Colorado statewide fishing report and conditions – 2020 Independence Day weekend edition

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Published Friday, July 3, 2020

Conditions Report - Metro Denver Area

Aurora Reservoir

As of 6/29/2020, trout fishing is fair to good using PowerBait from the dam. The trout are deeper in the water column so casting out 40-50 yards is recommended. There have been a few reports of largemouth bass being caught using soft plastics in the coves. Walleye fishing is fair to good using jigs tipped with crawlers/leeches and trolling with bottom bouncers and crawlers. For more information call 303-326-8425. Park Hours for June 5am-9:30pm. Restricted to electric motors only and portable gas tanks must be removed.
Aurora Reservoir

Chatfield Reservoir

As of 6/30/2020, it was reported that water temperature at Chatfield Reservoir was recorded in the high 60's. An angler mentioned that they had success pulling in small mouth bass on the west side of the lake. Crankbaits have been getting anglers into trout. Chatfield is open to boating. Aquatic Nuisance Species Inspections will be conducted at North Ramp and South Ramp from 6am -10pm seven days a week. Vessel Decontamination will only be performed during day light hours.
Chatfield Reservoir

Cherry Creek Reservoir

As of 6/16/2020, Cherry Creek Reservoir appears to be fishing well. Water temperatures have been recorded as high as the mid 70's in some areas. Both bait and artificial lures have been reported to be working well for anglers. Recent reports also indicate that walleye have been very active recently. The reservoir is open for boating with two boat ramps and ANS inspections stations open daily from 6am - 10 pm. The West boat ramp will be closed on Wednesdays. 
Cherry Creek Reservoir

Quincy Reservoir

As of 6/29/2020, bass fishing has been fair to good using soft plastics and top water lures. Early mornings and evenings have seen the most fish activity. There are some reports of yellow perch caught on jigs. Restricted to artificial flies and lures only. Watercraft restrictions-only watercraft capable of being launched by hand permitted. Vehicles and trailers are not permitted in the water. Park Hours for June 5am-9:30pm. For more information call 303-326-8424.  
Quincy Reservoir

Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado

Eleven Mile Reservoir

As of 6/30/2020, reports from Eleven Mile State Park and the Eleven Mile Marina suggest that the reservoir and nearby facilities are very crowded, especially on weekends. Despite long waits to get boats on the water, it appears that the fishing has been good. Boaters have had success trolling deeper waters for trout throughout the daytime heat. Meanwhile, shore fisherman have also been able to get into some trout but have had the most success in the early morning or evenings when temperatures are low. The North Shore Boat Ramp is now open from one half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset.
Eleven Mile Reservoir

Boyd Lake

As of 6/26/2020, anglers report that fishing has been good at Boyd Lake. There have been reports of walleye being caught in waters between 15 to 25-feet deep. Shore anglers have been particularly successful in shallow waters, about 8-feet, along the shore. Recent measurements have recorded the water temperature at Boyd Lake to be between mid-60's to low 70's in different sections throughout the lake. The main and Heron Cove boat ramps are currently open. ANS inspections are available 6am to 10pm and decontaminations are available 8am to 8pm at the main boat ramp. 
Boyd Lake

North Sterling Reservoir

As of 6/25/2020, North Sterling State Park staff warn anglers and other water recreationists that it is the time of year where "the reservoir experiences an algae bloom. Also, carp have not been particularly resilient after spawning. It won't be uncommon to come across a few dead Carp in the lake and on shore." The Elks Ramp is open daily from 7am to 9pm. The South Ramp is open Friday - Sunday 7am to 9pm and Monday 8am to 4pm.
North Sterling Reservoir

Antero Reservoir

As of 6/25/2020, fishing for trout at Antero Reservoir was indicated to be good. One angler reported catching several rainbow trout in the 15 to 19-inch range. They also reported that water clarity was good and there was little weed growth. Best fish activity is in the cooler hours, mornings and evenings. The daily bag and possession limit for trout is two.
Antero Reservoir

Horsetooth Reservoir

As of 6/22/2020, fishing has been good at Horsetooth Reservoir. Specifically, anglers have noted considerable success pulling in warm water species such as bass, bluegill, and sunfish. Smallmouth bass were reported to be striking flicker shads and minnows. Meanwhile, an angler also report catching considerable bluegill and sunfish with a worm under a bobber. Water temperature was recorded between the upper-60's to low 70's depending on where measurements were taken. 
Horsetooth Reservoir

