Colorado statewide fishing conditions and report – May 24, 2019

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Published Friday, May 24, 2019

Conditions Report - Statewide

Statewide Conditions 

The recent weather patterns have been bittersweet when it comes to conditions on rivers and streams statewide. The cooler weather has slowed runoff a bit giving anglers a few extra days of prime flows to take advantage of. Streams on the Front Range are still flowing at optimal levels providing for exception opportunities for anglers to get out and do some nymphing and even some dry fly fishing. The disadvantage to the recent weather patterns is localized heavy amounts of rain that can quickly increase flows on certain streams and rivers. With that being said there are some streams and rivers throughout the state flowing much higher than average. In those instances the fish have likely pushed out of the main river channel and onto the edges that are flowing slower and with slightly better visibility. This extra moisture will surely get the substrate stirred up which can flush some of the larger insects and worms into the flow and the trout will surely be feeding heavily. The best way to target these edges is either by nymphing something relatively large and flashy that will catch the attention of feeding fish or larger streamers that make the calories expended worth the meal for the fish.
Colorado Fishing Atlas

Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado

Eleven Mile State Park

As of 5/23/2019, reports are that the trout fishing has been consistently good. Anglers are having the most success casting Kastmasters, Rapalas, or Tasmanian Devils. Anglers are also having some sporadic success catching trout on baits fished just off the bottom in 15 to 20 feet of water. The pike and kokanee fishing have been fair with some anglers doing well. Pike are in the shallows cruising warmer water and can be influenced to bite using large minnow shaped baits.
Eleven Mile State Park

Deckers and Cheeseman Canyon

As of 5/24/2019, the last few days of cool weather and cloud cover have definitely slowed some snowmelt and hence flows. Anglers have been having some success on caddis dry flies as well as some success on other mayfly dry patterns. A majority of the success comes from nymphing smaller mayfly patterns or stonefly patterns such as pheasant tails or prince nymphs. There have also been a few reports of larger fish being caught on streamers. Flows: 223 CFS (5/24/2019)
Deckers and Cheeseman Canyon

Antero Reservoir

As of 5/22/2019, fishing has remained consistent since the lake opened to boating. The water temperatures are in the high 40's to low 50's. With the warmer water temperatures the fish are becoming more active. There have been a lot of reports of nice browns being caught as well as a few real quality cutbows. Anglers are having the most success fishing the deeper sections of this shallow reservoir.
Antero Reservoir 

North Sterling State Park

As of 5/21/2019, water temp is about 56 degrees. Carp and Drum are fair, Walleye and Crappie are also being caught as the water temps rise. Walleye are being caught on worms, leeches and jigs on a slow retrieval. Crappie are being caught on small jigs and minnows. The Reservoir is OPEN to BOATING. The Inlet is ON and the Outlet is ON.
North Sterling State Park 

Jackson Lake

As of 5/23/2019, several large wiper and walleye have been caught along the shoreline on the west side of the lake. Small wiper have are still being caught off the dam. Boaters have had intermittent success on the eastern portion of the lake for Walleye and Wiper. Water clarity is improving, but is only about 1 foot. The water temperature is approximately 58 degrees. As of 1:00pm 5/22/2019, the inlet is flowing minimally. The outlet is not flowing. Boat inspections are available (8:00am to 6:00pm Monday-Thursday) and (7:00am to 9:00pm Friday-Sunday).
Jackson Lake State Park

Barr Lake State Park

As of 5/18/2019, fishing has remained tough for anglers with the recent cold front shutting down the fish. Anglers have reported limited success catching walleye on jig heads and grubs. A few trout have been caught from anglers trolling crankbaits. Weed growth is starting which can make fishing from shore much more difficult.
Barr Lake

Tarryall Reservoir

As of 5/24/2019, fishing has been tougher after the last week or so of cool weather. There are many techniques that will catch fish currently. Anglers have had success using PowerBait or artificial salmon eggs about 1 foot off the bottom. Anglers casting lures such as Kastmasters or Tasmanian Devils have also had success landing fish. The pike fishing remains inconsistent with the best producers being jerk baits or swimbaits. The pike have been reported in the shallows as the mid-day sun warms the shallow water much quicker.
Tarryall Reservoir

