Conditions for the week of July 21st, 2017.
Information is provided by CPW employees and local fishing enthusiasts. Keep in mind that fishing conditions change on a constant basis. A lot can change in a week from the time this fishing conditions report is produced.
Conditions Report - Metro Denver Area
The current water temperature is around 75 degrees with water clarity around 3 feet in depth. The trout have been biting the most consistently with the fish averaging from 13 to 18 inches in length. Anglers are having success using worms, PowerBait, and Kastmasters. The fishing for all other species has slowed down drastically. Some anglers are still catching walleye on worms and leeches near the submerged gravel ponds. The bass are taking jerk baits and worms, but few fish have been caught in the last week.
Chatfield State Park
Cherry Creek Reservoir
The current water temperature is around 74 degrees and the water levels have dropped about a foot since last week. The walleye fishing has been improving with the increase in bait fish hatching throughout the reservoir. There is now plenty of food available for the fish and anglers should focus on finding the schools of bait fish. Slow and soft retrievals have produced the most bites and anglers using aggressive tactics are not having much luck. The trout fishing is slow but anglers are reporting some surface activity. The bass and pan fish have moved to deeper depths and boat anglers are having some luck fishing the deeper water.
Cherry Creek Reservoir
Ferril Lake at City Park
We received a report that the bass fishing is currently good at Ferril Lake in City Park. The bass are averaging 8 to 10 inches in length and are biting on curly tail jigs and top water poppers. The best time to fish is mid afternoon and evening with the most bites coming off the northwestern shoreline. There are a lot of weeds in the water, so top water lures are the best option.
Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado
The creek is in prime condition with ideal flows. The dry fly fishing has been great for anglers using caddis and yellow humpies. A dry dropper rig will produce the most fish. Drop a pheasant tail or a PMD emerger below your dry fly. Spin anglers are still having luck using gold and red spinners fished near the banks.
The creek is currently flowing around 60 cfs near Boulder. The fish are active and surface feeding activity is increasing. Caddis, Chernobyl's, and Ant patterns have been the most effective on top. Caddis nymphs and emergers have been the best subsurface flies. Use a dry dropper rig to present more opportunities for a bite. Anglers are also having some luck using black wooly buggers in town and up the canyon.
The current water temperature is around 76 degrees. The lake has gone down about 2 feet but the lake level is still good. The lake is open to boating. The fishing has been good recently for catfish, walleye, and wiper. Anglers are getting the most bites during the early mornings and late evenings.
Jackson Lake State Park
The lake is currently around 75 degrees and the lake level is about 12 feet down. The fishing near the inlet has turned off and the fishing near the outlet has turned on. The wiper are coming out at the South Ramp and Balance Rock. The walleye and crappie fishing has been slow recently. Anglers are catching most of their catfish mainly at night at the West Trailhead and off the South Ramp.
North Sterling State Park
South Platte River at Deckers
The water flows are currently around 475 cfs, increasing almost 300 cfs from last week. The recent rise in water levels is flushing down big bugs and anglers are having success using San Juan worms, stoneflies, and streamers. The dry fly action is picking up in the evenings for anglers using elk hair caddis and large stonefly attractors. The fish are spread out and can be found in almost every hole in the river. The weekends are busy with tubers and anglers, so be prepared for crowds and be aware before you arrive that other people will be enjoying the river as well.
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Conditions Report- Southeast Colorado
Arkansas River Headwaters
The upper river is in excellent shape, and the fishing here has been really productive lately. Flows have risen due to rain this week, but conditions are still within the ideal range for the wade anglers. Visibility is good on the upper river. We are seeing good caddis and golden/yellow sally stonefly activity mixed with drakes through Hayden Meadows down to Granite. Chalk Creek is dumping cloudy water into the river at Nathrop, but we are hoping this slowly clears up soon. Conditions are good upstream of the confluence and fish are still holding in sheltered, slower water poised for vulnerable terrestrial and aquatic insects.
Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area
Clear Creek Reservoir
Trout angling from shore and boat remains fair at Clear Creek Reservoir. Anglers mostly caught 8 to 12 inch rainbow trout. Shore anglers landed a few trout on PowerBait in the morning. Trolling less than 2 mph with cowbells coupled with worms has been the best method to land trout. Successful kokanee salmon anglers caught a few fish during the morning. Sometimes squids and dodgers work well for anglers targeting kokanee salmon. The reservoir is closed to trailer motorized watercrafts on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The current boating hours are from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
The current surface temperature is around 76 degrees. Fishing has been fair to good lately. Look for walleye in deeper water now that temperatures have gone up. Lindy rigs, grubs, worms, and live bait are producing walleye. The bass fishing has slowed down, so anglers will have to work a little harder. Soft plastics, spinner baits, and crank baits will still produce a few fish as well as top water baits early and late in the day. Mornings and evenings will produce better results for all species now that the water has warmed up. We have not received many reports on the trout fishing. The catfish are being caught on the west end of the reservoir using chicken liver and worms. The wipers have been far and few between.
Lake Pueblo State Park
The trout fishing has slowed down in the past week for anglers using all methods including flies, lures, and bait. The bass fishing is still good for anglers using spoons and spinners. Gold and red lures are getting the most bites. The perch and bluegill fishing is good near the weed beds and anglers seem to be catching them the most consistently near the east shore. Late afternoon and evenings have been the best time to fish, but be prepared for the evening lightning storms that we will experience daily throughout the summer season.
