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Conditions - Statewide
Conditions - Statewide
Fishing on the Arkansas

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Conditions for the week of September 30, 2014. 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. 

Examples include: 

Many other fly shops and marinas also offer fishing condition reports on their websites as well.

Conditions Report - Metro Denver Area

Aurora Reservoir

All watercraft must be inspected prior to launch in the lower parking lot at the entrance of the boat ramp. This includes all hand launched watercraft. Trout fishing from shore is slow to fair. Try from the dam using power bait from a slip rig casted out 40-50 yards! Boaters have been reporting success ranging from slow to fair trolling with spoons, rapalas and crawlers for trout. Walleye action is reported as slow to fair from boats trolling bottom bouncers with crawlers, jointed shad raps and jigs. The fishing is expected to improve in the next few weeks as the water temp continues to drop. All other species are slow or no reports. The fall fishing can sometimes be one the best times of the year! Restricted to electric motors only. For more information call 303-326-8425. Park hours for October 6:30 a.m. -7:30 p.m. Reservoir will close to boating December 1st.

Quincy Reservoir

Fishing is restricted to artificial flies and lures only. Water level is good but algae blooms are occurring. Only watercraft capable of being launched by hand permitted and electric motors only. All watercraft must be inspected prior to launch. Trout fishing is slow at this time. Bass fishing is rated as slow to fair using swim baits, top water lures, spinner baits and soft plastics. Some reports of smallmouth being caught from the dam using jigs. No other reports at this time. For more information call 303-326-8424. Park

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Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado

Eleven Mile State Park

Trout (Good): Many big fish of late have been caught on Power Bait (red, orange, chartreuse). The worm floated with a marshmallow technique is still working. Trolling with cowbells and crawler was productive last week. Anglers pitching tube jigs continue to land five pounders quite regularly. The bottom line is there are lots of big fish being caught and its seems like a few more than usual.

KOKANEE (Slow): Very few are being found. 

NORTHERN PIKE (Good): Action on the West end in the weeds continues to be good. It is a timing thing; you need to be there when the bite happens. Daredevel's, Rapala's and large white and green tube jigs have worked well. Take a risk and remove your steel leader you will catch more fish. (Courtesy of 11 Mile Marina) 

DREAM STREAM (Fair): No significant report.

Horsetooth Reservoir (Larimer County)

Water temperature was 63.3 degrees, and the water level has leveled off. Walleye are starting to bite during evenings on worm harness; try shallow first with shad raps and worm harness down 12-15 feet. Then as deep as 35 feet while harness is down 12-15 feet for suspending fish. Still best fishing evenings and early night, and look deeper if they aren't up! Bass have slowed and bigger fish are starting to show up! Lots of bass found on main lake and dams, and should be found in deeper water 15-28 feet. Very slow presentation on tubes works, as well as shad colored crank baits, and top water baits early morning. Some larger fish were located in coves over the weekend. Trout is fair; try worms just off bottom in Satanka and Inlet Bay, and also worms and shad tubes deeper, and Mepps style spinners. Some rainbows and Cuttbows being taken deep that are in with bass and walleye feeding on shad and smelt. Good luck and may all your fishes come true!​​​​

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Conditions Report - Southeast Colorado

Arkansas River

Flows on the Arkansas River continue to track just above the 50 year average and visibility remains clear to tinted. Strong hatches of blue wing olive and red quill mayflies are keeping fish surface oriented, though the majority of feeding occurs further down in the water column. Nymph rigs combining mayfly emergers, midge larvae, and attractor patterns are doing well. So are late afternoon dry-fly combos with foam pmx patterns, stimulators, and foam caddis. Boat-based streamer fishing has also been excellent. October should see a slow shift toward baetis and midges, the brown trout spawn, and cooler water. Conditions seem right for a good month ahead.

Boyd Lake

Reported by Type of Fish: Grade, Lures Reported Used, Location Reported.

