Colorado statewide fishing report and conditions – April 12, 2019

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Published Friday, April 12, 2019

Conditions Report - Statewide

Statewide Conditions 

With spring starting to take hold of most of the rivers and streams across the state now is one of the best times to get out and target trout with a fly rod or light spinning tackle before runoff makes many of the states waterways dangerous to fish. This time of year midges are still great for producing numbers of fish. With warming water temperatures and longer days we are also starting to see mayfly nymphs, emergers, and even dry flies producing some action. Flows are still relatively low in most areas of the state so it is imperative to use a slow and steady approach to the water, especially on the smaller creeks and streams where the fish can easily be spooked out of their feeding lanes. Fish are starting to be found in smaller pocket water and riffles compared to the deeper pools that they have been holding in throughout the winter.
Colorado Fishing Atlas

Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado

Eleven Mile State Park

As of 4/7/2019, conditions have been changing quickly and fishing of any sort if difficult right now. Access to the ice is very tough due to melting shorelines with about 10 feet of open water between shore and the shelf of ice. With that being said there is still not quite enough open water in most areas of the lake for shore fishing. The few anglers that have been able to shore fish the small stretches of open water have reported success catching small Rainbow Trout. Look for the next few weeks to provide very good pike fishing opportunities while the fish are shallow for the spawn.
Eleven Mile State Park

Deckers and Cheeseman Canyon

As of 4/12/2019, flows have increased with the releasing of water from Cheesman Reservoir. Look for small midges and emerger patterns to be productive in the open runs and deeper pools. Also try smaller slow riffles in the warming afternoon. Anglers are reporting some dry fly hatches being seen. Mayfly patterns such as blue wing olives have been the best fish producing dry flies. Flows: 125 CFS (4/12/2019) 
Deckers and Cheeseman Canyon

Antero Reservoir

As of 4/11/2019, the ice is starting to pull away from the shore, reports of as much as 30 feet of open water between the shore and ice sheet. The south shore has slightly better access onto the ice however that is quickly deteriorating as well. Anglers are having limited success using jigs fished mid water column. To be successful currently anglers must be in a good cruising area for trout where it is most likely to have fish come through and feed.
Antero Reservoir 

North Sterling State Park

As of 4/7/2019, water temp is about 40 degrees. Generally fishing has been slow with some anglers reporting a few catches of walleye, crappie, and wiper. The water clarity is becoming poor with less than 1 foot of visibility. As the season progresses expect fishing to pick up as the water temperatures rise. Reservoir is OPEN to BOATING. The Inlet is ON and the Outlet is OFF.
North Sterling State Park 

Boyd Lake 

As of 4/8/2019, water temperature was near 50 degrees and fishing reported fair to good for bluegill and trout. Trolling seems to be the ticket early in the year. Anglers are reporting good success catching trout and walleye trolling crankbaits at various depths and speeds. The walleye seem to be deeper in the 20 to 30 foot range while the trout are much closer to the surface. The main boat ramp and Heron Cover (north) ramp are open for launching. Boat Inspectors will be available at the ANS Inspection Station from 7:00am-7:00pm during the month of April. Decontamination hours are 8:00am-6:00 pm. 
Boyd Lake

Jackson Lake

As of 4/8/2019, surface water temperature is approximately 50 degrees. Fishing has been slow to good for crappie, walleye, saugeye and wipers. Most of the wiper action has been reported near the inlet while the walleye action is closer to the dam.
Jackson Lake State Park

St. Vrain State Park

As of 4/11/2019, there are 11 fishable ponds at St. Vrain, which are stocked on a regular basis. St. Vrain is one of the best locations for anglers to really get into a mixed bag of species. With water temperatures on the ponds increasing trout are active as well as many warm water species becoming active. The recent cold front has definitely slowed the bite for many species however; Anglers have still reported some success catching panfish, bass, and even some saugeye.
St. Vrain

Barr Lake State Park

As of 3/31/2019, sunny days and warm weather are warming up the water temperatures, getting the fish to start to move around. Try for early season trout around the boat ramp area with worms or grubs fished slowly near the bottom. The lake is still currently closed to all vessels (including hand launched). We will be open for boating on Saturday, April 13th. See you then!
Barr Lake

Tarryall Reservoir

As of 4/8/2019, access to the ice is nearly impossible. Anglers looking to get onto the ice are encouraged to be very cautious. Recent reports show that there is upwards of 10 feet of open water between shore and the ice around nearly the entire lake. Look for early open water pike fishing to be very successful as the pike are shallow feeding in preparation for the upcoming spawn. Anglers should also be able to have good success from shore fishing for trout with spoons and spinners.
Tarryall Reservoir

