State fishing report - Grants to improve fishing and access
Colorado Fishing Report – August 7
Information for Anglers
CPW ISSUES GRANTS TO IMPROVE FISHING
Colorado Parks and Wildlife has selected 11 projects to improve fishing around the state that will share in nearly a million dollars in matching funds as part of the 2012 “Fishing is Fun” grant cycle. Projects receiving funding this year include a partnership with the City of Pueblo to improve seven miles of aquatic habitat on the Arkansas River through Pueblo.
The complete list of projects funded in 2012 (with sponsors and amounts) is as follows:
Arkansas River habitat improvements, City of Pueblo, $206,000
Swan River angler access and habitat improvement project, Trout Unlimited, $135,000
Lake San Cristobal Inlet access easement, Colorado Open Lands, $133,000
HP-Agilent access to three new ponds, City of Loveland, $90,000
Construction of up to 15 access points on Clear Creek, Clear Creek County, $80,000
Improve angler access on Upper South Boulder Creek, Boulder Flycasters, $80,000
Improve habitat and access at Grant Frontier Park on S. Platte River, City of Denver, $76,000
Idaho Creek habitat and access improvements, Idaho Creek HOA, $45,000
Arkansas River ADA fishing platform, Canon City, $23,000
Shalberg Pond #2 expansion, Kiowa County Economic Development Foundation, $20,000
Waneka Lake aerator installation, City of Lafayette, $12,000
The Fishing is Fun grant program provides matching funds for projects to improve angler access, fish habitat and angling conditions. During the past 24 years, Fishing Is Fun has provided assistance with more than 270 projects statewide, including projects to open new ponds and lakes, improve fish habitat in streams and rivers and add trails, shade shelters and parking areas. Municipalities, counties, angler groups, and park and recreation departments are among those eligible to apply for community-based projects that will benefit anglers. Complete details on the Fishing Is Fun grant program are available on-line at http://wildlife.state.co.us/Fishing/ResourcesTips/FishingIsFunProgram/.
FISH KILL AT LAKE DOROTHEY STATE WILDLIFE AREA
A fish kill occurred at Lake Dorothey in Las Animas County late last week. Wildlife managers and biologists say the fish kill is likely due to a combination of factors including ash and sediment from the Trail 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.
ANGLERS ENCOURAGED TO HARVEST FISH AT THURSTON RESERVOIR
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.
BOATING AND FISHING ADVISORIES
· Barr Lake State Park (Adams County, NE of Denver) see press release for details
· Jumbo Reservoir (Logan and Sedgwick Counties, SW of Julesburg) see press release for details
Voluntary fishing closures:
· Bear Creek (Jefferson County)
· Tomichi Creek (Gunnison County)
· White River (Rio Blanco County, Meeker)
· Yampa River (Routt County, Steamboat Springs)
- Boat Ramp closures/restrictions that have been reported to us:
- Brush Hollow Reservoir (Fremont County): unusable due to low water levels
- Jackson Lake State Park (Morgan County): closed to boating due to low water levels.
- Jumbo Reservoir (Logan and Sedgwick Counties) water levels low. This will probably be the last weekend (July 28/29) for trailered boating at Jumbo.
- Meredith Reservoir (Crowley County) boat ramps closed due to low water.
- North Sterling State Park (Logan County) Elks Boat Ramp very low water, use south boat ramp
- Prewitt Reservoir (Washington County, NE of Brush): hand-launched, small craft only
- Vega State Park (Mesa County) Use Island boat ramp. Early Settlers and Oak Point ramps closed.
The following waters were recently stocked with catchable (approximately 10”) trout:
Metro Denver – None this week due to high temperatures
Northeast Region – Evergreen Reservoir, Town of Evergreen; Georgetown Lake, Town of Georgetown; Idaho Springs Reservoir, Clear Creek County, SW of Idaho Springs; Pine Valley Ranch Lake, Jefferson County, W of Pine; South Platte River, Cheesman to Elevenmile and Bailey area.
Northwest Region – Battlement Reservoirs #1 and #3, Garfield County, S of Rulison; Cottonwood Lake #4, Mesa County, S of Collbran; Dillon Reservoir, Summit County; Fletcher City Pond, Steamboat Springs; Green River, Moffat County, Browns Park; Lake John, Jackson County; Big Meadows Reservoir, Mesa County; N. Fork Michigan River Lake, Jackson County, State Forest State Park; Neversweat Reservoir, Mesa County, S of Collbran; Ranger Lake, Lower and Upper
Jackson County, State Forest State Park; Shadow Mountain Reservoir, Grand County.
