Colorado statewide fishing report and conditions – April 23, 2021

PROMO Outdoors - Fishing Man Stream - iStock - ViktorCap
Published Friday, April 23, 2021

Conditions Report - Metro Denver Area

Aurora Reservoir

Park Rangers report as of 4/23/2021, there have been a few reports of trout caught near the dam using PowerBait. Try fishing shallow for rainbows cruising the shallow water. Fly casters are reporting fair to good success. Olive leech patterns are recommended for fly casters. There are some reports of walleye and smallmouth bass being caught using jigs. For more information call 303-326-8425. Park hours for April 6:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. 
Aurora Reservoir

Chatfield Reservoir

As of 4/23/2021, the park ranger reports fishing is starting to pick up for all species and action should continually pick up with warmer temperatures. A large variety of lures are working for bass, walleye, and trout. Some anglers reported success bait-fishing the bottom.  
Chatfield Reservoir

Cherry Creek Reservoir

As of 4/23/2021 boating is open daily from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the East Ramp only. Fishing is fair at the moment with anglers having limited success using mealworms, wax worms, Gulp worms, and nightcrawlers on Rapala raps, buck-shot flutter spoons, blade baits, and others. No other reports on any other species at this time. For more information please call (303) 690-1166.
Cherry Creek Reservoir

Standley Lake

The reservoir is closed to paddle craft use until May 1. Ice fishing is not allowed. Most of the reservoir is still open water. Please call ahead prior to heading to the reservoir to get up-to-date lake and shoreline fishing conditions. Contact park staff at 303-425-1097.
Standley Lake

Quincy Reservoir

As of 4/23/2021, the bass fishing has been slow with a few reports of largemouth bass being caught in the East cove using jigs and lipless crankbaits fished slowly. There have been a few reports of smallmouth bass caught off the dam using jigs. Fishing is restricted to artificial flies and lures only. Only watercraft capable of being launched by hand is permitted. Trailers and vehicles are not permitted in the water. Park hours for April are 6:00 am to 8:30 pm. For more information call 303-326-8424. 
Quincy Reservoir

Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado

Eleven Mile Reservoir

As of 4/23/2021, The 11 Mile Marina reports "The lake is approximately 50% ice-covered. There is open shoreline all around the lake. The trout fishing is reportedly very good. The action is very good for some and very poor for others. You need to know how to fish the Mile during ice off. Timing and conditions vary and greatly affect your catching. All baits seem to work but the question is when. We went out the other day in the late afternoon. Caught six nice fish jigging tubes and marabou's in an hour or so. An angler nearby said he had been there all day and caught nothing. Change up your offerings frequently if they aren't working. Black Marabous have been consistent but also consistently hard to find. We have some but they won't last long. Sunrise and sundown have been good. But other times of the day depending on conditions are also productive. If it is calm and beautiful the bite is usually difficult. Wind makes for better catching." "Northern Pike fishing no new reports on northern pike caught from shore, but this time of year can produce trophy fish." https://www.11milesports.com/fishing-report
Eleven Mile Reservoir

Boyd Lake

As of 4/23/2021, park staff reports Boyd Lake is OPEN to boating. All boats must be properly registered and equipped per state law. All vessels are required to be inspected for Aquatic Nuisance Species before launching. The lake is ice-free. There is no fishing permitted from marina slips or docks. Please call Boyd Lake State Park at 970-669-1739 to get the most up-to-date ice conditions.
Boyd Lake

North Sterling Reservoir

As of 4/23/2021, the lake is OPEN to boating. All vessels must go through an Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) inspection prior to launching. Water levels are three feet from full and slowly rising. Please keep a lookout for possible floating debris, and always be aware that unmarked hazards may exist. If debris or hazards are discovered please notify park staff. Before boating, check that your vessel has all of the required safety items on board. The Inlet is ON and the Outlet is OFF. No reports from species caught. Contact the park for the latest ice conditions at 970-522-3657.
North Sterling Reservoir

St. Vrain State Park

As of 4/23/2021, park staff reports fishing continues to be great on most of the ponds. Walleye and saugeyes have been landed during this aggressive post-spawn feeding. We've also seen carp and trout pulled from the ponds as well. Please contact the park for the most up-to-date conditions by calling 303-678-9402.
St. Vrain State Park

Barr Lake

As of 4/23/2021 park staff reports that the lake is ice-free and the water temperatures are is around 50 degrees. There have been reports of anglers fishing from shore with good water clarity up to a foot. No species report. For the most current conditions, please contact park staff by calling 303-659-6005. 
Barr Lake

