Free fishing weekend set for June 2-3
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is encouraging anglers young and old to take advantage of Colorado’s great fishing opportunities during Free Fishing Weekend, June 2 and 3. Each year, the first full weekend in June is set aside to promote sport fishing and no fishing license is required in Colorado during that weekend. Although no fishing license is required this weekend, all other regulations remain in effect.
FISHING CONDITIONS REPORT DISCUSSION CONTINUING
The following waters were recently stocked with catchable (approximately 10”) trout:
Northwest Region: Breckenridge Reservoir, Summit County; Copper Mountain Pond, Summit County; Dillon Reservoir, Summit County; Nottingham Lake, Eagle County; Officers Gulch Pond, Summit County; Upper Ranger Lake and Lower Ranger Lake, Jackson County; Rifle Gap Reservoir, Garfield County; Shadow Mountain Reservoir, Grand County; Slack and Weiss Reservoir, Jackson County; Wilmor Pond, Eagle County; Wolford Mountain Reservoir, Grand County.
Southwest Region: Echo Canyon Reservoir, Archuleta County; Haviland Lake, La Plata County; Hot Springs Reservoir, Gunnison County; Jackson Gulch Reservoir, Montezuma County; Le Platt Lake, La Plata County; Pac Man Lake, Gunnison County; Pastorius Reservoir, La Plata County; Pothole Lake #1, Gunnison County; Pothole Lake #2, Gunnison County; River Center Pond, Archuleta County; Riverway Pond, Gunnison County; Smith Reservoir, Costilla County; Taylor Reservoir, Gunnison County; Trickle Park Reservoir, Delta County; Vela Reservoir, Delta County.
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: 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.
Delaney Buttes, Cowdrey and Lake John (Jackson County) : Lake John stayed true to form all weekend long, with everyone catching fish. Recent stocking provided an abundance of naïve fish, which translated directly to smiling faces. Locals saw trout hitting about anything that resembled some sort of food source — from a plug to paste, or a crawler to a caddis — offered from both shore and boat. Numerous cutthroat trout in the 15-17 inch range were landed, along with a 24.5-inch rainbow that weighed nearly five pounds. Note: a county-wide fire ban is still in place with open fires prohibited.
Dumont Lake (Grand, Routt and Jackson County):LAKE IS CURRENTLY DRAINED FOR REPAIRS. Dumont Lake is not expected to reopen until 2013 or 2014.
Elkhead Reservoir State Park (Moffat County): No report this week.
Harvey Gap State Park (Garfield County): No report at this time.
Highline Lake State Park and Mack Mesa Reservoir (Mesa County): As the water warms, bass and crappie are displacing trout for anglers. Reminder, mandatory ANS inspections are in place, so please present a cleaned, drained and dry vessel. Anglers are also reminded to remove all northern pike that are landed and turn it over to park staff.
James M. Robb Colorado River State Park (Mesa County): No report at this time.
Lake Granby (Grand County): No reports this week.
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): Anglers are reminded that all largemouth and smallmouth bass must be returned to the water from May 1 to June 15th, due to spawning. Many anglers are targeting perch or pike, for which there are no daily limits. The daily limit for trout is four. Some large walleye have been spotted on the bottom of the lake off the Cedar campground loop.
Stagecoach State Park (Routt County): Fishing reports from anglers fishing the shore or from a boat have been great. Multiple reports of trout over 9lbs have been landed using power bait near the inlet. Trout have also been hitting on Kastmasters and spoons. Pike have started moving into the shallows and coves and are being caught on tube jigs, Rapalas and various crank baits. Tailwater anglers are using San Juan worms, RS2’s and zebra midges. During the busy season for the Tailwaters, anglers are asked to be mindful of the resources and help avoid overcrowding.
State Forest State Park (Jackson County): An active stocking schedule will keep the North Michigan River full of catchable rainbow trout this summer. Ranger Lakes will also be stocked with rainbows in June, July and August. Cutthroats will be stocked in numerous park lakes later this summer. Some anglers are currently finding Gold Kastmasters to be productive on North Michigan. Reminder, catch limits are four fish daily, eight in possession at the lower lakes. On high alpine lakes, fishing is by flies and artificial lures only, with a two-fish daily bag limit.
Steamboat Lake State Park (Routt County): Anglers are still reporting a strong bite, with morning fishing at Rainbow Ridge appearing to be the current hot spot.
Sylvan Lake State Park (Eagle County): With a recent stocking of catchable rainbow s in late May, fishing has been good. There are a variety of hatches going on right now. For fly fishing, fish are biting on olive #12 wooly worms, 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 is excellent at Vega. Rainbows are being caught daily in the 14 - 18 inch range on powerbaits, worms, salmon eggs and Panther Martins. Mandatory ANS inspections are taking place so boaters are asked to please present a vessel that is clean, drained and dry.
Yampa River (Routt and Moffat Counties): On the Yampa, fishing is very good in the Hayden and Steamboat areas. As temperatures increase productivity will increase in the Craig area as well. The river has already seen the peak runoff and has started to drop. Clarity is very good and will only get better. Near Hayden, trout have been hitting steamers and big nymphs with a little surface activity. Pike are chasing those same streamers, so Rapalas or any leach/minnow imitation should produce a few fish. Water levels are dropping so get out early this year. The pond at Yampa River Headquarters has been stocked with pike and is fishing well. Reminder, anglers are required to have both a parks pass and fishing license.
Blue Mesa Reservoir (Gunnison County): Salmon fishing around the lake has been very good during the past two weeks with limits of fish being caught in every basin of the lake from 10 to 25 feet down. Pinks and purples have been producing well with green and fire tiger working well when the light is low. Warming water temps and mild run-off have moved the trout off the shallows into deeper, rocky structure. Bait near the bottom or trolling with minnow type lures and spoons has been working well from 15 to 40 feet deep. Lake trout have also moved to deeper, cooler water. Fish are still being caught jigging and trolling large plugs from 60 to 90 feet deep.
Crawford State Park (Delta County): As of late may, fishing for northern pike was still consistent with large fish landed. A few bass have been reported, as well as crappie and catfish.
Gunnison Gorge, Gunnison River (Gunnison - Delta County): No report at this time.
Jackson Gulch Reservoir, Mancos State Park (Montezuma County): The inlet on the north side of the lake continues to be a good bet as snowmelt continues to flow from the high country. Ten-inch catchable rainbow trout will continue to be stocked monthly through the summer. Fishing has been excellent for 10-12 inch rainbow trout, small yellow perch with an occasional large brown trout landed for good measure. The trout are especially active in the flowing water near the inlet and enjoy various powerbaits, florescent green and gold spinners and worms. The daily limit for trout is four fish. Perch are taking live baits like nightcrawlers, mealworms and or waxworms, especially when jigged off the bottom. Perch are small, averaging about 4-6”, but there’s no limit, they make great fish tacos and harvesting them helps to thin the population. As a reminder, fishing licenses can now be purchased at the park entrance station.
Navajo State Park (Archuleta County): Crappie fishing has been excellent. Call the 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): No current report. 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.