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Conditions - Statewide
Conditions - Statewide
Fishing on the Arkansas

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Conditions for the week of June 23, 201​5. 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. If the water you are interested in knowing more about is not listed here or if you're lo​oking for the most current ​information, we encourage anglers to explore some of the numerous private websites that offer fishing condition reports. 

Examples include: 

Many other fly shops and marinas also offer fishing condition reports on their websites as well.

Ice conditions may have deteriorated across many regions of the state due to the unusually warm temperatures we have been experiencing. It is hard to predict spot conditions with any accuracy because they can change so quickly. Ice may be unsafe for human activities, so please proceed with caution.

Featured hatchery/fishery of the week

Finger Rock Rearing Unit
27750 County Road 7C, Yampa, Colorado 80483 

The Finger Rock Rearing Unit is located in Yampa, Colorado at the base of the Flat Tops Wilderness Area. This hatchery serves as a great day activity after hiking the Devil’s Causway Trail or fishing at one of the many places around the rearing unit like Stagecoach Reservoir and Bear Lake. This hatchery is a cold water facility that annually raises 460,000 fingerling rainbow trout and brown trout, and 150,000 catchable-sized rainbow trout. This hatchery has a “feed the fish” dispenser to feed the fish in the many raceways at the facility and it also has a settling pond that has large rainbow and brown trout. The hatchery allows self-guided tours every day, and if you’re interested in a group tour may be scheduled in advance, by calling the Finger Rock Rearing Unit at 970-638-4490. The Finger Rock Hatchery is open 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. For location information visit the CPW website.

Watch this new video showing the hatchery process, how CPW runs its hatcheries accross the state and how the stocking process works. 



​​Click on a hatchery icon to learn more about it. 

The opportunities offered, contact information, and even some photos!

Blue Fish Cold Water Facility​​  Red FishWarm Water Facility Brown FishUSFWS Hatchery​​​​

Hover over the fish icon for the name of each hatchery and click to see more information. Or, choose a hatchery from the list below.

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Conditions Report - Metro Denver Area

***No Report

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Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado

Barr Lake

Water temps are between 72 and 75 degrees with clarity at two to three feet. Shore fishing is a little tough with high water. Fishing will improve as water levels drop. Trout have been biting, with the average fish size between 18 to 21 inches. Trolling has been best. Lead core and snap weights. Deeper has been best for trout with spoon wobblers and small crank baits like flicker shads. Walleye are scattered over open water. Trolling spinner rigs or crawler harness and crank baits, flicker shads size #7. Try also dragging worms or leeches on the humps on the west side of the lake. Wipers are actively feeding in the shallows, eating carp, minnows and fat heads. Casting lipless crank baits and in-line spinners has been best. 

 

Blue Lake

Fishing is slow. A few channel catfish are being caught by anglers from shore using a variety of baits. Anglers are finding some success using trot lines to fish for channel catfish.  Low-water boat ramps are sub merged; high-water boat ramps are usable. Camping space is limited due to high water conditions.

 

Boyd Lake

The current water temperature is approximately 69 degrees. The small mouth and white bass fishing has been good using plastic lures by the Marina, Pump house, and North Cove. The largemouth bass fishing has been fair with anglers catching them in the same areas as white and small mouth bass but just in lower numbers. The catfish fishing has been fair lake wide using worms a particular hot spot has been the inlets. The perch fishing has been good. The trout fishing as always has been excellent using lures, worms, and power bait lake wide. Walleye fishing is good using bottom bouncer rigs in shallow shallow waters around the Marina inlet.

 

Eleven Mile Reservoir

The lake is at 114% capacity and will continue to fill with the snow melt. The water flow is at 1,110 cubic feet per second, with a water temperature of 59 degrees. Trout fishing has been very good, and boaters are getting the most action at the West end of the lake. Shore anglers are having the best results during the late night hours and very early morning hours. The East end has less action but better chances for bigger fish. Power bait is still bringing in good results and salmon peach power bait is a good choice. Kastmasters and leach flies are also producing good results. Lazy Boy, Rogers Mountain, Howbert Point and Coyote Ridge are shore locations where shore anglers have been having good results. The kokanee salmon fishing is fair to good, pink has been their favorite color. Dodgers, sling blades trailed by dick nites or tasmanian devil #55 in 7 and 13 gram sizes on a lead core rig or down rigger have also performed well. Late morning and weather disturbances are good times to go fishing here. The Northern pike fishing has improved. Work shallow water 2 to 6 feet. They are stacking up and will attack large rapala's, husky jerks and tube jigs.