Jackson Lake

As of 4/23/2021, park staff reports the lake is full and the water surface temperature is approximately 42 degrees. The lake is OPEN to boating. All boats must be properly registered and equipped in accordance with state law. All vessels are required to be inspected for Aquatic Nuisance Species prior to launching. Outside of inspection hours, boats are required to have valid pre-inspection documentation (seal and receipt) prior to launch. ANY BLUE RECEIPT or OUT-OF-STATE seal/receipt will not be accepted at Jackson Lake for pre-inspection purposes! Recent legislation now requires you to dry your vessel AND remove your plug before driving it on public roads. 
Jackson Lake

Cheesman Canyon

As of 4/23/2021, the canyon has low flow and high water clarity making for some difficult yet rewarding fishing. Be stealthy on your approach to avoid scaring fish. Using a longer leader along with small midge pupa and Baetis emergers have proven effective. Flows: 98.7 CFS Above Cheesman Lake (4/23/2021) 
Cheesman Canyon

Douglas Reservoir

The reservoir was recently stocked with catchable (~10-inch fish) on 3/11/2021.
Douglas Reservoir

Antero Reservoir

As of 4/23/2021, the reservoir has open water! There is still a fair amount of ice but it is not recommended to attempt ice fishing at this time.  
Antero Reservoir

Dream Stream - South Platte

As of 4/23/2021, hatch activity has been abundant including increased blue-winged olive activity with the warmer temperatures. The midge activity continues to be strong and anglers have reported success catching trout on nymph rigs. Flows: 80 CFS Above Eleven Mile (4/23/2021) 
South Platte

Horsetooth Reservoir

As of 4/23/2021, the reservoir is ice-free and water levels are around 80% capacity. 
Horsetooth Reservoir

Spinney Mountain Reservoir

Spinney Mountain State Park opened 4/23/2021 at 5:46 a.m. The docks will not be pushed in. Due to very low water levels, the reservoir will open to boating of hand-launched vessels only. Boats with motors will be allowed and will require an ANS inspection going in and coming out. 
Spinney Mountain Reservoir

Conditions Report - Southeast Colorado

Arkansas River - Leadville to Buena Vista

As of 4/20/2021, Braden Baker with Ark Anglers writes, "The upper river is beginning to offer more early spring fishing opportunities as things slowly thaw out and open up. The outflow from Twin Lakes is now running at 104 CFS. Hayden Meadows is starting to offer more open water but be prepared for snowbanks and ice shelves along the edges of the river. Shallow nymphing here is beginning to become very productive with stonefly nymphs, midges, and blue-winged olive nymphs. Deeper, slow runs or pools that receive ample sunlight are going to offer your best chances at finding active fish, but with warmer temperatures, more fish are spreading out to intercept food in riffles and shallower runs. If you can locate a fish in the deeper winter water, you'll likely find a concentrated population holding together with a lot of vacant water upstream and downstream. Your best window of opportunity will be between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Midges and blue-winged olive nymphs will be your most important forage to imitate, and pairing these with a large attractor nymph like a stonefly is a great way to cover your bases. We've had a few blue-winged olive hatches reported up north, especially with this week's inclement weather. There should be many more opportunities to catch a mayfly hatch up here in the coming weeks." Flows: 105 CFS at Hayden Meadows, 158 CFS, and ICY at Granite (4/23/2021) http://www.arkanglers.com/
Arkansas River - Leadville to Buena Vista

Lake Trinidad

As of 4/23/2021, park staff reports the lake is at 631 surface acres with a surface elevation of 6179.94. The surface water temperature is 43-45 degrees Fahrenheit, and the water level is rising slightly. Boaters have had luck trolling Rapalas and worm harness. The south shore has produced good size trout regularly using PowerBait and doughballs. Call the park for the most up-to-date conditions 719-846-6951.  
Lake Trinidad

