Conditions Report - Statewide
It is still not time to hang up the waders and fly rods. We are starting to see ice building on most of the smaller creeks and streams throughout the state. The larger rivers are icing up in the shaded sections. Look towards the tailwaters below dams as some of the most consistent fishing throughout the winter, constant temperatures and food supply also grow some of the largest fish, so hang on when you hook into one. We are definitely entering some of the months with the lowest flows throughout the year. This combined with great clarity means the fish can see you approaching and can also see the small flies you are drifting past. It is important to try to stay downstream of feeding fish as they will not be as easily spooked. Another thing to keep in mind for low clear flows is light tippet, fluorocarbon is preferred as the fish cannot see it.
Colorado Fishing Atlas
Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado
Eleven Mile State Park
As of 1/5/2019, 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. Heaver spoons have been working well, such as Kastmasters or Swedish Pimples. Northern Pike fishing has also been good near Cross Creek in 4 to 12 feet of water with a few larger fish being caught.
Eleven Mile State Park
Deckers and Cheeseman Canyon
As of 1/10/2019, the flows have dropped slightly, with the recent cold temperatures at slightly higher elevations the shade dominated sections of the river are expected to be mostly icy. Look for small midges and emerger patterns to be productive in the open runs and deeper pools. Flows: 80.1 CFS (1/10/2019)
Deckers and Cheeseman Canyon
As of 1/9/2019, ice at the reservoir has been reported between 12 and 14 inches thick. Although that is sufficient for walking on, caution is advised when heading out there. Fishing seems to have really picked up with the recent new moon phase. White and pink tube jigs topped with waxworms or mealworms seems to be working well.
North Sterling State Park
As of 1/4/2019, ice is being reported at 6-8 inches near the marina. Warmer temperatures recently will cause the conditions to worsen. The lake is about 10ft 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 1/6/2019, ice in the western part of the marina cove ranged from 4 to 6 inches. Fishing was good for trout using spoons or small jigs tipped with waxworms. The recent and forecasted warm weather could make ice fishing difficult and dangerous. Anglers have also reported success during the low light hours catching walleye in the deeper portions of the marina area.
As of 1/2/2019, Jackson Lake is completely frozen with 7.5 inches of ice in most areas including the boat ramp area and the dam. The inlet is also frozen with varying thicknesses of ice from 4 to 7 inches. Anglers are reporting success with walleye and saugeye along the dam immediately in front of the outlet house. Jigs and mealworms have been popular choices of bait. Jackson Lake will typically hold ice until the later part of February.
Jackson Lake State Park
Conditions Report - Southeast Colorado
Arkansas River-Lake Pueblo
As of 1/11/2019, the flows have decreased 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. Flows: 37.60 CFS (1/11/2019)
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.
As of 1/10/2019, the recent warm weather has done this stretch of river well. There is plenty of open fishable water to be found north of Salida. Further north towards Buena Vista the river is not as open but there still remains plenty of open runs and pools to fish. Fly patterns that have been effective are attractor nymphs, midges, and caddis larva. Midges have been working well throughout the day. Always remember to switch presentations until you are catching fish. Flows: about 200 CFS (1/10/2019)
Upper Arkansas - Near Salida
Trinidad Lake State Park
As of 1/4/2019, The lake is at 729 surface acres with a surface elevation of 6184.42. The lake froze over as of 12/28/2018 with roughly 2 inches of ice along the south shore. South shore fisherman are catching trout on a variety of baits including salmon eggs. Prior to freezing the fishing was considered slow with very few catches 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 1/7/2019, the reservoir is closed to boating which includes all hand launched watercraft such as canoes, kayaks, float tubes etc. Current ice conditions range from 0 to 3 inches and the ice is considered unstable and not suitable for ice fishing. Open water pockets exist throughout the main body of the reservoir, however there is no open water for shore fishing. Fishing is reported as slow for trout and perch. 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 1/6/2019, ice has formed over much of the lake with some sections having 6 or more inches of ice. The warm weather this past week and in the forecast does not look good for ice conditions going forward. Fishing at this time has been slow for all species. A few panfish have been caught using small tungsten jig heads tipped with waxworms or mealworms.
Cherry Creek Reservoir
This 1,356 impoundment is located in Chatfield State Park. As of 1/6/2019, the majority of the lake was iced over with ice ranging from 3 to 8 inches. The open water remained in the northeast portion of the reservoir. With the warm days since the ice is likely deteriorating and extreme care should be taken when venturing onto the ice. The fishing has been sporadic with some anglers catching decent numbers of trout on spoons tipped with waxworms or mealworms. Another technique that has worked for trout is jigging rattle baits near the bottom. There have been a few inconsistent reports of perch and bass being caught through the ice.
Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado
As of 1/11/2019, 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. Another key is a small strike indicator that will not spook fish on this heavily fished stretch of river. Flows: 56.9 CFS (1/11/2019)
Blue River - Silverthorne
Frying Pan River
As of 1/11/2019, flows have recently bumped up 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 split case blue winged olives, Cane midge, and Tim's mysis in the #20-22 sizes. Streamers are still an effective technique so consider some slump busters and autumn splendors for a chance at some bigger fish. 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 65.4 (1/11/2019)
Frying Pan - Ruedi
As of 1/11/2019, 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 staring 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. Flows: 432 CFS (1/11/2019)
Colorado River - Near Kremmling
As of 1/1/2019, 14 inches of ice with 2 to 4 inches of snow cover with drifting near the edges. The water clarity is great, and you can see all the way to the bottom! This past week anglers have begun reporting more success in the deeper portions, fishing 15 to 20 feet. There is still a large range of fish being caught with most fish between 12 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 1/1/2019, North Delaney: 15 to 17 inches of ice with 2 to 4 inches of snow cover with drifting near the edges. Fishing feedback seems to be getting better at the lake with sizable fish coming out between 19 and 20 inches. We have heard that the HD Ice lures are doing great here along with green tube jigs. South Delaney: 16 to 18 inches of ice with 2 to 4 inches of snow cover with drifting near the edges. Feedback on fishing is that south is active for 14 to 17 inch fish. We know the HD Ice lure in the ghost color is working well here.
As of 12/30/2018, currently anglers are reporting catching rainbows in the 16 to 18 inch range on PowerBait and ice jigs. The lake has approximately 12 to 16 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 2 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 1/5/2019, the reservoir recently froze over with 3 to 8 inches of ice being reported. 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. Bass fishing has been good near the Cedar Campground as well as near the dam.
Rifle Gap State Park
Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado
As of 1/11/2019, 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 (1/11/2019)
Blue Mesa Reservoir
As of 1/11/2019, ice has been making its way from the Iola basin west to about Elk Creek Marina, recent reports are that the Elk Creek Marina area now has fishable ice. Along with that ice is continuing to form farther west down the length of the reservoir. The lake is expected to fully cap this winter with cold temperatures and low water levels. 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. 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 1/5/2019, ice is about 8 to 10 inches thick, 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.
Crawford State Park
Taylor Park Reservoir
As of 1/10/2019, the lake is capped, and ice fishing is on, snowmobiles have been seen on the reservoir. 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.
Taylor Park Reservoir