Spinney Mountain Reservoir

As of 5/20/2019, fishing has been good for both trout and pike. Anglers trolling for pike are having the most success near weed edges with large baits. Anglers targeting trout have had some success on jerk baits and also spoons. Remember fishing at Spinney Mountain Reservoir is artificial flies and lures only, nothing with a scent or taste is permitted.
Spinney Mountain Reservoir

Conditions Report - Southeast Colorado

Arkansas River- Below Pueblo Reservoir

As of 5/24/2019, flows have stabilized and are in a range that can be very conducive to fishing. Anglers are having success targeting trout by nymphing San Juan worms, egg patterns, and larger stonefly patterns. Anglers fishing with spin casting gear are having luck with in-line spinner baits or small jerk baits. Flows: 605 CFS (5/24/2019)
Arkansas River at Pueblo Reservoir 

Lake Pueblo

As of 5/24/2019, the cooler weather and storm fronts this past week have decreased the water temperature and in most cases slowed the fishing. Water temperatures are being reported around 58 degrees. Anglers targeting walleye are still having some success using live bait such as leeches or minnows on jigs. Fishing for bass has slowed however some anglers are having success casting crankbaits parallel to the banks. Be sure to check the 2019 Fishing Brochure for updates on new Pueblo Specific Regulations for 2019. Boat Ramp/Inspection Station hours are currently 5:00am to 11:00pm. 
Lake Pueblo

Arkansas River Buena Vista to Canon City

As of 5/24/2019, water temperatures are getting to 50 degrees. Flows are higher than last week, however visibility on the edges of the river is about 2 to 3 feet. Anglers have been having the most success targeting the edges where the fish have pushed up into with the higher flows. Streamers seem to be the most productive way of catching fish currently. Runoff is expected to kick into gear with the next warm weather spell. Flows: 874 CFS (5/24/2019) 
Arkansas River - Near Salida 

Trinidad Lake State Park

As of 5/22/2019, the lake is at 778 surface acres with a surface elevation of 6188.83. Water temperature is sitting in the high 50's. Boaters are having excellent success catching trout. Trolling with worms or spinners seems to be the go to rig. Reports of walleye being caught in 15 to 20 feet of water. Water clarity is slightly off color due to recent snow melt and rain. The boat ramp is open, inspection hours are from 8:00am to 4:00pm daily. If there is not an inspector at the ramp, please call the ranger cell phone numbers at 719-859-0480 or 719-989-7194 or the visitor center at 719-846-6951 from 8:00am to 4:00pm.
Trinidad Lake

Adobe Creek Reservoir

As of 5/21/2019, fishing for crappies is good; Anglers have been having success using jigs, small crank baits and minnows. Fishing for other species has been slow. The low water boat ramp is usable.
Adobe Creek Reservoir

John Martin Reservoir

As of 5/22/2019, the lake is about 20 feet low. Fishing has been reported as good for both crappie and wiper. Anglers are also reporting some success catching saugeye in various locations throughout the reservoir. Some largemouth bass have been reported to be spawning on beds in the shallows.
John Martin Reservoir

Turks Pond State Wildlife Area

As of 5/15/2019, water is off colored and murky green due to an algae bloom. Fishing for stocker trout has been good using PowerBait and small spoons and spinners. Channel catfish are being caught on nightcrawlers and stink baits. They tend to be on the small side but bigger fish are occasionally caught. Bullheads are being caught on night crawlers and chicken livers. Crappie, wiper, bass, and bluegill fishing has been slow due to the murky water.
Turks Pond State Wildlife Area

Two Buttes State Wildlife Area

As of 5/15/2019, Water level has continued to drop. Launching boats on the south boat ramp is still possible and having a 4WD vehicle is encouraged. Beware of unmarked underwater hazards if you are boating. Bass fishing has been good on a variety of baits including lizards and twister tail grubs fished on the bottom. Look for topwater action to pick up as the year progresses. Saugeye are being caught around the lake on grubs and worms. Most are in the 12 to 16 inch range with larger ones over 5 pounds occasionally caught. Channel catfish have been biting on worms and chicken livers fished on or near the bottom. Good numbers of fish in the 16 to 24 inch range are common. Small crappie are biting around the lake too. Most are 5 to 7 inches with an occasional bigger fish caught. There are some large bluegill and green sunfish that are available and can be caught on flies or worms under a bobber.
Two Buttes State Wildlife Area

