Conditions for the week of Oct.6, 2015. 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
The reservoir is open to boating and the water temperature is 63 degrees. The water level is low. The boat ramp is almost completely out of the water. Boaters with large boats should expect difficulty with loading and launching. The fall fishing can sometimes be some of the best fishing of the year for trout, walleye, perch and smallmouth and appears to be starting to pick up! Shore anglers don't overlook the opportunity to take advantage of great shoreline access due to low water level. Trout fishing currently from shore is rated as fair to good with some occasional good reports. Fly fishermen should try olive leech patterns. This is a great fall pattern for trout, walleye and smallmouth. Most reports are of trout being caught using powerbait from a slip rig and crawlers from the dam. Boaters report success ranging from fair to good while trout trolling with rapalas, spoons and pop gear with crawlers. Walleye fishing is anywhere from fair to good. Most walleye are caught from boats trolling with bottom bouncers with crawlers, jigs and drop shots. There is good fishing for yellow perch most caught using jigs and worms in the coves from boats in 8-15 feet of water. A few smallmouth and largemouth bass have been caught from shore using swim baits and jigs. The lake is restricted to electric motors only and all watercraft must be inspected prior to launch. For more information call 303-326-8425. The park hours in October are 6:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
The bass fishing has been fair. The best way to catch bass around the lake is by throwing a white tube jig on windy days or by throwing white colored zara spooks in the mornings. The fish are primarily feeding on bait fish and are keyed in on black, grey, and white patterns that resemble a baitfish. The best places to catch bass are along the dam and at Massy Draw. Don't be hesitant to throw a jerk bait as well, some of the more bigger bites have come off of using jerk baits and incorporating long pauses in your retrieve. The walleye fishing has been fair. Some places to check are the submerged road bed that is about 100 yards off of the handicap dock at the south shore and trolling the dam in about 18 foot of water. Try trolling night crawlers and leaches if you have a boat.
The reservoir is open to boating. Water temperature is 66 degrees and the water level is good. Fishing for bass overall is fair to good. Most anglers are catching bass when using soft plastics, jerk baits and crank baits. There have been some smallmouth bass caught from the dam using jigs. Perch fishing is fair to good using jigs. 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. For more information call 303-326-8424. The park hours in October are 6:30 a.m - 7:30 p.m. Quincy will close for the season Nov. 1.
Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado
Eleven Mile Reservoir
The trout fishing is good and there is lots of action around the lake from shore and boat. The water temperature is dropping very slowly. Trolling or jigging anglers are starting to enjoy the superb fishing Eleven Mile and Spinney Mountain have to offer in September and October. Try tas devils, rapala's, krocodiles, kastmasters or needlefish because they are all successful lures. The bite was later in the day this week, but it is on the move again. Look to mid or late morning for better action next week. Most fish caught now are over 16"-- that means you need to be measuring your fish as soon as they are landed. River flow is absolutely perfect for fall angling. The kokanee salmon fishing has been slow and the snagging season is open, but not many fish are being seen. The northern pike fishing has been fair and the bite should improve as the water temperature drops, but it has been difficult of late. Start trolling big stick baits from Cross Creek to Stoll and on into Rocky Flats. Follow the overflow channel. Bite times have varied with mid-morning and mid-afternoon being the best. Spinner baits are still producing good fish along the weed beds. The dream stream fishing is good and anglers can expect to see hatches of midges, BWO's, and trico's. 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 are in the river now. Egg-midge combos and streamers are effective in fooling these migratory fish. 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.
Spinney Mountain Reservoir
The trout fishing is great. Trollers are still doing well using with tas devils, kastmaster, tube jigs, and small rapalas. Jigging action on the south side is seeing some success. Best times have been very early morning and after 1 p.m. Belly boat action in the Northwest corner is doing well using wooly buggers, hares ears, scuds and halfbacks. Fish are hanging between 17-30 feet deep. The pike fishing is good and there is lots of pike action going on-- rapalas, zonkers, dare devils, and tasmanian devils are keeping them on the line. The river above spinney is fishing well and lures, streamers, woolies, and eggs have all been effective.
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Conditions Report- Southeast Colorado
Warm days, cool nights, and an excellent fishery flow continue to characterize this fall as one of the most productive in recent memory. The forecast for the next ten days shows highs in the 70s and lows in the 40's (Salida), and flows should continue in the lower 300 cubic feet per second range at Wellsville. Mornings are generating some good midge activity until about 10 a.m., and afternoons have seen consistent blue wing olive mayfly nymphal drifts on sunny days and stronger, if localized, hatches when there are clouds. We still have hoppers, caddis, red quill, so throwing dries is very effective even when surface feeders are not in evidence. Moving toward the brown trout spawn, streamers should gain in utility as well. Any one fishing dries or nymphs should trail an unweighted BWO emerger in the afternoons (barr emerger, juju baetis, RS-II, small pheasant tail…) as fish are onto these regardless of the weather from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
John Martin Reservoir
The reservoir is at 222,000 acre feet. Fishing on the reservoir is very slow compared to last year. Anglers are having some luck catching walleye, saugeye, and white bass behind the trestle. Anglers are catching some white bass in the 8-12 inch range, and some drum from the shoreline mostly on the west end of the lake around points, both on worms and white jigs. White bass and drum are mostly what is being caught, but not in great numbers or in large sizes. Very few crappie, catfish, and saugeye are being reeled in on the reservoir. Little success is being had below the reservoir in the stilling basin and Arkansas River.
