OUT: Colorado Division of Wildlife’s weekly fishing report
April 28, 2009
Springtime in Colorado represents both the best and worst of times for anglers. While the spring thaw continues, chasing the ice from ever more lakes and reservoirs, it also triggers the runoff in free-flowing rivers across the state.
Blue Mesa Reservoir and the “Sagebrush Lakes” of North Park are the latest additions to the list of major flat waters that are free of ice.
Big-fish specialists have been taking some impressive mackinaw from Blue Mesa, along with the standard rainbow and brown trout. With ice receding, but not fully gone from other lake-trout waters such as Twin Lakes and Granby, Taylor and Turquoise reservoirs, the action is just beginning for devotees of Colorado’s cold-water heavyweights.
Big fish – mostly browns and rainbows – also are a major attraction at Lake John and the Delaney Buttes reservoirs in North Park. Ice fishing was very good, and the early open-water season might be even better. The trout are cruising near the shore and they are hungry. Streamer flies and other crayfish or minnow imitators can produce some memorable results, but fish also are taking an assortment of nymphs and other flies.
Ice-out fishing began earlier than usual at the South Park reservoirs, and it remains quite good at Elevenmile, Spinney Mountain and Antero reservoirs.
Spring fishing for trout can be some of the best of the year on many lakes, and it should remain good well into the summer.
On the downside, most major rivers are in varying stages of the spring runoff. Through some daily fluctuations, the rivers are rising and the water is discolored. Runoff conditions are reported on the Colorado, Roaring Fork, Gunnison, Rio Grande, Animas, Yampa and White, among others.
A notable exception is the Arkansas, where the caddis hatch continues to move upstream.
Even so, anglers hoping to encounter a blizzard of caddis are in a race with the inevitable runoff that likely soon will render the river all but unfishable.
With snowpacks at about normal levels across the state, the runoff should be significant, but not as prolonged as last year.
A relatively cool spring has delayed truly good warm-water fishing but that, too, soon should be springing to life. Wipers are on the move at Pueblo Reservoir and walleyes are gradually becoming more active in other lakes. Bass fishing soon should improve in smaller ponds that warm a little sooner and eventually in the larger bodies of water.
DON’T MOVE A MUSSEL
Boating fishermen might take a cue from Smokey Bear: “Remember, only you can prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS),” the venerable forest-fire fighter might say.
AIS, including zebra and quagga mussels, appeared in the Great Lakes in the 1980s and have spread across the Midwest and Eastern states. They create major problems for water-distribution systems and no practical way of stopping their spread is known. Boats moving from a contaminated body of water to another pose the greatest threat for spreading AIS.
Zebra mussels were discovered in Pueblo Reservoir in early 2008. Subsequently, zebra and quagga mussels were found in six other Colorado reservoirs. To combat their spread, boat-inspection stations were established last year at 24 state parks and a number of other waters administered by different agencies including the Colorado Division of Wildlife.
The program has been expanded in 2009. Though procedures and times of operation vary, boaters should expect inspections at most major lakes and reservoirs. The fishing page on the DOW’s Web site page provides links to a wealth of information about AIS. Log on to http://wildlife.state.co.us/Fishing/ and follow the links.
In the meantime, remember to thoroughly drain, clean and dry your boat. It’s the best line of defense against the spread of AIS, and as that bear might have said, it’s up to you.
The following recently were stocked with catchable trout:
Body of Water Location
Akron City Lake Akron
Aurora Reservoir Aurora
Cherry Creek Reservoir Aurora
Doty Park Pond Brush
Harvey Gap Reservoir N of Silt
Highline Lake NW of Fruita
Home Lake E of Monte Vista
Kluberg-Warembourg Pond Boulder County
Las Animas Pond Las Animas
Mack Mesa Lake N of Loma
Milliken FIF Pond, West Milliken
Ordway Reservoir N of Ordway
Overland Trail Park E of Sterling
Pikeview Reservoir Colorado Springs
Prospect Lake Colorado Springs
Prospect Park, North Pond Wheat Ridge
Pueblo City Park Lake Pueblo
Pueblo West Pond Pueblo West
Quail Lake Colorado Springs
Ridgway Reservoir N of Ridgway
Riverside Park Lake Evans
San Luis Lake NE of Alamosa
St. Vrain State Park, Mallard Pond I-25 and Hwy 119
Stabilization Reservoir SW of San Luis
Tamarack Ranch Pond S of Crook
Thornton Gravel Lakes #2 and #3 W of Dupont
Willow Creek Ponds #1 and #2 N of Fountain
• Arvada Reservoir — Fishing is fair and the lake levels are high. Fishing with Power Bait from the banks has produced the best results.
• Aurora Reservoir — The reservoir is open to boating. The water temperature is 45 degrees.
All vessels must be inspected prior to launch. New for 2009, a watercraft access permit is
required for all vehicles bringing in watercraft. Trout fishing is good on salmon eggs, Power Bait and night crawlers. The best areas have been the dam, east shoreline and marina cove. Boat action for trout is fair to good by slowly trolling spoons, spinners, Rapalas and crawlers. Fair to good results also are reported with egg patterns, Pheasant Tails and bead-head
Prince Nymphs. Some smallmouth bass reportedly have been taken on jigs and flies. All other species are slow. The limit for trout is two fish. Boating is restricted to electric motors. For more information call 303-690-1286.
• Barr Lake — The water level is 2 inches below full. Fishing for trout from shore has picked up. Fishing from boats still is slow. Power Bait and Gulp worms have been effective for trout. The lake has been stocked twice with catchable-sized rainbows and once with small walleyes. The water temperature is approximately 54 degrees. Boaters be aware of fast-moving afternoon storms and high-wind conditions. No fishing is allowed south of the buoy line.
• Bear Creek — The stream between Evergreen Lake and Bear Creek Reservoir has a fairly good population of 10- to 12-inch rainbow and brown trout. Though the best fishing months may be May and June, anglers can have some close-to-home fun through the summer. Trout will take a variety of dry flies, nymphs and small spinners. Fishermen may use only artificial flies and lures, and all rainbows must immediately be returned to the water alive. The limit for other trout is two fish.
• Berkeley Lake — The 40-acre lake is periodically stocked with trout and also has largemouth bass, bluegills crappie and channel catfish. Boats are not permitted. A recreation center, playground and other amenities are available on the south side of the lake.
Centennial Park Lake — The lake is periodically stocked with catchable-sized trout, which provide most of the action in spring. The lake also has warm-water fish including bass, crappie, catfish and perch, which become more active later in the season. No boats are allowed on the 15-acre lake. A playground, restrooms and handicapped-accessible fishing pier are available.