Arkansas River - Buena Vista to Salida

As of 4/20/2021, Braden Baker with Ark Anglers writes, "Last week's colder, cloudy weather prompted some excellent blue-winged olive hatches and some of the best dry fly fishing we've seen this spring. The weather has limited the fishing pressure some, but anglers who've dressed appropriately have been pleased to see strong numbers of fish feeding on the surface in the middle basin over the past few days, prime targets for dry flies and light dry/dropper tactics. The warmer, cloudy weather this week should make for more comfortable conditions but still, give a good chance for dry fly fishing. Combine the hatches of blue-winged olives with plentiful midge hatches, molting golden stonefly nymphs, and morning caddis larva drifts and we are seeing a dramatic shift in the feeding behavior of our local trout. We've even had a few sightings of adult free-living caddis (precursors to the brachycentrus hatch) above Salida towards Buena Vista. The increased volume of food has fish migrating out into riffles, shallow runs, and pocket water to feed. The window of productive time on the river is much broader now, too. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. is now your prime time on the water, and as we push forward through spring that window will expand. The blue-winged olive mayflies tend to be most active in the afternoons, with daily behavioral nymphal drifts occurring between noon and 3 p.m. most days. These mayflies typically wait for cloudy, often precipitous days to hatch in the afternoons, but you should be prepared regardless of the forecast. Sometimes all it takes is a single cloud to mute the sun for a hatch to occur. Recently, it seems that the clear, direct sunlight has fish content to feed just under the surface, intercepting nymphs and vulnerable emergers rather than committing to the dun on the water's surface. Next Tuesday's forecast of cooler temperatures and potential precipitation may make for more concentrated surface feeding. These mayflies are generally a #16-18, and offer some of the "match-the-hatch" dry and dry-dropper fishing of the year. Stonefly and other large attractor nymphs will be great anchor flies while nymphing during non-hatch periods. For droppers, try midge larva and pupa, caddis larva, and blue-winged olive nymphs and emergers." Flows: 246 CFS at Hecla Junction (4/23/2021) http://www.arkanglers.com/
Arkansas River - Buena Vista to Salida

John Martin Reservoir

As of 4/23/2021, both the East and West boat ramps are open. Water levels are low and there is limited access to the trestle. Anglers are having luck catching walleye and saugeye.  
John Martin Reservoir

Lake Pueblo

As of 4/23/2021, fishing slowed the last week with cooler water temperatures decreasing rising activity. Anticipate more hatches in the coming weeks and an increase in feeding activity as the water temperatures rise. 
Lake Pueblo

Runyon & Fountain Lakes

The lakes were recently stocked on 3/19/2021, 2/26/2021, and 1/27/2021 and are fishing well. The last week's weather made. Trout fishing has been fair to good with a variety of artificial lures. 
Runyon/Fountain Lakes SWA

Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado

Vega Reservoir

Park staff reports as of 4/23/2021, boat ramps will open effective 8:00 a.m. on May 1st, 2021. Currently, the lake is ice-free. The Visitor Center is open from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily and masks are required to enter. Beginning May 2021, to prevent boats from launching during hours that ANS inspections are not available, the park has installed new gates and one-way spike strips. The spike strips will allow boats to exit the lake after hours at the Island boat ramp but will prevent anyone from entering the lake during non-inspection hours. Boaters that plan to exit the lake after inspection hours should park and use the Island boat ramp so that they are not behind locked gates after hours. Early Settlers and Oak Point boat ramps will be locked every night after the ANS inspection gate closes at 8:30 p.m.  
Vega Reservoir

Steamboat Lake

As of 4/23/2021, park staff reports the fishing has been great! Worms and wax worms are working the best. If you are not catching anything in one spot, move and you may have better luck. Call the visitor center, (970) 879-3922, for up-to-date information on lake conditions, open daily 8 am-4 pm.  
Steamboat Lake

Granby 

Fishing with Bernie Guide, Dan Shannon reported on 4/1/2021, "Ice is 18 inches, snowpack on top of the ice is becoming thin with pockets of slush that increase farther east you go on the lake and late in the day. Lots of standing water on the ice in the afternoons. Fishing has been fair to good. Rainbows are active in the areas where water is coming into the lake, small tungsten head flies have been producing. To find the Brown Trout look to the transition areas between rocks and mudflats, 2-3 inch tubes worked along these areas have been working well. Lake trout are being found through various depths up to 80' as well as suspended over the deep humps. For suspended fish use your electronics and play chase in the water column, spoons and small minnow imitations tipped with sucker have been getting bites. Small tubes, grubs, and spoons fished on the bottom have also been a consistent pattern, If you're finding fish but not getting bites, keep moving till you find the fish that want to bite. Stay safe, Ice is on the decline." https://www.fishingwithbernie.com/
Granby

Williams Fork Reservoir

As of 4/1/2021, Fishing with Bernie Guide Sam Hochevar reported, "Ice is still 18 plus inches however we are starting to see small amounts of slush around the lake. Lake trout are being caught in 40 to 70 feet of water. Small plastics in the 1 to 2-inch profile tipped with a small amount of sucker meat have been producing most of the fish." https://www.fishingwithbernie.com/
Williams Fork Reservoir