Southeast Region – Teal Lake, south of Monument; Salida Hydro Pond #2, Chaffee County, NE of Monarch Pass; Trinidad Reservoir, Las Animas County, Trinidad State Park; Twin Lakes, Lake County;
Southwest Region – Big Meadows Reservoir, Mineral County; Jacobs Ladder Lake, Archuleta County; Ridgway Reservoir, Ouray County; Taylor Reservoir, Gunnison County; Trickle Park Reservoir, Delta County, Grand Mesa.
METRO DENVER AREA
Aurora Reservoir (City of Aurora) – Trout fishing from shore is slow to fair. Best success has been from the East end of the Dam using power bait and a slip rig. Cast as far as possible! 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. Most are not of legal size to possess. Most are using bottom bouncers and jigs. Perch action is good using jigs and worms. Boats are restricted to electric motors only. Park hours for August are 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information please call 303-690-1633.
Arvada Reservoir (City of Arvada) – The hot weather has meant that Arvada Reservoir has not been stocked in recent weeks. Fishing is poor but the water level remains high so boaters are still attempting some fishing with mixed results. However, we have had some good catches of large catfish and lots of crappie. Early mornings and late evenings are still the best bet. I talked about surface fishing with fly and bubble but I forgot the fly fishermen. You may want to try the “hopper dropper” system using a hopper or attractor on top and a midge pattern or copper john 12 to 18 inches below. Otherwise, relax with your coffee and fish deep and be patient.
Barr Lake State Park (Adams County) – Colorado Parks and Wildlife announced a public fish salvage at Barr Lake State Park beginning Monday, July 23. Due to high irrigation demand created by severe drought, the water level in Barr Lake will be drained 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) – Blue gill are still hitting worms in the King Fisher and Gravel Ponds. Bass are great close to the shoreline off worms and jigs. Rainbows are slow. Walleye of keep-able size (>18inches) are being caught from boats off bottom-bouncers. 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 – Water temperature at Cherry Creek Reservoir is unseasonably warm (76.4 degrees) and it’s slowing down fishing success. Warm water temperatures reduce oxygen in the water and cause fish stress. If you are an angler who catches and releases, handle the fish carefully. Land the fish quickly, remove the hook while the fish is still in the water and if you need to handle the fish, use a rubber coated fishing net. Some small walleye and crappie are being caught using lures around the Marina, Lake Loop and the West Shades. 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) – The Quincy Reservoir water level is low. Trout fishing is slow at this time. Some reports using flies. Bass fishing is slow to fair using plastics, crank baits and top water lures. Some reports of perch being caught on jigs. The park hours for August are 5:30 a.m. to 9 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) – Shoreline fishing continues to be slow, especially during the heat of the day. Early morning fishing is the recommendation from the staff out there. 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. The current lake temperature is approximately 73 degrees. Fishing times are 7:00 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 7:00 a.m. to sunset. For more information, contact the Standley Lake Nature Center at (303) 425-1097.
Antero Reservoir (Park County) – Daytime fishing has been slow but anglers are reporting that evening and early morning fishing has been excellent, especially for fishermen that can access deeper water by boat. Weed growth continues to be the biggest problem anglers face. Try using gear above the weeds where fish seem to be feeding aggressively, otherwise head for the deep waters and use some kind of weight rigging to get to where the fish can be found.
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) – Water temps are hovering in the mid-70s. Trout fishing is reported to be fair around the lake but some patience is required. Bass fishing is fair to good for smallmouth and largemouth in the reedy areas of the lake using spinners. White bass fishing is slow but they are being caught in small numbers on jigs on the perimeter of the lake. Bluegill fishing is poor. Crappie are hitting minnows by the pump house. Anglers on the hunt for catfish should focus on baits around the inlets. Walleye are still deep at 16-20 feet and fishing is slow. Any Live fish collected for use as bait may only be used in the same body of water from which they were collected. All live baitfish from a commercial source and transported by anglers must at all times be accompanied by a receipt for the source. See the Colorado Fishing Regulation for further clarification and information.
