Conditions Report - Statewide
It is still not time to hang up the waders and fly rods. Winter can be one of the most challenging yet rewarding times of the year to fish. Trout throughout the state slow their feeding patterns as the metabolism decreases. Another tough part of winter fishing is less than ideal conditions on the rivers. Flows are low, water temperatures are cold, and water is crystal clear. We are seeing these typical conditions across many of the flowing waters in the state. Tailwaters are still available for fishing and will keep rivers relatively ice free for varied distances downstream. Top release tailwaters are releasing much cooler water so the open water below does not extend very far. Bottom release tailwaters release warmer water in comparison and can keep rivers open for much longer stretches. Statewide we are really starting to see the canyon sections of rivers and streams with a lot of shelf ice that makes fishing very tough. Stretches of rivers that receive more sunlight throughout the day are staying open better but may have some slush flow in the mornings that will dissipate by around 11:00am.
Colorado Fishing Atlas
Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado
Eleven Mile State Park
As of 1/28/2019, the ice is reported at 17 to 20 inches on most areas of the lake with 6 to 10 inches of snow on top, the wind can cause the snow to drift in areas. Fishing for trout has been very good the bite has definitely moved to an early morning bite, before and as the sun is coming up. Trout are being caught in many different areas, some fish are being caught in all different water depths, the fish deeper seem to be suspended about 15 feet below the ice. Many different baits have been successful in catching fish. Large tube jigs on the bottom have been working along with spoons for the more aggressive fish. Kokanee Salmon are also being reported as good, look to the deeper waters to find schools of salmon suspended 15 to 35 feet below the ice. Heavier spoons have been working well, such as Kastmasters or Swedish Pimples. Northern Pike fishing is still sporadic but is expected to pick up closer to the late ice season as the fish will move into the shallows for the spawn.
Eleven Mile State Park
Deckers and Cheeseman Canyon
As of 2/8/2019, flows have started to stabilize and fish are expected to start holding tight to the typical winter holding spots, being deeper slow runs that will have open and thus a bit warmer water. Look for small midges and emerger patterns to be productive in the open runs and deeper pools. During the winter season it is important to try to drift flies mid water column rather than along the bottom. Flows: 119 CFS (2/8/2019)
Deckers and Cheeseman Canyon
As of 2/7/2019, ice at the reservoir has been reported between 14 inches or more. Fishing remains good for trout in the 16 to 19 inch range. There have also been reports of some much larger fish being caught. White and pink tube jigs tipped with waxworms or mealworms seems to be working well. Keep an eye on approaching storm fronts to change the barometric pressure and increase success. Fishing seems to pick up with the recent storm fronts that have been rolling through causing a change in the barometric pressure.
North Sterling State Park
As of 1/24/2019, ice is being reported at 6-8 inches near the marina. There are some larger pockets of open water near the middle of the lake. The edges do have some open water from increasing water levels. The lake is about 5 feet down from full and slowly rising. Fishing report - not enough reports coming in for reliable information since ice conditions have only recently allowed fishing. The reservoir is closed to boating. The inlet is on and outlet is off.
North Sterling State Park
As of 2/5/2019, ice in the marina cove ranged from 5 to 6 inches. Ice on the main body of the reservoir ice is thinner around 3 inches. Fishing is good for trout using spoons or small jigs tipped with waxworms. Anglers have also reported success during the low light hours catching walleye in the deeper portions of the marina area. Reports of Yellow Perch and Crappie have been few and far between.
As of 1/29/2019, about 30% of Jackson Lake is open water. Winds and warm weather have caused the ice to deteriorate on most of the northern portions of the lake. The west shore contains thin ice or open water. The ice along the south shore and dam is about 4-8 inches. Fishermen are reporting success with jigs and meal worms. Walleye, Crappie and some smaller Wipers are being caught near the pump house. Please use caution on the ice and always carry safety equipment such as a PFD, whistle, ice picks, and a spud bar.
Jackson Lake State Park
Conditions Report - Southeast Colorado
Arkansas River-Lake Pueblo
As of 2/8/2019, the flows have stabilized and the river is running low, although this is relatively normal for the winter season it can still make fishing tough. The water clarity is fantastic so be sure to use a stealthy approach in an attempt not to spook fish. Look to smaller midges and generalist nymph patterns to be producing. On a warm sunny day do not be afraid to tie on a dry fly and see if you can get some surface action as this tailwater section is known to have sporadic mayfly and trico hatches throughout the winter. Flows: 38.70 CFS (2/8/2019)
Arkansas River at Pueblo Reservoir
As of 1/10/2019, the fishing remains fair for the warmwater species that inhabit Pueblo Reservoir. Smallmouth Bass can be caught by slowly working finesse presentations out on the deeper flats and deeper structure. Walleye fishing has slowed but fish are still being caught in deeper water using jigging minnows and jigging spoons.