Grand Lake

Fishing with Bernie Guide Sam Hochevar reported as of 4/1/2021, "Rainbows and browns have been fishing well in 8 to 12 feet of water around inlets and flats. Kokanee are being caught in the same areas in slightly deeper water. Small spoons have been producing most of the fish. Lake trout are being caught in 30 to 80 feet of water on larger spoons and tube jigs. Look for the lake trout in the deep water to be suspended in the middle of the water column and the shallower fish to be on or close to the bottom." https://www.fishingwithbernie.com/
Grand Lake

Harvey Gap

As of 4/23/2021, there is plenty of shore angling opportunities and anglers have reported success catching trout with PowerBait, eggs, nightcrawlers, and spinners. 
Harvey Gap

Rifle Gap

As of 4/23/2021, park staff reports the lake is producing trout, perch, and a few pike. Trout anglers have had success fishing spoons and spinners while jigs have been the go-to for perch.
Rifle Gap

Yampa River

As of 4/23/2021, the Yampa River has been fishing very well for all species. Anglers have reported success using San Juan worms, midge patterns, and Wooly buggers. Flow: 40.3 CFS Below Stagecoach Reservoir (4/23/2021) 
Yampa River

Blue River

As of 4/23/2021, at current flows fish can be found in pools and slow runs. Snows earlier in the week caused the trout to be less active. Finding active trout in the early mornings was difficult until later in the day when temperatures began to warm. Due to the snowstorms, there was hardly any hatch activity to speak of. Flows: 636 CFS Below Green Mountain Reservoir (4/23/2021) 
Blue River

Eagle River

As of 4/23/2021, the upper section of the river is experiencing a good midge and baetis hatches. The river is reportedly fishing well. It is recommended to try and fish deeper pools in the early hours and begin working the water column as the daytime temperatures increase. Flows: 165 CFS Below Gypsum (4/23/2021)
Eagle River

Green Mountain Reservoir

As of 4/23/2021, reports have stated there is unsafe ice at the North end of the lake. It is not recommended to attempt ice fishing at this time. There is open water available for shore angling, no species reports yet. 
Green Mountain Reservoir

Lake John

As of 4/23/2021, Lake John reports intermittent fishing success for trout using standard baits and lures. 
Lake John

Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado

Jackson Gulch Reservoir

As of 4/22/2021, the staff at Mancos State Park report, "The ice came completely off the lake the week of April 10th. There has not been much fishing happening since ice-off to get a good report, but late in the ice season, there was good action for rainbow trout 10-12 inches and yellow perch averaging 5 inches through the ice. A few larger rainbows being caught, along with a few perch near 14"! Splake (a brook trout/lake trout cross) are also being caught occasionally."
Jackson Gulch Reservoir

Blue Mesa Reservoir

As of 4/23/2021, not many reports received from anglers, but the Lake Fork and Elk Creek boat ramps are open and have hours 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Blue Mesa Reservoir

James M. Robb Colorado River

As of 4/23/2021, park staff report all lakes are ice-free and all of the lakes have been stocked. Fishing is reportedly good using all types of bait. Please ensure the responsible and ethical release of fish and properly dispose of the fishing line. Remember, the daily limit for trout is four fish per person.  
James M. Robb Colorado River

San Juan River

As of 3/30/2021 Duranglers report, "The San Juan is in full on early season runoff. Fish the banks, and maybe even now is the time to float! Streamers and stonefly nymph rigs will be the go-to." Flows: 351 CFS at Pagosa Springs (4/23/2021) https://duranglers.com/
San Juan River

Animas River at Durango

As of 4/9/2021, Duranglers report, "The BWO hatch has arrived. 11-3 pm is a good time to find it. If you are not finding rising fish, put on a caddis pupa with a mayfly nymph and fish deep. The water is a little off-color so a little flash or contrast in your flies never hurts. Streamer fishing has just begun." Flows: 282 CFS at Durango (4/23/2021) https://duranglers.com/
Animas River

Dolores River - above McPhee Reservoir

As of 4/23/2021 Duranglers report, "The upper Dolores is coming up, but fishing has been good with nymphs and streamers. Stonefly nymphs will be your friend in the deeper water." Flows: 209 at Dolores (4/23/2021) https://duranglers.com/
Dolores River

Gunnison River

As of 4/23/2021 Duranglers report, "Expect small bugs to be your best bet and the lower reaches around Pleasure Park will be the only options easier to access. Go small and fish the deeper slots and runs." Flows: 702 CFS below Gunnison Tunnel (4/23/2021) Duranglers.com
Gunnison River

KiowaCountyPress.net may earn an affiliate commission if you purchase products or services through links in an article. Prices, when displayed, are accurate at the time of publication but may change over time. Commissions do not influence editorial independence.

The Kiowa County Press is an independent newspaper published in Eads, Kiowa County, Colorado, and to the world at KiowaCountyPress.net.