Catching the bass populations and the walleye populations around the lake is completely dependent on finding the bait fish. Most of the fish have been in the 14 to 22 foot range around the lake and they are all eating baitfish. Some bigger largemouth bass have been caught up shallow in isolated timber and brush flipping crawfish jigs in a green pumpkin color. Walleye have been caught when trolling a berkley flicker shad in deep water.
Lathrop State Park
The fall fishing will continue to be somewhat hot on both lakes. Martin is providing a bit of a trout catch as well as a few Northern Pike, 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.
North Gateway Park
Some luck is being had, with people mostly catching sunfish and occasionally trout. Bass and catfish are being caught less frequently at this time. Expect the trout fishing to pick up into the fall as the water temperatures begin to cool down. Night fishing is allowed with a free permit issued by the City of Lamar. Pond 1 (closest to the highway) will remain open to the public for fishing until it freezes over.
State Forest State Park
Water conditions are clear but can grow some color with late afternoon showers, though these showers have helped to give the water that extra push. The alpine waters continue to be a popular area as the season is coming to an end. If you don't mind the hike all of the alpine waters promise for beautiful scenery and a great day of fishing. Lake Agnes continues to be one of the more popular alpine spots due to its accessibility and solid reports of both rainbow and cutthroat trout being caught. Anglers have been having success when using spinners in mornings and late afternoons. Both Ranger Lakes and North Michigan Reservoir have had great reports as of late. Especially in Ranger Lakes where the rainbow and cutthroat seem to be really going after anything, basic casting spoons seem to be doing the trick. Fishing near the North Michigan dam has also been solid throughout the week.
The lake is at 748 surface acres at a surface elevation of 6186 feet. The water temperature is in the mid 60's. The trout fishing has been spotty on the lake. Anglers have had to move around until they find fish. Once they find fish, they seem to have a pretty good day of fishing. Most trout are being caught on powerbait and some night crawlers. Boaters are catching some 16-18 inch trout trolling, perch and some walleye have also been caught. Boaters are catching fish trolling, and jigging. Boaters are reminded that hazards on the lake may not be marked.
Fishing for channel catfish continues to be fair for anglers fishing after dark. Black bullheads are readily available and provide consistent action for folks fishing a worm off of the bottom. Wiper action picked up this week with a few fish in the four to five pound class being caught.
Two Buttes Reservoir
Decreasing water temperature has slowed catch rates for warm water species like bass, bluegill, and crappie. Anglers targeting submerged trees on the west end of the lake and are still picking up fair numbers of fish. Trout will be stocked once again this fall improving opportunity for anglers to take home a limit of fish.
Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado
Harvey Gap Reservoir
Trout have been caught throughout the lake. Anglers are having success catching bass near the inlet. There has also been a fair amount of catfish being caught after dark. Both tiger muskie and northern pike are being caught. Tiger muskie have been reintroduced to the lake. These can look similar to northern pike. Please know the difference! Tiger muskie have a minimum size of 36" to be able to keep and only a bag limit of one muskie is allowed. Talk to staff before fishing or refer to the signage posted at the park for more details. Violators will be ticketed.
Rifle Gap Reservoir
Fishing has picked up over the last couple of weeks. Trout and perch have been caught throughout the lake. Walleye and bass have been caught near the dam. Keep in mind there are a couple of fishing regulations specific to Rifle Gap. Walleye have a bag/possession limit of one fish that must be 18 inches or greater. The bag and possession limit for bass is two fish that must be 15 inches or greater. And all of the other game species in the lake can be applied to the statewide regulations as normal
Fishing from shore has steadily increased due to cooler weather and water temperatures dropping. Anglers are still catching a fair amount of fish. Many anglers at the headwaters have been catching rainbow trout using black and olive wooly buggers, black zonkers, and sparkly powerbait. There was a gentleman that caught a 24 inch, 7 pound rainbow trout just a few days ago. The area near the dam has been fishing well using streamers. Try fishing deeper waters using sink tips. Northern pike are biting although most are fairly small, the average size seems to be about 20 inches. Most anglers have been using barry's pike fly red and white, cisco kid toppers, heddon rattlin' spooks, and booyah pikee. Fly fishing at the Tail Waters has been steady with anglers catching lots of trout. The new renovation project has increased fish reproduction and size tremendously. The waters below the dam are at perfect conditions and the fish are always hungry! Fishing in the morning, afternoon, and on overcast days are the prime times to catch fish. The water flow is approximately 80 cubic feet per second. On clear days anglers must make 6 and 7 X fluorocarbon tippets a must. Try using small indicators and micro split shots to not spook the fish. When using nymphs try: :RS2 in any color, bead wing midge, red d midge, sow bug, pheasant tail nymph, the barr's emerger, and parachute adams. When using dries try: Size 22-24, red quill , hi-viz griffiths gnat, parachute midge, spider midge, BWO, and last chance cripple PMD.
Early Settlers and Oak Point boat ramps are closed for the season. The island boat ramp remains open at this time. Water levels are very low. Fishing is still good lake wide. Anglers are catching rainbow trout and cutthroat trout in the 14 - 16 inch range using powerbait and worms. Please make sure to have all boats inspected prior to launching. The ANS inspection station hours for October are as follows: Mondays - please bring your boat to the Visitor Center for inspections. Tuesday - Sunday ANS inspection station is open from 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.