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Conditions - Statewide
Conditions - Statewide
Fishing on the Arkansas

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Conditions for the week of March 24, 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.

Conditions Report - Metro Denver Area

Aurora Reservoir

Open to boating and the water temperature is 39 degrees. Trout fishing from shore is slow to fair. Some reports of trout being caught using power bait. There are also reports from fly fishermen using an olive leach pattern and catching fish. No reports yet on other species being caught. Restricted to electric motors only and all watercraft must be inspected prior to launch. For more information call 303-326-8425. March hours are 6:30am to 8:00pm. 

Chatfield

Walleye are picking up. Fishing is prohibited from the Dam and 100ft from any netting operation (March 15th thru April 15th). Walleye bag limit is 3, 18 inches long, with one of those over 21 inches. Perch are slow. Perch bag limit is 20, any size. Trout are good around the entire lake. Trout bag limit is 4, any size. Bass are slow. Bass bag limit is 5, 15 inches long. Chumming is prohibited, and strictly enforced!

Cherry Creek 

The dam area is closed to fishing March 15- April 15, 2015, or until walleye spawning operations are complete. Fishing from the dam is prohibited and within 100 feet of the dam for spawning operation nets. Trout are biting around the tower loop the water temperature is 43 degrees.

Quincy Reservoir

Open to boating. Water temp is 42 degrees. Water level is low at this time. Fishing is rated as slow to fair at this time. Some reports of bass being caught using jigs, soft plastics and crank baits fished slow. Fishing is restricted to artificial flies and lures only. Only watercraft capable of being launched by hand permitted and electric motors only. All watercraft must be inspected prior to launch. New for this year, the fee system is now per vehicle and the West access gate is closed. Access will only be permitted through the East access gate. March hours of operation are 6:30 am-8:00pm. For more information call 303-326-8424.

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Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado

Boyd Lake 

The current water temperature is estimated to be approximately 35-40° with a depth of approximately 45.51 feet. The largemouth bass fishing has been fair using plastic lures at the marina and the pump house. The smallmouth fishing is fair using lures at the marina, pump house, and the north cove. The white bass fishing is also fair using lures and worms lake wide. As for the blue gill, walleye, carp, and catfish they are all fair lake wide using worms. The Trout fishing is excellent! People have recorded catching 16-18" trout using worms, lures, and power bait lake wide.

Eldorado Canyon 

Fishing conditions in the canyon are currently average for the winter. The stream is running fairly low with snow and ice at the edges. Water levels will be rising soon with the spring runoff.  Small browns have been caught with caddis, eggs and worm patterns. Terrestrials are also working well. Colorado fishing licenses are required and are available for purchase at the park visitor center. 

Eleven Mile Reservoir

For rainbow trout ice fishing there has been action near Cross Creek, Suckers Cove, Lazy Boy, and the North Shore has been fair to good with some large fish starting to show up if you are willing to work. They are being caught on powerbait, wax worms, night crawlers, kastmasters, and small multi colored jigs. Kokanee salmon have been caught by working the islands and don't be afraid to move around. They have been caught on swedish pimples, kastmasters, and krocodiles. In regards to catching northern pike try Stoll Mountain, Cross Creek, and North Shore in the weed beds. We are starting to see some small ones come out. Large spoons, stick baits, and the Rapala F-18's and the J-13's. Suckers have all been producing fish.

Jackson Lake

Lake level is full. Surface water temperature is approximately 50 degrees. Fishing is fair for all species.   

North Sterling Reservoir

Water levels are good and the lake is full. Fish are starting to move to their spring habitats. Wiper and walleye may be found near shallower areas such as near the inlet canal. Trout like to congregate near the dam along with some white and black crappie. Catfish may be found along windblown shoreline on the east side of the reservoir in warmer shallower areas. Bluegill and perch prefer weedy areas around the lake. Tiger muskie and northern pike like areas with large amounts of cover. 

South Platte River

Anglers willing to endure the elements and work hard will fool a few nice fish. #20-24 Top Secret Midge, #24 Medallion Midges, #20-22 Chironoflash, 20-22 Mercury Blood Midge, #20-22 Minute Midge,  #20-22 Jujubaetis have all been producing fish. The species in the river are rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, and brown trout.

