Colorado statewide fishing report – special holiday weekend update for July 4, 2019

PICT Jim Ramsay with fish at John Martin Reservoir - CPW
Published Thursday, July 4, 2019

Conditions Report - Statewide

Statewide Conditions 

While most of the larger rivers in the state are running extremely high and swift currently with runoff of the above average snowpack this year there are still plenty of fishing opportunities available for fly anglers. The small tributaries in the lower elevations and reaches of the large river drainages should be wrapping up peak runoff and returning to flows that are manageable. Although these small tributary creeks and streams may not hold the large fish that the larger rivers hold they are still a great opportunity to get out and maintain or hone your skills in preparation for when the large rivers across the state return to flows that are manageable and fishable. Along the Front Range the fishing is still pretty difficult as Bear Creek, Clear Creek, Big Thompson, and St. Vrain are all running very high and swift. One opportunity for metro-area anglers is the South Platte River through Denver. Although flows are still above ideal this section of river is still fishable for a wide variety of species on the fly.
Colorado Fishing Atlas

Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado

Eleven Mile State Park

As of 7/1/2019, water temperatures are being reported around 56 degrees. As far as fishing not much has changed over the past week, trout fishing is continuing to be great, more like late spring than early summer and the bite is on. Action is non-stop from the boat. Shore action is good but takes a little more effort. PowerBait, any color with garlic. We also have garlic nightcrawlers that work well with a mallow. Trolling is non-stop action. Many baits are working. Color patterns change with the time of the day. Pinks and greens continue to work well but blue and silver and orange and white have also done well. Rapala's typically slow up as we head into summer but they still are a hot bait. Tube jigs in white, pearl pepper and pumpkin are coming on strong. Kokanee Salmon fishing is fair no limits reported but action none the less. Silver and blue have been a good color combination this week. Look to North Shore Marina in deep water down 12 to 30 feet. Down rigger and or lead core always a benefit. Action also around Duck Island and a surprise fish every now and then off of Rocking Chair in 40 feet of water. Long line 13gram Tas Devils if you don't have the downrigger or lead core. Northern Pike fishing is still improving with more fish being reported by anglers. Although a few big ones have been landed, most are running 24 to 30 inches. Work the weed line along the overflow channel West of Stoll or the channel from Suckers Cove East to the wash out and then down to Lazy Boy. Big stick baits, big tubes and spinner baits have done well. Mid-morning to early afternoon seems to be the most productive times. Wind is your friend if you can handle it. Water gets murky fish get aggressive. 
Eleven Mile State Park

Deckers and Cheeseman Canyon

As of 7/3/2019, flows are remaining high, fishing is very tough with the high flows and stained water. Anglers will need to use enough weight to stay in the strike zone and will need to use large enough flies or lures to catch the fish's attention as it drifts quickly by. With high water take extra precaution when wading. Flows: 838 CFS (7/3/2019)
Deckers and Cheeseman Canyon

Antero Reservoir

As of 7/1/2019, fishing is becoming slower than it was earlier in the season with bites becoming a bit tougher to come by. Anglers using jerk baits have been having some success catching trout. A variety of flies have been working sporadically, everything from small scuds up to larger streamers for the more aggressive fish. Anglers have also some success fishing with PowerBait along the bottom. Weed growth is making fishing very far below the surface challenging.
Antero Reservoir 

Jackson Lake

As of 6/30/2019, surface water temperature is approximately 72 degrees. The water has cleared from the recent algae bloom. Fisherman are reporting success along the north shore in shallower areas of the lake. Walleye are doing fair; while Wipers are being reported as good. Most of the wipers are under the 15 inch limit however, fisherman are reporting catching high numbers of them. Twister tail grubs on jigs are the lures of choice. Anglers are also reporting some success catching both walleye and wipers while trolling shad style baits in various colors.
Jackson Lake State Park

Tarryall Reservoir

As of 7/1/2019, fishing continues to be excellent for trout. Anglers are reporting success with both traditional baits such as PowerBait or wroms along the bottom and also on artificial lures. Some artificial lures that have been working are Kastmasters, and a variety of flies. The pike fishing has been slow but anglers targeting the pike have had some success using larger swimbaits, jerk baits, or in-line spinners.
Tarryall Reservoir