Bass, Largemouth: GOOD, Plastic Lures, Marina, Pumphouse & North Cove;

Bass, Smallmouth: FAIR, Lures, Marina, Pumphouse, North Cove; 

Bass, White: GOOD, Lures, Worms , Lakewide; 

Blue Gill: FAIR, Report, Lake Wide; Carp: POOR, Report, Lake Wide; 

Catfish: FAIR, Report, Lake Wide; 

Crappie: FAIR, Worms & Lures, Lake Wide; Trout: GOOD, Worms, Lures, Powerbait, Lake Wide, 

Walleye: GOOD, Bottom Bouncers, lures, Shallow Waters Off the Points & Trolling; 

Yellow Perch: POOR, No report, Lake Wide. 

The current water temperature is estimated to be approximately 65° with a depth of approximately 46 feet. Estimate approximately 1600+ Surface Acres. 

PLEASE NOTE: Any live fish collected for use as bait may only be used in the same body of water from which they were collected. All live baitfish from a commercial source and transported by anglers must at all times be accompanied by a receipt for the source. See the Colorado Fishing Regulations for further clarification and information.

Clear Creek Reservoir (Lake County)

Fishing from shore has been fair at Clear Creek Reservoir. The best time to fish remains during the morning and evening. Either green PowerBait or yellow Berkley’s Floating Magnum Eggs typically worked well near the dam of the reservoir. At the boat ramp parking lot area, pink Tasmanian Devil lures (1/4 oz) and rainbow PowerBait off the Lake’s bottom was productive. Successful fly fishermen caught trout on Woolly Buggers. Most of the catches from shore were homogeneous groups of 8 to 12 inch rainbow trout. Boat fishing for trout has been fair. Boaters experienced moderate success on needlefish lures, orange tasmanian devil lures, thomas buoyant lures, and rapalas. Sometimes trolling cowbells coupled with worms along the southern part of the reservoir can be very productive. Some boaters reported landing rainbow trout between 12-15 inches. Kokanee salmon fishing remains slow from a boat. Boat anglers targeting kokanee salmon usually employed Squids and Dodgers near the dam of the reservoir at depths of 15 to 25 feet. The final day of the season that boating will be open for trailer and motorized watercrafts will be September 29. Midday water surface temperatures averaged in the high 50’s F°.

Jackson Lake

Lake level is full. Surface water temperature as of Sept. 27th is 61 degrees. Fishing has been fair for all species. A few trout have been taken with your typical bait, as well as drum and wipers using nightcrawlers.

Lake Pueblo

The water temperature on the lake is starting to drop, which has had an impact on fishing. Fishermen are still having limited success for wiper and catfish using worms on the bottom on the west end at the mouth of Turkey Creek. As for the Arkansas Tailwater below Pueblo Dam fishing is picking up. The current flow is 301 CFS and the water temperature is approximately 66o at the dam. Fisherman can expect the best success when the river is running below 200 CFS.


Fishing is coming off a recent slow stretch, but should head up at the temperature drops. The blue gill in Horseshoe should provide a fun catch for the youth. The muskie in Horseshoe, and the Pike in Martin should pick up a bit going to fall.Stop by the visitor center to let staff know how the fishing is, or to show off an impressive catch!

Trinidad Lake

The lake is at 455 surface acres and the water temperature is in the mid 60’s. We are still seeing trout caught from shore on various colored powerbaits and nightcrawlers. The occasional perch is being caught from shore using nightcrawlers. Boaters are reporting some walleye and some smallmouth bass being caught using jigging techniques. Bass have also been biting on crankbaits.​

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Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado​​

