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Conditions - Statewide
Conditions - Statewide
Fishing on the Arkansas

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Conditions for the week of April 21, 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

11466 State Highway 325, Rifle, Colorado 81650​

This is a perfect place to visit after fishing one of the many streams and lakes around this hatchery like Harvey Gap and Rifle Gap reservoir. Spend the morning fishing, then see where some of those fish you caught came from. The Rifle Falls Fish Hatchery is a cold water hatchery producing fingerlings (small 2-5 inch fish) and catchables (fish 9 inches or bigger) of rainbow, Snake River cutthroat, brook, brown, and cutthroat trout. It is also the largest state-owned and operated trout production hatchery in Colorado! Rifle Falls stocks stream sections, lakes, and reservoirs in western Co​lorado, and provides catchable trout for stocking along the front range. The hatchery is open during daylight hours and allows the public to feed the fish during business hours. Search below to view the Rifle Falls Fish hatchery and the many others located around the state. ​Search below to view the Rifle Falls Fish hatchery and the many others located around the state.​

​​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

Aurora Reservoir

The reservoir is open to boating and the water temperature is 48 degrees. Trout fishing from shore is slow to fair. Most trout are being caught using power bait. Walleye fishing is slow from boats. Some walleye have been caught from shore using jerk baits. No reports yet on other species. This reservoir is restricted to electric motors only and all watercraft must be inspected prior to launch. For more information call 303-326-8425.  Hours of operation this month are 6:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. The reservoir is closed on May 29-31 for an event.​


Chatfield Reservoir

The fish have started to move up in depth and become more active. The walleye fishing has picked up with anglers catching them along the rock dam on jerk baits. Popular colors are bone white when the water is murky, and shad patterns when the water clears up. Walleye bag limit is 3 fish 18 inches long, with one of those that can be over 21 inches. The bass fishing has been hit or miss and your best bet is to fish on the east end of the lake and look for weed beds in about 5 to 10 feet of water. The bass bag limit is 5 bass 15 inches long or longer. The trout fishing has been fair using night crawlers.  Trout fishing has been good around the entire lake, the trout bag limit is 4, any size.   The perch fishing has been slow; the perch bag limit is 20, any size. Chumming is prohibited, and strictly enforced! See fishing regulations (pages 10-35) for more information.


Cherry Creek

Trout have been active on power bait, lures and flies. The crappie fishing has been fair with people seeing the most success trolling lures.  White seems to be the key color. Walleye have been caught using jigs tipped with minnows and worms, casting and trolling crank baits, jigging raps, and blade baits.


Quincy Reservoir

The reservoir is open to boating and the water temp is 55 degrees. The water level is low at this time and shoreline conditions are muddy. The water level is starting to come up. Fishing is rated as fair to good at this time for bass! Some reports of bass being caught using jigs, soft plastics, jerk baits and crank baits fished slowly. 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 has been permanently closed. Access will only permitted through the East access gate. The hours of operation for April are 6:00 a.m.-8:30 p.m. For more information call 303-326-8424.

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Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado

Boyd Lake

The water temperature is approximately 50°F at the depth approximately 45.5 feet. The lake covers 1600+ surface acres. The largemouth bass fishing has been good using plastic lures at the marina, pump house, and North Cove. The smallmouth fishing has been fair with anglers catching them in the same areas that the largemouth bass are being caught in. White bass fishing has been picking up with any kind of shiny lure and worms working lake wide. The catfish and crappie fishing has been fair using worms primarily. The walleye fishing has picked up slightly with the most predominant pattern being a bottom bouncer in shallow water trolling. And lastly, the trout and perch fishing as usual are good this time of year most people seeing success throwing power bait (garlic scent) and worms lake wide.


Carter Lake

The fishing has been slow. South shore has yielded a few trout caught on worms. There were two large trout that were caught near the south Sundance trail head last week.


Flatiron Reservoir

Flatiron Reservoir is fishing very slow and the water level is low. The day use area and fishing pier near the west end of the reservoir seem to be your best bet. Anglers report sporadic hits using worms and worm/salmon egg combos. Access to the south shore of Flatiron is at the Cheyenne Day Use Area off of County Road 31.


Pinewood Reservoir

The water level is high, but fishing is slow. Rainbow and orange power bait, as well as fireballs have hooked a few trout. Fisherman's Cove's water level is high, so the inlet channel isn't running. Fly rods have had some luck with wooly buggers.