Boyd Lake

As of 6/29/2019, water temperatures are in the high 60's and approaching 70 degrees. With the warm water fishing for most of the warmwater species present here has really improved. Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass are both being caught consistently on jigs, artificial worms, and sometimes topwater baits. The walleye bite has also been good with most anglers having the most success on the south end of the reservoir using jigs with paddletail swimbaits along the bottom. White bass action is also rated as good with Kastmasters being productive on the north end of the lake. Shore anglers seem to be having the most luck in the coves with inlets.
Boyd Lake

Cheesman Reservoir

As of 6/26/2019, the lake is full and water temperatures are increasing. Anglers targeting smallmouth bass with streamers have been very successful. Anglers are also reporting some success catching larger pike in the shallow portions of the reservoir. Trout have been caught on a variety of lures including inline spinners such as Mepps. Anglers targeting trout using bait are having the most luck on nightcrawlers or PowerBait with the bait suspended about 1 foot off the bottom.
Cheesman Reservoir

North Sterling Reservoir

As of 6/30/2019, water temperature is about 72 degrees. Fishing for Carp and Drum is fair, Walleye and Crappie fishing is Good/Great with limits being caught routinely. 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. Anglers can buy fuel, bait and fishing supplies at the Marina on site which is open for the season. Boat slip rentals are available. Camping is by reservations only. 
North Sterling Reservoir

Spinney Mountain Reservoir

As of 7/2/2019, fishing at this Gold Medal Lake continues to be good for all species. Anglers targeting trout with jerk baits are having the most success. The key is keeping the bait above the weeds or fishing the edges of the weed beds. Anglers targeting pike are having success on lures large and small. Some anglers are even reporting catching trophy fish on smaller lures intended for trout. As the season progresses the tube jig bite is sure to heat up for the large rainbows. Remember that no scented plastics, or bait of any kind is allowed in this reservoir.
Spinney Mountain Reservoir

Staunton State Park Ponds

As of 7/1/2019, ADA accessible fishing pier is complete and ready to be fished from. Please contact the park about how we can provide an accessible fishing experience. There is no public access below the dams on Elk Creek Road. Do not drop people or equipment off at this location. For more information contact park staff at 303-816-0912.
Staunton State Park Ponds

Horsetooth Reservoir

As of 7/3/2019, water temperatures are approaching 70 degrees. Fishing for Smallmouth Bass has been consistent with anglers catching fish in a wide variety of ways. Some anglers are waiting to fish the evening hours and having success throwing topwater lures near main lake points and the rock rubble found on the dams. During the day anglers are having success with drop shot rigs, jerk baits, and shaky head jigs. The walleye bite has been tough with very few reports of fish.
Horsetooth Reservoir

Conditions Report - Southeast Colorado

Arkansas River- Below Pueblo Reservoir

As of 7/3/2019, the tailwater is currently running high, about 2600 cfs, as water is being moved downstream due to heavy runoff from this winter's snowpack. The fishing is nearly impossible at this time with the high flows and wading could be extremely dangerous, anglers that choose to wade are encouraged to use extreme caution. Flows: 2640 CFS (7/3/2019)
Arkansas River at Pueblo Reservoir 

Lake Pueblo

As of 7/1/2019, Surface temperature is just above 70 degrees with decreased water clarity due to the high flows coming into the reservoir from the Arkansas River. With the slightly stained water walleye fishing continues to be great. Anglers are reporting success catching walleye using just about every technique. Jigging with leeches, worms, or artificial baits has been the most productive. Anglers are also having success using slip bobbers near under water brush piles or submerged trees. The bass fishing is also great with current water temperatures and conditions with most bass being caught in shallower water using tube jigs, crankbaits, or finesse jigs. There have also been some reports of bass being caught in deeper water as well off of the many ledges and underwater ridges present in the reservoir. Wiper have also been reported while fishing some of the same techniques used to catch both walleye and bass. 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 12:00am. 
Lake Pueblo