Carter Lake (Larimer County) – Fishing continues to be difficult from the shore. Fishing from boats around dusk has been productive for both trout and Walleye with worms and other various baits. Water levels have begun to drop concentrating fish but also creating less water for ski boats and fishermen to share so be careful on the water.
Eldorado Canyon State Park, South Boulder Creek (Boulder County) – Anglers report that fishing has been good with the recent fluctuation of the weather. The creek has filled up with the recent rain and currently is running at 55 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. The water is clear, cold, and is home to an abundant number of fish.the best time to fish is 6:00 am - 10:00 am and 6:00pm- 8:00 pm. 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 license’s at the Visitor Center please come in and get yours today!
Eleven Mile State Park (Park County) – Trout (GOOD) Boaters seem to be having best luck throughout the reservoir in the 15’ to 35’ range. Shore fishermen reporting the bite is best from sunset to sunrise. Good reports coming from along the south side. Try orange PowerBait, nightcrawlers w/marshmallows, Tazmanian Devils, Rapalas, Kastmasters and Trout HDs for the best chance at success. Pike (FAIR TO GOOD) The weed beds are growing and you will find pike near them usually. Try large spoons, Pike Bunnies and large tube jigs. Salmon (FAIR) There have been reports of success in main channel out from North Boat Ramp and around Deer Island. Try Arnies Dynamic and Pop Gear with wedding rings.
Golden Gate Canyon State Park Ponds (Jefferson and Gilpin Counties) – Kriley and Slough Ponds were stocked with catchable trout week before last and the trout are hitting. Bring the kids.
Horsetooth Reservoir, Lory State Park (Larimer County) - Lory State Park has reopened and provides access to the six northernmost bays in Horsetooth Reservoir.
Jackson Lake State Park (Morgan County) – The reservoir has dropped significantly due to water releases. The boat ramp is closed for the season and will re-open next spring. The park will allow hand carry vessels (canoes, belly boats, etc.) but visitors will have to carry them out to the water. Water temperature is approximately 82 degrees. Shorefishing has been good from the outlet catching walleye using nightcrawlers, rapalas, jigs, and minnows. Shorefishing in the lake has been fair for all species.
Jumbo Reservoir (Logan and Sedgwick Counties) – An emergency fish salvage order has been issued for Jumbo Reservoir. Due to high irrigation demand created by severe drought, the water level in Jumbo (Julesburg) Reservoir is expected to decline to a point that will likely result in a loss of the entire fishery resource. Recent rains bought the boat ramp a little time but boaters should be prepared that the ramp will close soon for trailered boats. All anglers must have a valid Colorado fishing license and no commercial angling will be allowed. Only angling methods that are currently legal at the reservoir will be allowed. Current size, bag, and possession limits for all species have been lifted until the public salvage is terminated.
North Sterling State Park (Logan County) – While the drought has forced many reservoirs to close to boating, North Sterling remains open to boating. The lake has been dropping and the Elks Boat Ramp is closed, said Park Manager David Piper, but the South Boat Ramp is still open and has about twenty feet of water on it, ensuring the lake will stay open to boating for a while. “The fishing at North Sterling is the best that the park has offered in eight years,” said Piper.
Prewitt Reservoir (Washington County) – Prewitt water levels have dropped and the boat ramp is unusable and closed for the rest of the season. Shore anglers report continued slow fishing as water levels drop and water temperatures remain high.
Spinney Mountain State Park (Park County) – Spinney – Trout (GOOD) Fishermen suggest sticking to the shallows. Try from Buffalo Cove towards South Boat Ramp. Callibaetis and Trico spinners seem to be the most productive flies. Trout HDs, tube jigs and Rapalas are doing well also. Pike (GOOD) Pike action is picking up near the weed beds throughout reservoir. Try large tube jigs, Husky Jerks, and larger Rapalas. South Platte Above Spinney: Hoppers, PMD’s, Callibaetis, midges and Caddis flies. Dream Stream – (GOOD) Fishermen are reporting mornings and later afternoon best times right now. Fishermen having the best bite with: Hoppers, PMD’s, Callibaetis, midges and Caddis flies. Stream flow: 155 cfs on 7/31/12.
St. Vrain State Park ponds (Weld County) – No report this week.
Adobe Creek Reservoir/Blue Lake (Kiowa and Bent Counties) – Fishing is slow for all species, small numbers of catfish being caught, especially at night. Boat ramps are useable.