Conditions Report - Southeast Colorado

Arkansas River-Lake Pueblo

As of 4/12/2019, flows have increased dramatically over the last couple weeks in anticipation of runoff. Warmer days and warmer water temperatures have seen some blue wing olive hatches as well as actively feeding fish. Some anglers are having success using caddis larva nymphs as well as generalist mayfly nymphs such as Pheasant Tails or Hare's Ears in the 12-18 size ranges. Flows: 292 CFS (4/12/2019) 
Arkansas River at Pueblo Reservoir 

Lake Pueblo

As of 4/10/2019, fishing at the reservoir is really starting to pick up. Water temperatures before the recent cold front were approaching 50 degrees. Anglers have been reporting success catching walleye, bass, crappie, and wiper. Anglers have been catching crappie in the back of coves near submerged trees. Walleye have been caught jigging main lake points and secondary points as well. Walleye anglers are reporting the best pattern has been a jig head with a 3 to 4 inch paddletail. Bass should be sliding up shallower and shallower as the water warms. 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 - 11:00pm. 
Lake Pueblo

Arkansas River Buena Vista to Canon City

As of 4/12/2019, water temperatures are in the mid 40's in the upper stretches and getting into low 50's in the lower reaches of this section. With the increased flows coming out of Twin Lakes anglers are encouraged to take advantage of great fishing conditions over the next week! Midges have been productive in the cooler morning hours as well as golden stonefly, and caddis larva nymphs. During the warmer parts of the day Blue Wing Olive hatches are starting to be seen. Flows: 640 CFS (4/12/2019) 
Arkansas River - Near Salida 

Trinidad Lake State Park

As of 4/7/2019, the lake is at 765 surface acres with a surface elevation of 6187.66. South Shore fishermen are catching Rainbow Trout on PowerBait. The Rainbow Trout are ranging in size from 12 to 15 inches. Boaters are having excellent success catching trout. Trolling with worms or spinners seems to be the go to rig. No reports of any perch or walleye being caught. The perch and walleye fishing should improve as the water continues to warm. 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

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 4/8/2019, water temperatures ranged from 45 to 50 degrees. Trout scattered throughout the lake with some nice fish around 18 inches being caught. Yellow Perch and Walleye also scattered but holding in the deeper water around 30 feet. Anglers reporting some success catching walleye on jigs or blade baits. For more information, call 303-326-8425. Park hours April 6:00am-8:30pm.
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. The lake opened for boating on March 28th. As of 4/10/2019, anglers have reported success fishing for walleye at night trolling jerk baits slowly just below the surface. During the day walleye anglers are trolling much deeper in front of the dam focusing on the fish that are feeding out in the open basin of the reservoir. There have been some reports of crappie being caught as the water warms near 50 degrees. Fishing for trout has been consistent with anglers catching fish on a variety of lures or baits including casting spoons and in-line spinner baits. There have also been a few reports of anglers catching some crappie in the shallower sections of the reservoir where the water tends to be a bit warmer.
Cherry Creek Reservoir

Chatfield Reservoir

This 1,356 acre impoundment is located in Chatfield State Park. As of 4/10/2019, water temperatures are starting to hit 50 degrees in the afternoons. With the warmer water temperatures anglers targeting bass have been able to catch a few along the rocky shorelines. The best baits for the Smallmouth right now is jerk baits fished slowly with longer pauses between jerks. Anglers targeting walleye are still having the most success at night trolling crankbaits in the shallow water. Walleye have been caught on a variety of baits from smaller shad profile baits to larger minnow profile stick baits. Anglers reporting walleye still in all phases of the spawn. Look for the pre and post spawn fish to be feeding most heavily. Daytime walleye bites are expected to pick up soon with fish moving off the dam from spawning and spreading out onto their typical summer structures. Fishing for trout has been fair to good off shore, anglers are catching fish with baits such as smaller inline spinners, Kastmasters, or jerk baits.
Chatfield Reservoir

Quincy Reservoir

Opened March 1st. As of 4/8/2019 open to boating. Electric trolling motors only. Bass fishing slow to fair using lipless crankbaits. Reminder that the reservoir is restricted to artificial flies or lures only. Only watercraft capable of being launched by hand permitted. Vehicles and trailers are not permitted in the water. The water level is down a few feet from full pool and the clarity is being reported as off color with a visibility about 3 feet. Anglers have had some early success for bass with jerk baits fished slow or finesse jigs along the bottom. For more information, call 303-326-8424. Park Hours April 6:00am-8:30pm.
Quincy Reservoir

Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado

Blue River

As of 4/12/2019, being that this section of river is a tailwater it tends to fish very consistently year round, however with that being said the fish in this section tend to be pressured by fisherman more than other water. With that being said fishing is best with light tippet in the 6x to 7x range with small subtle presentations. Anglers have reported fish feeding on midge patterns in a variety of colors as well as some fish being caught drifting mysis shrimp. Flows: 95.2 CFS (4/12/2019) 
Blue River - Silverthorne 

Colorado River

As of 4/12/2019, water temperatures are on the rise, and fish that were lethargic and feeding in a short window of each day are now becoming much more active and feeding windows are becoming longer and longer. Fly anglers have reported success with stonefly nymphs as well as some midges. Spin casting anglers have continued to report success catching Browns on smaller jerk baits fished slow in the current or some smaller in-line spinners during the warmest parts of the day when the fish are most active. Flows: 625 CFS (4/12/2019) 
Colorado River - Near Kremmling 

Lake John

As of 4/10/2019, Open water holes are starting to appear. The main sheet of ice still ranges from 20 to 22 inches thick however access to the ice is becoming more and more difficult as the shores continue to thaw. Recent warm weather with the exception of Wednesday's storm is causing the melting process to happen fairly rapidly. For anglers that have ventured onto the ice recently the fishing remains slow overall with sporadic success. As always with late ice season anglers are strongly encouraged to have and use all safety equipment necessary.
Lake John

Delaney Buttes

As of 4/10/2019, the ice conditions at Delaney Buttes are very similar to those of Lake John. Anglers are advised to be very cautious if venturing onto the ice. Anglers have reported some success using small flies through the ice. Generally the bite at Delaney Buttes is also much slower than it has been for a majority of the winter. 
Delaney Buttes

Vega Reservoir

As of 4/6/2019, ice levels are changing rapidly, so please use caution when accessing the ice. At this time there is about 8 to 10 inches of ice with considerable slush and water pockets forming throughout the lake. The gravel pit and south road are closed for the season. We have approximately 3 to 4 feet of snow on the ground. The Visitor Center is open 7 days a week from 8:00am to 4:00pm 
Vega State Park

Rifle Gap State Park

As of 4/4/2019, the ice just came off the reservoir. Pike are starting to move into the shallow sections of the lake to spawn. Pike can be caught early in the season using swimbaits as well as crankbaits that are fished slowly. As soon as pike move out of the spawn fish will begin feeding heavily to replenish energy lost. Perch fishing is currently slow but is expected to pick up.
Rifle Gap Reservoir

Stagecoach State Park

As of 4/8/2019, Please take extreme caution while ice fishing. Anglers are still going out at the inlet, Morrison Cove Keystone and marina areas. Please review the ice conditions section below. Many anglers are having luck at the Inlet, Lot14, and Lot16 area. Successful anglers are primarily reporting luck with PowerBait, PowerGrubs, nightcrawlers, mealworms, spoons, & jigs. Ice conditions; folks are still going out but it's getting pretty sketchy. Shorelines are the thinnest 0 to 4 inches and when you get on the main ice it's 8 to 12 inches of slush on top of 10 inches of ice. Please use EXTREME caution if you decide to go out and please use late season precautions such as wearing a PFD, going with a partner, having ice picks, and a spud bar to check the ice as you go out. 
Stagecoach Reservoir

Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado

Blue Mesa Reservoir 

As of 4/10/2019, recent report is that the ice is still holding up well on Blue Mesa. Anglers have been reporting decent success targeting Kokanee Salmon as well as Rainbow and Brown Trout. Anglers are reporting most of the success on jigging spoons fished mid water column. As with any late ice season situation caution is advised and it is always recommended anglers travel with all necessary safety equipment.
Blue Mesa Reservoir 

Navajo Reservoir

As of 4/5/2019, the lake level is 6025.72 and the water temperature at the boat ramp in Arboles is approximately 48 degrees. The boat ramp is now open daily, however, mud at the bottom of the ramp could cause problems launching the largest boats. Boats should launch down the center of the ramp to avoid mud under water on either side of the ramp. There have been some large catfish caught recently, and it has been reported that the crappie have started in La Jara, however the water is still muddy due to runoff
Navajo State Park

Crawford State Park

As of 4/10/2019, anglers are beginning to have success catching bass as well as crappie. The key to success seems to be targeting the shallow water that warms faster. 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 4/12/2019, flows are still holding relatively low which is on track for this time of year in an attempt to keep water storage in the reservoir. This tailwater section has been fishing well lately. With winter still being felt in the Gunnison area anglers are waiting until the warmest parts of the day to fish as the slightly warmer water temperatures will cause the fish to become more active. Small midge patterns are the most effective throughout the day however anglers are also reporting some success using small Mysis Shrimp patterns as well. Keep in mind extremely light fluorocarbon tippet will help to not spook fish. Flows: 117 CFS (4/12/2019)
Taylor River