Conditions Report - Metro Denver Area

Aurora Reservoir

This 762-acre impoundment is located off of E. Quincy Avenue, two miles east of E-470. Open to boating. Electric trolling motors only. As of 5/23/2019, water temperatures are in the mid 50's and fishing has been fair to good for all species. Trout are being caught the most consistently. The top technique for trout has been suing PowerBait near the dam. The walleye have been caught off of points using jig heads with swimbaits in the 3 to 4 inch range. For more information call 303-326-8425. Park hours for May 5:30am-9:00pm. Restricted to electric motors only.
Aurora Reservoir

Cherry Creek

This 881-acre impoundment is located in Cherry Creek State Park, in Aurora. There are two entrances to the park, the east entrance off S. Dayton St. and the west entrance off S. Parker Rd. As of 5/23/2019, water temperatures at this metro Denver reservoir reached 60 degrees the later parts of last week however the recent rain, snow, and cold has dropped the water temperatures back into the mid 50's. Anglers are reporting that the cooling water temperature has slowed the fishing. Walleye are still being caught on bottom bouncers and crawler harnesses. The crappie in the reservoir have been tough to catch as of late.
Cherry Creek Reservoir

Chatfield Reservoir

This 1,356 acre impoundment is located in Chatfield State Park. As of 5/20/2019, water temperatures are sitting in the mid 50's. Anglers targeting bass are having success catching fish but the larger fish seem to be a bit tougher to catch. The walleye bite has remained consistent with a little slowing caused from recent weather patterns. As the weather stabilizes the fishing for all species is expected to kick back up. Most bass are being caught shallow while the walleye are being caught in 15 to 20 feet of water.
Chatfield Reservoir

Quincy Reservoir

As of 5/23/2019 the best technique for targeting bass right now is finesse due to the recent cold front that has slowed the feeding activity of fish. Anglers have reported the best success on finesse jigs. Trout fishing has been fair using small woolly bugger and leech patterns. Only watercraft capable of being launched by hand permitted. Vehicles and trailers are not permitted in the water. For more information call 303-326-8424. Park Hours May 5:30am to 9:00pm.
Quincy Reservoir

Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado

Blue River

As of 5/24/2019, the flows have stabilized near 400cfs, which is above average for this time of year. Although flows are above average some anglers have still been able to get into some nice fish. Mysis shrimp patterns are still probably the go to however egg patterns, or San Juan worms have also produced some sporadic success. There have also been a few reports of some anglers having success using streamers. Flows: 403 CFS (5/24/2019) 
Blue River - Silverthorne 

Colorado River

As of 5/24/2019, with runoff season slowly beginning fishing on the Colorado River has been tough. The only few reports of success are coming from anglers using spoons, or jerk baits fished in the current. Flows: 1250 CFS (5/24/2019) 
Colorado River - Near Kremmling 

Vega Reservoir

As of 5/19/2019 fishing is good with anglers reporting catching some nice rainbows in the 16 to 18 inch range. The Island and Early Settlers boat ramps are open at this time. Oak Point Boat ramp will remain closed this summer due to a silting problem at the bottom of the ramp. All boats must be inspected prior to launching. The ANS inspection station and entrance gate open at 8:00am and close at 3:30pm daily. If you have a valid pre-inspection receipt and seal then you may launch prior to 8:00am. We will have extended hours for inspections starting on Memorial Day weekend. The Visitor Center is open 7 days a week from 8:00am to 4:00pm.
Vega State Park

Steamboat Lake

As of 5/8/2019, creeks are mostly thawed and running quickly but not easy to get to (bring your snowshoes). The coves are partially open but also not easy to get to. The edges of the lake are starting to thaw. We haven't had any reports of people fishing yet.
Steamboat Lake

Green Mountain Reservoir

As of 5/14/2019, the lake trout fishing has been fair with most fish being caught in the range of 40 to 50 feet of water. The larger lake trout are still staying a bit shallower and feeding on the trout that are also shallower. Fishing for trout has been fair using a wide variety of baits and lures.
Green Mountain Reservoir