Arkansas River (Lake, Chaffee and Fremont Counties) – Here’s an updated from the Greg at ArkAnglers: “Despite lower than average flows, the Arkansas River continues to provide excellent fishing opportunities from Leadville to Canon City. Recent hatch activity has included pale morning dun and red quill mayflies, golden stoneflies, midges, and a variety of caddis. As has been the case for much of the summer, the diversity of active aquatic insects coupled with the low flows means anglers should put as much emphasis on type of water fished as they do on specific fly pattern. Fish seem opportunistic at this time, not overly selective, but they are also moving into different types of water over the course of the day. Fishermen who are able to move with the fish are seeing excellent success throughout the day.”
Brush Hollow Reservoir (Fremont County) – No fishing report this week. Keep in mind that the boat ramp is inaccessible due to low water levels.
Clear Creek Reservoir (Chaffee County) – Clear Creek Reservoir was stocked this past week with catchable trout (approx. 10”). The weather lacked rain some days at Clear Creek Reservoir this past week and the next week’s forecast calls for “mostly sunny” with a slight chance of rain, so fishing ought to improve. Shore fishing has been a little spotty with some fishermen catching about five or more trout in two hours, others getting skunked. The lucky ones are doing really well. Most fish were caught on nightcrawlers and PowerBait, but some with dry flies similar to an Elk’s hair Caddis fly on a No. 16 hook. From boats, trolling has been OK but fly fishing has still been the best. Although wet flies trolled deep have done well - just above the weed beds on the bottom - “any dry fly” is still preferred by trout. Trolling with a night crawler on a hook has worked well for both trout and salmon, if fished at the proper depth. But the big catch and release numbers have been with dry flies at noon plus or minus two hours, in shallow water at the head of the reservoir near the mouth of the creek. One disgruntled fisherman taking a break for lunch complained of fishing for Kokanee salmon but having caught over 104 catch-and-release Rainbow trout instead. Life’s tough sometimes. While no more Tiger Muskies have been caught, one was reported hooked and many have been seen in the shallows along the south and west shores. Winds picking up speed in early afternoon have caused some problems for small boats, kayaks, and canoes, but have not affected larger fishing boats. 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 is holding steady for trout with some nice 16-18 inch fish being landed using marshmallows and salmon eggs. Trolling from boats has also been effective. Smallmouth bass anglers can try Rapalas, tube jigs and worms. 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 is slow for all species. Some bullheads being caught. The boat ramp is usable.
John Martin Reservoir State Park (Bent County) – The white bass bite has slowed leaving fishing very slow on the reservoir. White bass can still be caught in small numbers on the south side off the rocky coves. Drum and carp are also being caught in a few spots on the lake, but overall the fishing has really slowed down. Catfish can be caught in the stilling basin at night.
Lake Dorothey State Wildlife Area (Las Animas County) – A fish kill occurred at Lake Dorothey in Las Animas County late last week. Wildlife managers and biologists say the fish kill is likely due to a combination of factors including ash and sediment from the Trail Fire that burned earlier this year. 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) – Weather has been steady in the high 90s, hot and dry with spotty rain showers at night. The reservoir level continues to drop because more water has been released into the river. While talking with people at the reservoir they seem to do well at south fishing using chopped up shad and live worms while fishing for catfish. Juniper Breaks has also been good for catfish. For warm water sun fish wacky rigs have also produced well when fishing off shore in areas that have cover for fish. If you are fishing in areas that have a lot of cover for fish also try artificial plastic baits, with no weight on a Texas rig. Large mouths have been biting off of crawfish and worms towards the north marina. We are still having success with fly fishing on the river, and shore fisherman on the river have been catching trout using night crawlers.
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 is slow for all species. Some bullheads being caught. Boat ramps are closed.
Mueller State Park (Teller County) – Ponds were stocked in May. Dragonfly Pond is seeing a lot of use this summer. Rock Pond and Brook Ponds are very scenic but they are a 2 mile hike from the trailhead.
Thurston Reservoir (Prowers County) – 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) – Boat fishermen catches are only fair, but better than the slow state of affairs for shore fishermen.
Trinidad Lake State Park (Las Animas County) – Trinidad Lake is approximately 468 surface acres with the surface temp about 71 degrees. Fishing seemed to slow down some this past week. Although the quality of fish being caught was still excellent. Trout, bass, walleye, and catfish are the main fish being caught. Using 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 Lakes was stocked this past week with catchable trout (approx. 10”). Fish are being caught but it is very slow for shore fishermen and a little better for boat fishermen.
