Sign In
Conditions - Statewide
Conditions - Statewide
Fishing on the Arkansas

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Conditions for the week of Nov. 17​​, 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. ​​

Conditions Report - Metro Denver Area​

Aurora Reservoir
The reservoir is open to boating and the water temperature is 49 degrees. The water level is starting to rise but is still low!  Boaters with large boats should expect difficulty with launching due to most of the dock being out of the water.  Trout fishing is fair from shore. Trout are being caught using power bait from the dam and off some of the points. Boaters report fair to good success on trout trolling with rapalas, spoons and pop gear with crawlers. Walleye fishing is anywhere from fair to good. Most walleye are being caught from boats using jigs. There are a handful of walleye being caught from shore using jigs and swim baits. The reservoir is restricted to electric motors only and all watercraft must be inspected prior to launch. For more information call 303-326-8425. Park Hours November Hours 6:30 a.m.- 6 p.m. Closed to boating December 1st for the season including hand-launched watercraft such as float tubes, rafts, canoes etc.

Chatfield Reservoir

Fishing is slowing down in the main reservoir as temperatures drop. Visitors report catching rainbow trout from the shore recently at Roxborough Cove and from the shoreline south of the swim beach parking lot.  Multiple baits were used including powerbait and live night crawlers.Walleye are moving to deeper water. Try a jig with live bait or other sinking bait to reach them in rocky areas. Some bass and bluegill are also being reported in the gravel ponds.

​​​​​​​​​>>Return to top​​​

Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado

Eleven Mile Reservoir
Trout trollers were frustrated before the lake closed to boating for the season. The water has cleared a little, but there are still a lot of weeds in the water. Fly anglers are fairing better on black Wooly Buggers, egg patterns and scuds. Tube jigging has heated up again and is providing some hot action. Look to the West end from Cross Creek to Stoll Mountain along the overflow channel. The shallows are where northern pike are and action is improving. Big rapala's, spinner baits and tube jigs have all done well. Rocky Flats, North Shore and Howbert Point have done well. Dream Stream flows are low due to the recent cold snap and lack of downstream demand. Anglers can expect to see hatches of midges, blue-winged olives, and Tricos. During the non-hatch periods, effective nymphs have been #18-20 Buckskins, #18-20 Mercury Pheasant Tails, and #20 Barr Emergers (BWO).  Lake-run  fish (brown trout and Kokanee salmon) are in the system. Egg-midge and egg-baetis combos and streamers are effective in fooling these migratory fish. Crowds have been super heavy as of late!  Effective patterns include #18 Micro San Juan Worms,  #10 Leeches, #18 Hot Tail Flash Eggs, #18-22 Mercury Pheasant Tails, #18-20 Buckskins, #20-22 Barr Emergers, #20 Jujubaetis, 20 Top Secret Midge,  20 Mercury Blood Midge,  #20 Foam Wing Chocolate Emerger, #22-26 Parachute Adams, and  #20-24 Stalcup's Trico.

Flatiron Reservoir
Powerbait, worms, and spoons have all been effective, all along the shoreline. Smaller rainbow and cutbow have been very active, but there are some big ones in there, so be patient and maybe throw some of the smaller ones back. The Cheyenne Day use area is still open on the south side of the reservoir. You can access it off of County Road 31, just south of the entrance gate.

Jackson Lake

Lake level is relatively full, down only about 4 feet in depth. The inlet is running for now. Surface water temperature is approximately 53 degrees. Fishing has been really good for trout, channel catfish, wiper, bluegill and walleye.  Fishing for all other species is fair. 

North Sterling Reservoir

The water level is about 20 ft lower in depth with the inlet on and the outlet off. The reservoir is CLOSED to boating for the season. Walleye are still being caught in the outlet. Crappie are being caught just off the dam and off of Balance Rock. Catfish are going strong on most shorelines and a few have been caught near the inlet canal.

Saint Vrain

All ponds on the North and South sides of the park are open to fishing and have been stocked several times this year. Fishing for catfish is good! Bald Eagle Pond is artificial flies and lures only. Bald Eagle Pond and Blue Heron Reservoir are trophy bass fisheries: all bass caught must be immediately returned to the water! Check the stocking report for more information.