Arkansas River Salida to Canon City
As of 2/6/2019, water temperatures are in the 30's and some ice flow is present on the coldest mornings. Clarity has been good upstream of the Vallie Bridge, below Coaldale the conditions deteriorate due to runoff from the Hayden Pass Fire burn scar. The shaded portions of the reservoir have considerable ice shelfs. Fishing is productive during the warmest parts of the day nymphing small midge patterns mid water column in the deeper sections and slower runs. Flows: 260 CFS (2/6/2019)
Arkansas River - Near Salida
Trinidad Lake State Park
As of 2/2/2019, The lake is at 735 surface acres with a surface elevation of 6185.00. The lake froze over as of 12/28/2018 ice is roughly 5 to 7 inches thick. South shore fisherman are catching trout on jigs tipped with mealworms or shrimp in depths of around 20 feet. A few walleye and perch are also being reported
Conditions Report - Metro Denver Area
This 762-acre impoundment is located off of E. Quincy Avenue, two miles east of E-470. As of 2/1/2019, current ice conditions range from 0 to 6 inches with the thickest ice in the back of coves. Open water access for shore fishing varies day to day. Open water exists throughout the main body of the reservoir. Please keep in mind that these conditions can change quickly this time of year and caution is advised. Trout fishing success varies from slow to good using mealworms and jigs. Perch action is sporadic with some good reports occasionally, otherwise perch fishing has been slow. February park hours: 6:30am to 6:30pm. For more information call 303-326-8425.
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 1/25/2019, ice conditions vary in areas of the lake but average ice thickness is around 7 inches. As always caution is advised and it is important to carry all safety equipment for a self-rescue if needed. Fishing has been fair for walleye with fish being caught on jigging spoons and Jigging Raps in 13 to 18 feet of water. The walleye bite seems to be best in the last hour before sunset. Fishing for panfish is fair to good fishing submerged trees or weed beds from 10 to 19 feet of water. Minnows and spoons seem to be most productive, the key is moving around until you find the fish. The best locations are where mudflats give way to deeper water and fishing right on the break lines.
Cherry Creek Reservoir
This 1,356 impoundment is located in Chatfield State Park. As of 2/6/2019, the majority of the lake was iced over with ice ranging from 3 to 10 inches. The ice on the south end of the reservoir is more solid and consistent compared to ice on the north end. As always caution is advised any time you are venturing out onto the ice. The fishing has been sporadic with some anglers catching decent numbers of trout on spoons tipped with waxworms or mealworms. Some really nice size trout are being caught. Anglers have been reporting some success catching walleye on the structure near deep water throughout the lake. Smallmouth Bass have still been caught along the rip rap rock using spoons or jigs.
Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado
As of 2/8/2019, due to the consistent flows and water temperatures that have been recorded recently at this tailwater the fishing has also remained relatively consistent. Look for fish to be holding to the slightly deeper sections. Good flies to use are small, size 18-22, midge as well as Mysis shrimp. A good strategy would be to use a midge and mysis pattern together to garner as much attention from fish as possible. Another key is a small strike indicator that will not spook fish on this heavily fished stretch of river. Flows: 72.6 CFS (2/8/2019)
Blue River - Silverthorne
Frying Pan River
As of 2/8/2019, flows have recently stabilized on the Frying Pan near Ruedi Reservoir. Expect the tailwater section to be the most productive heading into the winter months. Some of the current, hot patterns to try out include Cane midge, black beauty and mysis shrimp in the #20-22 sizes. As with most winter fly fishing allow the fish to warm up a bit and you will be able to fish for the actively foraging trout. Flows: CFS 64.1 (2/8/2019)
Frying Pan - Ruedi
As of 2/8/2019, winter fishing is the name of the game now on the Colorado. Fish are becoming less active in the cold weather so it is important to fish the warmest part of the day giving the fish a chance to become more active. Ice is starting to affect the well shaded areas of the river so look for runs that receive more sunlight throughout the day. Heavier nymph rigs with Tungsten bead heads are going to get the flies to the fish. Point flies include stoneflies, worms, and egg patterns. Tailing patterns should include your midge and emergers such as Zebra midges and Flashback emergers. It wouldn't be a terrible idea to try to fish a jerk bait slowly for the larger slightly more aggressive fish. Flows: 388 CFS (2/8/2019)
Colorado River - Near Kremmling
As of 2/7/2019, 22 to 24 inches of ice with 3 to 6 inches of snow cover with drifting near the edges. The water clarity is great, and you can see all the way to the bottom! The fishing is starting to really pick up again after the tournament in early January. There is still a large range of fish being caught with most fish between 14 and 19 inches. Lures that have been producing waxworms, mealworms, and small jigs with plastic tails tipped with a waxworm, and gold spoons.
