Conditions for the week of March 28th, 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 reservoir is now open to boating. The water temperature is roughly 42 degrees, and trout fishing is rated as slow to fair. There have been a few reports of trout being caught on PowerBait from the shore, and a few reports of trout being caught off flies and lures from boats. Anglers have found success catching walleye from the dam and coves using jerk baits and jigs. For more information, call 303-326-8425.
The walleye bite has been going strong all across the lake. Larger walleye in the 24 inch range have been caught along the Massey Draw as well as the Swim Beach areas. Anglers have had success trolling worm harnesses. Anglers have also been catching rainbows in the 10 to 16 inch range using worms and PowerBait. Just a reminder: The dam will be closed to fishing for the walleye spawn from March 15th to April 15th.
Cherry Creek Reservoir
The reservoir is now open for boating. Fishing is off to a slow start. For more information call the Cherry Creek State Park at 303-690-1166.
The reservoir is now open for boating. The current water temperature is 45 degrees. Trout fishing has been rated as fair to good. Anglers have found success using spoons, spinners, and flies. Bass fishing is rated as slow, with a few reports of bass being caught using jigs, plastics, and lipless crank baits. There have also been a few reports of perch being caught off of jigs. Fishing is restricted to artificial flies and lures only. For more information call 303-326-8424.
Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado
The current water temperature is approximately 40 degrees with a depth of 43 feet. Fishing for trout has been excellent. Anglers have had success fishing from the marina inlet and the entire north end using minnows and wax or meal worms. Fishing for walleye has been fair. Anglers have had success fishing from heron cove, the east side of the marina, and from the middle of the lake using jerk baits and jigs. Fishing for yellow perch as been good. Anglers have had success using tube jigs and wax or meal worms from heron cove and the east side of the marina.
Boyd Lake State Park
The current water temperature is in the high 30’s, with flows at 112 cfs. Anglers have been catching a mixed bag of rainbows and browns. Remember to match the hatch and keep your midges in the #20 to #22 range.
The flows are up and are around 96 cfs with a water temperature of 39 degrees. The increased crowds have put some heavy pressure on the fish, so keep that in mind when it comes to your approach and presentation. The midge hatch has been going strong the past couple of days, especially on the overcast days. Anglers willing to put in the work can expect to catch a mixed bag of rainbows, cut-bows, and browns in the 14 to 18 inch range. Be sure to pinch your barbs and watch your step in the shallow riffles to avoid stepping on redds. Suggested patterns for anglers include, #18-22 Pheasant Tails; Barr Emergers, Jujubaetis, Matt’s Midges, Black Beauties, and Mercury Blood Midges all in the #20 to 22 range; and #20-26 Parachute Adams.
The current water temperature is around 40 degrees with flows at 83 cfs. While we haven’t reached the optimal water temperatures for the spring BWO hatch, there are plenty of nymphs in the drift right now. Anglers have found success leading with a stonefly pattern, followed by RSII’s, disco midges, and zebra midges. You will start seeing trout moving into their spring feeding spots like tail-outs and quicker riffles. Anglers have been catching some larger rainbows and the occasional small brown.
Eleven Mile Reservoir
Fishing for trout has been fair. There have been reports of anglers catching stockers from rocking chair and other points to the west. Anglers have had success using PowerBait, Pautzke Fire Bait, and nightcrawlers off the bottom. There have also been reports of anglers have success off the shoreline using Rapala’s, Kastmasters, tube jigs, egg patterns, and Woolly Buggers.
Eleven Mile State Park
Eleven Mile Canyon
The water temperature is at 48 degrees with flows around 81 cfs. Anglers have had success catching rainbows using pheasant tails, hare’s ears, and RSII’s. By the afternoon, the trout are rising to feed along slower seams and pockets. The trout are started to spawn, so expect to catch some larger rainbows.
The lake is now open to boating. The water temperature is approximately 47 degrees. Anglers have been catching a mixed bag of crappie, walleye, and trout.