Conditions Report- Southeast Colorado

Arkansas River

The water has been clear. The fishing in Bighorn Sheep Canyon is heating up with strong blue wing olive mayfly activity from top to bottom and the brachycentrus caddis emergence beginning in the lower canyon. With forecasted highs in the 60s all week, look for the caddis to become a significant afternoon event from Howard to Parkdale in the days ahead. Further upstream, the Big Bend, Browns Canyon and Ruby Mountain areas are all enjoying strong mayfly activity while the upper end of the river (Granite and Hayden Meadows) is still shaking off the winter's cold. Significant runoff is not expected until May 15-20, the Arkansas River is a great spring fishing option with several active hatches, excellent spring fishery flows, and a very pleasant fishing climate. The peak fishing time has been between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm when the sun is high.


Blue Lake

The water levels at Blue Lake are higher than this same time last year. Both low water boat ramps are usable. Water is not being released from the lake yet. Fishing for Crappies is fair to good. Anglers are having success for crappies using minnows and jigs. An occasional channel catfish is also being caught.


Clear Creek Reservoir

The ice is completely off the reservoir, and fishermen are having fair success from shore.


Cottonwood Lake

With recent cold temperatures there is some ice on the lake, however with warm weather it is expected to be open this week. The fishing has been reported to be fair for all species.


Crystal Lakes

The water is completely free of ice and fishing has been good for all species. No other reports.


DeWeese Reservoir

Lake is full and fishing has been good for all species around the lake. No other reports.


Lathrop State Park

Fishing at Martin, and Horseshoe have been steady for the week. Trout still continue to be a hot catch along the shore line, with the hopes of a Northern Pike bite starting soon. Reports of a few Muskie in Horseshoe along the shoreline have been coming in. Please stop in at the visitor center to show off any impressive catch!


Lake Henry

Lake Henry and Merideth Lake went dry in the summer of 2013, as a result, there was a complete loss of the fishery in both lakes. Both lakes were stocked with sub-catchable crappie, saugeye, wiper, and channel cat fish in 2014. It will take 3-5 years for the fishing to pickup at both lakes. Currently, both lakes are at full capacity.  


Pueblo Reservoir

Current conditions at Pueblo Reservoir have not been conducive to catching lots of fish.  The water temperature is in the mid forties and the water is high. The reservoir is falling in depth but is still above the 4,880 foot mark.  Most of the fishing success has been coming from the west end of the lake near Turkey Creek where fisherman report catching crappie. Walleye fishing has been slow and the spawn is winding down.  Fishing on the tail waters has been busy and people are catching trout as to be expected.


Trinidad Lake

The lake is at 737 surface acres, and the water temperature is in the mid 40's. The trout fishing has been fair from shore. Most trout are being caught using power bait and homemade dough baits. Boaters are still reporting a few walleye and perch using jigs. The trout fishing from boats continues to be good. The boat ramp is open. Boaters are reminded that they need to have their boat inspected prior to each launch. 


Twin Lakes

The ice is completely off of both the upper and lower lakes. No other reports regarding the fishing.


Two Buttes Reservoir

Trout continue to be caught on both lures and bait. Spoons and spinners are catching trout with many trout running 16-20 inches. The lake was recently stocked and the stockers are biting as well. Traditional baits like powerbait and night crawlers are also catching fish. The largemouth bass are beginning to bite on lures, lipless crankbaits and spinnerbaits work well this time of year. The water temp is still a little cool, but as it warms up the crappie fishing should be excellent with most fish running in the 8-12 inch size. The lake is open to boating and both boat ramps are usable. The water level has dropped slightly over the last few weeks. Trout are being caught at Turks Pond on bait; pink power bait seems to be working best lately. A few crappie and bluegill have been caught as well and the fishing should continue to improve as the water temperature warms up. There are also bullheads being caught on worms.

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​​​Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado​​​

Harvey Gap Reservoir

Trout have been caught near the dam. Boaters are having limited success with bass on the west side of the lake.


Lake Granby

The lake is still ice covered with unsafe ice. Portions around Stillwater and Arapaho Bay boat ramps have open water.