​Spinney Mountain Reservoir

The big pike are moving around right now and lots of action is being seen along the cove shorelines. Trout are spreading out and can be found in the shallows and in the deeper water. Callibaetis and damsels are the thing. Nymphing has been fair, but the streamer action has been quite good. Shore angling is improving. Large stick baits are continuing to produce nice fat trout for trollers. Jigging action on the south side has slowed somewhat.  Belly boaters in northwest corner are still finding success with halfbacks, hares ears, wooly buggers, and scuds.  Fish are hanging between a 15-25 foot depth. October into mid-November can provide great action for shore anglers. Try stripping woolly buggers in the shallow to medium depth water. Some days, when there is a decent breeze, you are better off nymphing under an indicator in 4-12 feet of water. Just let the wind move your nymphs around and recast as infrequently as possible. If you don't get a strike after about 20 minutes of fishing a location, you should consider moving locations. Sometimes that only means moving 20-30 yards.  Callibaetis nymphs (think Hare's Ears, Rickard's Callibaetis, light olive Pheasant Tails) are still tricking a few trout. Chironomid patterns in black, zebra, red and olive will fool some fish as well. Wooly Buggers (#6 - #8) in black or olive are also producing.  Trico's early in the morning, black gnats, ants, small midges in red and black and small pheasant tails.  

 ​​​​​>>Return to top​​

​Conditions Report- Southeast Colorado

Arkansas Headwaters

Upper river:  With colder weather moving in this week, expect fishing to slow on the upper end of the river. And while warm days will still afford some opportunity to find active fish below the Twin Lakes inflow of Lake Creek, the fishing will improve the further downstream one ventures. It is anticipated that there will be an addition to the Twin Lakes discharge this week. This will help to moderate temperature swings further downstream and to keep the river ice-free.

Buena Vista to Salida: The middle river is in good condition with 450-550 cfs and clear water. The incoming wintry weather will cool the water over the next week and this may slow both bug and fish activity. Still, afternoons with direct sun and an air temperature in the upper 30s or above will support feeding fish in the slower, deeper runs we term "winter water". Combination rigs mixing golden stonefly nymphs (or other large attractor/generalist patterns), a small mayfly nymph or caddis larva, and a midge larva will cover the available food types and most of a winter trout's appetite. Sufficient weight for the situation and an eye to subtle takes are also important at this time of year. The middle river is a great place for solitude at this time of year and, outside of overcast or stormy weather, a worthwhile place to spend the afternoon.

Below Salida:  This week is forecast to bring Bighorn Sheep Canyon some precipitation and a marked decline in air temperature. While direct sun is still projected for most days, the overall trend will cool the river and drive the remaining holdout fish toward winter water. In these areas of deeper, slower holding water, adjacent to, but separate from, the main current, fish will congregate and rest in a dormant state during periods of cold or darkness but resume feeding whenever water temperatures rise or direct sun warms the riverbed and fish via radiation. So the most important factors for success in the weeks and months ahead are fishing in water that holds fish and then doing so on days/times when those fish are active.  

Bighorn Sheep Canyon: During the next several months, the best days to fish Bighorn Sheep Canyon will be warm, sunny days that follow a warm, sunny day coupled with a warm night (overnight lows in the 20s or above). That is the ideal in terms of generating the longest period of actively feeding fish (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) Water that is in direct sun is of far greater value than anything in the shadows so anglers should be prepared to move through the day as the low angle of the sun is blocked by the changing topography on the south side of the river. Focus on the deeper, slower runs that offer both respite from, and access to, the main current: this is the best combination for feeding on warm days and dormancy on cold ones. Fish multi-fly nymph rigs with adequate weight that combine stonefly/attractor nymphs, immature mayfly nymphs/caddis larvae, and midge larvae/pupae. Expect subtle takes on a long drop - set on the slightest movement of the indicator.

John Martin Reservoir

Fishing has been slow, some reports of a few white bass and some catfish from shore on the main lake. Very few people fishing the spillway.  The main boat ramps closed Nov. 1, 2015. Shoreline access is restricted as posted. No lake use east of the  buoy line. Road 19 Boat ramp will remain open, ANS inspection is still required prior to launching and upon leaving.  Hasty Lake was stocked with catchable rainbow trout.

Lake Pueblo

In the last two weeks since our last fishing report, the fishing is starting to heat up on the reservoir as the water continues ts temperature decline.  With the cold nights as of late, surface temperature is now 54-55 degrees.  The walleye have been found in shallower water taking advantage of the baitfish (shad) in the shallows.  Anglers are reporting success using jerkbaits and spoons. Bass fishing has been fair for those venturing out onto the reservoir via boat.  Bass fishermen are catching bass mainly on crankbaits and spinnerbaits. Trout fishing has also been fair using bait.  Boaters are reminded that winter boat ramp hours are 5 AM to 6 PM. As for the Arkansas River tailwaters winter water storage began on Nov.15 and historically marks the beginning of the fall and winter fishing season.  The reservoir is still turning over, resulting in stained releases into the river. Clarity is somewhat of an issue right now, but fishermen are still having success.  Blue wing olives, midges, caddis larva, and aquatic worms are all on the menu for the river's inhabitants.  Once the river clears, all the pieces will be in place, and it will be game on at Pueblo Colorado's fabled tailwater.  

