Conditions for the week of July 29, 2014. 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 looking for the most current information, we encourage anglers to explore some of the numerous private websites that offer fishing condition reports.
Many other fly shops and marinas also offer fishing condition reports on their websites as well.
Conditions Report - Metro Denver Area
Water level is up. The lake is near the full mark. The temperature is on the rise and heading over 70. This has slowed fishing to some degree but the trout and small mouth bass are still very active. Most baits are working but there seems to be a preference to power baits that have a stronger odor such as garlic. Worms and salmon eggs are also producing. As a reminder, the reservoir will be closed all day on Saturday, August 9 for Ranger training.
Water temp is about 70 degrees and clarity is good (6 ft). Rainbow trout are being caught just south of the boat ramp from the shoreline and by boaters. The trout are biting on on and pink PowerBait, salmon eggs and spinners. Walleye are biting along the bouy line on pink and green spoons and worm harnesses. A 24" 5.4 pounder was pulled out not too long ago! A 19" walleye and a 22' wiper were just caught from shore near the boat ramp. A valid fishing license and State Park pass is required ($7 daily or $70 yearly).
Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado
Reported by Type of Fish: Grade, Lures Reported Used, Location Reported.
Bass, Largemouth: GOOD, Plastic Lures, Marina, Pumphouse & North Cove; Bass, Smallmouth: FAIR, Lures, Marina, Pumphouse, North Cove; Bass, White: GOOD, Lures, Worms , Marina Inlet & Heinricy Inlet; Blue Gill: POOR, Report, Lake Wide; Carp: POOR, Report, Lake Wide; Catfish: POOR, Report, Lake Wide; Crappie: FAIR, Worms & Lures, Lake Wide; Trout: GOOD, Worms, Lures, Powerbait, Lake Wide; Walleye: GOOD, Bottom Bouncers, lures, Shallow Waters Off the Points & Trolling; Yellow Perch: POOR, No report, Lake Wide; The current water temperature is estimated to be approximately 70° with a depth of approximately 54 feet. Estimate approximately 1600+ Surface Acres. PLEASE NOTE: 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 page for further clarification and information.
The walleye fishing has been steady with most fishermen having luck during sunrise and sunset. Walleye fishing has been good on the west side of Carter Lake using "Fire Tiger" or Perch pattern stick baits. Walleye have also been caught this week using live leaches along the bottom. The trout fishing is fair but people are catching them in deep water.(Photo - 30 inch walleye caught along the west shore of Carter Lake by Trevor Hathaway on 7/19/14)
Eleven Mile State Park
Trout (Excellent): Good news, the great bite continues with lots of fish being caught here at Eleven Mile. Look for Cuttbows, Rainbows and occasional Browns running 13 to 24 inches. Trolling is extremely effective with lead core line, downrigger, and cowbells. Needlefish continue to be a hot spoon this year. Tasmanian Devils have been coming on strong. Color patterns can change daily, although pink has been the most consistent. Look to greens and chartruese on cloudy days. One thing for sure is the bigger fish have been biting between 11:00AM and 1:00PM. KOKANEE (Slow): People are still catching a salmon here and there. Most are big ones and most are coming out of the North Shore area out near the marina. A number of things are working like a sling blade or dodger with a Dick Nite, Needlefish or Hoochie attached with about a three foot leader. Fish are running 15 to 40 feet deep. NORTHERN PIKE (Fair): Action continues to improve but you will work for those big ones. Work shallow water using large Rapala's or big spoons and big tube jigs. Mid morning from 8:30AM to 11:00AM seems to be the best. (Courtesy of 11 Mile Marina) DREAM STREAM (Fair): Red Nyphms and Cooperhead Midges have been the most successful flies on the stream this week.
The trout fishing has been Good/Fair, bright colored power bait has been the popular choice with most people fishing on the west shore.
The trout fishing has been excellent! Fisherman's Cove located at the north end of the reservoir has been really popular for filling out limits. Salmon eggs seem to be the bait of choice.
Spinney Mountain State Park
SPINNEY RESERVOIR (Fair): No significant report. DREAM STREAM: Red Nymphs and Copperhead Midges have been the most successful flies on the stream.
