Fishing report: September features kokanee salmon, end to Tomichi Creek closure
Colorado Fishing Report, Aug. 28
Information for Anglers
SEPTEMBER BRINGS KOKANEE FISHING
The month of September brings cooler weather and great kokanee fishing. The kokes are gearing up for their annual spawn and trolling is the optimal technique for pre-spawn success. Colorado offers some of the best kokanee fishing in the country and Blue Mesa Reservoir has the distinction of one of the best kokanee fisheries in the U.S. Kokanee can be finicky, so knowing how to cover the spread is the key to success. Virtually all fish see in color and certain colors are more effective for different species of fish. Kokanee are primarily attracted to red, orange, pink, white and includes all variations of these colors. The ability to pattern multiple colors and cover varying depths will put more fish in the boat.
When trolling for kokanee, fisherman should have the basic equipment that is necessary for a successful trip. Locating kokanee is the first point of business. Kokanee will school up, but finding these schools is sheer luck without the use of electronics. Electronics/fish finders, have a wide range in both price and the applications they offer. You can find fish finders for around $100.00, with some professional models costing several thousand dollars. If all you want to do is locate fish and the depth they are at, a lower priced unit will work fine.
Here is some recommended equipment for kokanee success: Get a rubber snubber. Kokanee have a “soft mouth”. Care must be taken so the hook does not rip-out of their mouth. A rubber snubber will act as a “shock absorber”. A landing net should also be used to lift the fish into the boat.
A good variety of spinners/lures (wedding rings, Mack’s Double Whammy, Kokanee Killer, Pearl Super Squid, Dick Nites and Needlefish). Pop gear is also useful (Cow Bells, Ford Fenders and Willow Leaf’s, 18-30 inches in length). Try small dodgers (4 1/2” to 5”) and use flashers or try adding reflective tape to create additional flash.
Some Kokanee anglers swear by Leadcore Line. It is available in 18, 27, 36, 45 and 60 pound test. It comes in spools of 100 or 200 yards and changes color every 10 yards. To rig it, tie an 8-pound mono leader that is 10-12 foot in length to the leadcore line then tie a snap swivel to the end of the mono. Attach either pop gear or a dodger to the swivel. Attach a rubber snubber to the end of the pop gear or dodger using a snap swivel. Tie an 18-24-inch mono leader using a surgeons end loop and attach to the other end of the snubber.
Tie the lure of your choice, to the end of the mono, using a Palomar or improved clinch knot.
TOMICHI CREEK VOLUNTARY CLOSURE LIFTED
The voluntary closure on Tomichi Creek (Gunnison County) has ended. Area biologists and wildlife managers have determined that temperatures have dropped and flows have improved. Tomichi Creek is open to angling effective immediately. All regulations are in effect. Colorado Parks and Wildlife thanks Gunnison area anglers for their cooperation during the voluntary closure.
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); Yampa River (Routt County, Steamboat Springs)
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 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
· 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): ramps closed due to low water
· 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
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 – Echo Lake Clear Creek County, SW of Idaho Springs; Fairplay Kids Pond, Town of Fairplay; Georgetown Lake, Georgetown; Tarryall Reservoir, Park County, E of Fairplay; Trap Lake, Larimer County, SE of Chambers Lake
Northwest Region – Chapman Dam, Pitkin County, E of Ruedi Reservoir; Christine Lake, Eagle County, Basalt State Wildlife Area; Green Mountain Reservoir, Summit County, NW of Dillon; Gypsum Ponds, Eagle County, E of Gypsum; Rifle Gap Reservoir, Garfield County, N of Rifle; Ruedi Reservoir, Eagle and Pitkin Counties, E of Basalt; Sylvan Lake, Eagle County, Sylvan Lake State Park
Southeast Region – Daigre Reservoir, Huerfano County, NE of La Veta; DeWeese Reservoir, Custer County, N of Red Cliff; Mix Lake, Conejos County; Platoro Reservoir, Conejos County, W of Platoro; Rosemont Reservoir, Teller County; Turquoise Lake, Lake County, W of Leadville
Southwest Region – Big Meadows Reservoir, Mineral County, SW of South Fork; Brown Lake, Lower Hinsdale County, W of Creede; Mountain Home Reservoir, Costilla County
METRO DENVER AREA
Aurora Reservoir (City of Aurora) – Water temp is 68 degrees. 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. 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. Boats are restricted to electric motors only. The park hours for August are 5:30am to 9 p.m. September hours are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information please call 303-690-1286.