Spinney Mountain Reservoir

Spinney Mountain State Park is closed for the winter. The Park will remain closed until the ice comes off the reservoir in the Spring of 2015.  See you then.​


Conditions Report - Southeast Colorado​

Arkansas River

Thanks to an enlightened flow management program and an unseasonably warm spring, the Arkansas River fishing season is off to an excellent start. With clear flows of 400-450 cfs through Bighorn Sheep Canyon, and midday water temperatures already climbing into the 50s, there is a diversity of active aquatic insects and the trout population is feeding throughout the day. Look for drifts of midge pupae and caddis larvae in the mornings, and blue wing olive nymphs and emerging adults in the afternoons (cloudy days). Golden stonefly nymphs are another good option as they are active and can become available to the fish, and we are also on the cusp of the brown trout fry emergence, lending added emphasis to streamer fishing. Further upstream, the same entomology is in play, but cooler water and a later turn toward spring means that fish in and above Browns Canyon are still less dispersed throughout the river corridor and remain more congregated in the obvious winter holding water. Still, recent trips into this water have done well by focusing on those deeper slower lies and moving more quickly through the riffles and pocket water. The spring fishing thus far on the Arkansas has been very productive. Barring significant additional snowfall and the resulting need to move additional water from upstream reservoirs down to Pueblo Reservoir, expect flows in the 400 cfs range through the second week of May. This is optimal for the brown trout in terms of feeding, provides best conditions for the fry emergence, and makes the river very accessible and approachable for the angler.

Lathrop

Boat Ramps are open! Sunrise to Sunset! Fishing continues to be hot along the Martin Inlet. Angler's continue to pull in trout, although there are no reports of northern pike as of yet, it should be picking up soon. Stop by the visitor center to let staff know how the fishing is, or to show off an impressive catch!

Trinidad

The lake is at 691 surface acres.  Trout fishing has been good on power bait and homemade dough baits.  We have had a few 2-3 lb, 16-18 inch rainbows pulled in over the past week.  We have not had any reports of any other species being caught. The boat ramp is open.  Boaters are reminded that they need to have their boat inspected prior to each launch.  

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​​​Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado​​

Blue River (Below Dillon Reservoir)

Flows into the Blue River from Dillon Reservoir have settled back down to 107 cfs.  This is typical for this time of year and fishing remains solid.  Action has been good on a mix of nymph patterns imitating Mysis Shrimp, Midge larva and pupa - in red or black, as well as San Juan worm and egg patterns.  There have also been random opportunities to find rising fish feeding on adult midge imitations but, that has been inconsistent at best.  With current river levels and clarity, 5 and 6 x tippet will be necessary.  Fish are widely distributed in all water types so, don't just focus on the classic runs.  We have also noticed rainbows pairing up and forming beds, we urge wading anglers to exercise caution when walking in the river as to not disturb spawning fish.

Delaney Buttes

The only open water is a very small spot at the inlet of East Delaney. There is no bait of any kind allowed at the Delaney's. People have caught some nice fish from East, several in the 16-18 inch range, along with many 10-14ers. No records are being set on South or North but the fish action there is never boring. White was a good color for tubes and jigs, though bunches of fish were caught on flies-midges and nymphs.

Elkhead Reservoir

Fishing has slowed at the lake; the fish have gone deep. The ice has cleared off the lake and the water is clear for now.

Grand Lake

While the ice is still 18"-22" thick on Grand Lake the shoreline has become unsafe to access the lake.  The canal between Shadow Mountain and Grand Lake is fishing well.   Try using a bobber and your ice jigs for some nice rainbow and brown trout. Below Shadow Mountain is a great spot to break out your fly rods! 

Harvey Gap

Fishing has slowed and little activity has been reported.

Lake John

Even though the weather is getting warmer, there is currently no open water, though rivers and streams are beginning to liquefy. It won't be long before shorelines weaken, requiring fishermen to employ ever-increasing caution and common sense. Presume slush atop lake surfaces on warmer afternoons. Main roads to and from Lake John are generally in good shape but could change in an instant during adverse weather. Expect mud anywhere snow will be melting, especially after things have firmed up on a cold morning. When fishing John, stay on the north end in 8-12 feet of water. Jigging lures such as kastmasters, thomas buoyants, swedish pimples and daredevils have been producing good, but also try a meal worm or shrimp. 