As of 2/7/2019, North Delaney: 24 to 26 inches of ice with 3 to 6 inches of snow cover with drifting near the edges. Fishing feedback seems to be slow. South Delaney: 22 to 24 inches of ice with 3 to 6 inches of snow cover with drifting near the edges. Feedback on fishing is that south is more active than North Delaney but has definitely slowed since the Delaney's Tournament.
As of 2/3/2019, currently anglers are reporting catching rainbows in the 16 to 18-inch range on waxworms, mealworms, and ice jigs. The lake has approximately 16 to 20 inches of ice, however, please always use caution when accessing the ice for fishing. The south road is closed for the season. We have approximately 3 feet of snow on the ground. The Visitor Center is open 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Vega State Park
Rifle Gap Reservoir
As of 1/25/2019, the reservoir recently froze over with 10 to 12 inches of ice being reported with a thick blanket of snow over the top. Always use caution when fishing on the ice and be sure to fish with a buddy. Ice conditions can vary greatly across the lake so it is important not to let your guard down. Fishing has been good for pike and trout being caught throughout the lake.
Rifle Gap State Park
Stagecoach State Park
As of 1/22/2019, ice fishing has been productive. Anglers are reporting a lot of success catching rainbow trout using small ice jigs tipped with waxworms, or mealworms. Anglers have also reported some catches on a variety of jigging spoons. Productive areas have been near the inlet or in both Keystone and Morrison Coves. Ice conditions vary across the lake with most places being at least 6 to 8 inches thick. Always take caution when traveling across the ice.
As of 1/28/2019, there have been reports of small crappie and some northern pike being caught near the North East Access Cove. Anglers are reporting success on small tube jigs and spoons for crappie and larger silver spoons for pike. Call the Park Office for updates on ice thickness at 970-276-2061.
Elkhead State Park
Harvey Gap Reservoir
As of 1/28/2019, the reservoir currently has 6 to 8 inches of ice with about 10 inches of snow cover on top of the ice. Ice thickness can vary across the reservoir so extreme caution is advised. Reports are that perch of various sizes are being caught in the slightly deeper portions of the reservoir. There have also been sporadic reports of trout and pike being caught.
Harvey Gap State Park
Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado
As of 1/25/2019, reports are coming in that the catch and release section of the river is fishing really well as of late. As one of the best tailwaters in the state the fish are weary and it may take a lot of work to get a strike. The best time of day has been between 11am and 3pm. Fish have really started to stack up in their winter positions in preparation of the upcoming season. Mysis Shrimp patterns should be an effective fly for the winter months. Flows have remained pretty low and clear so lighter rigs and tippet will be a good idea. Brown trout will also be looking for high calorie meals once the spawn wraps up so a few streamers in your arsenal will be a good idea to have on you for the next few weeks. Flows: CFS 55.6 (1/25/2019)
Blue Mesa Reservoir
As of 2/2/2019, the entire lake has capped with varying ice conditions from 6 inches to 18 inches thick. Really good reports of trout are coming in and a few lake trout have been caught through the ice in Iola Basin as well as Elk Creek. Anglers are catching trout off of chartreuse colored jigs tipped with mealworms and gold minnow baits at about 10-15 feet of water. Anglers are starting to report some better salmon action in various areas of the lake. Now that ice has formed in the deeper areas of the lake, look to start using tube jigs in the white, pumpkin seed or even green colors to fish for the lake trout. Check in with a local tackle shop to get the latest ice conditions as they will change daily.
Blue Mesa Reservoir
As of 1/27/2019, ice is about 10 to 14 inches thick with 4 to 5 inches of snow on top of the ice, but as water is rising in the reservoir, it is breaking away from the edges and it can sometimes be 5 feet from shore. Early morning is not usually a problem, but getting off the ice later in the day can be tricky. Please use the buddy system, wear a life jacket and drill test holes along the way. Fishing reports are coming in of anglers catching catfish, perch, crappie, pike, and bass. Anglers are reporting the most success using smaller tungsten jigs with wax worms or meal worms.
Crawford State Park
Taylor Park Reservoir
As of 2/1/2019, the lake is capped with layered ice, anglers are reporting a layer of 3 inches of ice followed by about 4 inches of slush and finally 10 to 12 inches of hard ice. Snow is beginning to make the walk down to the lake from the paved road very difficult unless you are on a snowmobile. Fishing for smaller lake trout has been fair using darker colored tube jigs as close to the bottom as you can jig them. Some trout have been caught suspended off the bottom. Look to the east part of the reservoir for pike fishing as there are some large pike present in this reservoir that will slide up shallow as spring approaches.
Taylor Park Reservoir
As of 2/5/2019, the lake level is 6015.22 feet and the water temperature at the boat ramp in Arboles is approximately 40 degrees Fahrenheit. There have been no recent reports from fisherman as to how the fishing has been. The boat ramp at Two Rivers Marina is expected to re-open on March 1st.
Navajo State Park