Delaney Buttes, Cowdrey and Lake John (Jackson County) – Lake John was stocked with catchable trout (approx. 10”) this past week. Here are some highlights from Lake John Resort’s weekly fishing report: “The inlet to Lake John is once again flowing. If all goes well and Mother Nature cooperates a little, we should make up the two feet needed to reach the high water line before fall freeze-up. Even though John’s water level has never quite reached max since last summer’s reclamation, there have been no deterrents to fish, fishermen, or boaters. Although the catching remains productive for North Park sagebrush lakes, it is the time of year when anglers must contend with the weeds. However, a little experience along with some ingenuity can really be the dressing when dealing with this green-water salad. Trollers are still doing very well, but the weed “floaters” can definitely test your patience. The warm lake temps and mid-day bright sun of late have driven fish into the deeper water, where anglers long-lining monofilament need heavy lures and/or weights to get them down. Even though we’re not talking super deep, the need to control your offering to a depth just above the tops of the weeds is critical. The problem with pulling heavy lures or added weights is a tendency to attract – and hold onto – the salad. Lures such as Kastmasters, Krocodiles, Daredevles and the like, in the quarter to half-ounce range, all have treble hooks. You either need to change them to a single hook, or clean the gunk off far more often. A better alternative when trolling is to use rigs with lead-core line. This enables precise depth control, and the use of light, less-weed-gathering, single-hooked offerings such as Needlefish, Triple Teasers, Dick Nites, and the all-ways productive Zonker and Hornberg flies.
When PowerBait fishing, from shore or an anchored boat, keep the lead off. Instead, use a slip bubble completely filled with water as your casting weight, slide your line through the bubble, and tie on a large barrel swivel. Then tie three feet of light-weight (4 to 6 lb test) leader to the other side of the swivel and end with a small bait hook. The Power Bait added to the hook, because it floats, will suspend three feet above the completely filled bubble, which sinks slowly to the bottom but won’t bury in the weeds the way sinkers will. Leave a little slack in the line after the cast to allow the fish to pull the line through the bubble without feeling resistance. This identical set-up can also be used with a worm instead of dough-bait, but because a worm won’t float without help, the use of a worm-blower or the addition of a marshmallow is needed. Another cool method which is working very well is the use of a lighted bobber at night. After dark, suspend a juicy crawler four feet under a Night Bobby. Besides being weedless, the light is really neat to watch as it gets dimmer the deeper it goes when the fish pulls it under.
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) – Excellent Pike fishing right now with most between 20” and 36”. Bass and crappie fishing is good. The average bass being caught is between 2 and 3 lbs. A tournament, that was held over the weekend at the reservoir, was won by Scott Dennis of Denver catching one largemouth and 3 smallmouth bass each day for a total of 14.6 3/4 lbs. An 8-year old boy caught a pike measuring 47” recently. That’s close to the state record. Catfish remain elusive. The variety of species in the lake is small mouth bass, crappie, northern pike, catfish and trout. The water temperature has reached 72 degrees.
Harvey Gap State Park (Garfield County) – Anglers are having luck catching perch at the north end of the boat ramp.
ighline Lake State Park and Mack Mesa Reservoir (Mesa County) – Large catfish have been caught at Mack Mesa and Highline Lake. Crappie fishing is great with small jigs and bass are being taken on plastics. Carp are falling to bow-fisherman near the closed East boat ramp. Nightcrawlers, ice, and fishing licenses are available at the Visitor’s Center. Get ready to be “Gone Fishin” at Highline or Mack Mesa Lake! As always, “. . . the worst day fishing is better than any day at work!”
James M. Robb Colorado River State Park (Mesa County) – Due to the hot temperatures fishing has slowed down quite a bit. Fishermen are encouraged to fish early in the morning or late evening. They are also encouraged to keep all trout within the catch limit as the trout are experiencing high stress due to the heat and are not as likely to survive if returned to the water. People are still catching trout at Island Acres and Fruita during the cooler part of the day on power bait and flies. There have been a few bass caught at Connected Lakes.
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. Shore anglers can try the north end coves but even action there has slowed in the last few days.
Pearl Lake State Park (Routt County) – Belly boaters still 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) – Most anglers are looking for perch (no limit), pike (no limit) or trout (limit 4). Most recently some large Walleye have been spotted on the bottom of the lake off the Cedar campground loop. It was reported that a 22” Walleye caught and a 24” Pike were caught by the same angler.