Spinney Mountain Reservoir

As of 6/28/2020, it was reported that Spinney Mountain Reservoir has had inconsistent and sometimes sporadic fish activity. Overall, a guide service described the fishing at Spinney Mountain Reservoir to still be good. Water levels are high and water is stained with reported visibility at about 4'. There have been many non-fishing recreationists on the water. Like many other water bodies across the state, the weekends can be become busy at Spinney Mountain Reservoir. 
Spinney Mountain Reservoir

St. Vrain State Park

As of 6/28/2020, the ponds at St. Vrain State Park have been fishing well. Reports from anglers indicate they are having success with warm water species such as walleye, bass, and perch. Increased water temperatures have impacted the activity of trout in the ponds. A recent measurement of water temperature was recorded as high as the mid 70's in one pond. The water was indicated to be stained with visibility at about 3-feet. 
St. Vrain State Park

Barr Lake

As of 6/30/2020, an angler reported noticing a significant algae bloom at Barr Lake as early as 6/20/2020. They also reported that the lake was below full capacity and water temperature was measured in the low 70's. Park staff note that "the boat ramp is currently open! Boating is only allowed on the North end of the lake, and only motors 10hp or less are allowed to be used. ANS inspections are mandatory prior to launch for all trailered or motorized vessels."
Barr Lake

Conditions Report - Southeast Colorado

Arkansas River - Leadville to Buena Vista

Information provided by Braden Baker with Ark Anglers. As of 7/1/2020, Braden writes that "we've got excellent conditions right now on the upper Arkansas. Buena Vista and north offers the best clarity on the whole river right now. The Hayden Meadows area is the most approachable section to wade fish, but if anglers are comfortable rock hopping through BV and the Numbers, good pocket water is starting to open up along the edges. Expect to see some early season yellow sally, golden stonefly and caddis activity. Over the weekend we saw some hatching pale morning duns, so smaller mayfly nymphs, emergers and dry flies would be good to have in your arsenal. Even if nothing is hatching, you'll likely find opportunistic, competitive fish taking refuge in velocity shelters looking for an easy meal. Think dry-dropper or shallow nymphing with large attractor flies like chernobyl ants, stimulators, Pat's rubberlegs, etc. As the water continues to recede, conditions will get better and better!" Flows: 286 CFS at Hayden Meadows, 768 CFS at Granite (6/29/2020) http://www.arkanglers.com/
Arkansas River - Leadville to Buena Vista

John Martin Reservoir

As of 6/18/2020, fishing has been inconsistent at John Martin Reservoir. Park staff noted that there have been several As of 7/1/2020, fishing at John Martin Reservoir has generally slow down. While catfish activity has picked up with rising water temperatures, crappie, trout, white bass, and striper are slow throughout the day and feed mostly in the mornings and evenings. The water level at the reservoir has been consistently dropping and is well below full capacity. 
John Martin Reservoir

Pueblo Reservoir

As of 6/23/2020, fishing continues to be good at Lake Pueblo. There are many anglers that have reported catching many walleye but the majority measure just below the legal limit of 18-inch. Shore anglers have had a lot of success with simple leeches and slip bobber rigs. One angler noted that the Shad hatch is just beginning which should excite boaters trolling for walleye. Boat ramps are open with inspection hours 5am to 12am and decontamination hours 8am to 7pm. Park staff note that the park is experiencing high visitation and heavy boating usage. Expect long lines at the entrance to the park, to launch your boat and to find a parking space. Be prepared to walk a distance from your parking spot. Waiting times of one to two hours may occur during the peak times: 11 am to 4 pm on weekends.
Pueblo Reservoir

Lake Trinidad

As of 6/8/2020, Trinidad Lake has reported good fishing. The lake is at 726 surface acres with a surface elevation of 6184.22. Surface water temps ranging between 62-65 degrees. Boaters have had great luck trolling for trout and targeting walleye and smallmouth in 10 to 20 feet. South Shore anglers were catching trout with hooks tipped with dough bait and worms. Catching trout around 12 to 15 inches is common. Reilly Canyon: Decent sized trout and perch are being caught with jigs/worms.
Lake Trinidad

Horseshoe Lake

As of 6/24/2020, according to rangers at Lathrop State Park, "anglers using PowerBait or worms at Horseshoe Lake have reported pulling in the majority of the trout over the past week. Crappie and bass fishing on Horseshoe has been more productive than on Martin, with most anglers stating that artificial lures, jigs, and spinners result in the most takes. Warmer waters have led to increased activity from catfish and carp. Fishing for catfish has been reported as being the most active around dawn and dusk." 
Horseshoe Lake