 

Henry Lake

This lake went dry in 2013 and experienced a complete loss of its fishery. In 2014 this lake was stocked with sub-catchable crappie, channel catfish, saugeye, and wiper. This lake is currently full, but will take a few years to develop to pre-2013 levels.  

 

Jackson Lake

The lake level is full. Surface water temperature is approximately 76 degrees. Fishing has been really good for trout and walleye. Fishing for all other species has been fair to poor. Jackson Lake Fish Survey and Management Data.

 

Merideth Lake

This lake went dry in 2013 and experienced a complete loss of its fishery.  In 2014 this lake was stocked with sub-catchable crappie, channel catfish, saugeye, and wiper. This lake is currently full, but will take a few years to develop to pre-2013 levels.  

 

North Sterling Reservoir

The lake is full and the lake's water temperature is currently 75 degrees and rising. The outlet is currently on. Walleye in the 19 inch plus range are being caught up the Cunningham arm of the lake along with trout, saugeye, and crappie using worms and minnow lures. A 30 inch walleye was also caught up the Cunningham arm. Trout and crappie are also being caught off the dam. Catfish and Wiper are being caught off the West Trailhead. A 26 inch wiper with a 16 inch girth was caught using a crystal shad rapala up the Darby arm. Walleye and crappie  are also being caught off the over flow parking area East of Cottonwood Cove Swim beach. Large perch have been caught off the Sunset Cove Beach. The road to the South boat ramp is closed at this time due to flooding.

 

Spinney Mountain Reservoir

The lake is at 99 percent and there has been some great action going on. There have been good numbers and some nice fish coming out of Spinney. The dream stream is bringing in good results, but it is really high. Out of the banks, caution is advised when fishing the river. As always flies and lures only, catch and release, in gold metal waters. The flows in the river above Spinney have been very high with high flow rates that have over run the river's banks.  The bridge at the Spinney Wier has been closed for safety reasons.  Fishermen are discouraged from fishing in this area due to high waters and unpredictable flow patterns.

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​Conditions Report- Southeast Colorado

Arkansas River

The Arkansas River has already hit its peak runoff flow and begun the long decline toward more fishable conditions. As of 6/22, flows were about 1100 cubic feet per second in Hayden Meadows, 2500 cubic feet per second in the Granite Gorge, and 5000 cubic feet per second at Wellsville. Despite the high water, fishable conditions are beginning to return on the upper river as the edges clear from the Clear Creek confluence up into Hayden Meadows. Along with the improving visibility, summer aquatic insects are getting active – golden stoneflies, yellow sallies, caddis, and mayflies – and with that, fish are taking up feeding positions along the rocky edges of the river. Anglers should not wade the Arkansas, it is too swift, but rock-hopping along the shoreline and fishing the best looking pockets with a dry-dropper rig is very effective. Throw big dries (stimulators, PMXs, hoppers) and drop stonefly or attractor nymphs underneath. This fishing should improve by the day as the water continues to recede.

 

Clear Creek Reservoir

Fishing at Clear Creek Reservoir has been slow from both shore and boat. Fishing access at the boat ramp parking area has been reduced because of both high water levels and willows right at the shoreline. The best time to fish has been during the morning.  Shore anglers caught a few trout on power bait and worms. Successful boat anglers caught trout on yellow, white, or rainbow rapalas and trolling worms coupled with cowbells. Kokanee salmon fishing has been very slow. Squids and dodgers typically work well for anglers targeting kokanee salmon. Someone caught multiple tiger musky on a perch colored rapala. The reservoir is closed to trailered motorized watercrafts on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Because of several floating trees in the reservoir, boaters should be cognitive of their surroundings. The current boating hours are from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

 

Cottonwood Lake

The lake is high and discolored making the fishing challenging. Early morning and late evening tend to be the best time as fish have been hitting on flies. Normal trout gear such as power bait, salmon eggs, and worms have still been effective. Brighter colored lures seem to be working best. Those fishing from boats have had greater success. Cottonwood Lake is hand-propelled watercraft only. No trolling motors are allowed.

 

Crystal Lakes

Fishing at Crystal Lakes has been great. There are increased numbers of fly fishermen along the shore and using belly boats. Fishermen are having great success using both fly rods and flies with a clear bubble.  