Lower Fryingpan

The water conditions are clear but cold. Better conditions are to be found upstream. The overall rating for this section of the river is a 3 out of 10. It's okay fishing for sure, but not nearly as good as the middle and upper river. Warm days can yield much better fishing than the 3 out of 10 rating. In general, head on up higher along the river to find the best fishing (or fish the Fork/Collie). If you are planning on fishing through the lower river, stay above or below the Canyon stretch. Miles 3-4 have had plenty of risers in it lately. This is spring creek like flat water and probably one of the most difficult pieces of water to dry fly fish successfully. Then again, it's also one of the most rewarding pieces of water too! If you enjoy challenging dry fly fishing you'll fall in love with the water here. Bring your A-game, accurate casts, and you'll have a ball. Nymphing has done fairly well using winter stones, baetis and midges.

Lower Roaring Fork (Carbondale to Glenwood)

The flow is currently at 752 cfs in Glenwood Springs the water conditions are clear with lower water. Best float fishing (and hatches) has been from Westbank-Two Rivers; it's skinny but doable. Easiest floating stretch has been Bonedale-WB. The overall rating for this section of the river is a 7 out of 10. Fishing conditions are perfect. The water has great clarity. Recent cold weather has made the morning bite slow, but afternoons and evenings have been pretty productive. Floating anglers in particular should focus on fishing the deeper slots, seams and pools as the fish are not tight up against the banks. Like elsewhere on the Fork, midges, stones and generic attractors are accounting for the majority of fish being caught. Caddis and baetis will be of more importance down here than elsewhere on the river due to the lower elevation and warmth.

Middle River Fryingpan

The water conditions are clear and perfect. The overall rating of this section of the river is 7.5 out of 10 due to increased hatch activity, lack of crowds, and less picky fish. On bitter cold days (below 25 degrees) you'll still be best off to fish the first two miles below the dam.  This is the current sweet-spot along the river. Expect more opportunities at rising fish, increased streamer activity and much less in the way of fishing pressure. The fish along the middle pan are focused on midges predominately (same flies/techniques as the upper river). That said, baetis activity will be picking up in the coming weeks which makes fishing small baetis/bwo nymphs effective lead/attractor flies, especially prior to and after the midge hatch. There's no need to fish 7x tippets down here unless if you're fishing dries on flat water. Tandem dry fly rigs are preferred utilizing a high-vis midge (TC Fryingpan Emerger, CDC Transitional Midge) trailed by a less visible, more exact midge as the dropper (TC Bills Midge Emerger, CDC Spent Wing Midge). Like the upper river, the best fishing takes place during the afternoons into the evenings. Streamer diehards have actually had great success on the river as of late, due greatly to the abundance of overcast and warmth that we've had lately.

Middle Roaring Fork (Basalt Downstream to Carbondale)

The flow is at 448 cfs in Basalt. The water conditions appear to be clear and ideal. Ideally, the best fishing days always follow the warmest overnight temps. Ice and slush can be present on bitter cold days when temps fall into the low teens and below. The overall rating for this section of the river is an 8 out of 10. This is one of the few freestone rivers in the Rockies that fishes right on through the winter! Truth be told, this is the best/most consistent winter fishing on the entire Roaring Fork due in large part to the warm waters of the Fryingpan spilling into the river below Basalt. Like elsewhere on the Roaring Fork, midges, stoneflies and baetis are accounting for the majority of fish being caught. There's no need to get out there at the crack of dawn, as the best fishing has certainly been during the afternoons and into the evenings.

Rifle Falls

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

Fishing has started to slow, with the west end producing better than the east end. Trout have been active throughout the lake.

Stagecoach 

Fishing is picking up and we are seeing some 20"-22" rainbows being pulled through the ice. Chartreuse & pink jigs and blue/silver kastmasters seem to be hitting best. The Inlet, Keystone Day Use Area, and Morrison Cove are bringing in the majority of the fish.  See the ice conditions section for updated ice info. The responsible harvest of pike at Stagecoach is encouraged. County Road 18 to the Tailwater is closed through March. Anglers wishing to fish the Tailwater can park in the designated area next to the Entrance Station and walk, or bike down.