Highline Lake

There is a new photo on our Big Fish board this week! Another huge catfish was caught by the same fisherman as last week! No word on the bait he is using, but the east ramp cove is THE place to catch catfish. Otherwise, fishing is still a little slow for trout at Mack Mesa and Highline Lake. Bass should be biting soon, when the weather cooperates. Try both north and south ends of Highline, maybe in the mornings and evenings. We have night crawlers in the Visitor Center, and if they don't work, we also have a huge variety of Power Bait! Information for trollers - Tuesday, Sept. 30 is the last day for 2014 boating on Highline Lake! ANS inspections and decontaminations are available seven days per week, through Tuesday, Sept. 30 on the WEST side only, 7 am to 7 pm. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 27 and 28, inspections and decontaminations are available on the EAST side 8 am to 4 pm, AS STAFFING ALLOWS. Contact the park at 970-858-7208 for information about inspection availability. See the Conditions page for information about Boat Capacity procedures. All watercraft, trailered or not, must be inspected for ANS before launching, unless a seal is attached, and a receipt is in hand. Do not launch without an inspection or without leaving a seal and receipt in the box provided at the ramp. You can stop by the Visitor Center and pick up your 2014 fishing license or boat registration on your way to the water! Get out and go fishing at Highline or Mack Mesa Lake - it's a great way to spend some time with family and friends. Or just enjoy the peace and quiet of fishing alone, away from the everyday hustle and bustle. No matter the excuse for getting outside, fishing is a great way to spend the day, even if you don't catch a thing!

Lower Fryingpan

OVERALL RATING: 8 out of 10. THE SHORT AND SWEET: Are you the angler that doesn't want to see anyone (or at least just a few others) all day? This is your section. Hatches get rolling down on the lower river before the upper due to warmer temperatures, and we areseeing good numbers of caddis, PMDs and baetis. 

IN DEPTH REVIEW: The fish in the upper miles do trend towards being larger, but they also tend to be much, much more selective. The fish closer to town face far less angler pressure and tend to be opportunistic feeders, meaning you can get away with larger tippet and larger flies, in general. The baetis and PMD hatch has been rock-solid with increasing numbers of caddis.

Lower Roaring Fork - Carbondale to Glenwood

OVERALL RATING: 6.5 out of 10 nymphing with 8 out of 10 streamer and high-low fishing. 

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: There are plenty of caddis, BWOs, PMDs, and even a few hoppers moving around these days. 

THE SHORT AND SWEET: Pack up your fishing gear and get your butt out on the river! Like the other sections of water along the Roaring Fork, nymph the fast water with larger flies and the soft water with smaller flies. As the water continues to fall, look for the fish to make the transition from holding along the edges eating big flies (stoneflies, caddis, etc) to holding more midriver and eating smaller flies (BWOs, PMDs). 

THE IN DEPTH REVIEW: We have been floating the lower Roaring Fork daily with much success. Beaded baetis nymphs on high/low rigs early and late in the day are best. Nymphing midriver with small BWO imitations has been best under the bright sun during midday. Hatches vary right now in accordance with the weather but in general is more caddis oriented during the sunshine, and more baetis oriented during the overcast. Like elsewhere, the streamer and hopper bite has been fairly strong. Expect the hopper bite to last until our first frost (early October), while realistically the streamer fishing will only increase in intensity.

Middle Fryingpan

OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10. 

THE SHORT AND SWEET: The middle section of the Fryingpan generally sees far, far less pressure than the upper miles, and this can play to your advantage. The middle river also offers plenty of places to duck out of the ever-present wind. 

IN DEPTH REVIEW: Some people skip this section of river in their quest to go hog-hunting in the upper mile, but truth be told, we catch the majority of our big fish and heavier hatches are found in the middle river. Some of the top spots to hit are Seven Castles, Big Hat, and the ever-popular Eagle Pool and Rosie's. Stop by the shop with your map and we can show you these spots along with a few more. This section holds the infamous seratella, a flightless, small mayfly that has been baffling most anglers here for years. When you're getting your ass kicked and seeing fish profusely rising everywhere, but can buy a strike, you've found the serratella hatch. This week we are seeing green drakes, BWOs and PMDs in decent numbers, with a few caddis and craneflies as well. Hatches are typically similar to the upper river, meaning midges early and late with mayflies and sporadic caddis hatching mid-day. Caddis need to be fished skated, bumped, picked up and laid back down to reassure the fish and get them interested in your offering.