Arkansas River Buena Vista to Salida

As of 7/3/2019, water temperatures are in the upper 40's to low 50's. Flows are way up as a lot of runoff has been entering the waterway. This is causing poor visibility and challenging conditions for anglers to compete with. Due to fast flows, fish will be looking for any slower moving sections of river (banks, pockets etc). Large streamers, large dries with droppers will likely be the most productive route. With fast high water, be extra careful if you find yourself wading. Flows: 3240 CFS (7/3/2019) 
Arkansas River - Buena Vista to Salida

John Martin Reservoir

As of 6/29/2019, there is a good amount of water being released from the dam at John Martin. Anglers are having good luck catching numbers of walleye, white bass, and crappie. Most of the walleye being caught are smaller in size, less than 15 inches. The most productive technique currently for white bass and crappie just a simple set-up with a minnow suspended below a bobber. This technique is most effective when fished near submerged brush.
John Martin Reservoir

Conditions Report - Metro Denver Area

Aurora Reservoir

This 762-acre impoundment is located off E. Quincy Avenue, two miles east of E-470. Open to boating. Electric trolling motors only. As of 7/1/2019, trout fishing from shore is slow to fair using PowerBait. The trout are deeper now, so focus on casting out 40 to 50 yards off the east end of the dam. Boaters are reporting fair to good success on trout trolling with pop gear and crawlers and fishing with crawlers or PowerBait off the bottom in 20-30' of water. Some reports of largemouth being caught in the coves using soft plastics. No other reports on other species. For more information call 303-326-8425. Park hours July 5:00am-9:30pm. Restricted to electric motors only. Please note: 
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 7/1/2019, the water temperatures are right at about 70 degrees. The fishing for walleye seems to be best when there is a slight chop on the water and less light is penetrating into the depths. Jigs, blade baits, and live bait have all been working. Reports of other species are inconsistent and the fishing seems to be slow. A few anglers have reported success finding crappies and catching a few here and there.
Cherry Creek Reservoir

Chatfield Reservoir

This 1,356-acre impoundment is located in Chatfield State Park. As of 7/1/2019, water temperature is 68 degrees. Smallmouth bass are being caught throughout the lake on a variety of presentations. Some of the best presentations are tube jigs or artificial creature baits. Walleye are being caught on most of the lakes shallow structures from 6 to 15 feet deep. Anglers are having success pulling live bait rigs, or jigging. The old roadbeds seems to be holding the most fish currently. Nightcrawlers seem to be the best bait to put on a jig.
Chatfield Reservoir

Quincy Reservoir

As of 7/1/2019, Bass fishing is slow to fair. Best action has been in the early morning and evening. Reports of smallmouth bass being caught off the dam using jigs. Restricted to artificial flies and lures only. Some reports of perch being caught using jigs. 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 July 5:00am-9:30pm.
Quincy Reservoir

Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado

Blue River

As of 7/3/2019, flows have decreased slightly reading about 700 cfs. Even though flows have subsided slightly, flows this high really make fishing challenging and in many cases dangerous. Most of the fish have pushed out of the center of the river where the water is flowing with the most velocity. There have been very few reports of success from anglers due to the high water. Flows: 725 CFS (7/3/2019) 
Blue River - Silverthorne 

Colorado River

As of 7/3/2019, flows continue to increase steadily. Fishing on the Colorado River is very difficult currently with high flows and very poor water clarity. With that being said anglers attempting to fish will need to get the attention of the fish to cause a reaction strike. Spin casting anglers should look to lures with a lot of vibration. Fly anglers will need to increase weight and size in order to be noticed by fish and to keep the flies in the strike zone. Flows: 4790 CFS (7/3/2019)
Colorado River - Near Kremmling 

Lake Granby

As of 7/1/2019, water temperatures are in the mid 50's and the lake is about 10 feet below full pool but has been rising quickly with data showing the water level has increased more than 15 feet the past month. Fishing for rainbows is still good with fish being caught on a variety of presentations. Browns are still being caught shallow with jerk baits that mimic their forage. Lake trout are really spread out with fish being caught as shallow as 20 feet and as deep as 100 feet.
Lake Granby