• Chatfield Ponds — The ponds support fairly good populations of largemouth bass, catfish and panfish. Try soft-plastic grubs, small crankbaits or spinnerbaits for the bass; night crawlers or cut baits for catfish, especially in the evening. Fishing with minnows off a bobber can be another effective technique. Only belly boats are permitted. Though a state parks pass generally is required, some free parking may be available off Highway 75.
• Chatfield Reservoir — All trailered vessels must be inspected before launching. Inspections are conducted at the north and south boat ramps daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The water temperature is about 51 degrees, and the dam area has been discolored by Plum Creek. Fishing generally is slow. A handful of smallmouth bass have been taken, as well as some trout by Massey Draw and around the South Platte inlet. The minimum size for bass at the reservoir is 15 inches. The minimum size for walleyes is 18 inches, and only one exceeding 21 inches may be kept daily.
• Cherry Creek Reservoir — The water level is normal and the temperature has been in the upper 40s. The reservoir is stocked with catchable-sized trout in the spring and early summer, and they provide most of the early season action. Most common warm-water species also are present, but fishing for them generally has been slow. It will improve in a few weeks when the temperature rises. The lake is open to boating. Inspections are conducted daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. No launching is permitted outside those hours without previous inspection.
• Clear Creek (above Hwy. 119) — The creek holds a surprising number of trout, but few of the predominantly browns exceed 10 inches. Fly fishermen can have some fun with No. 16-18 Hare’s Ears, RS-2s, olive caddis and Pheasant Tails. Effective lures include small Mepps spinners. Respect private property along the creek.
• Evergreen Lake — The lake is free of ice and fishing for holdover trout has been fair with the standard baits and lures. The lake offers fishing for stocked rainbow trout, as well as some browns and splake. Tiger muskies are another attraction. Boaters must have an Evergreen permit. No power boats are allowed.
• Georgetown Lake — The lake is free of ice. It periodically is stocked with catchable-sized rainbow trout and also supports some brown, cutthroat and brook trout. Most common baits and lures work quite well here. Fishermen willing to walk a little distance from the primary access points sometimes do a little better.
• Jim Baker Reservoir — The 80-acre Adams County lake offers fishing for catchable-sized trout early in the season. It also has smallmouth bass, walleyes, panfish and tiger muskies, all of which become more active when the water is warmer. Boats are not allowed. Fishing hours are sunrise to sunset.
• Ketring Park Lake — The 15-acre lake offers fishing for a variety of mostly small warm-water fish. Typically, the early season action has been slow, but should pick up when the water temperatures rises. Boats are not allowed.
• Main Lake — The fluctuating 45-acre lake has bass up to 18 inches, crappie, bluegills, catfish and other warm-water species. Early season fishing has been slow. No boats are allowed on the lake.
• Quincy Reservoir — Quincy is open to boating. Water temperature is 49. All watercraft must be inspected before launching. New for 2009, all vehicles bringing in watercraft are required to have a Watercraft Access Pass. Trout fishing is fair to good using Kastmasters, jigs and Rooster Tails. Fly casters have reported good success using a variety of flies. Bass action is slow to fair, with some success reported on crankbaits and soft plastics. Fishing for perch and crappie at present is slow. Quincy is restricted to fishing with artificial flies and lures. The limit for trout is two fish. Bass must be 18 inches or longer to possess. All boats must be hand-launched. Only electric motors are permitted. For more information, call 303-693-5463.
• Rocky Mountain Lake — The lake is periodically stocked with pan-sized trout, and early season fishing for them can be quite good. A variety of warm-water fish including largemouth bass, panfish and catfish provide fairly good fishing through the summer. Boats are not allowed. The minimum size for largemouth bass is 15 inches. A playground and restrooms are nearby.
• Sloans Lake — The urban lake has some bass, catfish and a few crappie, but carp comprise much of the fish population. The carp are big and strong, and have a growing following among anglers.
• Smith Reservoir — Warm-water fishing has been poor, but will improve with rising water temperatures. Crappie provide much of the early season activity. Largemouth and smallmouth bass become active a little later and provide potentially good fishing well into the summer. The 45-acre lake also has bluegills, catfish and perch. No boats are allowed on the lake.
• South Platte River (Waterton Canyon) — The river through Waterton Canyon has an exceptional population of brown trout. The section from Strontia Springs Dam downstream to 300 yards above the Marston diversion structure is restricted to artificial flies, with a two-trout limit, offers the best fishing. The most effective lures for spin-fishermen often are small Panther Martins, Mepps or Blue Fox spinners. Night crawlers usually are the most effective bait in the unrestricted lower stretch, which has fewer but somewhat larger trout.
• Standley Lake — The 2009 boating season starts May 1 at 7:00 a.m. Fishing hours are from sunrise to sunset and will be strictly enforced. Trout fishing has been fair from shore using worms, Power Bait and salmon eggs off the bottom. Aquatic bait no longer is allowed at Standley Lake; this includes salamanders, leeches, crayfish, frogs and minnows. Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) regulations are in affect. All boats must be sprayed off and quarantined for 15 days in May to be allowed onto Standley Lake. Canoes and kayaks must be sprayed off on a daily basis before they are allowed to enter. A $15 fee is required for all boats under 20 horsepower. A $6 fee is charged for all other drive-in traffic. Walk-ins are free. For more information, contact the Standley Lake Nature Center at 303-425-1097.
Washington Park Lakes — The lakes are stocked with trout in the spring. Otherwise, crappie running up to 10 inches, bass, bluegills and catfish can provide some interesting fishing in an urban-park setting. Warm-water fishing has been slow but should improve with warmer weather. Try a small, green or white plastic grub or a live minnow below a bobber about 3 feet down for the crappie.
• Webster Lake — The lake offers fishing for catchable trout in the spring, and for bass, perch and catfish through the summer into fall. No boats are allowed. A handicapped-access fishing pier, playground and other facilities are available.
• Barnes Meadow Reservoir — At last report, the lake still had ice of questionable quality.
Bellaire Lake — The lake is free of ice, but few reports from fishermen have come in. Gasoline-powered boating is prohibited.
• Big Thompson River — Flows through the Big Thompson Canyon have come up a little, to 109 cfs on Tuesday morning, but the river still is clear. Blue-wing-olive mayflies and midges remain the primary hatches, with warm, cloudy afternoons the best. The midge hatch can be very productive. Suggested patterns: Zebra Midge, 18-20; black Copper John, 18-20; Stuck-in the-Shuck, 18-20; Griffith’s Gnat, 18-20. This time of year also allows the angler to fish the Baetis or BWO hatch. They appear as No. 18-24 emergers and adults. The morning will bring emergers, so look to fish flies below the surface. A gray RS-2 works well in these conditions. Most of the adults will be No. 20-24.
• Boedecker Reservoir — The lake is open. Catchable-sized trout provide most of the early action. Warm-water fish become active a little later.
