Conditions for the week of May 26, 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. 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.
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
Mt. Shavano Hatchery
7725 CR 154 Salida, Colorado 81201
The Mt. Shavano Hatchery is the
second largest hatchery in the state and offers a great opportunity to get out
and learn about the hatchery process. The Mt. Shavano hatchery sees an
estimated one thousand visitors a month, which makes this hatchery busy year
round. The hatchery offers guided tours to visitors from Memorial Day through
Labor Day. If a larger school group or organization would like to visit the
hatchery it is preferred that the group make an appointment for guided tours. The
hours that tours are available are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day. For those
looking to have a more interactive experience with the fish at the hatchery the
hatchery has “Feed the Fish” dispensers located throughout the hatchery, for
visitors to feed the fish. On a daily basis approximately 500-900 pounds of
feed is used each day for the fish at the hatchery. To learn more about the Mt.
Shavano Hatchery call 719-539-6877, for location information, visit the CPW hatchery webpage.
Watch this new video showing the hatchery process, how CPW runs its hatcheries accross the state and how the stocking process works.
Click on a hatchery icon to learn more about it.
The opportunities offered, contact information, and even some photos!
Conditions Report - Metro Denver Area
The reservoir is open to boating and the water temperature is 52 degrees. Trout fishing from shore is rated as fair to good. Most reports are of trout being caught using power bait from a slip rig and some reports using night crawlers. Boaters are reporting success ranging from slow to good on trout trolling with rapalas, spoons and crawlers. Walleye fishing has picked up some and is reported as slow to fair with a handful of good reports from boats trolling with bottom bouncers and crawlers and jigs. Some reports of walleye being caught from shore using jerk baits and jigs. There have been a few reports of smallmouth bass being caught using jigs and swim baits. This reservoir is restricted to electric motors only and all watercraft must be inspected prior to launch. For more information call 303-326-8425. The May hours of operation are 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. The reservoir will be closed May 29, 30, 31 for the Rocky Mountain Air Show.
Cherry Creek Reservoir
Water levels are still high but they are returning to normal conditions. When these flood like conditions occur with high water levels it is common for fish to explore the new structures of trees and bushes, so try fishing areas that are not normally underwater. Temperatures of the water will continue to fluctuate until weather clears and the skies are sunny. The trout are not affected by these cold weather conditions and if anything they create an even better fish catching opportunity. Tube jigs, power bait and worms are working very well. Crappie are still being caught while trolling the main basin. Small crank baits such as matzuo's nano cranks have been very productive. The walleye are being caught using lindy rigs and jigs. When fishing jigs and lindy rigs try to use lighter weights to get the jigs and the lindy rig further away from the boat. Bass Pro Shops XPS blade baits have a ton of flash and vibration and can be what the doctor ordered to trigger some bites.
Open to boating. Water temp is 57 degrees. The water level is good. Fishing is rated as fair to good at this time for bass! Most reports are of bass being caught using jigs, soft plastics, jerk baits and crank baits. 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. May hours 5:30am-9:00pm. For more information call 303-326-8424.
Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado
Trout are being caught off the South shoreline on spinners and worms combined with salmon eggs. A 15 inch walleye was caught with a leech at South Shore. There seems to be quite a bit of fish activity in Green Cove just southwest of North Pines. However, nobody is landing any fish.
Eleven Mile Reservoir
The trout fishing has been good. Boaters that were trolling did much better this week. Many fish in the 12-16 inch range were caught with a good number of bigger ones. Needlefish and kastmasters worked well along with tasmanian devils and rapala's. The shore action was up and down with the weather. Night action was best at sundown and between midnight and 2 a.m., spawn sacks are still working well with power bait being very effective at certain times of the day. And never forget the night crawlers and a marshmallow. Fly anglers are doing well with black woolly buggers, hare's ear and san juan worms. The hatches happen as the sun comes out. It takes just minutes and the bite can be on. Look to Cross Creek, Sucker Cove and Rocking Chair to Howbert. The kokanee fishing has been slow, but a few fish are beginning to turn up. Straight out from the Marina has been decent for fish in the two pound range. Sling blades and dodgers with a variety of trailers have stirred them to hit. Fish have been located in deeper water suspended at 15 to 30 feet. Duck Island to Deer Island has also seen some action. The pike fishing has been slow, but there have been 10 to 20 pound fish landed. Look for fishing conditions to improve as we move forward into June. In regards to the fishing at the dream stream, anglers willing to work hard, cover lots of water and sight fish will reap the greatest rewards. Effective flies have been #20 mercury pheasant tails, #18-20 buckskins, and #20 barr emergers. Look for midging fish (small) in the slower pools and tailouts. Small parachute adams and griffith gnats will fool these surface feeders.
The reservoir was last stocked on 5/3/15. Power bait of various colors and worms are bringing in trout (mostly small stockers) at the pier and West Day Use Areas.