Conditions Report - Southeast Colorado
The middle river is beautiful now and has not suffered any of the monsoon runoff visited periodically upon Bighorn Sheep Canyon. Pale morning dun hatches in and around Browns Canyon are bringing big rainbows into the top laminers of the current while evening edge fishing with golden stonefly/hopper patterns has played well with the ambush tactics of some of the bigger browns. It is really good fishing on the Arkansas right now, and the middle river has had some of the most stable conditions riverwide. Lower Basin: Sunday Morning Conditions - River is stained but very fishable from Howard upstream. Lower Bighorn Sheep Canyon is still recovering from a flash that flowed through yesterday late in the day. Flows have declined significantly in Bighorn Sheep Canyon over the last several days, slowing the current velocity and opening up more of the riverbed as usable trout habitat. And though monsoon rains in the forecast may provide some intermittent color to the river, the slugs of murky water have been mostly short-lived. Bighorn Sheep Canyon is alive with aquatic insects right now - pale morning dun mayflies, caddis, yellow sally stoneflies, golden stones, red quills...there is enough variety that most fish are remaining opportunistic rather than developing any serious selectivity. The one exception we've seen at times is with bigger fish hovering on foam lines during the afternoon pmd hatch. At those times, it may be necessary to present a realistic facsimile of the hatch. Otherwise, plausible food with a good drift in productive water should take fish throughout the day.
Flows continue to slowly decline overall on the Arkansas River, though recent monsoon weather has sent some bubbles of rainwater down Bighorn Sheep Canyon. Upstream of Salida, there has been very little impact from the weather, though, and the pale morning dun, caddis, and yellow sally hatches continue to bring fish to the surface. Expect Wellsville flows of 700 cfs or more through the middle of August. After that, we should see a decline toward 500 cfs or so.
Clear Creek Reservoir (Lake County)
Shore fishing at the lower section of the reservoir has been good, while shore fishing at the upper part of reservoir has been fair. At the northern part of the reservoir closest to the dam, shore anglers caught some trout on PowerBait by fishing off the lake's bottom. Silver/orange Kastmatsters and golden Panther Martins worked well for trout at the boat ramp parking lot area. At the upper part of the reservoir, successful shore anglers caught trout on pink PowerBait. Most of the shore anglers catches comprised of 8 to 13 inch rainbow trout and cutbows. Fishing from a boat has been fair. Trolling at the southern part of the reservoir with worms coupled with troll blades remains the most consistent method to catch trout. Trolling with DareDevle spoons and Needlefish lures worked well too. Kokanee salmon fishing has slowed down from last week. Typically kokanee salmon favor Squids and Dodgers. The reservoir is closed to trailer and motorized watercrafts on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Boating hours are 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The reservoir was stocked with 5,200 trout on July 21 and 22. Midday water surface temperatures were in the mid 60's F°.
The fishing has slowed quite a bit with the temperatures heating up. A time to catch catfish along the shoreline. Stop by the visitor center to let staff know how the fishing is, or to show off an impressive catch!
Trinidad Lake State Park
The lake is at 480 surface acres and the water temperature is 70 degrees. Trout fishing continues to be spotty, but those catching trout from shore were using powerbait and some homemade dough bait. Boaters are doing the best fishing for walleye, bass, and perch. A few smallmouth bass were reported caught from shore near the boat ramp cove. The catfishing has picked up over the last week. Most catfish are being caught on chicken liver and nightcrawlers, with a few caught on hot dogs.
Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado
Fishing at Elkhead is great! Anglers are reporting catching small mouth bass, pike and full limits of crappie.
OVERALL RATING: 9 out of 10. THE SHORT AND SWEET: Are you the angler that doesn't want to see anyone (or at least just a few others) all day? This is your section. Hatches get rolling down on the lower river before the upper due to warmer temperatures, and we are already seeing good numbers of caddis, PMDs and baetis. Green Drakes are starting to show up on our radar, although numbers are still on the light side.
Lower Roaring Fork (Carbondale to Glenwood)
OVERALL RATING: 8 out of 10 with evening lightning rounds easily ranking at 9.5 out of 10! Conditions are ideal but are still amazingly improving daily as the water continues to drop and the fish become more concentrated. FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: GREEN DRAKE ALERT!!! And don't forget about the piles of caddis hatching in the evening, the PMDs hatching midday and the random lingering stoneflies. THE SHORT AND SWEET: Pack up your fishing gear and get your butt out on the river! The green drake hatch starts and moves quickly upriver, thus if you want in on the action, do so NOW! Like the other sections of water along the Roaring Fork, nymph the fast water with larger flies and the soft water with smaller flies. As the water continues to fall, look for the fish to make the transition from holding along the edges eating big flies (stoneflies, drakes etc), to holding more midriver and eating smaller flies (PMDs, caddis etc).
Middle River Fryingpan
OVERALL RATING: 8 out of 10 THE SHORT AND SWEET: The middle section of the Fryingpan sees far, far less pressure than the upper miles, and this can play to your advantage. The middle river also offers plenty of places to duck out of the ever-present wind. Temperatures warm with the drop in elevation, so the lower and middle river typically see earlier and later hatches in the year as well.
Middle Roaring Fork – Basalt Downstream to Carbondale
OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10 in general but again, the evening "lightning-round" or "power-hour" is an easy 9 out of 10.
FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Green Drakes, Stoneflies, Caddis, Worms, PMDs. THE SHORT AND SWEET: The leading edge of the green drake hatch is Basalt! Party on! We are back in business on the Roaring Fork. The water is still high and just a tad swift, but visibility is perfect and the levels are dropping daily. All of the fish are still on the edges and side channels, and where you find one, you'll find many right now.
State Forest State Park
Both North Michigan Reservoir and Ranger Lakes are stocked with Rainbow and Cutthroat Trout that are all catchable size of
twelve inches or better. For the best luck fishing in these areas try spin bait or rooster tails. The water in North Michigan Reservoir and Ranger Lakes are relatively silt free and offer some good views of fish swimming below. If you choose to fish at North Michigan Reservoir try fishing at the inlet or the dam. It seems that many of our visitors have done well at these locations. If by chance you are interested in a decent hike and some great fishing then I would recommend both Kelly Lake and Clear Lake. You may begin your hike for these lakes at the closure, which is at the end of County Road 41. Be prepared for a six mile hike to Kelly and a seven mile hike to Clear one way, and enjoy the gift of beautiful views and great fishing at your destination. Remember that the bag limit at our alpine lakes is two per person and four at either Ranger Lakes or North Michigan Reservoir. If you wish to do some fly fishing in the park then you also will be very pleased. Since early July we have seen a decrease in the flow of our local streams, although this has left many trout seeking shelter in deeper waters collected by beaver dams. I would recommend using midges or olive woolly buggers to fish these waters. One last thing, if you have a motorized boat please bring it by one of our ANS (Aquatic Nuisance Species) inspection stations unless you have a green seal, then you may place it in our ANS self-service box on the North or East side of North Michigan Reservoir. Happy fishing and best of luck to you!
Fishing has been very good. Still seeing a few Brookies and Cutthroats too. Powerbaits, woolly buggers, mayflies & black gnats are all working well. Time to try West Brush Creek near Bear Gulch.
OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10 THE SHORT AND SWEET: The Fryingpan River is renowned world-wide for quite a few reasons, the first that come to mind are the prolific and year-round dry fly hatches as well as fish measured in pounds instead of inches. People jokingly refer to Basalt as a small drinking town with a big fishing problem, and we can certainly vouch for that. Hatches currently on the Fryingpan consist of Green Drakes, PMDs, BWOs, and midges in the upper reaches, and down low you can add in stoneflies and caddis too. FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: BWOs, midges, mysis shrimp, along with a few caddis and PMDs. We are in that transitional zone from spring hatches to summer hatches, where the BWOs and midges will be replaced with PMDs and caddis. Drakes are hatching along the Roaring Fork and Colorado rivers right now, but won't make it on the Fryingpan until the end of July through August and September.
Upper Roaring Fork (Aspen downstream to Basalt)
OVERALL RATING: 6 out of 10 though some local anglers would argue that it's rating at least an 8 out of 10. If you know the river well and enjoy pocket water fishing, this upper section of river is right up your alley. THE SHORT AND SWEET: Bye, bye runoff. It's summer time and the fishing and water conditions are much, much improved now. In general, look for the fish to be stacked up in the softer water eating general attractor patterns. Hatches are consisting of predominately caddis, BWOs and midges. Stoneflies, PMD and green drake nymphs are also fishing well. And of course, don't count out the San Juan Worm either. Look for the fishing to go from 0-100 in no time flat! Right now it feels like the calm before the storm, where the locals and fish-bums are taking advantage of the conditions before the crowds of summer roll in in the coming weeks. Fish the softer pockets and seams and you'll get em! FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Caddis, BWOs,Midges, Stoneflies, PMD and Drake nymphs.
The river has slowed and is at a seasonal level. Fishing has picked up; anglers are reporting that browns are fishing very well and there are quite a few pike being taken out of the river.
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Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado
Anglers have been catching catfish and trout. Powerbait seems to work well for the trout, which are about 10 inches long. Crappie have been intermittent and range in size from 6-12 inches.
The reservoir is at 94% capacity and falling. Our most recent stocking of the reservoir, with 2,100 catchable rainbow trout, occurred on July 15th. Shore fisherman and boaters are reporting very good fishing for stocker-sized fish (8"-14") and a few larger fish (18"-22".) The catch is mostly rainbows, with a few 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, Power Bait, or worms off the bottom. Boat fishermen are having luck with jigs and black/silver sinking Rapalas near the dam and around the opening to Mears Bay. Fishing in the Uncompahgre River at Pa-Co-Chu-Puk is excellent. The river flows are currently up to around 440 CFS and stable. 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-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 population of rainbows and some brown trout. Fishing in the ponds has been very good. There have been several larger fish (18"-20") caught. Fishermen have been doing well with worms and Marshmallow Bait on top in the mornings and evenings, and various colors of Power Bait off the bottom in the afternoon.
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