• Boyd Lake — The main boat ramp located at the east end of the marina parking lot is open. All boats must be inspected before launching when the inspection station is open. The water temperature is in the mid-40s. Fishing for trout has been good, and a few more walleyes have been appearing in the catch. Fishermen also have been getting an occasional white bass. Check the DOW’s regulations booklet for size restrictions on walleyes and largemouth and smallmouth bass. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has issued a mercury advisory for large walleyes from the lake. Call the park office at (970) 669-1739 for additional information.
• Carter Reservoir — The water level is at 5758.3, which is about 0.7 feet below the maximum. The temperature is 41 degrees and walleyes are on the spawn. Early and late, walleye fishermen are doing well in shallow water. Occasional large trout are taken by trolling, but bass fishing still is very slow. Rainbow trout fishermen are doing very well on many types of bait such as worms, salmon eggs, Power Bait and various kinds of spinners. Fishing also is picking up on the south end of the reservoir. The new boat-inspection regulations are in effect. Information is available online at http://www.larimer.org/parks/boating inspections.htm
• Chambers Lake — At last report, Chambers Lake still had ice.
• Douglas Reservoir — The ice is gone. The boat ramp has been repaired. The lake is stocked with catchable-sized trout in the spring, which provide most of the early action. The area between the boat ramp and dam often is the most productive. The reservoir also has wipers, bass, crappie, walleyes and carp, which become more active a little later, when the water has warmed.
• Dowdy Lake (Red Feather) — The lake has open water. Early season fishing for trout can be fairly good. Power Bait and a variety of slowly retrieved spinners often are the most productive.
• Estes Lake — The early season fishing on Lake Estes has been decent. As the water temperature warms, the trout will become more active. Some midge hatches have started appearing. Look for rings and rising fish in the early morning or late evening. Fishing a streamer very slowly can be productive. Fish dark patterns such as gray leeches or black Woolly Buggers on cloudy days. A sink-tip line might be a good idea. Small spoons fished low and slow might yield some trout. The rainbows will be looking for egg patterns within the next few weeks, and live bait is always a good option. Be sure to have a good selection of non-toxic split shot. A belly boat will get you into places that fishing from shore cannot.
• Flatiron Reservoir — Fishing has picked up in the past two weeks. Most of the recently contacted fishermen have been catching rainbow trout with night crawlers, Power Bait and salmon eggs.
• Hidden Lakes — The lakes remain frozen and generally inaccessible.
• Hohnholz Lakes — The lakes are open but U. S. Forest Service Road 103 that provides access remains closed. Lake No. 2 offers pan-sized rainbow trout, which are taken on the standard assortment of baits and lures. Lake No. 3 is the largest and has the largest trout.
• Kastmasters, Rapalas, Rooster Tail spinners, streamer flies and nymphs usually produce their share of browns and cutthroats as the season progresses. Fishing on No. 3 is by artificial flies and lures only. Standard regulations apply to the other lakes.
• Horsetooth Reservoir — The water level is rising. The current elevation is 5,405 feet above sea level. The surface water temperature is about 49 degrees and rising. In the early spring months, trout are very active in the Inlet and South Bay areas. Various Power Baits, worms and spinners have been successful. Various jigs and crankbaits have produced some smallmouth bass and walleye. Walleye have been active at Satanka and Inlet Bay, North of no fishing zone. All walleyes must be at least 18 inches long, but only one can exceed 21 inches. Smallmouth bass must be at least 12 inches. The Inlet channel is closed to fishing through May 31 for the walleye spawn.
• Jackson Reservoir — Fishing for trout is good along the shore. Archery fishing for carp is good in the inlet. In fact, the carp are beginning to spawn. Fishing for other species is fair. The courtesy boat ramp has been installed. Also, boats should be inspected for zebra mussels prior to launch. Inspection hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week, with extended hours on weekends dependent on weather conditions. Call the park office at (970) 645-2551 or check the Web site for updates at http://parks.state.co.us/parks/jacksonlake.
• Joe Wright Reservoir — The lake remains ice-covered. Grayling are the primary species although rainbow and cuttbow trout can be caught, as well. The lake has a special regulation that only artificial flies and lures may be used (no bait fishing). The daily bag and possession limit for trout is two fish.
• Jumbo Reservoir — The reservoir is full. A few trout are being caught but fishing for most species is slow. A habitat stamp is required to enter Jumbo and the Red Lion Annex.
• Lon Hagler Reservoir — Fishing for recently stocked trout has been the primary springtime draw, and that should continue with additional stocking last week. A few crappie have been taken, but the water temperature still is too cold for good warm-water action.
• Lonetree Reservoir — Fishing has been slow, but expect walleyes and wipers to become more active with warming weather. The minimum size for walleyes is 15 inches, and fishermen may take only one walleye longer than 21 inches per day.
• Long Draw Reservoir — The lake is frozen and the road is closed. The ice usually melts in mid to late May and the road is cleared later.
• Lost Lake (at Chambers) — The lake still has ice.
• North Sterling Reservoir — The lake is full and the outlet now is running, but slowly. The water temperature is in the upper 40s. Some trout have been caught in the Balanced Rock area using worms and Power Bait. The inlet usually is the best place to fish this time of year, but it has lots of tumbleweeds, making it hard to fish. All other species are slow at this time.
• Parvin Lake (Red Feather) — The lake has open water. Early season fishing for brown trout up to 20 inches can be quite good. Brown Woolly Buggers, other streamers and tube jigs are among the most productive. Fishermen may use only artificial flies and lures, and the daily and possession limit is two trout. Boating is prohibited except for float tubes used for fishing. A habitat stamp is required to use the state wildlife area.
• Pinewood Reservoir — Fishing for trout and muskies has been very slow. A stocking of trout and some warmer weather should turn on the tigers.
• Poudre River — Tuesday morning’s flow at the canyon mouth was 47.2 cfs, lower than average for the date. Fishing generally has been good, especially in the lower section where the water temperature is somewhat warmer. Blue-wing-olive mayflies and midges still are the primary hatches; however, stoneflies also have been plentiful and nymphing fishermen have been successful with various stonefly and caddis patterns.
• Prewitt Reservoir — Fishing for all species is slow. The reservoir is full. The boat dock is not yet in place but will be put out in May, depending on wind and water conditions. A habitat stamp is required to enter Prewitt Reservoir.
• Rocky Mountain National Park — Flows on Park streams have come up over the past week from melting snow, but this is a good thing as it will move trout out of their winter holds and spread them around. A fair bit of snow remains along the upper reaches of places like Glacier Creek, the Big Thompson and the Roaring River, and fishing the high country is still a long way off. But midge and early brown stonefly emergences have been solid over the past week, with calmer, warm days the best bet to find rising trout. Stuck-in-Shucks and Griffith’s Gnats are good patterns to to try when you do find them. When the fish are not looking up, fish a dry-dropper combo with an attractor like a size 16 Lime Trude or Royal Wulff on top and a bead-head Pheasant Tail on the point.