 

Forebay Reservoir

Fishing has been good along the south shore; fishermen are catching 10-16 inch rainbow trout using assorted colors of power bait. There is a closure along part of the southwestern shore due to an Osprey nest.

 

Frantz Lake

The fishing on Frantz Lake has slowed. Water temperatures are on the rise and fish are most active in the mornings and evenings. Some bass have been caught along the east and north banks. Trout fisherman have seen success with power bait and worms.

 

John Martin Reservoir

John Martin Reservoir is currently at 271,000 acre feet and is 78 degrees. White bass are being caught mostly on hard bait on the reservoir; crappie fishing is still slow at the reservoir. Catfish of all sizes are being caught in the stilling basin. Several catfish above 20 inches are being caught. Anglers are having good luck using shad, chicken livers, and worms. Although the reservoir level continues to rise, debris is starting to settle, which is causing anglers to have more luck.

 

Lake Pueblo

Fishing at Lake Pueblo State Park is steadily increasing. Fishermen have been having luck catching walleye in Rock Creek Cove in deeper water. Bass are becoming active and are being caught near the North Shore Marina. The high water level has also helped fisherman catch large catfish on the muddy banks on the west end of the reservoir.  

 

O'Haver Lake

The fishing at O'Haver Lake has been consistently good. The lake is popular with both shore and belly boat anglers. The belly boaters have had success with a variety of dry flies. Shore fishermen have done well with power bait and worms. The fish have been most active in the morning and afternoon.

 

Riverside Ponds

The fishing has slowed recently as temperatures in the ponds have risen. Anglers are catching trout on power bait and worms. Spoon lures have been successful. No reports of bass being caught in the ponds.

 

Turks Pond

Trout were recently stocked and anglers are catching limits using power eggs and night crawlers fished 10 inches above the bottom. Increased numbers of channel catfish are being caught by anglers using chicken livers, Oklahoma stink bait, and shrimp. Anglers can catch bullhead on nearly every cast using night crawlers, shrimp, or small pieces of liver fished right on the bottom. Anglers are encouraged to keep every bullhead they catch to help reduce the number of fish in the pond. 

 

Turquoise Lake

Turquoise Lake had good success along the shore on both sides of the Sugarloaf Dam. Fishermen are using an assortment of baits and lures. The Matchless boat ramp is up and running and boat fishermen are reporting decent success.

 

Twin Lakes

Fishing on Twin Lakes has been good from the shore with assorted baits, lures and spinners. Fisherman are catching 12-16 inch rainbow trout from the shore, and some are catching Mackinaw as well. The boat ramp is open and there is decent success being reported from those fishing from boats.

 

Two Buttes Reservoir

Fishing for bass in the three to four pound class continues to be good for anglers using crank baits, swim baits, and soft plastic worms or jigs in the coves. Try smaller rattletraps, power minnows, and Mr. Twisters. Bluegill, green sunfish and crappie provide non-stop action for anglers using small jigs in the 1/32oz. size fished under a bobber or retrieved very slowing in 2-4 feet of water. A small wet fly is also picking up fish for fly anglers. Try a size 10 wooly bugger or small prince nymph stripped slowly in the shallows. Successful anglers are mimicking the available forage. Shad schools are beginning to form and anglers can pick up the occasional wiper by using a minnow imitation swim bait or a clouser minnow for those who prefer to fly fish. Folks wishing to catch and release fish are encouraged to crimp down the barbs on their hooks.

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​​​Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado​​​

Harvey Gap Reservoir

Trout have been caught though out the lake. Anglers are reporting success with bass near the inlet. We have heard reports of catfish being caught after dark.

 

Lower Fryingpan

The water conditions are stained and the overall rating for this section of the river is a 1 out of 10. The best thing to do right now is head further up the river for better fishing conditions. The food sources present are stoneflies, worms, caddis, and green drake nymphs.

 

Lower Roaring Fork (Carbondale to Glenwood)

The water flow is at 7,160 cubic feet per second and the water conditions are high and dirty. The overall rating for this section of the river is a 2 out of 10. As soon as the river begins to drop and clear our fishing goes from poor to great in no time flat yielding the best fishing of the entire year. Get ready in the next week or so for some exceptional fishing.

 

Middle Fryingpan

The water conditions are stained and high with the main food sources being worms, stoneflies, caddis, and drake nymphs. The overall rating is a 2 out of 10 due to increased flows. Focus on the edges and soft water. Generally speaking, where you catch one fish, there's probably another dozen in there with him. Crowds are virtually nonexistent under the high water conditions.