Golden Gate Canyon
Golden Gate Canyon State Park offers five fishing ponds open year-round to all park visitors. The ponds are Kriley, Slough, Ranch Ponds East and West, Forgotten Valley, and Dude's Fishing Hole. Kriley and Slough Ponds were stocked with rainbow trout on May 13, 2015. Forgotten Valley stocked with brown trout at the beginning of June, 2014. Ranch Ponds were stocked with channel catfish on October 1, 2014. Each angler is allowed four fish per day with eight being the maximum number in possession. No live baits are allowed with the exception of worms. Ice fishing allowed on all ponds. Conditions vary throughout the winter, fish at your own risk.
The reservoir was last stocked 4/16/15. A 36 inch tiger muskie was caught in Fisherman's Cove on 5/24. Muskie have been seen in and around Fisherman's Cove pretty regularly. One made a meal of a trout on a stringer, leaving only the head. Some large trout have been coming out on both the Northwest and Northeast shorelines. Trout seem to be going after just about anything you can throw at them.
Spinney Mountain Reservoir
The trout fishing is excellent, with people bringing in nice numbers trout. The pike fishing is fair when using rapalas. Expect for the fishing to pick up in the next couple of weeks.
Conditions Report- Southeast Colorado
Above Buena Vista there is a lot of new snow in the high country and continued precipitation in the upper basin. Flows in Hayden Meadows have risen a bit due to rain on snow. The visibility remains fair, and prior to this storm blue wing olive activity was strong. Crystal Lake and Hayden Lake are now iced off and open. From Buena Vista to Salida there is a lot of snow and rain that are feeding the tributaries and raising the flows. Visibility is still decent in this stretch but not what it was last week. As this system moves out, persistent cool weather should keep conditions decent. Blue wing olive mayfly activity has continued to be a strong motivator of fish behavior and if conditions remain calm, we can expect more of that in the week ahead. Below Salida the heavy rain and snow is causing mud to flow into the Arkansas River at the Stockyard Bridge (mouth of Bighorn Sheep Canyon). Badger Creek (Howard) also has a strong and dirty flow. There has been a lot of moisture in the drainage and all the funneling into Bighorn Sheep Canyon means the lower basin is probably not the best destination for the next few days.
Brush Hollow Reservoir
Crappie fishing is very good. Crappie have been caught on the east shore, close to the trees. Best way is from a boat or float tube. More bass have also been caught. Water level is high and the road on the north end in under a temporary closure due to wet, muddy conditions.
Clear Creek Reservoir
Fishing for trout remains good at Clear Creek Reservoir. Anglers mostly caught 8-12 inch rainbow trout with the occasional 18-25 inch rainbow trout being landed too. Gold kastmasters, worms and power bait worked well for trout at the boat ramp parking lot area. Green woolly buggers have been a productive fly for fly fisherman. Fly fisherman reported catching several trout at both the northern and southern parts of the reservoir. The southern part of the reservoir can be accessed by a trail located near the pond off of HWY 24. Trolling with frog colored tasmanian devil lures and gold kastmasters (1/4 oz) along the southern part of the reservoir has been very productive for trout. The kokanee salmon fishing remains slow, with anglers sometimes using squids and dodgers and having success. No one reported landing a tiger musky last week. The reservoir is closed to trailer motorized watercrafts on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The current boating hours are from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
John Martin Reservoir
Due to recent storms, over 34,000 acre feet of water has entered the reservoir in the past two weeks. Water levels are near 80,000 acre feet and still rising, compared to less than 30,000 acre feet this time last year. Cooler water temperatures and turbidity from the incoming water have caused fishing to slow. Fishing has been fair for white bass, wipers, and catfish. Anglers have been having very minimal luck catching crappie. Once the water settles and warms up, fishing is expected to pick back up. The spillway below the dam is still producing some small saugeye and catfish with an occasional larger catfish being caught.
Fishing at Lake Pueblo State Park is steadily increasing. Fishermen have been having luck catching walleye in Rock Creek Cove in deeper water. Bass are becoming active and are being caught near the North Shore Marina. The high water level has also helped fisherman catch large catfish on the muddy banks on the west end of the reservoir. The water temperature is 54 degrees. The river below the dam is temporarily flowing at 102 CFS.
The fishing at O'Haver Lake has been slow this spring. The best success is by belly boat anglers using flies and lures. Bait fisherman along the inlet have reported some success with salmon eggs and worms.
Riverside Ponds were stocked early in May with catchable rainbow trout. The fishing has been good, with fly fisherman and lure fisherman doing well along the inlets. They are using a variety of different flies and lures.
Fishing for trout is steady there have been trout caught from the bank and boats as well. Beaver Creek below the dam is still very high and fishing is slow due to the high water levels.