• St. Vrain River — Focus on the lower reaches of the St. Vrain watershed for the time being, through the South St. Vrain Canyon and down toward Lyons. Blue-winged-olive mayflies have been seen, and fish are taking them. Quill Parachute BWOs have been taking fish through town. Also try BWO Hatchmasters, 18-20; Parachute Adams, 18-20; Parachute BWO, 18-20; and Almost Dun BWO, 20-22.
• Union Reservoir (Calkins) — Current park hours are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. The reservoir is at 26 feet, and the water temperature is about 54 degrees. Fishermen have been catching trout ranging from 10 to 16 inches. Power Bait and night crawlers are producing the most fish. A few wipers have been reported and fishing for them should improve as the water temperature rises.
• West Lake (Red Feather) — The ice is gone and fishing for catchable-sized rainbow trout has been fair. Fishermen have been successful with Power Bait, worms and slowly retrieved lures.
• Big Creek Lakes — The lakes are frozen and generally inaccessible. Ice-out usually occurs in mid to late May. Ice-out is a likely time to get into some mackinaw. The bag and possession limit for mackinaw and/or splake in Lower Big Creek Lake is three, of which only one can exceed 26 inches.
• Blue River (below Green Mountain Reservoir) — The Blue below Green Mountain Dam on Monday was flowing at 161 cfs, after some recent ups and downs. Anglers have been getting some fish below the dam with stonefly nymphs and a black-and-red midge. The section holds its share of trout, some of which are large. Though some public access is available, much of the river courses through private property. Catch-and-release and flies-and-lures provisions are in effect for the river from the dam to the Colorado River.
• Blue River (Dillon to Green Mtn. Res.) — Flows have come up a little, to 147 cfs on Monday, but the tailwater section below Dillon Dam still is low and clear. Fishing remains fairly good. Midges have been emerging almost daily sometime between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and fish have been rising to them. Below Silverthorne, the activity becomes more hit-or-miss, with tributaries creating some discoloration. Some trout from Green Mountain Reservoir have moved into the river and are staging for the spawn.
• Colorado River (below Parshall) — Tuesday morning’s flows were 867 cfs at Parshall and 1,330 cfs near Kremmling. Both are down from a surge of higher water late last week, but they remain higher than the long-term average for the date. The water has been discolored and fishing has been difficult. Spinners, streamer flies and large nymphs might still take a few trout along the edges.
• Colorado River (Glenwood to Rifle) — Recent flows have doubled since last week to around 5,120 cfs in Glenwood Springs. The river currently is in a runoff stage. Streamer flies to try include: Stingin’ Sculpins, Ziwis and Sculpzillas. Tandem-nymph rigs should consist of Princes, Copper Johns and San Juan Worms. Egg patterns also are effective in the spring. Please observe the following closures from March 15 to May 15: Canyon, Grizzly and No Name Creeks are off-limits to fishing, as is the Colorado River itself within 50 yards of these tributaries, to protect spawning fish. This applies both to wading and floating anglers.
• Colorado River (near Granby) — Flows on Monday morning were 577 cfs from Windy Gap Reservoir and 972 cfs below Parshall, so fast-water conditions are the norm. Copper Johns, RS-2s and other emerger patterns are doing well. Egg patterns and San Juan worms have been effective and lure fishing also is good. In the immediate Granby area and downstream to the bridge at the lower end of Byers Canyon, bait fishing is permitted and two fish may be kept. From the east side of the bridge abutments (the west end of Byers Canyon) down to Troublesome Creek, including the Williams Fork River from the reservoir, catch-and-release rules apply and fishing is artificial flies and lures only. Inquire in Granby for the latest conditions.
• Cowdrey Lake — The lake is free of ice.
• Crystal River — Recent river flows have been nearing 900 cfs in Carbondale and the water has been muddy. The best fishing will be from Redstone to Marble because the river is entering its runoff period. Concentrate on the soft water and riffles. Hot flies include: Flashtail Hot Eggs, STDs, BLMs, Tungsten PTs, Tungsten-Bead Baetis and Z-Wing Caddis.
• East Delaney Lake — The east lake was the first to open up. Chironmidae and egg patterns as well as scuds have been producing fish for early season anglers. All the Delaney Buttes Lakes have special fishing regulations. Check the Colorado Division of Wildlife’s regulations booklet before fishing.
• Elk River — The Elk is difficult to impossible to fish. Lower reaches are high and discolored from runoff; some upper reaches still have ice, with snow preventing easy access.
• Elkhead Reservoir — Elkhead is in its spring mode as the ice starts to pull back. The shoreline is open but the lake still has about a 75-percent ice cover. The lake is open to shore fishing. Boat access will be opening later in the month, with mandatory inspections. Fishing was good during the winter but has slowed, typical of many warm- water fisheries.
• Frying Pan River — The Frying Pan is by far one of the best spring fisheries in Colorado. With flows steady at 162 cfs, anglers have been fishing dry flies since January. Currently, look to blue-winged-olive mayflies on overcast days and caddis on bright, sunny days for the best dry fly fishing. Streamer-fly fishing also is best on overcast days. Look for some of the spring’s finest fishing to take place along the Frying Pan during the next month. Light tippets of 6X and 7X fluorocarbon are still mandatory for success. Go-to flies include: Sparkle Dun BWOs, Buckskin Caddis, Bill’s Midge Emergers, Flashtail Eggs, Slump Busters, and Roy’s Frying Pan Special.
• Granby Reservoir — Ice still covers most of the reservoir. Pumping into Granby Reservoir from Willow Creek Reservoir has opened the lower half of Rainbow Bay, and the open area should expand rapidly. Open water also is growing at the mouths of Still Water and Arapaho Creeks. Boat ramps will not be open until all ice is gone. Conditions have changed quickly. Increasing flows from all inlet streams will create open water. Fishing will be increasingly good as the ice moves out. Fishing from the bank fishing and from belly boats, kayaks and such has been producing some trout. Inquire in Granby for the latest conditions.
• Grand Lake — Some ice remains, but open water exits at the West Portal and the west end and channel area. Fishing has been decent. Consistent fishing on this deep, natural lake requires some learning and experience but it can be highly rewarding. The water level of this lake remains constant. Trolling, jigging, bait fishing, lure and fly fishing are productive methods of catching fish on Grand Lake. Prime bank-fishing areas are around the public dock, the west portal and the channel between Grand Lake and Shadow Mountain Reservoir. Browns were being caught in the channel last week. Fishing off the ledge along the east bank also can be good. Inquire in Granby for updates.
• Green Mountain Reservoir — Though some areas of open water have appeared along the edges and near the inlet, much of the reservoir still is covered by unsafe ice. With warmer weather, that should change fairly quickly. Ice-out can be the best of times for catching the reservoir’s mackinaw near the shore. U.S. Forest Service campgrounds remain closed, and shoreline access is limited.