Stagecoach State Park (Routt County) – Pike fishing has been good, with many being caught from the shore on spinners and kastmasters. Trout have moved to cooler and deeper waters and anglers fishing from boat have had luck using power bait or trolling with lures and spoons. The reservoir is beginning to turn over and algae is noticeable. Fishing at the tailwaters has picked up as a result of higher flows being released from the dam. Tailwaters 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.
Steamboat Lake State Park (Routt County) – The weather has been warm and fishing is slow. Watch for those afternoon thunderstorms - they can bring heavy rain and lightning to the area.
Sylvan Lake State Park (Eagle County) – No report this week.
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 – Fishing has been slow but some anglers are seeing action on northern pike.
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) – Kokanee fishing is still hot in the Cebolla and Sapinero basins. Kokanee remain in the 50 to 100 foot depth. Jigs and spoons are drawing lake trout in the deep parts of the lake. Andy told us last week that the rainbow and brown trout fishing is good in the inlet areas of the lake. He also reported some trout success in the Iola basin using trolling gear or bait near the bottom.
Crawford State Park (Delta County) - North Shore anglers have reported catching bass, catfish, pike and crawfish. Reports at Fisherman’s Loop have been perch, pike and carp. Clear Fork fishermen have been catching catfish, pike and perch, while over on the west side fishermen have been reporting catfish, crappie, pike, perch and carp.
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 says, “The Black Canyon of the Gunnison Gorge is running around 560 cfs. Hopper droppers, small bead heads and terrestrials are working well right now. It is fishing best early in the morning and late in the evening when the weather cools down. The lower Gunnison is running around 660 cfs at the Gunnison River Pleasure Park and is slightly cloudy. Hopper droppers, small bead heads and terrestrials are working right now as well as some yellow sallies. For more information on fishing conditions and river conditions call the Gunnison River Pleasure Park.”
Jackson Gulch Reservoir, Mancos State Park (Montezuma County) – Lake levels continue to drop as domestic demands increase. Ten inch rainbow trout are being stocked monthly through the summer. Fishing has been excellent for rainbow trout around 10-12” and 4-6” yellow perch with an occasional large brown trout. The trout enjoy various PowerBait (especially rainbow and garlic), florescent green and gold spinners and worms. Fly fishing is popular in the early mornings and evenings. Perch love nightcrawler, mealworm, or waxworm so a small jig tipped with nightcrawler works well. Perch are small, averaging about 4-6”, but anglers should keep them if they’ll eat them. There is no limit on the number of perch you can possess and they make great fish tacos! This also helps to work towards thinning the perch population in the lake. The daily limit for trout is 4. Fishing licenses can be purchased at the park entrance station.
Navajo State Park (Archuleta County) - Smallmouth bass and northern pike have been fair, and catfish have been biting. Water temperature is currently approximately 72 degrees. Call our marina at 970-883-2628 for more information. Colorado and New Mexico fishing licenses are available at the Visitor Center.
Ridgway State Park (Ouray County) – Ridgway Reservoir was stocked with catchable rainbow trout this past week. The reservoir is 83.0% full and falling; fishing is falling off as well. Both shore fisherman 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 browns, 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, yellow, and pink Power Bait, 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 230-270 CFS, depending on the downstream call for water. Fly fisherman are doing well on Wooly Buggers (brown), Copper Johns, and Pheasant Tails; 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 Power Bait 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) – Voluntary closure due to high water temperatures. Anglers are asked to find alternate waters in the area.
Taylor Reservoir (Gunnison County) – Taylor Reservoir was stocked with catchable trout (approx. 10”) this past week. Dee Dee at Taylor Park Marina sent the following report: “Fishing hasn’t changed much. The lake trout are at around 90 feet. Smaller ones are at a little less than 90 foot depth. Trolling with Apex Lures has been very good, and jointed Flatfish. Trolling with cowbells and nightcrawlers has been effective for rainbow trout. They are anywhere from 20’ to 30’ deep. We have seen some nice pike caught, but only occasionally. The lake level is low for this time of year, so the weed beds where the pike normally hang out are too warm. The concrete boat ramp is closed because of low water, but there is plenty of shoreline to launch from; as that is where we always launched from before the concrete boat ramp was installed.”
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.