Harvey Gap Reservoir
Trout have been caught near the dam. Boaters are having limited success with bass on the west side of the lake.
The lake is still ice covered with unsafe ice. Portions around Stillwater and Arapaho Bay boat ramps have open water.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 .
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.
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.
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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