• Gypsum Ponds — Fishing on the state wildlife area ponds can be fair to good on many types of baits and lures. The wildlife area bag and possession limit is two trout. Check the fishing regulations brochure for other restrictions.
• Harvey Gap Reservoir — Harvey Gap is ice-free and at capacity. Fishing is good on the west side of the lake; however, access is best with a boat. Trout, perch and crappie currently are being caught in this area with standard baits and light-test line. Once the water warms slightly, anglers should start to see improved success in fishing for pike. Please make sure that your boat is clean and dry (including bilge, ballast and live wells) prior to launching. This will help contain the spread of aquatic nuisance species.
• Highline Lake — Weather is finally warming up, but the water temperatures are still near 50 degrees. The crappie, bass and catfish are just starting to bite and fishermen are not yet catching many fish. Trout fishing has been very good, with more than 8,500 being stocked this spring. Trout fishermen are fishing with typical baits, and boat fishermen are having good success with lures and trolling. The lake is open to boating and is full and spilling. The water temperatures are still cold so if you are fishing, especially in small vessels, don’t forget to wear your PFDs.
8 Jerry Creek Reservoirs — The Mesa County reservoirs near Molina have reopened to the public, after dam and spillway reconstruction work was completed. They offer potentially good catch-and-release fishing for largemouth bass and bluegills. Fishermen may use only artificial flies and lures. Scented flies or lures must be at least 1.5 inches long. A 1/2-mile hike is required to reach the lower lake. Float tubes are permitted; wading is not. A habitat stamp is required on the state wildlife area.
• Lake Avery — The lake is ice-free and fishable.
• Lake John — The ice is gone. The ice fishing season was very good, with lots of big fish being caught, and that should continue into the summer. Early season fishermen have success with midges, various bead-head nymphs and damselfly nymphs, as well as streamer flies. Lake John has a standard four-trout limit and no special method restrictions.
• Mack Mesa Lake — Trout fishing is very good with typical baits and lures. Approximately 8,000 trout have been stocked this spring. Fishing for all other species has been slow. The lake is full and shore access is good. Mack Mesa is restricted to hand-propelled craft or boats with small, electric trolling motors. Don’t forget your PFDs if you are fishing from a boat.
• Muddy Creek — Recent flows below Wolford Mountain Reservoir have been around 72 cfs. Fly fishermen have been picking up a few rainbows and browns.
• North Delaney Lake — The north lake is ice-free, but fishing has been a little slower than at the other Delaneys. Even so, large Woolly Buggers, scuds, midges and large attractor nymphs could produce an exceptionally large trout. All the Delaney Buttes Lakes have reduced limits, flies-and-lures restrictions and other special regulations. Check the Colorado Division of Wildlife’s regulations booklet before fishing.
• North Michigan Lake — The lake still is ice-covered. Though the ice is weakening and ice fishing is not recommended, some die-hards enjoyed good success a week ago. The outlet has been flowing on the warm days. The inlet remains iced-up.
• North Park Alpine Lakes — High lakes such as Agnes and Kelly remain ice- and snow-covered. Plowing of the Michigan Ditch road is beginning, and access to Lake Agnes and some other trails should be available a little earlier this year.
• North Park Streams — Most tributaries of the North Platte are high and roily.
• North Platte River — The river is high and rising and the water is discolored. Fishing at present is difficult.
• Pearl Lake — Ice is still on the lake. The edge ice is very thin and unsafe to be on, with lots of slush on top. Willow Creek is showing at County Road 129. Last year the ice was off on May 20, so it’s still hard to say about this year. Cutting will continue in the spring. The trail across the dam remains closed to help with repairs to the dam. Electric sites at the marina parking lot are available for $18 per day. For current conditions, call the visitors center at 970-879-3922.
• Ranger Lakes — The lakes remain covered by snow and ice.
• Rifle Gap Reservoir — Rifle Gap is ice-free and the water level is at capacity. Fishing continues to be excellent for trout, especially near the east inlet to the reservoir. Fishermen also are starting to catch some perch, crappie and pike. Fishing seems best just off the bottom of the reservoir using worms and light-test line. Please keep in mind that boats must be inspected prior to launching at Rifle Gap. The purpose of this program is to help contain the spread of aquatic nuisance species. Boaters can do their part by making sure their boats are clean and completely dry (including ballast and live wells).
• Rio Blanco Lake — The ice is gone. The lake offers crappie, bass, channel catfish and northern pike. Fishing generally has been slow and will remain that way until the water warms up.
• Roaring Fork River — The Roaring Fork recently has been flowing at 733 cfs in Basalt and 1,920 cfs in Glenwood Springs. Although the runoff is beginning, the Fork undoubtedly is one of Colorado’s best spring fisheries and for good reason. It supports high populations and large-sizes of brown and rainbow trout, along with the largest whitefish in the state. Look for mostly nymph fishing midday with small BWO patterns, caddis and stoneflies, as well as solid streamer fishing throughout the day. Though the wade fishing is very good at this time of year, be careful because river flows are increasing daily. Hot fly patterns include: Ziwis, Stingin’ Sculpins, San Juan Worms, Sculpzillas, Flashtail Hot Eggs, Pheasant Tails, BLMs, STDs, RS-2s and Poxyback Golden Stones.
• Shadow Mountain Reservoir — The canal and the area where it dumps into the reservoir are prime for open-water fishing when the pumps are on. Rainbows and browns are fat and plentiful. Open water now extends from the south end of the reservoir to north of the islands, and at the north end through the channel to Grand Lake. Browns, kokanee and rainbows are being caught. Various fly patterns (sow bugs, RS-2s, Mysis shrimp), lures and baits are productive at different times. Slip-bobber fishing is very effective. The south boat ramp is open. Full access now is allowed from Shadow Mountain Dam downstream. Inquire in Granby for the latest conditions.
• South Delaney Lake — The south lake recently opened up and ice-out fishing has been very good. Midges, especially red or black Chironomidae, and scuds have worked well during the day. Large olive or black Woolly Buggers are recommended in late afternoon. Reduced limits and other restrictions apply to all the Delaney Buttes Lakes. Check the Colorado Division of Wildlife’s regulations booklet for details.
• Stagecoach Reservoir — The lake has completely iced-off and is open to boating. Some early morning ice still is possible so use caution. Fishing along the shore has been good with salmon eggs and generally any other type of bait. Fly fishermen have been doing well near the inlet and the river by the Wetlands with Woolly Buggers. Most anglers are catching mid-size fish of 14-18 inches. Tailwaters fishing has been good using RS2s and scuds. Please be aware that the trout have begun forming their nests, known as “redds.” Please help maintain this outstanding fishery by reducing overcrowding and “shuffling” on the river bed. Fish responsibly and have fun.