Middle Roaring Fork – Basalt Downstream to Carbondale

OVERALL RATING: 7.5 out of 10, and picking up weekly. 


THE SHORT AND SWEET: We are back in business on the Roaring Fork now that the monsoonal rains have generally past through. 

IN DEPTH REVIEW: The hatches have been decent during the day with rock solid nymph and high-low fishing. With such a plethora of insects around, we generally dumb it down and fish the larger insects (stones, caddis) in the faster sections of water, and the smaller flies (PMDs and BWOs) in the softer sections of water. In general, look for the fish to be holding mid-river and less and less along the banks. Along with dropping water conditions, the fish are also beginning to focus more and more on the smaller and more prevalent BWOs and caddis. As fall approaches, the hopper starts fishing better also!

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.

Roaring Fork River Report

OVERALL RATING: 8 out of 10 If you enjoy pocket water fishing and hiking, this upper section of river is right up your alley. Additionally, this section of the river is yielding the best dry fly fishing along the entire river, as well as picture perfect water to streamer fish in (due to the canyon and lack of penetrating sunlight). 

THE SHORT AND SWEET: It's the end of summer and the fishing and water conditions are much, much improved now. In general, look for the fish to be stacked up in the softer and shaded water eating general attractor patterns. Hatches are consisting of predominately caddis, PMDs, BWOs and midges. 

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: BWOs, Caddis, PMDs, Midges. IN DEPTH REVIEW: Look for the best dry fly fishing to take place in the shade along the banks, early and late in the day. Midday, look to nymphing the pocket water and deep pools. It's fall, so don't leave out the streamers either! Look for nymphing (or high/low rigs) to account for the majority of fish being caught. Like elsewhere on the Roaring Fork, it's all about stoneflies and caddis in the fast water and BWOs, midges, and PMDs in the soft water. Essentially, fish the big bugs in the roily pockets and the small bugs in the slower sections.


Fishing has improved with anglers reporting up to 24" rainbow trout just outside of the coves and at the inlet with powerbait as a top choice for anglers. Boaters are having luck with rapala suspending lures/stick baits, tube jigs, buzz baits and Kastmasters. The responsible harvest of pike at Stagecoach is encouraged. Volunteers will be out in full force October 3-5 replanting vegetation at the tailwater. The tailwater Area will remain open during this time. Anyone interested in volunteering can show up at the Tailwater at 9am . For current flows please visit the USGS website.

Upper Fryingpan

OVERALL RATING: 9 out of 10 September is a longstanding favorite month of ours. It's all about summer fishing and hatches with fall crowds (or lack thereof). 

THE SHORT AND SWEET: Hatches are consisting of green drakes, PMDs, BWOs, caddis and midges. 

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Green Drakes, PMDs, BWOs, Midges, Caddis, Mysis Shrimp 

IN DEPTH REVIEW: The Fryingpan has seen a drop in flows over the past week to 195 CFS, which has improved the dry fly fishing quite a bit. We will probably be near a normal winter flow of 120-160 CFS pretty soon. Green drakes and Flavs are starting to sputter out, although our guide staff is still experiencint a heavy hatch here and there. It's all luck of the draw for the drake hatch right now, it pays to move around and try to find them. The drakes have been starting up later and later these days, often between 2pm and 3pm, in the upper mile or two below the dam. As always, if you get into a good green drake hatch, flip and flop that fly on the surface to reassure the fish. An emerger tied just six inches or so below a dry can be quite effective.​

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​Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado​​


Rainbow trout, black crappie and channel catfish have been caught and a large pike was caught yesterday, but not landed.

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