Lathrop State Park

Boat Ramps are now closed and will re-open March 2016. The fall fishing will continue to be somewhat hot on both lakes. Martin is providing a great northern pike catch, while Horseshoe has been a pretty reliable spot for bass and trout. Fall is a hot time to fish, as the water cools off the fish are getting hungry.

Midwestern Farms Pond
Fishing has been slow during the heat of the day. Lake has recently been stocked with rainbow trout.

Nee Gronda Reservoir
Extremely low water levels, no surviving fish suspected at this time due to poor water condition.

Nee Noshee Reservoir
Increased water levels allow for launching of boats from the south ramp. Stocking has ended for the year. It will take a year or more for these fish to grow to a catchable size.

North Gateway Park
People have had some luck catching the recently stocked 10-inch rainbow trout. Most effective is power bait in various colors, but some are having luck with lures as well. Not many other species are being caught.

Queens Reservoirs
Increased water levels allow for launching of boats from the south and west ramps. Stocking with fingerling and fry-sized fish was done this spring and summer, with warm water species.  It will take a year or more for these fish to grow to a catchable size. Boaters are urged to use caution as there is floating debris and unmarked obstacles.

Trinidad Lake
The lake is at 761 surface acres with a surface elevation of 6187.46. The water temperature is in the mid 40's. Trout are biting from shore on power bait, worms and homemade dough baits. Boaters are catching 16"-18" trout trolling rapala style lures.  Some boaters are catching walleye and perch using jigging techniques. Attention boaters, the boat ramps will close Nov. 30 until then boaters are reminded that they need to have their boat inspected prior to each launch. For more information call the Visitor's Center at (719) 846-6951.

Turks Pond
Closed through Feb. 14, 2016.

​Two Buttes Reservoir
Fishing for Rainbow trout continues to be good for anglers fishing the east end of the lake near the dam. Try roostertails, kastmasters, and pistol petes for fish in the 10-12 inch class. Bass can be caught by patient angler using slow presentations along drop-offs and shelves. Small jigs work well for bluegill, crappie, and green sunfish.

 ​​​​​>>Return to top

​​​Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado​​​

Elkhead Reservoir

Although the lake is very low this time of year anglers are still reporting catching pike, crappie and bass.  There is a seal station for hand launched vessels at the NORTH EAST ACCESS. You are required to have a seal and receipt on all non-exempt hand launched vessels. Exempt vessels are:  kayaks, canoes, rafts, belly boats, windsurfers (paddle boards), sailboards, float tubes and inner tubes.

Frying Pan River
Upper-Fishing is rocking up the Pan,fFew crowds, good numbers of risers, and better than good late fall fishing. Sure, the flies are small and the tippets are light but that's just standard fare here. It's all BWOs and midges in the way of hatches now. Early mornings have been good for the big fish/mysis shrimp type guys. Get out early while the fish are still sharkin' around in the Bowl, Flats and Bend Pool with mysis. Once the sun is beating down by late mornings, the fish are out of there and push back into the depths. Nymphing with small and dark baetis nymphs as lead/point flies with midge larva droppers is the name of the game in the later morning hours. By midday, swap out your midge droppers for baetis emerger patterns (gray). Dry fly junkies should be focusing their efforts from 11am-3pm (give or take an hour). The heaviest hatches have been seen from mile markers 6-12. Light tippets of 7x fluoro and downstream drifts are beneficial. As the hatches fade, one can go back to nymphing the deeper seams and pools or rockhop, cover water and chuck some streamers (my preference - especially at this time of year). We're fond of using small, heavy, neutral colored streamers on the Pan (save your triple-articulated, double-hook wet socks for Alaska!). 

Middle-Except for the mysis shrimp fishing up high, conditions are the same the Upper Frying Pan River.

Lower-This is the "locals" stretch of the Fryingpan! Why? It offers solitude, good fishing and right now - better fishing! A few larger browns from the Roaring Fork push into this section of river to spawn. Though we don't condone fishing to actively spawning fish, there's nothing wrong with fishing an egg or tossing a streamer around (not on beds/redds) to entice these hyper-aggressive brown trout. In fact, you can even keep two brown trout less than 14" inches - and we encourage you to do so. There's an over abundance of small brown trout on the river and you'd be helping the fishery by actually keeping a few for the "Frying Pan."