Martin Lake

As of 6/24/2020, park staff at Lathrop State Park reported the following conditions for Martin Lake: "trout fishing has been more productive over the last week, with the majority of anglers pulling rainbows in on worms and PowerBait. Both largemouth and smallmouth bass have been active, as well as yellow perch. Trolling or fishing with swimbaits has led to more anglers pulling in pike and muskie. Wiper have been most active in the early morning hours prior to sunrise."
Martin Lake

Arkansas River - Buena Vista to Salida

Information provided by Braden Baker with Ark Anglers. As of 7/1/2020, "conditions are great in the middle basin with flows hovering just below 1,000 cfs. Anglers will find the best success by fishing hard right along the banks, where they will find fish aggressive and looking for an easy meal. Currently, you'll want to focus on fishing the soft pockets of slower water along the edges. We've had some great reports from intrepid anglers working the edges with large attractor dry/dropper setups, and flies that imitate grasshoppers and stoneflies are usually the ticket. Golden stones and yellow sallies are the key food items here, and a mix of caddis are active as well. We are seeing lots of active pale morning dun nymphs mid-day, so expect to see adults on the water in the next couple weeks. With peak runoff behind us, now is the time to plan for your summer on the Arkansas!" Flows: 963 CFS at Helca Junction (6/29/2020) http://www.arkanglers.com/
Arkansas River - Buena Vista to Salida

Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado

James M. Robb Colorado River State Park

As of 6/22/2020, park staff report that "trout fishing has slowed with the warmer summer temperatures. Bluegill will begin to pick up. All types of baits and lures work well. Corn Lake was stocked with another 8000 catchable fish on March 20. Red Rocks Lake was stocked with 1472 catchable fish in February. Island Acres was stocked with trout on March 5." 
James M. Robb Colorado River State Park

Yampa River - Yampa River State Park

As of 6/24/2020, staff at Yampa River State Park note that there have been many positive fishing reports from Yampa River anglers. Water levels having dropping from peak runoff levels. These changing conditions have continued to create good opportunities for dry fly fishing on the Yampa River. 
Yampa River - Yampa River State Park

Williams Fork Reservoir

As of 6/28/2020, Randy, a guide with Fishing with Bernie, reports that "the lake is finally full. Water capacity is at 100%. Surface temp has risen to 59 warming to 62 on a sunny day. The Lake trout bite has picked up now that the lake has topped off. All age groups can be found in 55' to 85'. Fish deeper as the day wears on. Tubes and rubber grubs tipped with sucker meat can produce limits for the patient angler. Some rainbows are being caught lake wide by bottom fishing with worms, eggs or PowerBait. Small rainbows are hitting spinners and flies in the inlet. Northern pike are slow but devoted fishermen are catching a few in the west side bays. Due to lack of population, Kokanee trolling is slow with most angler's reeling in young lake trout. Ramp hours are 6AM to 8PM." https://www.fishingwithbernie.com/weekly-fishing-reports
Williams Fork Reservoir

Grand Lake

As of 6/28/2020, Fishing With Bernie guide Sam Hochevar writes: "the water temperature at Grand Lake is 61 degrees in the mornings. Lake trout fishing has been good in 20 to 45 feet of water. Small spoons and tubes tipped with sucker meat has produced most of the lakers. Rainbows and browns have moved a little deeper and are being caught in 15 to 20 feet of water during the day. Trolling has been the most effective technique targeting the browns and rainbows." https://www.fishingwithbernie.com/weekly-fishing-reports
Grand Lake

Lake Granby

As of 6/28/2020, local angler, Dimitri Georges, reported the following conditions at Lake Granby: "Lake trout are concentrated on the side slopes of mid lake troughs (deep water channels), but are generally preferring the sub 50 deg F water which is found at 60 feet deep. Lakers were stuffed with Mysis shrimp and nothing else. Lakers sitting on the bottom are not feeding, only suspended fish in the 18" class are actively feeding all day, but especially early morning and right at dusk." Dimitri recommends anglers consider the following lures: UV pink hoochies (squid like lures) with smile blades, pink or black and white wedding rings with smile blades, and humdinger spoons in green/orange/dotted coloration behind small Colorado blades.
Lake Granby

Delaney Lakes

As of 6/25/2020, staff at Lake John Resort noted that "the Delaney's are fishing great. The water temperature is warming up slowly, it is currently at about 62 degrees. East Delaney is producing smaller 12 to 13-inch fish but is the most active, South Delaney is producing fish approximately 16-20". North Delaney is producing the largest measurements but fish activity is slower than the other two. Rapala's, tub jigs, leeches, chironomids, damsels, scuds, and nymphs 10 to 20 feet under an indicator has been best during the day, stripping crayfish and leeches has been successful at night and twilight hours."
Delaney Lakes