The lake is at 846 surface acres, and the water temperature is in the mid 50's. With the recent heavy rains the lake is a little murky. Fishing has slowed down a bit, but we are still getting reports of trout being caught on power bait from shore. The walleye, perch, and bass fishing was a little slow this week. Boaters are reminded that they need to have their boat inspected prior to each launch. The boat ramp is open.
Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado
The Visitors Center has a new batch of power bait in all flavors and colors, some with sprinkles, and some that smell like garlic. Bring everyone out and make a day of fishing at Highline Lake. Purchase your 2015 fishing license and register your boat for 2015 in the Visitor Center. If you catch a fish and would like your photo with your catch posted on our Big Fish Board, just stop by the Visitor Center or track down a Ranger, and we'll take your photo and post it! Stop by and see what others are catching.
The water conditions are currently clear. The food sources present are caddis, midges, baetis, and golden stones. The overall rating for this section of the river is a 5 out of 10. It's day to day as of right now due to recent rains. Look for this section to clear within the next week, and possible sooner. In general, head on up higher along the river to find the best fishing (or fish the Fork/Collie).
Lower Roaring Fork (Carbonedale to Glenwood)
The water flow is at 1,560 cfs in Glenwood. The water conditions are changing daily, but not enough to slow down the caddis hatch. Currently the river is blown-out with runoff due to heavy recent rains. The current rating for this section of the river is a 3 out of 10. Floats and waders have been doing quite well as of late, with the cooler temps and cloud cover we have been experiencing, the streamer bite has been good too. Nymphs, dries and streamers are all on the menu right now. Caddis are hatching heavily at this time.
The water conditions are clear and perfect. The food sources present are midges, baetis, 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. During cold mornings 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.
Middle Roaring Fork (Basalt Downstream to Carbondale)
The water flow is sitting at 749 cfs in Basalt. The water conditions are currently stained but with plenty of water visibility. Conditions are day to day, with anglers having great days followed by slow ones. The overall rating for this section of the river is too varied. It's either been great or slow and not much in between depending on runoff and clarity. Caddis are thicker down valley, but they are already making a decent showing here in Basalt. BWOs are still hatching regularly as we have been experiencing far more cloudy, cool weather, which BWOs just love. Hot and dry days are on the horizon, so the caddis fishing will improve here significantly.
Anglers are reporting that power bait and kastmasters are doing well for trout. Anglers are reporting 18-22 inch rainbow trout from shore with the inlet and coves along the shallows hitting the best. Reports are even better for anglers with boats. Remember to use proper catch and release techniques and cut the line close to the mouth if they swallowed the bait and 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 visit the USGS website.
The ice is off and the fishing has been good. Stocking should take place by the end of May to the first part of June.
The lake was stocked on 05/08/2015 with (12-16 inch) Snake River Cutthroat trout. There have been reports of rainbow, brook, and brown trout being caught. Anglers have had the most success with gold and silver spinners, olive woolly buggers and power bait.
The water flow is at 201 cfs and the water clarity is clear thus, creating ideal flows. The overall rating for this section of the river is a 7.5 out of 10 but gaining in strength daily. Hatches are consisting of primarily midges with lighter numbers of small baetis. The best dry fly activity has been midday, anywhere from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; 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.
Upper Roaring Fork (Aspen Downstream to Basalt)
The water flow is at 363 cfs below Maroon Creek. The water can have a slight stain/tea colored hue as the river progresses through "mud-season", but is currently in good shape and very fishable. Typically this stretch of river is unaffected by runoff and blow-outs due to the higher elevation and limited tributary influences. This section is easily your go-to-spot on the Roaring Fork. The overall rating for this section of the river is a 6.5 out of 10. It's a delight fishing the Upper Roaring Fork lately, there are a few different sizes of caddis moving around, baetis, and midge hatches too. Exercise caution in the upper river as resident rainbows are spawning in full force.
The Island and Early Settlers boat ramps are both open at this time. Please remember to have your boat inspected before launching. Anglers are reporting catching rainbow and cutthroat trout in the 14 - 16 inch range near the dam and off the island. The Visitors Center is open daily 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday – Thursday, on Friday and Saturday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. The Entrance Station and ANS Inspection station has varied hours through May; when it is closed please come to the Visitor's Center for boat inspections.
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Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado
Blue Mesa Reservoir
Run-off has begun. Blue Mesa water levels are now rising 1-2 feet per week. This change in water level has pushed the trout off the banks in search of more stable habitat. Some brown and rainbow trout can still be caught throwing jigs and jerk baits along the shorelines, however, trolling has taken over as the more productive method. Use rapala type baits as well as spoons to target brown trout from 10-40 feet of water. Rainbow trout and kokanee salmon will inhabit the same areas of the water column. Troll brightly colored lures behind dodgers or cowbells from 5-25 feet of water. Lake trout have started to move a little deeper. Troll or jig large baits from 30-60 feet down in the western basins of the lake.
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