Sylvan Lake 

No Access to West Brush Creek Road, Sylvan Lake, Cabins, and Campground March 16 - April 23, 2015 for road construction.

Trinidad Lake

The lake is at 701 surface acres, and the water temperature is in the mid 30's. Trout fishing has been spotty from shore on power bait and homemade dough baits.  Boaters are doing well on trout trolling with various lures. We are still not getting any reports of walleye from shore or from boat. The boat ramp is open.  Boaters are reminded that they need to have their boat inspected prior to each launch.  

Upper Fryingpan

The water flow is at 187 cfs with the water being extremely clear. The overall rating is a 7 out of 10 but gaining in strength daily. Hatches are consisting of primarily midges with lighter numbers of small baetis. Best dry fly activity has been midday, anywhere from 11:00am - 3pm; warmth and overcast offer the best conditions, otherwise seek out the shade. The streamer bite has been fairly decent (weather dependent) and obviously the nymph fishing is solid all day long. The Fryingpan is a true pleasure to fish during our coveted and wildly popular "Fifth-Season", offering up good midge hatches, light crowds, and shots at some big fish. Nymphing (or streamer fishing) is the name of the game until later in the afternoon but you should always be prepared for anything. Weekend fishing pressure has been high along the upper half mile below the dam. If you want solitude, stay below mile marker 12.

Upper Roaring Fork (Aspen Downstream to Basalt) 

The water flow is at 1515 cfs below Maroon Creek (Woody Creek Canyon) and the water clarity is clear and low with variable ice/shush conditions. The overall rating of this section of the river is a 7 out of 10, if it weren't for colder conditions and shorter periods of sun, we could rate it as high as an 8! If you're tough enough to brave the elements, one can find superb fishing up here. It's time to be on the upper Roaring Fork! Rainbows are hungry and the browns are now in post-spawn and back to eating insects. Fishing pressure is low up here despite the good afternoon and evening fishing. The better areas to check out include: Jaffe Park, Leaning Tree, lower Woody, and Dart. Nymphing is the deadliest way to approach this section, utilizing winter stoneflies, midges, small baetis nymphs and caddis larva. The brown trout spawn is over and with that, the fishing has picked back up making insects more effective than egg patterns. The fish are congregating in any of the deeper pools, seams and pockets. In a sense, this makes finding the fish fairly easy!

Vega Reservoir

At this time, the ice is extremely thin and rotten and no longer safe to access. Several feet of open water can be found at the edges of the lake. 

Yampa River 

Fishing on the Yampa has been good with anglers reporting catching rainbows and browns from Steamboat to Craig. For the most part the river is ice free and clear at this time.

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​Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado​​

Blue Mesa

There is very little safe ice left! Reports recently have been that there is hard ice until 11 and then the wind and sun soften up the ice quickly! The west end is not safe, the east end has a few decent patches of fishable ice, but use extreme caution! The fishing was excellent today for lake trout and brown trout! We are still 7-14 days out from seeing either boat ramp open, but there is good fishing from shore! Currently the boat ramps are frozen in, but there is shore fishing available in some spots. Overall reports have been the shore fishing is productive. Temperature has been around 60 degrees with a lot of wind. If anyone wants up to date conditions reports for Blue Mesa call Robby at Sportfish Colorado (719) 649-3378

Crawford 

There have been many anglers fishing the banks. No reports have been given on what they are catching.

Mancos 

The lake is still mostly ice-covered. However, ice is beginning to pull away from the edges and the main lake ice is very poor quality with holes and fissures. You can click here to see tips on ice safety. No report this week due to poor ice and no open water. A park pass is required on vehicles in the park. Daily park passes are available at the self-serve pay station at the park entrance. For fishing rules/regulations and information, please visit the Fishing page.

Navajo Reservoir

Fishing picked up some in mid-Feb. with some catfish and northern pike caught.  The snow the end of Feb. slowed things down some, but the weather has warmed again, and fishermen were out in force this weekend and last.  2014-15 Colorado and New Mexico fishing licenses are still available at the visitor center. Colorado 2015-2016 fishing licenses went on sale March 11.  New Mexico 2015-2016 fishing licenses will go on sale April 1st.  Social security numbers are required for purchase. Please remember to bring sunscreen, insect repellent and clothes appropriate for changes in the weather.

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