Lower Fryingpan

The water conditions are clear but cold. There are better conditions to be found upstream. The food sources present are midges, baetis nymphs, winter stones, and caddis larva. The overall rating for this section of the river is 5 out of 10. It's fishing for sure, but nearly as well as the middle and upper river. Warm days can yield much better fishing than the 5 out of 10 rating. In general, head on up higher along the river to find the best fishing (or fish the Fork/Collie).

 

Lower Roaring Fork (Carbondale to Glenwood)

The water flow is at 822 cfs in Glenwood Springs and the water conditions are clear with lower water conditions. Best float fishing (and hatches) has been from Westbank-Two Rivers; it's skinny but doable. The easiest floating stretch has been Bonedale-WB. The overall rating for this section of the river is a 7 out of 10! The food sources present are midges, baetis, stoneflies, caddis larva, and sculpins-juvy trout. This section of the river has perfect conditions with great clarity. Recent cold weather has made the morning bite slow, but afternoons and evenings have been pretty outrageous!

 

Middle Fryingpan

The water conditions are clear and perfect. The food sources present are midges, baetis nymphs, and sculpins. The overall rating for this section of the river is a 7 out of 10 due to increased hatch activity, lack of crowds, and less picky fish. On bitter cold days (below 25'f) 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. Stick to single dry midge imitations, not clustering versions like a Griffiths Gnat. Save those clusters for April!

 

Middle Roaring Fork (Basalt Downstream to Carbondale)

The water flows are sitting at 456 cfs in Basalt. The water conditions are 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 a 7 out of 10. Believe that! The food sources present are midges, stoneflies, baetis, and caddis larva. 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.

 

Pearl Lake

Ice is getting thin and gray, starting to open a little along the shore. The Inlet has opened up some. As with any ice approach it with caution. No word from anyone fishing Pearl lately.

 

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 Reservoir

Trout are being caught throughout the lake, especially the east end. Walleye and bass have been caught near the dam.

 

Stagecoach Reservoir

The reservoir is ice free and reports are good for trout. Power bait or worms are doing well. People are catching 18"-24" rainbows from shore with the inlet and coves hitting the best. Remember to use proper catch and release techniques and cut the line close to the mouth if they swallowed the bait if you plan to release these fish. Pike fishing is picking up with pike being caught on the same lures and in the same areas as the trout. The responsible harvest of pike at Stagecoach is encouraged. County Road 18 to the tail water is open as of April 1st. For current flows p lease visit the USGS website .

 

Steamboat Lake

Ice on the lake is thinning and getting very grey, opening up a lot in Placer Cove. Willow creek at 62 is flowing strong and the inlet has opened up. Larson creek inlet has opened up, and water is flowing very fast through the culvert under RCR #62. The ski trails are done for the season. Fishing has been slow, but they are still catching some.

 

Upper Fryingpan

The water flows are sitting at 139 cfs and the water clarity is clear, which leads to ideal flows! However, the overall rating for this section of the river is a 6 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 food sources present are midges, baetis nymphs, mysis shrimp, and sculpins. A helpful hint is to sight fish. Don't even waste your time blind fishing!


Upper Roaring Fork (Aspen Downstream to Basalt)

The flows are sitting at 181 cfs below Maroon Creek (Woody Creek Canyon) with clear water clarity and low water with variable ice/slush conditions. The overall rating for 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 have the feed bag on and the browns are now post-spawn and back to eating insects. Fishing pressure is low up here despite the good afternoon and evening fishing. The food sources present are midges, baetis, stoneflies, caddis larva, and sculpins-juvy trout.

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​Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado​​

Blue Mesa Reservoir

The base water temperature is at 42 degrees with the water level sitting at 27 feet low and rising 3-4 inches per day. The Trout fishing is excellent throughout the entire lake. Brown trout and rainbow trout are being caught along almost any shoreline across the whole lake. Use marabou jigs, tube jigs tipped with meal worms or small jerkbaits to catch these fish. Lake trout fishing is slow to fair with a few 20+lb fish being caught weekly. Look for this fishing to pick up as the water warms up a little. A few salmon are being caught trolling in the western basins from 5-25 feet deep. Look for this fishing to improve as water warms as well.

 

Navajo Reservoir

The crappie have been biting at the tires located at the marina on the Colorado side of the reservoir. Fishermen are seeing success for catfish at wind surf beach at the located on the Colorado Side of the reservoir as well. No other reports.​

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