Lake John

As of 6/25/2020, Lake John Resort reports that "the lake has quality fish coming out right now but the bite is still slow. The water temperature is warming up slowly, it is at about 57 degrees. Boat anglers are using rapala's, tub jigs, kastmasters, thomas bouyants and ruby eyed leech flies under an indicator. Shore fisherman have been using marshmallows, cheese, garlic, red, pink, and green PowerBait, night crawlers, and black leech flies." https://lakejohnresort.com/
Lake John

Steamboat Lake

As of 6/22/2020, the staff at Steamboat Lake State Park reported that the lake has been fishing well throughout the summer months and anglers have had the most success pulling in fish with night crawlers. The Dutch Hill ANS inspection booth is open Monday through Thursday, 8am to 6pm; Friday through Sunday 6am to 9pm. 
Steamboat Lake

Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado

Blue Mesa Reservoir

As of 5/25/2020, the folks at Blue Mesa Fishing report that "the fishing on Blue Mesa has been excellent for all species! We are still seeing some good casting opportunities for rainbow and brown trout, excellent trolling for rainbow trout with plenty of salmon action mixed in (they are big!) and some GIANT lake trout! Blue Mesa has been open for 10 days now and the fishing has been equally good all across the lake." Specifically, anglers can find trout by "casting the rocky shorelines, especially early and late in the day. The number of rainbow trout appears to be very good as trolling for them in the top 15 feet of the water column has been excellent most days and a lot of times they are getting to your presentation faster than the kokanee salmon!" For Kokanee, anglers should focus on the top of the water column, Blue Mesa Fishing reports that "they seem to be holding in the top 30 feet of the water column most days and so far they are a lot spunkier than they were last year, which is an encouraging sign that the gill lice aren't hitting them so hard they appear lethargic! One thing that we have been impressed with is the size of the kokanee for this time of year; there are some really nice fish showing up!" bluemesafishing.com 
Blue Mesa Reservoir

Navajo Lake

As of 7/1/2020, fishing at Lake Navajo was described by park staff as good. Specifically, staff noted there has been considerable action among bass, catfish, and carp. The water temperature in the reservoir was recently recorded at 65 degrees. The boat ramp and ANS Inspection Station are open Friday through Saturday 7am to 9pm, and Sunday through Thursday 7am to 8pm. The boat ramp gate is locked daily at closing
Navajo Lake

Crawford Reservoir

As of 7/1/2020, there has been good fishing at Crawford Reservoir. Staff reported that there has been a lot of action with trout and bass. There have been reports that trout have begun rising and feeding from the surface. The reservoir is currently 13' below capacity. Iron Creek boat ramp is open with inspectors on duty from 7am to 8pm. Boaters can stay on the lake beyond inspection hours, and can now exit at any time, knowing that NO exit inspection will be done. You will be inspected the next time you come in.
Crawford Reservoir

Ridgway Reservoir

As of 7/1/2020, Ridgway Reservoir and its tailwaters, flowing into the Uncompahgre River, have had decent to fair fishing recently. Anglers have been able to catch trout in the reservoir using typical bait and tackle, worms and spinners. Below the dam, on the Uncompahgre River, there have been few hatches so fly anglers have been the most successful with small nymphs sizes 22-24 in colors black and red.
Ridgway Reservoir

Gunnison River

As of 7/1/2020, lower water levels and increased insect activity currently makes a dry fly and dropper set up perfect for fishing on the Gunnison. Streamflow was measured near the town of Gunnison at 613 CFS (as of 7/1/2020). Current discharge levels are well below normal levels for this time of the year. Since peak runoff at the beginning of June the Gunnison River has consistently measured well below normal levels of discharge.
Gunnison River

Conditions Report - Statewide

Statewide

Summer fishing is here. Rivers and streams are sliding down from their peak spring runoffs and the hatches are on in most parts of the state. For fly anglers, this is the time for the infamous dry dropper combination set up. There are increasing reports of yellow sally, caddis, golden stones, PMD's, and even some hoppers being eaten off the top. There is also good fishing in many lakes across the state as well, especially for warm water fishing. However, there have been some reports that indicate the bite has slowed for certain water bodies that have reach temperatures too high for good fish activity, at least throughout the daytime. If that is the case for your local fishing hole, head into the mountains to find lakes and reservoirs with less heat and cool, deep depths.
Statewide

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