• Steamboat Lake — Ice is still on the lake but it’s very thin now and unsafe to be out on. The shoreline is starting to open. A small amount of open water is showing at Placer Cove and all the inlets are open, but an average of 1 to 1 1/2 feet of snow remains in the meadows. Willow Creek is open. Last year the ice was off on May 20, so it’s still hard to say about this year. Electric sites at the marina parking lot are available for $18 per day. For current conditions, please call the visitor center at 970-879-3922.
• Trappers Lake — The lake is iced-over and the access road is blocked by snow. It is to be plowed in early or mid May. The lake is an outstanding fishery for naturally reproducing cutthroat trout. Fishermen may use only artificial flies or lures. The limit on cutthroats is two fish. All cutts longer than 11 inches must immediately be returned to the water alive. Fishermen are encouraged to keep all the brook trout they catch.
• Vega Reservoir — The ice is gone from Vega Reservoir and one boat ramp, Early Settlers, is open. Anglers have been pulling in rainbows in the 15- to 17-inch range using worms, Power Bait and salmon eggs. Please contact the park for daily updates at 970-487-3407. The park office is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
• White River — Flows were steadily rising through most of last week but came down to a little, to 908 cfs near Meeker, on Monday. The water has been off-color. On the cooler days it might still be fishably clear, but conditions at best are marginal. Anglers are reminded that the bag and possession limit for trout from the headwaters downstream to the Highway 13 bridge below Meeker, including the South Fork, is two fish. Fishing on the Sleepy Cat easement, Wakera lease and Meeker Pasture State Wildlife Area is restricted to artificial flies and lures, and all trout must immediately be returned to the water alive.
• Williams Fork Reservoir — Ice conditions are deteriorating rapidly. Increasing inlet flows will increase open-water areas. The inlet area and the expanding open water along he banks are fishing very well. Rainbow and brown trout, lake trout, northern pike and kokanee are available. When boating accessibility is determined, it will be announced. Inquire in Granby for the latest conditions.
• Williams Fork River — The river below the dam on Monday was flowing at 100 cfs. Midges are the staple this time of year. Most of the activity is below the surface, so small (No. 20-22) emergers and nymphs are the way to go. Productive patterns include Mercury Midges, Pheasant Tails, RS-2s and Buckskins. A No. 22 or No. 24 Parachute Adams or Griffith’s Gnat can be effective when fish are dimpling the surface. Appropriately fine leader tippets are necessary.
• Willow Creek Reservoir — The lake still is ice-locked, but ice conditions are deteriorating rapidly. Increasing water flow into the reservoir will create open water around the edges. At present no fishable open water is available, but this should change quickly. Nice-sized rainbow and brown trout and kokanee salmon are available. This is a beautiful area with easy fishing access. It’s a good place to take kids, and generally gets less fishing pressure than other area lakes. Worms, Power Bait and salmon eggs are commonly used. This is a no-wake reservoir. Inquire in Granby for updates.
• Wolford Reservoir — Wolford Reservoir is ice-free. Fishermen are doing well along the shoreline, especially the dam area. Power Bait, worms and spinnerbaits are working the best. The already inlet is murky brown, so fishing is a little slower. The boat ramp will open May 1 at 7 a.m. The ramp will be open 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Boat inspections for zebra mussels again will be conducted. So remember, boaters, make sure your boat is clean, drained and dry. The inspection process takes just a few minutes. A $20 per fish bounty on northern pike also will be in effect this year. Please contact the camp host to turn in your pike. It must be alive.
• Yampa River (Hayden through Craig) — The Yampa has been clear with near-normal flows. Fishing should be good until the runoff begins later this month. River access at the state-park sites is walk-in only. Those will open to vehicle traffic as they dry out.
• Yampa River (Stagecoach through Steamboat) — The runoff is under way. Recent flows through Steamboat Springs have been around 1,120 cfs and the water has been discolored. The long-term average date for the runoff to crest is June 3, and with this year’s snowpack the peak should again occur about then. Fishing in the tailwater below Stagecoach Dam, meanwhile remains quite good with Baetis mayflies, midges and scuds. That’s about the only fishable flowing water in the area, however, and it can get a bit crowded.
• Adobe Creek Res. (Blue Lake) — The reservoir currently has a good water level and the high-water ramps are usable. The lake is dropping because of irrigation releases. Fishing for channel catfish is fair and some white bass and wipers are being caught. No reports of crappie have come in yet.
• Antero Reservoir — Winter conditions were good, and winter kill appears to have been minimal. Shoreline fishermen have been enjoying some excellent action for rainbow and Snake River cutthroat trout, with an occasional brown and brook trout also appearing. A good number of the fish have been large. Crankbaits, streamer flies and egg patterns all have been effective at various times. Trailered boats will be permitted on May 1; hand-launched craft already may be used. Boating hours will be 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset. All trailered boats must be inspected before launching. All inspections will be conducted at the south ramp.
• Anticline Lake — The small lake below Pueblo Dam is stocked with trout in the spring. The typical baits and lures are effective then. Try worms, Power Bait and salmon eggs.
• Arkansas River (Buena Vista to Salida) — The river between Buena Vista and Salida is in good shape, with Monday flows of about 400 cfs. Visibility is at three feet and the water has a green tinge. Blue-wing-olive mayflies continue to be the predominant hatch, with caddis still quite a ways downstream. They probably won’t be entering this reach until after the weekend. Mornings have seen good action on nymph rigs with golden stoneflies and attractor patterns. Afternoons, fish a blue-wing-olive emerger behind a nymph rig when sunny, or behind a BWO dry fly when cloudy.
• Arkansas River (Leadville to Buena Vista) — Flows on the upper river are up a bit, due to natural runoff and the release of native inflows to Twin Lakes. As of Monday, the flow at Granite was 310 cfs. Clarity is good and water temperatures are in the low to mid 40s. The upper river is experiencing regular blue-wing-olive mayfly hatches on cloudy afternoons, with good action on stonefly nymphs and Copper Johns and Pheasant Tails in the mornings.
• Arkansas River (Salida to Canon City) — This is a very dynamic section of the river right now, with caddis advancing upstream, blue-wing-olive mayflies dominating on cloudy days and stonefly nymphs still taking many fish in the mornings before 10:30. Look for the caddis to make their way into the Salida area by the end of the weekend. This situation is changing daily — it is worth seeking local advice the day before you fish.
• Blue and Bear Lakes — The lakes southwest of Cuchara remain inaccessible because of heavy snow and the locked U.S. Forest Service gate.
