we will be stocking fall trout soon.
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 a few catfish caught at Fruita as well. Bass fishing at Connected Lakes has really picked up over the last week and there have been reports of bass being caught that are up to 6 pounds! NOTE: Fishermen are encouraged to keep all trout within the catch limit as the trout are experiencing high stress due to the heat and are not as likely to survive if returned to the water.
Lake Granby (Grand County) – Action for lake trout has been picking up. Cooler temperatures are making the rainbows more active as well. Fall fishing is great at Granby.
Pearl Lake State Park (Routt County) - No report this week.
Rifle Gap State Park (Garfield County) – Rainbow and brown trout are found in East Rifle Creek which flows through Rifle Falls. Fish up to 19 inches long have been taken, with six to nine inch fish being the average size. Brown and Black flies or spinners work the best. Bait, except for live fish, can be used.
Stagecoach State Park (Routt County) – Trout have moved to cooler and deeper waters and anglers fishing from boat have had luck using power bait, rapalas, and wooly buggers. Anglers fishing from shore are catching 4lb trout on worms tipped with power bait. Fishing at the inlet is better due to less algae. Pike fishing has been great from shore with many being caught on spinners and kastmasters. In order to assure the trout resource at Stagecoach, wildlife managers are trying to balance the pike population. Anglers are encouraged to keep any pike caught. Some pike are tagged with orange tags at the base of the dorsal fin for study, please report catch information to number on tag. There is noticable algae in the reservoir, particularly near the northeastern shorelines. Tailwaters fishing has been great. Reports of anglers catching 35 fish in an hour have been common and blue winged olives, elk hair caddis and san juan worms seem to be doing the trick. Small sections of shoreline have been roped off to help prevent erosion. 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) - Rainbow Ridge, Meadow Point and the Dam have been strong. Reports are there’s been good fishing with PowerBait.
Sylvan Lake State Park (Eagle County) - The fishing has been good with nightcrawlers and PowerBait. Anglers are having trouble finding a fly or lure that is working consistently. Try something small without much flash. If fishing from East and 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.
Williams Fork Reservoir - Boat ramp is closed for the year. Hand-launched boats only.
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. Cooler temperatures are also bringing more activity for trout on the lake.
Crawford State Park (Delta County) – Catfish, crappie and pike have reportedly been caught in the last week. A large 30 lb. 44” pike was recently landed. Crappie as large as 12-13” have also been reported, as well as numerous smaller ones. There have been reports of a few bass as well.
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 reports that fishing remains excellent with water in the 550 cfs range. Hopper Droppers, Pheasant Tails, Streamers, Terrestrials, Micro May Flies, and Trycos are reported to be working well.
Jackson Gulch Reservoir, Mancos State Park (Montezuma County) – Fishing has picked up with cooler temperatures. Concrete boat ramp is out of the water. Hand launch only.
Navajo State Park (Archuleta County) – Catfish have been biting well in the rivers. Northern pike have also been active lately. Water temperature is currently approximately 73 degrees. Call the marina at 970-883-2628 for latest fishing information. Colorado and New Mexico fishing licenses are available at the Visitor Center.
Ridgway State Park (Ouray County) – No report this week.
Taylor Reservoir (Gunnison County) – Here’s an update from the folks at Taylor Park Marina: “Fishing is fantastic for rainbows and northern pike. We have had two 20 lb. pike and several smaller ones caught in the last week. Rainbow fishing is great with trolling cowbells and nightcrawlers. Lake trout are starting to bite again, but small ones. The larger lake trout seem to be spawning and uninterested in any activity. We will be open here at the marina until Sept. 30 and then will close until next season!”
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.