Pinewood Reservoir

Anglers report success with a fly and bubble setup in Fisherman's cove. They report catching a kokanee salmon in addition to a few trout. The east shoreline, just down the hill from the Fisherman's Cove parking lot, has been a hot spot. Powerbait (mostly orange) is a pretty safe bet, but salmon eggs and fireballs are also being used with some success. 

State Forest State Park

As the days start to grow cold the number of anglers start to dissipate from the park. This time of the year is not one most anglers yearn for since it is tough to yield the same results that could be achieved in more favorable seasons. There is still plenty of fish to be caught, it just may take little more work for your catch. A group of fly fisherman report a solid day of fishing just below the North Michigan dam using mainly stoneflies and midge larvae. They were catching browns and rainbows. The east side of the North  Michigan Reservoir is starting to freeze over which can limit space from the shore. Much of the creeks and streams throughout the park are starting to freeze over as well. With many more cold fronts and weather coming it seems like ice fishing season is just around the corner. 

Roaring Fork River
Upper – (Aspen downstream to Basalt) Fall fishing along the Upper Fork is about as good as it gets. Lack of pressure, wild fish and good to great nymph and streamer fishing is to be had! Plus, with Aspen Mtn opening up to the skiers this weekend, look for the fishing pressure to dramatically subside! Independence Pass is now CLOSED.

Lower – (Carbondale to Glenwood) The Lower Roaring Fork is fishing very well these days! The fish don't have to work so hard now, and many fish in the basket have bulging bellies from the plethora of food sources available. Streamers are turning on in a big way on the lower river when skies are cloudy or late in the afternoon. The early morning bite is a bit slow with the plunging overnight temperatures. If fishing large, articulated streamers, please be kind to the fish and pinch your barbs AND cut off one of the hooks if there are multiples. These big streamers are vastly popular with trophy anglers, but damaged fish are the ultimate outcome.

Pearl Lake

Fishing is getting better at Pearl. The area by the dam is doing the best early morning and late evening.

Steamboat Lake

Fishing is good up here at the lake, the cooler water has them hitting very good. Boat fisherman are doing well, with kast masters and rapallas doing well.

Sylvan Lake

Lake is 60% ice- covered and thin, with limited access to open water. Fishing has slowed and there have been few anglers. The Inlet Creek is closed Sept. 1 to Nov. 30.

Vega Reservoir
All three boat ramps are closed. Hand launching is allowed at this time; however, please refrain from backing trailers into the water. Fishing is excellent at this time. Anglers report catching rainbows and cutthroats in the 14 - 20 inch range using powerbait and worms. The Entrance Station is closed.  The Visitor Center is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Tuesday and closed on Wednesday and Thursday.

​Yampa River

Decent reports on the river for rainbows, browns and some pike at this time. The river is at a normal level for this time of year.

​​​​​​​​​​>>Return to top

​Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado​​

As the park heads into late fall and winter, it provides a beautiful and quiet place for fishing.  Action for rainbow trout 10-14" is consistently good; typical trout baits fished suspended just off bottom along the dam are good baits. Rigs that include small jigs tipped with worm, waxworm, or mealworm, again suspended near bottom are good bets for the yellow perch.  Yellow perch fishing has been outstanding at times, with schooling activity of generally small perch (4-6") with a few larger fish showing up.  For larger perch, keep moving and fish in 20 or more feet of water depth. Larger browns will start becoming more commonly caught in this colder water.  Try larger baits during low-light periods.  Crankbaits, swimbaits, and soft plastics imitating the small yellow perch are good bets.

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 on top in the mornings and evenings, and various colors of Power Bait off the bottom in the afternoon. 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.

​Ridgway Reservoir
The reservoir is at 71% capacity and holding steady. Both shore fisherman and boaters  report good fishing for stocker-sized rainbows (8"-14") with a few larger fish (18"-20") being caught. The catch is mostly rainbows, but there have been some bigger browns and smallmouth bass. Shore fishermen are doing well along the Dallas Creek day use area and Mears Bay shorelines. The Kokanee Salmon are running in Dallas Creek and the Uncompahgre River above the reservoir at this time. Shore fisherman should try gold Kastmasters, green and rainbow Power Bait, or worms off the bottom.

​ ​​>>Return to top​​​​​