The fishing is currently rated as fair to good for trout and walleye. Fishing for all other species has been slow. The trout are feeding on the surface and are looking for dry flies. Anglers reported very slow fishing for trout using spinners, Kastmasters, and PowerBait. The walleye are biting well near the dam for anglers using spoons and jigs. The walleye are small in size and are averaging around 10 to 15 inches in length.
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Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado
Blue River below Dillon Reservoir
The river is currently flowing around 220 cfs through town. A majority of the trout are being caught subsurface, but the fish have started feeding more on the surface for PMD's and Yellow Sallies. Water flows are dropping and the water clarity is very clear, so approach your fishing holes with caution to avoid spooking the fish. The dry dropper setup is currently very effective with a large stimulator on top and a weighted bead head below.
The river is currently flowing around 1,150 cfs near Kremmling. Anglers fishing the river by boat are having a lot of fun. The fish are biting streamers like crazy and anglers are catching their fair share of fish. The most popular streamers have been zonkers and meat whistles in olive and yellow colors. The fish are holding in deep holes throughout the morning, but they transition into the shallow riffles once the water temperatures rise. Be prepared to change flies and fishing locations once the sun reaches midday.
Copper Mountain Ponds
Anglers are reporting good fishing conditions at the ponds right off of I-70. The brook trout are biting well on dry flies as of recently. Size 12 black ant patterns are working great, as well as other common dry flies including elk hair caddis and parachutes. A dry dropper setup will also produce some bites with a pheasant tail or hare's ear dropped below a large dry fly.
The river is currently flowing around 500 cfs, dropping from 900 cfs last week. The recent drop in river levels had caused a feeding frenzy among the fish. The dry fly action is full on and the fish are sipping PMD's and Yellow Sallies throughout the day. The best dry fly action is happening near Gypsum where water conditions are more ideal for insect activity. Anglers are catching large trout averaging 14 to 18 inches in length. A 20+ inch fish is very common on the Eagle River and now is the time to catch one.
State Forest State Park
The fishing conditions have remained consistent from last week. Anglers are catching a lot of rainbow trout and cutthroat trout at North Michigan Reservoir. One angler caught a brown trout this week. Flies and lures of all types are working and pink PowerBait is also producing fish. The fishing at Ranger Lakes is still good for anglers going after rainbow trout using salmon eggs and PowerBait. Lake Agnes is fishing well for fly anglers and the cutthroat trout are biting dry flies and bead head nymphs under a bubble.
State Forest State Park
The river is currently flowing around 120 cfs in Steamboat Springs. The caddis and PMD hatches have been thick lately and the fish are feeding like crazy. Look for the major hatches to occur in the mornings and late afternoons. The river has been very busy with anglers, so if you are looking for more seclusion you should avoid fishing below the dam and in the heart of town. Dry dropper rigs are the most productive. Dropping a graphic caddis or a pheasant tail will produce the most subsurface bites.
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Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado
Blue Mesa Reservoir
The current water temperature is around 68 degrees with improving water clarity. The kokanee salmon fishing has been excellent. The fish have been feeding all day since the water temperature has peaked over 50 degrees and they are quickly gaining a lot of mass. The fish are biting a variety of spinners, squids and assassins around 50 feet in depth or less. Orange, pink, and green have been the most effective colors. A few anglers have reported seeing some males starting to get their hook jaw. The fishing for all other species has been slow in the past week.
Gunnison River above Blue Mesa
The river is currently flowing around 1,200 cfs near Gunnison. Conditions are perfect for anglers floating the upper river by boat. The water is clear and the fish are focusing on surface activity. Current hatches include Caddis, Yellow Sallies, and Drakes. The morning hatches have been slow, so most anglers are fishing subsurface until mid morning. The fish are still concentrated near the banks and anglers are having luck throwing streamers near the edges and slack water.
San Juan River
The river is currently flowing around 170 cfs near Pagosa Springs. The water clarity is clearing up after the annual spring runoff. Nymph fishing remains the most effective method to catch trout. The streamer fishing also remains excellent. San Juan worms in almost any color are currently working, as well as small midge and caddis patterns. Expect the dry fly fishing to pick up in the coming weeks. The fish will be looking for caddis and PMD adults on the surface. Be prepared to use lighter tippet and leaders as the water clarity continues to improve.
The river is currently flowing around 400 cfs and flows have stayed consistent over the past week. Nymph fishing has been the most productive near the dam and the better dry fly fishing can be found lower down river. Mayfly and stonefly nymphs have been the most effective. Tungsten flies produce the most fish because the weighted fly gets down to the fish quicker. During the heat of the day anglers should use smaller flies like midge nymphs and emergers. The early morning fishing has been the best for producing the most bites and there are also fewer anglers on the water.
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Conditions Report - Statewide
Rivers and Creeks
Summer fishing conditions have arrived and anglers are taking full advantage of the manageable water flows. It is officially dry fly season and the fish are actively feeding on the surface. It is also mosquito and horsefly season, so do not forget your bug spray. Large dry flies such as Elk Hair Caddis, Yellow Sallies, and Renegades are working well throughout the state. The fish are still biting on large nymphs such as San Juan Worms, Stoneflies, and Prince Nymphs, but be prepared to transition into smaller nymphs once the water temperatures rise. Anglers should start using smaller leaders and tippets since the water clarity will continue to improve into autumn. Rainfall will be the only factor that changes water conditions throughout the summer. As summer continues, it is important to focus on fishing during early mornings and late evenings, since the fish will become lethargic during the heat of the day.