Lake John

As of 6/30/2019, fishing is getting better and better, day by day but it's still slower fishing then most are used to here for this time of the season. It's just been a colder start to the season and it's taking its sweet time warming up. This is both good and bad.... Good that the mosquitoes aren't horrible yet and really just barely starting to show up but bad in the sense that fishing is taking a little bit linger to become as active as people are used to. However the average size is continuing to be nicer this year compared to last year. Still a mix of items working well right now including flatfish, Kastmasters, Rapala's, nightcrawlers, green garlic Powerbait and salmon egg peach Powerbait. We are seeing top water action on midges, chronomids, and mini leeches.
Lake John

State Forest State Park

As of 6/30/19, Ranger Lakes were recently stocked so fishing is good there. Most anglers are having success on small dry flies either casted on fly line or on a spinning rod with a bubble. Fishing is also good at North Michigan Reservoir. With anglers having success catching fish on a wide variety of lures and presentations. 
State Forest State Park

Stagecoach State Park

As of 6/30/19, summer fishing is on! Many anglers are having luck (or limiting out on rainbows) at the Inlet/Lot14/Lot16 area, Keystone Cove, and Morrison Cove. Successful anglers are primarily reporting luck with PowerBait, nightcrawlers, spoons, and crankbaits. The tailwater is also fishing well, with the warmer weather fish have moved into a bit faster water. We have seen fish rising to midges and a few blue wing olives showing up in the afternoons. Make sure you are using 6x fluorocarbon, micro split shot and small indicators.
Stagecoach State Park

Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado

Blue Mesa Reservoir 

As of 6/25/2019, water levels are continuing to rise very quickly, the water level has increased 23 vertical feet over the last two weeks. Water temperatures are in the high 50's. The quickly rising water levels have made the fishing rather tough. Anglers having the most success catching Kokanee Salmon are still trolling but the fish are higher in the water column than normal for this time of year. Anglers trolling with lead core are having the best success with 2 colors of lead line out. There have also been some Lake Trout caught within the top 20 feet of the water column. For more information, contact Curecanti National Recreation Area at 970-641-2337.
Blue Mesa Reservoir 

Taylor River - Below Taylor Park Reservoir

As of 7/3/2019, flows are still running pretty high but there has been a slight reduction recently. Reports have been coming in from anglers using emergers, mysis shrimp and baetis nymphs with success. With the increased flow, fish are moving to deeper waters and some in pocket water. Do not be afraid to try stonefly nymphs and midges in these sections. Flows: 531 CFS (7/3/2019)
Taylor River

Gunnison River - near Gunnison

As of 7/3/2019, flows have increased slightly since last week. The flows are still high to the point that fishing is very difficult. A few spin casting anglers have had success using spinner baits or spoons. Fly anglers are having limited success along the edges of the reservoir using large heavy nymphs to catch the fish's attention as well as stay down in the strike zone. Flows: 3930 CFS (7/3/2019)
Gunnison River

Navajo Lake State Park

As of 7/2/19, fishing at Navajo has been good. The lake is rising every day. The current lake level is 6072.56, up 28.85 feet from one year ago. The water temperature at the boat ramp in Arboles is in the upper 60's. Fishing for smallmouth bass and pike has been good. The best fishing has been in the shallow coves as the lake rises. The best lures are crankbaits and large lures resembling bait fish for pike. Some crappie are still being caught along structures. John Deere green jigs are good.
Navajo Lake State Park

Crawford Reservoir

As of 7/1/2019 we have had many anglers, both shore fishing and fishing from boats. They have reported catching pike and largemouth bass, as well as perch and crappie. 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

Vega Reservoir

As of 6/29/19, fishing is good with anglers reporting cathing some nice rainbows and cutthroats in the 12 to 16 inch range. The lake is full and spilling. All three boat ramps are open. All boats must be inspected prior to launching. The ANS inspection station and entrance gate open at 7:00am and close at 8:30pm daily. If you have a valid pre-inspection receipt and seal then you may launch prior to 8:00am
Vega Reservoir

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