• Bonny Reservoir — Not much action was reported last week with the storm and cold water. Fishing should pick up with the warmer weather. The lake came up 3 feet over the winter and is open to small- and medium-sized (up to 22 feet) boats. The boat-ramp depth is 4-5 feet, with a channel about 40 inches deep going out to the lake. Be cautious — not all hazards may be marked. All boats are subject to spot ANS inspections and regulations. With the cold water, be sure to wear your life jacket. Generally, the catfish will start to bite from the north shore, and walleyes are taken off the face of the dam this time of year. For current conditions visit: http://parks.state.co.us/Parks/BonnyLake/Conditions/
• Brush Hollow Reservoir — The water level is slowly rising. The boat ramp is usable. Fishing for trout has been good. Bass activity is starting to pick up with spinnerbaits, soft plastics, and black and blue jigs. Catfish activity has been steady, with hot dogs working as well as anything, and walleye fishing is slowly picking up. A habitat stamp is required to use the state wildlife area. A mercury advisory by the Colorado Department of Public Health is in effect for walleyes of a certain size.
• Catamount Reservoirs, North & South — The reservoirs are part of the North Slope of Pikes Peak Recreation Area and will reopen for the season on May 1. See the entry for Crystal Creek Reservoir for hours and fees. Good water levels are expected at the start of the season. Both reservoirs are stocked with catchable-sized trout, especially in the spring and early summer. Both also have mackinaw, in addition to rainbows, Snake River cutthroats and possibly a few brook trout. Fishing at North Cat, the larger of the two, is restricted to artificial flies and lures.
• Cheesman Reservoir — The reservoir will reopen to fishing on May 1, with access restricted to the north side of the Goose Creek arm. Fishing for trout likely will be slow, but the fish will be of good size. Smallmouth bass fishing should be fairly good for 12- to 17-inch fish. The reservoir also has northern pike, yellow perch and kokanee salmon. Only one pike exceeding 34 inches may be taken per day. Kokanee have been growing and a decent spawning run up the Goose Creek arm is expected in the fall.
• Clear Creek Reservoir — The lake is ice-free. Shoreline fishermen have been getting some trout on salmon eggs, night crawlers and small, spoon-type lures. Trailered boats will be permitted on Thursdays through Sundays from May 7 through September, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Inspection will be required before launching. Non-trailered boats such canoes, belly boats and hand-launched craft can be used at any time. The reservoir usually offers good to very good fishing for pan-size rainbow and Snake River cutthroat trout, and an occasional larger brown. Kokanee salmon and tiger muskies also are present.
• Cottonwood Lake — The lake remained partially frozen last weekend. Fishable water was available along the road and near the inlet.
• Crystal Creek Reservoir — The reservoir and the rest of the North Slope of Pikes Peak Recreation Area will reopen for the season on May 1. Hours of operation will be: May 1-21, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; May 22-Sept. 7, 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sept. 8-30, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Oct. 1-18, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The area will be closed July 19 for the Pikes Peak Hill Climb auto race. A NSRA entry fee of $4, or 30 visits for $100, must be paid at the Pikes Peak Highway tollgate. Crystal Reservoir is easily accessible from the highway. It regularly is stocked with catchable-sized trout, and fishing with the standard array of baits and lures usually is quite good. A good water level is expected when the area opens.
• Daigre Reservoir — Fishing has started out slowly, but anglers have been taking some trout on Pistol Pete flies in various colors. Fishermen may use only artificial flies and lures at the lake.
• DeWeese Reservoir — Conditions are good, with the water level way up. Fishing for trout with Power Bait, salmon eggs and night crawlers has been fair. Some smallmouth bass also have been caught. Habitat stamps are required of everyone using the wildlife area.
• Eleven Mile Reservoir — The action at Eleven Mile Reservoir is on. The lake is fully thawed and open for boating (north ramp only), with mandatory inspections for aquatic nuisance species. Boaters can be prepared by cleaning, draining and drying all compartments and tanks on their vessel before arriving. Trout action has been excellent, with mornings the best time. The usual Eleven Mile gear is producing beautiful spawners. Try spoons, spinners, Panther Martins, Power Bait and night crawlers. The best locations include the north-ramp area, Sucker Cove and Howbert Point. Kokanee action has spiked around the eastern islands. Northern pike fishing is slow. The limit for trout is four fish, of which only two can be 16 inches or longer. The possession limit is the same as the daily bag. No live minnows may be used.
• Fountain Lake — Like other urban lakes in Pueblo, this one is stocked with catchable trout through much of the year except during the heat of summer. Most standard baits and lures are effective. The lake also has some catfish that can grow quite large.
• Hayden Meadows Reservoir — The lake is ice-free. Fishing has been slow.
• Horseshoe Reservoir — Trout fishing at Horseshoe Lake has been good. Most people are catching a couple of trout, if not their limit. Power Bait, salmon eggs and Balls of Fire are bringing people the most luck. The water temperature currently is 50-52 degrees. No reports of tiger muskies or bass being caught have come in yet, but the water temperature continues to get warmer, which will provide a much better chance of catching these species. The boat dock was placed into the lake last week and boat traffic has been minimal. Due to the occurrence of Eurasian Watermilfoil in Horseshoe Lake as well as Martin Lake, all boats are asked to stop by the visitor center before leaving the park during normal business hours for a quick inspection. Inspection of incoming boats is dependent on staff availability.
• Huerfano River — The main public access to the primarily brown trout fishery is on the Huerfano State Wildlife Area southwest of Gardner. At present, access is problematic because of intermittent snowfall. Fishing generally can be good, but conditions are very brushy. The upper river, from the national forest boundary to the headwaters, has a flies-and-lures restriction and a two-fish limit.
• Jefferson Lake — The lake remains frozen, and at 10,000 feet, ice-out usually occurs in late May or early June. Trailered boats will be prohibited until further notice, but hand-launched craft will be permitted. Fishing for holdover rainbow and occasional brook trout should be fairly good early, and regular stocking will keep it good through the summer. The lake also has mackinaw. Shore fishing for larger mackinaw is best at ice-out and in the fall, but 12- to 18-inch lakers can be taken from shore throughout the season.
• John Martin Reservoir — Fishing for wipers, white bass and occasional catfish remains fairly good in the spillway below the dam. Most of the anglers seem to be using green- or chartreuse-colored Mister Twisters. Please notice that swimming, boating and wading are prohibited from the dam to the first bridge across the Arkansas River. Fishing in the main reservoir for wipers and white bass is improving. Fish are being taken near the dam and south shore on small trolled crankbaits. Some catfish also are appearing. Endangered-species closures on parts of the shoreline could soon be going into effect. Lake Hasty has been stocked with trout and fishermen have been doing well on Power Bait.
• Karval and Kinney lakes — Fishermen at Kinney Lake and the Hugo State Wildlife Area ponds have been making fair to good catches of rainbow trout with Power Bait and night crawlers. The Hugo Wildlife Area ponds also have produced some 12- to 20-inch catfish on night crawlers and liver. The water level at Karval Lake is 3 1/2 feet higher than a year ago, but few fishermen have been on the water. Both lakes and the ponds have most of the common warm-water species and are stocked with catchable-sized trout in the spring.