Arvada Reservoir (City of Arvada) – Water level is high. Water temperature 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. A lot of the 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 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) – Fishing action remains slow during hot afternoons. The early morning and late evening action is mostly focused on bluegill on worms in King Fisher and Gravel Ponds. 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. 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) – Water level is low. Trout fishing is slow at this time. Some reports of success using flies. Bass fishing is slow to fair using plastics, crank baits and top water lures. The park hours for August are 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. 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.
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 is fair on flies and lures lakewide. Smallmouth bass action has been good on spinners and plastic worms in the shallow reedy areas. Largemouth are hitting crankbaits in the shallows. White bass action is fair on jigs lakewide. Bluegill fishing is fair on worms in the marina area. Catfish are fair on stinkbaits in the north end. Crappie are fair on minnows near the pump house. Walleye fishing is poor. The current water temperature is estimated to be hovering in the mid 70’s with a depth of 33.3 feet.
Carter Lake (Larimer County) – Fishing this past weekend and going into the holiday has been very good. Trout fishing has been some of the best of the year with people catching limits with a few three pound fish. Walleye fishing has also been good these past few weeks. Water levels continue to be low for the season however; there is still plenty of water for boat traffic. With lower temperatures trout fishing will continue to improve.
Eldorado Canyon State Park, South Boulder Creek (Boulder County) – Above average for this time of year. 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): The weeds are getting thick throughout the reservoir. Shore fishermen are having success from Suckers Cove to Rocking Chair and on the west end of North Shore near Rocky Flats. Boat fishermen are reeling them in throughout the reservoir in 25 - 50 feet of water and reaching their limits. Fishermen are reporting that PowerBait (various), Marshmallows with Nightcrawlers, DickNites, Trout HDs and Needlefish are all working well. Pike(FAIR): To catch pike stick close to the weed beds. Try large Rapalas, Husky Jerks, and large tube jigs. Salmon (FAIR): Try fishing in about 35’ to 50’ of water around Deer Island or straight out from the North Boat Ramp. Down Riggers are essential, try them with Dick Nites, Arnies 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 has closed for the season due to low water levels. 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 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) – The wiper fishing still good with a lot of fish over 20” coming out 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) – Trout (GOOD): Reports of successful catches are coming in from fishermen using Caddis, Callibaetis and Damsel flies. Fishermen are reporting that shore fishing is good from the North Boat Ramp to the west end of the reservoir. Pike (GOOD): Fish the shallows for pike. Try Tasmanian Devils in pink and Rapalas in silver. South Platte above Spinney – No report. 53.5 cfs on 8/5/12. Dream Stream (GOOD): Fishermen are reporting late morning and evening are the best times right now. Between Spinney & “The Bridge”: Tricos, Midges, BWO’s, San Juan Worms and Caddis are all working well. Between “The Bridge” & 11Mile: try Pheasant Tails, Midges, Trico’s and tan Caddis patterns. Stream flow: 236 cfs on 8/5/12.
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 updated from the Greg at ArkAnglers: “After some heavy rains late last week, the Arkansas River is again running clear from top to bottom. Flows range from 75 cfs in Hayden Meadows to 315 cfs in Browns Canyon to 335 cfs in Bighorn Sheep Canyon. With cooler weather (daytime highs in the mid 80s/overnight lows in the low 50s), the Arkansas River has had a chance to cool down and the fishing has been productive throughout the corridor. Hopper/dropper and nymph rigs have been the ticket during the warmer periods of the day, particular when trailing a size 18-20 mayfly emerger in the fast riffly water. Early and late, big hoppers or golden stoneflies trailing adult caddis have been excellent along the edges.”
Tim at Colorado Fly Fishing Guides sent this information late last week: ” Fishing remains consistent on the upper river. Sporadic hatches of mayflies and are holding on in Hayden Meadows, as well as some late season caddis. Hopper and attractor patterns, in conjuction with your usual suspects, as a dropper is where most of your action will come from. Flows continue to be low, but moderate air temps. and afternoon rains have kept the water cool. Bug activity is most prevalent in the mornings with consistent action on terrestials in the late morning and afternoons. Productive fly patterns include: Yellow Foam or Tan Para - Hopper, PMX, Stimulator, Elk Hair Caddis, Parachute Adams, PMD, Prince, P.T., Zug Bug, Copper Johns.”
Brush Hollow Reservoir (Fremont County) – Fishing is slow. Boat ramp is inaccessible due to low water levels.