Jackson Lake State Park
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Conditions Report- Southeast Colorado
Arkansas River Lower Basin
Reductions in the reservoir releases coupled with cooler weather have dropped the flows in Bighorn Sheep Canyon. We are now within the optimal flow range for brown trout which is between 250 and 400 cfs. Look for active fish throughout the corridor now, with the most focused feeding centered on BWO’s during the afternoon. The cloudy weather in the forecast over the next few days should make for great fishing conditions. We are starting to see blue-winged olive nymphs drifting daily, and even a few sporadic duns on the water in the afternoons. Any cloud coverage in the afternoon may prompt a hatch, so stock up on BWO dry flies and emerges in the #16 to #20 range. Nymphing will still be your best bet throughout the day, but don’t limit your strategy to deep water, try the shallow riffles in the afternoon as the mayfly nymphs become more available. These can be best tempted by striated midge patterns like black beauties and zebras, golden stonefly nymphs, mayfly nymphs and emergers, and “meat & potatoes” patterns like pheasant tails, hares ears, and princes. Try to focus fishing efforts on the period of peak sun and warmth between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. (Courtesy of ArkAnglers).
Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area
The lake is now open for boating, and every boat must be inspected unless it is sealed with a Trinidad seal and receipt. Fishing from shore has been good, with anglers reported 16 to 20 inch trout being caught around the lake using worms and PowerBait. Boaters have just started, but worm harnesses and jigs have been working well.
Trinidad Lake State Park
Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado
The water temperature is in the high 30’s with flows at 81 cfs. Anglers can expect to see sporadic hatches of midges with the occasional riser in the slower pools and tail-outs. In addition to the trout eating midge larva and pupa, mysis shrimp imitations have been fooling a decent amount of fish. A red larvae or mysis pattern followed by darker pupa has been an effective rig lately.
Delaney Buttes / Lake John
Due to recent warm weather and winds, there is a lot of open water on the lakes. While the ice is still fishable, it is considered unsafe and anglers should use extreme caution. Anglers can expect to catch a mixed bag of rainbow, cutbow, and brown trout. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, please contact the Lake John Resort at 970-723-3326, or the North Park Chamber of Commerce at 970-723-4600. Be advised: Special regulations exist for fishing this property, so anglers should consult their 2017 Fishing Regulations brochure.
The water temperature is at 58 degrees with flows at 122 cfs. Midges, mysis, and BWO nymphs have all been producing bites.
Roaring Fork The water temperature is at about 43 degrees with flows at 676 cfs near Glenwood Springs. Golden stoneflies are the name of the game right now. Try trailing with a zebra midge or Juju Beatis in red or purple.
The water temperature is at 40 degrees with a flow of 42 cfs below Stagecoach. Lately, midges have been the name of the game. Anglers have had success using black beauties, zebra midges, and brown Top Secrets.
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Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado
The water temperature is in the low 50’s with flows at 886 cfs near Durango. Anglers have had success using Copper Johns, Hare’s Ears, RSII’s, and Prince Nymphs.
San Juan River
The water temperature is in the low 50’s with flows at 664 cfs at Pagosa Springs. Anglers have had success using leech patterns, San Juan worms, and scuds. Try trailing with a small midge emerger. Visibility is horrible right now, so do not plan on any sight fishing.
Conditions Report - Statewide
Rivers and Creeks
Although we are approaching the spring season, we are still seeing low flows and clear waters. This means anglers must be more careful not to spook the fish when approaching the water. The spawn beds from the browns are still active, so be cautious of redds when wading along the rivers. There are still waters that are iced over, so anglers will have to primarily rely on tailwaters--the waters below dams or other structures that regulates water flow. The regulated water flow keeps the spots from freezing over and provides warmth for the cold-blooded trout. Even with the warmer conditions of these waters, the fish will still behave sluggishly. Fish diets in the winter are made up primarily of midges and an assortment of small blue-winged olive nymphs and are occasionally supplemented by larger mayflies, annelids, trout eggs, stoneflies, and even caddis larva. Winter fishing typically consists of a lot of nymph fishing since the trout are not overly active due to the cold water temperatures, so try using stonefly nymphs and imitation midges. Remember that the hatches are much smaller in the winter, so keep your flies in the #16 to #20 range. It is also important to be mindful of your split shot usage. With the fish being sluggish, they aren’t going to divert too much energy for food, so making sure those flies drift directly in their path is important. Be sure not to use too much split shot though because the last thing you’ll want to do is to have to retrieve a snag in those cold waters. As the trout continue to get a later start, anglers should mirror that and look for ideal times to be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.