• Lake Henry — Water-level and boat-ramp conditions are good. No fishing reports have come in yet. Fishing should be good for catfish and crappie as the water warms through the spring.
• Lake Meredith — Water levels and boat ramps at Meredith are good. No fishing reports have come in yet. Fishing for crappie should be good through the spring as the water warms up.
• Manitou Lake — The popular U.S. Forest Service lake north of Woodland Park is heavily stocked with catchable-sized trout through the summer. Fishing success largely depends on the stocking. Weekdays are less crowded. The water level is good. Payment of an entry fee is required. Campgrounds and other amenities are nearby.
• Martin Lake — Fishing at Martin has picked up in the past few weeks. People are catching their limit of trout and seem to be having the most luck with orange or yellow Power Bait. A walleye was caught last week, and more species probably will be caught as the temperature continues to get warmer. Currently, the water temperature is between 50 and 52 degrees. The boat dock is being serviced and will not be placed into the lake for another week. Boat inspections are being conducted during normal visitor center hours, which are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during the week and 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. during weekends. All trailered watercraft are asked to stop by the visitor center upon arrival and departure. Inspections are dependent on staff availability during this time.
• Montgomery Reservoir — The lake at the foot of Hoosier Pass is closed to fishing until June 1.
• Monument Lake — This 40-acre lake offers catchable-size trout and a variety of mostly small warm-water species. The water level is high and fishermen have been catching rainbow trout on Power Bait. The east shore seems to be the best location. Expect good fishing for pan-sized trout in the spring and early summer. Anglers are asked to be respectful of private properties surrounding the lake.
• Nee Gronda Reservoir — Boat-ramp conditions at Nee Gronda are poor because of low water levels and wave action. Construction to make necessary repairs is scheduled to begin in upcoming weeks. Some saugeye and wiper action has been reported during the past week. Fishing should improve as water temperatures warm through the spring.
• Nee Noshe Reservoir — Boat access is good from the state gravel ramp located on the south side of the lake. Fall sampling indicated catfish and small wipers should be available for fishing in 2009. Other species will be restocked throughout the season, to replenish the lake after winter-kill losses depleted the lake in 2007. These fish will grow quickly and should be available for harvest in coming years.
• Nichols Reservoir — Nichols is accessed by a hiking trail leading down from the Rampart Reservoir dam. That road will reopen on April 24. The trail to Nichols could be muddy from recent snow. On Monday, the surface still had considerable ice, which should quickly melt with warmer weather. Nichols is heavily stocked through the summer and offers generally good fishing for catchable-sized trout. Most popular baits, lures and flies can be effective.
• OHaver Reservoir — The lake is completely free of ice and soon will be stocked. With little access last winter and a good number of holdover trout, fishing should be good. Anglers are reminded that the lake is leased to a U.S. Forest Service concessionaire, and that visitors must pay daily use and camping fees.
•Palmer Lake — The lake is open, and family groups recently have enjoyed some good fishing for catchable-sized and larger trout. Red, white and blue Power Bait and orange Power Bait pellets have been effective. The water level has been low the past few years and about 6,000 catchable-sized trout, about 60 percent of normal, were stocked in 2008. A similar number likely will be stocked this year, mostly in the early season. The lake also has catfish, bluegills and some northern pike.
• Pikeview Reservoir — The Colorado Springs lake is heavily stocked with catchable-sized trout in spring and early summer. The lake also has some saugeyes, catfish and tiger muskies. A paved, designated parking area is available off Mark Dabling Road. Other amenities include a wheelchair-accessible sidewalk to one of two fishing piers, and enclosed pit toilets.
•Prospect Lake — Catchable-sized trout are the primary attraction of this Colorado Springs lake during the spring and early summer, and fishing for them has been fairly good. Some larger brood fish from the state hatchery system usually also are stocked in the spring and fall. The lake also has saugeyes that should be 17-20 inches later in the summer, wipers to 15 inches, catfish and a good population of crappie. Numerous habitat structures to attract crappie have been placed in the north and south ends of the lake.
• Pueblo Reservoir — Fishing for wipers has picked up across the lake, though the west end still might be the best bet. Most are 2-5 pounds, with some fish up to 10. Trolling with spinnerbaits on lead-core line, casting lures and jigging near the trees all have been effective. Walleyes remain in fairly deep water and fishing for them has been slow. A few crappie also have been taken and bass have been hit-or-miss. The walleye population is high and the best catch rates should be in May and June. Most fish are below the 18-inch minimum. Boaters should be aware of aquatic nuisance species inspection at the reservoir. Check with the state-parks office for complete information.
• Quail Lake — The Colorado Springs city lake is heavily stocked with catchable-sized rainbow trout in the spring and fall. Catfish become active when the water temperature reaches 60 degrees, and fishing for bluegills and yellow perch should be fair after May 1.
• Queens Reservoirs — Upper and Lower Queens reservoirs are dry.
Rampart Reservoir — The reservoir was scheduled to open to general access on April 24, but that has been postponed until May 8. Some fishing is available by walking down Rainbow Gulch to the pipeline inlet. Trailered boats will be permitted Thursday through Sunday from May 15 through October, following mandatory inspection. Boating hours will be 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Carry-on craft may be launched at other times. The reservoir is regularly stocked and usually offers fairly good fishing for trout. The lake also has mackinaw, which may be found in relatively shallow water early in the season.
• Rosemont Reservoir — The 90-acre city of Colorado Springs water-supply lake off Gold Camp Road has a good population of catchable-sized rainbow trout and an occasional cutthroat and splake. Expect good early season fishing. Fishing is by artificial flies and lures only, and dogs are not allowed on the watershed. Fishing is prohibited Nov. 1-May 10.
•Runyon Lake — This is one of several Pueblo-area lakes stocked with catchable-size trout through much of the year. Try night crawlers, Power Bait, salmon eggs and a variety of small spinning lures. The lake also has some channel catfish that can grow to impressive size.
• San Isabel Lake — Expect very good fishing for catchable-sized rainbow trout in the spring and summer. The lake also has some brown trout and splake, but those populations are low and fish growth is poor. The lake also has some European rudd, goldfish-looking fish, of unknown origin. Fishermen are asked to remove all of those they catch from the lake.
• Skaguay Reservoir — Skaguay had open water last weekend. Some trout were being taken on worms. Catchable-sized trout are stocked through the summer. The reservoir also has some northern pike that average 24 inches but run up to 40. Anglers are encouraged to catch and keep the toothy predators. Open-water facilities include a boat ramp. Wakeless boating is mandatory and a habitat stamp is required. The creek below the dam offers fishing for brown trout.
• South Platte River (btwn Spinney and Elevenmile) — The “Dream Stream” is living up to its reputation for spring success. Healthy spawners are being caught regularly on various fly patterns, including midges, scuds, egg patter