Lake Granby

As of 5/18/2019, water levels are about 25 feet low however the Stillwater Boat Ramp is open to launching with ANS Inspectors available from 6:00am to 8:00pm daily. Water temperatures are in the mid 40's and the most success recently has been with rainbow and brown trout casting jerk baits along wind blown points.
Lake Granby

Stagecoach Reservoir

As of 5/17/2019, ANS Inspection hours changed to 7:00am to 8:00pm Sunday through Thursday and 7:00am to 9:00pm Friday and Saturday. Water temperatures are in the high 40s to low 50s which means the fish are increasing in activity and feeding. Anglers fishing for pike have had success in the shallows around new weed growth that the pike use for spawning habitat as well as ambush hunting. Rainbow trout have been caught throughout various locations using gold colored spoons or in-line spinners.
Stagecoach Reservoir

Steamboat Lake

As of 5/21/2019, creeks are mostly thawed and running quickly. The lake is ice-free. Fishing has been good in creeks and from the shore in coves.
Steamboat Lake

Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado

Blue Mesa Reservoir 

As of 5/24/2019, the water level is rising quickly, the reservoir's surface elevation has increased 12 feet over the last two weeks. With that being said there is a lot of floating debris that anglers should be cautious of. The reservoir is open for boating, boat inspection hours are 6:00am to 8:00pm 7 days a week, launching will be available at the Elk Creek Boat Ramp as well as the Lake Fork Boat Ramp. Fishing for trout has still been good casting jigs and jerk baits along shore, if you aren't having success look a bit deeper as the fish are staying slightly deeper with rising water levels. Trolling for kokanee salmon has been consistent with fish spread at various depths. Lake trout fishing has been slow but the occasional large fish have been caught. For more information contact Curecanti National Recreation Area at 970-641-2337.
Blue Mesa Reservoir 

Navajo Reservoir

As of 5/18/2019, the lake level is 6048.77 and the water temperature at the boat ramp in Arboles is approximately 56 degrees. Fishing has been reported as very good for most species. Anglers targeting crappie are having success on small jig heads with curly tail grubs.
Navajo State Park

Crawford State Park

As of 5/17/2019, we have had many anglers, both shore fishing and fishing from boats. They have reported catching pike and largemouth bass. Jerk baits have been used for both pike and bass. There have also been a number of bass caught on tube jigs or lipless crankbaits. Remember that there is a lake specific limit on the bass. They must be 18 inches or larger to keep, and you can only keep ONE. Statewide limits pertain to all other species.
Crawford Reservoir

Taylor River - Below Taylor Park Reservoir

As of 5/24/2019, flows out of Taylor Park Reservoir are much higher than average for this time of year which is making the fishing on the tailwater section very difficult. Even though there are a number of large fish present in the tailwater the fishing is very tough when flows are increased. Flows: 619 CFS (5/24/2019)
Taylor River

Gunnison River - near Gunnison

As of 5/24/2019, flows have been steadily decreasing over the last week which will have the fish start spreading out again and making the fishing good. Anglers are still having the most success using nymphs in the slower deeper pools. Other anglers have had some limited success fishing the small pockets of slack water behind larger rocks. Look for flows to increase as the Gunnison Basin has well above average snowpack. Flows: 1610 CFS (5/24/2019)
Gunnison River

Taylor Park Reservoir

As of 5/24/2019, the lake is open to boating with ANS Inspectors present 8:00am to 6:00pm daily. Fishing has been slow to start the season. The lake was recently stocked with rainbow trout which generally shuts down the fishing for large lake trout and northern pike for a couple days. Water levels are still low but with a lot of snowpack on the surrounding peaks water levels are expected to rise quickly!
Taylor Park Reservoir

Ridgway Reservoir

As of 5/20/2019, fishing in the reservoir for trout is good, productive lures and baits are worms, artificial salmon eggs, in-line spinners, and Rapalas. Larger fish have been caught trolling in deeper water. The fishing ponds at Pa-Co-Chue-Pak have been fishing well with small worms, PowerBait and egg imitations.
Ridgway Reservoir