 

Middle Roaring Fork (Basalt Downstream to Carbondale)

The water is stained and the water flow is sitting at 4,580 cubic feet per second in Basalt. The overall rating for this section of the river is a 2 out of 10. Some side channels and soft pockets are fishable but challenging. Realistically, give it a week or so before things truly begin to shape-up. It's the perfect time of year to hit up your favorite still water or head up the Fryingpan and sling some mysis below the dam.

 

Rifle Falls Reservoir

Rainbow and cutthroat trout are found in East Rifle Creek which flows through Rifle Falls. Fish up to 19 inches long have been taken, with 6-9 inch fish being the average size. Brown and black flies or spinners work the best. Bait, except for live fish, can be used.

 

Rifle Gap Reservoir

Trout is being caught throughout the lake, especially the east end.  Walleye and bass have been caught near the dam.  You can once again keep 2 bass over 15 inches!

 

State Forest State Park

Ice is beginning to melt on the alpine lakes. Dry flies and worm lures on the streams below them have been yielding brook trout, with the most reliable catch above and below North Michigan Reservoir.  A few evening anglers have caught large brown trout (up to five pounds.)  Salmon fly lures are being phased out but caddis flies are still a viable option.  Stream conditions change daily with surging snowmelt waters. Anglers should be careful and bring snowshoes when approaching our alpine lakes. On the western slopes of the Never Summer Mountains, the Ranger Lakes were stocked as of the week of June 14 with rainbow trout. For a more challenging catch, make the hike up to Lake Agnes where the ice is coming off.

 

Steamboat Lake

Fishing is good at the lake, the shore is fishing well, the streams have slowed down. Anglers are doing well from the shore. 

 

Upper Fryingpan

The water flow is at 753 cubic feet per second and rising. The reservoir is nearly full, thus the inflow is essentially matching the outflow. The water clarity is slightly stained, but clear enough to fish, and the overall rating for this section of the river is a 2 out of 10 with the exception being the Flats, which is ranking a 5 out of 10 due to exceptional mysis shrimp "hatches". Flows are big but will subside in the coming week or so.

 

Upper Roaring Fork (Aspen Downstream to Basalt)

The water flow is at 3,150 cubic feet per second below Maroon Creek (Woody Creek Canyon). The water clarity is stained and virtually unfishable. We are suggesting waiting for the runoff to wane before conditions improve. Keep in mind though, as soon as the river begins to drop and clear, our fishing is going to be exceptional. Start tying up those green drakes, pmd's and caddis. The overall rating is a 1 out of 10. In general the fishing is very slow under our current conditions. Look for the river to dramatically subside over the next week or so.

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​Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado​​

Pa-Co-Chu-Puk Ponds

The ponds at Pa-Co-Chu-Puk have a population of rainbows and some brown trout. Fishing in the ponds has been good. There have been several larger fish (18"-20") caught. Fishermen have been doing well with worms and salmon eggs in the mornings and evenings, and using various colors of power bait off the bottom in the afternoon. Fishing in the Uncompahgre River at Pa-Co-Chu-Puk is excellent. The river flows are currently at 923 cubic feet per second below the dam, and 1158 cubic feet per second coming into the reservoir. Fly fisherman are doing well on bead-headed nymphs, wooly buggers, copper johns, pheasant tails, and small midges. Spin fisherman are doing well with gold Mepps and yellow/black Panther Martins. Please remember that the Uncompahgre River in Pa-Co-Chu-Puk is restricted to flies and lures only, and all fish caught must be returned to the river immediately.

 

Ridgway Reservoir

The reservoir is at 99.1 percent capacity and rising. Our most recent stocking of the reservoir, with 2,500 catchable rainbow trout, occurred on June 9th.  Both shore fisherman and boaters are reporting very good fishing for stocker-sized rainbows (8"-14") with a few larger fish (18"-22") being caught.  The catch is mostly rainbows, but there have been some bigger browns and smallmouth bass.  Shore fishermen are doing well along Dallas Creek day use area and Mears Bay shorelines.  Shore fisherman should try gold kastmasters, green and rainbow power bait, or worms off the bottom. Boat fishermen are having luck with gold pop-gear and black/silver sinking rapalas near the dam and around the opening to Mears Bay. Bag and size limits have been removed for smallmouth bass in Ridgway Reservoir.  Fishermen are encouraged to take smallmouth from the reservoir to protect our rainbow and brown trout fisheries. ​

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