Clear Creek Reservoir (Chaffee County) – Weather has continued to include clouds and rain but with less wind. According to the forecast the next week should be more “partly cloudy” and a chance of rainstorms after midday. Perhaps as a result of this the fishing has not been very good. Most fishermen have caught from none to four in a two hour period, mostly stocker sized rainbow trout. Essentially no Kokanee salmon have been landed and no Tiger Muskies at all, although a few of the latter have briefly taken lures. From shore, green PowerBait has been the most productive; from boats, worms trolled deep, and dry flies. Two women reported decent numbers of rainbow trout caught from shore on dry flies, either a caddis pattern or a “hopper”. On two occasions trout they were landing were briefly grabbed, apparently by a Tiger Muskie, because when brought them to shore both sides of the fish had fresh gashes. A third time, whatever took the trout broke their line. In that same southwestern part of the reservoir where they were fishing from shore, other fly fishermen working the shallows from boats caught 25 plus (catch and release) stocker rainbows in half a day’s fishing. 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) – 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) – Boaters, use east boat ramp as the water level is dropping. Large boats will be difficult to launch. The fishing on the reservoir is gradually getting better as the weather cools off. The white bass are starting to bite a little better again, and the crappie bite is starting to pick up. One gate at the spillway with 22 cfs going out and the lake temperature is 70 degrees. Fishing should pickup 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) – Lake Pueblo area has been in the 90’s for the past week. The level of the reservoir has been steadily dropping, exposing more shoreline. Fishing has been slowing down but finding structure and fishing points are keys to finding fish. Fishing traditional baits for catfish is still working well (chicken livers, shrimp, mussels, and stink bait). The wiper have been hit and miss on the west end of the lake, rigging multiple rods is key. Anglers have not pinpointed what they will hit, but throwing a variety could help your chances. SM Bass, LM Bass and Walleye have still been hitting leeches on the top and when it’s hot, fishing them on the bottom. Persistence is key when fishing this time of year. Below the dam, fishing has still been steady but finding runs and deep hole have been hard, Getting to the river early will increase your chances of finding a good place to fish. As it gets later in the day, look at being on the river with many other anglers.
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.
Mueller State Park (Teller County) – No report this week.
Thurston Reservoir (Prowers County) – Boat ramp is out of the water. 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) – Fishing from both shore and boat access has been very productive. Shore anglers reported having success for trout with Gulp (green eggs and chunky cheese varieties). Panther martin lures (copper or silver size 2) have also been effective. Boaters had success trolling with lures between Abe Lee and Sugar Loaf Dam. Sometimes a lure coupled with a worm yielded a high fish catch. The reservoir remains approximately 10 feet low with surface water temperatures ranging between 61 degrees and 64 degrees. Trout were stocked in the reservoir on Aug. 23. Starting Sept. 4 boating hours will be changed to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Trinidad Lake State Park (Las Animas County) - Trinidad Lake is approximately 441 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 power bait, and chicken liver seems 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) – 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) – Fishing continues to be excellent at Elkhead with Good success catching pike between 30” - 45” long on rubber minnows or lures. Crappie are biting, but are smaller sizes and small mouth bass are more frequent with a couple large ones reported this week (18”/5lbs.) The reservoir is dropping about one foot per week resulting in excellent reports from the no-wake zone.
Harvey Gap State Park (Garfield County) – Boat ramp is out of the water. Fishing is slow. Try targeting perch near the boat ramp on the north end.
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) – No report this week.
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.
Pearl Lake State Park (Routt County) – No report this week.
Rifle Gap State Park (Garfield County) – Boat ramp is open. Trout fishing has slowed with the warm weather. The water levels are still dropping.
Stagecoach State Park (Routt County) – A 38 1/2”, 23 lb. northern pike recently was caught at Stagecoach. 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. Trout have moved to cooler and deeper waters and anglers fishing from boat have had luck using PowerBait, rapalas, and wooly buggers. Pike fishing has been great from shore with many being caught on spinners and kastmasters. The reservoir is beginning to turn over and algae is noticeable. 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) – No update this week.
Sylvan Lake State Park (Eagle County) – Sylvan was stocked with catchable trout this past week. The 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 from East & 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 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.
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 fishing excellent this week and running around 559 CFS. Hopper Droppers, Pheasant Tails, Streamers, Terrestrials, Micro May Flies, and Trycos are working well. The lower Gunnison is blown out due to last week’s rain. We recommend fishing up stream this week until the lower has cleared up.”
Jackson Gulch Reservoir, Mancos State Park (Montezuma County) – Concrete boat ramp is out of the water. Hand launch only. No fishing report this week.
Navajo State Park (Archuleta County) – 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) - 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) – The voluntary closure on Tomichi Creek (Gunnison County) has ended. Area biologists and wildlife managers have determined that temperatures have dropped and flows have improved. Tomichi Creek is open to angling effective immediately. All regulations are in effect. Colorado Parks and Wildlife thanks Gunnison area anglers for their cooperation during the voluntary closure.
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.