Colorado statewide fishing report and conditions – August 15, 2020

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Published Saturday, August 15, 2020

Conditions Report - Metro Denver Area

Aurora Reservoir

As of 7/27/2020, trout fishing from shore is slow to fair. Anglers have been using PowerBait from the dam with mild success. The trout are deeper now, so casting out 40 to 50 yards is recommended. Trout action from boats is fair to good while trolling with crawlers. Walleye action has been fair to good trolling with bottom bouncers and crawlers in 25 to 30 feet of water. For more information, call 303-326-8425. Park Hours for August 5:30am-9:00pm. Restricted to electric motors only and portable gas tanks must be removed.
Aurora Reservoir

Chatfield Reservoir

As of 8/4/2020, the bite is on among smallmouth bass and walleye at Chatfield Reservoir. An angler reported having success pulling in both species on hard and soft plastics. While fishing from shore, the angler advised to be constantly moving around and search for rocky areas. A recent water temperature measurement was recorded at 71 degrees and the water level was estimated to be approximate 5 feet below full pool. Aquatic Nuisance Species Inspections will be conducted at the North and South ramps from 6am -10pm seven days a week. Vessel Decontamination will only be performed during daylight hours.
Chatfield Reservoir

Cherry Creek Reservoir

As of 7/19/2020, Cherry Creek remains to be productive. An angler reported they were able to attract walleye on both metal spoons and swim baits. They also noticed an influx of shad appearing in many areas across the lake. Water temperature was measured at 75 degrees on 7/29/2020 with recent variability between 73 to 76 degrees. The water surface level is currently at normal levels for this time of the year. The reservoir is open for boating with two boat ramps and ANS inspections stations open daily from 6am-10 pm. The West boat ramp is closed on Wednesdays. 
Cherry Creek Reservoir

Quincy Reservoir

As of 7/27/2020, bass fishing is slow to fair with a few good reports of anglers using soft plastics and top water lures. Early mornings and evenings have been the best time to fish. There have been reports of smallmouth being caught from the dam using jigs. Yellow perch fishing is fair to good using jigs. Restricted to artificial flies and lures only. Only watercraft capable of being launched by hand are permitted. Vehicles and trailers are not permitted in the water. Park Hours for August 5:30am-9:00pm. For more information, call 303-326-8424.  
Quincy Reservoir

Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado

Eleven Mile Reservoir

As of 7/23/2020, the Eleven Mile Marina reports that fishing for trout continues to be good at Eleven Mile Reservoir. While noted as generally good, the marina warned, "When it is hot and calm the bite is a little slower. Weeds are beginning to be an issue for trolling. The weeds are usually down early am but get bad as the sun gets higher in the sky." They suggest that anglers targeting trout should consider throwing Tas Devils, Kastmasters, or Needlefish but jigging tubes and marabous have been effective when weeds become trouble. They also note that there has been good shore action "with people pitching Kastmasters or your favorite bait." Outside of trout, there has only been moderate action among northern pike. To catch norther pike the marina suggests anglers "work the weed lines on the west or rock drop offs on the east sides. Big sticks and spinner baits have also done well. We catch them on the Kastmaster which has generally been one of the better performing lures this season." https://www.11milesports.com/fishing-report
Eleven Mile Reservoir

Boyd Lake

As of 8/6/2020, trout fishing has continued to be great at Boyd Lake. Reports indicate that anglers are having the most success with worms and spinners near the Pumphouse or along the shorelines at depths around 8 feet deep. Carp have also been active for anglers using worms and insects and among bowfishers as well. Meanwhile, there has been poor to fair activity among other species, such as bass, catfish, crappie and walleye. Water temperature was recently recorded at 75 degrees. 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 8/8/2020, North Sterling Reservoir has had fair fishing. Anglers continue to report pulling in fish; however, the water clarity is extremely low. One angler described the water to be the color of "pea green soup". Such poor visibility can make it difficult to connect with fish. A water temperature measurement was recently taken and recorded a surface water temperature of 74 degrees. The Elks Ramp recently closed for the season due to low water levels. Staff recently noted that the reservoir is 17 feet below full pool and will continue to drop. The South ramp is the only ramp that remains open, M.-Th., 8am-6pm.; Fr.-Su., 7am-8pm.
North Sterling Reservoir

Spinney Mountain Reservoir

As of 8/10/2020, the fishing at Spinney Mountain Reservoir has become slow. It was reported by one angler that they were able to locate many fish but they were very reluctant to bite. Of the fish caught, the angler indicated that they were small. Only the North Boat Ramp is currently open and operates from one half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset.
Spinney Mountain Reservoir

Horsetooth Reservoir

As of 8/5/2020, reports indicate that fishing is slow at Horsethooth Reservoir. One report did mention anglers encountering some activity; however, the majority of fish were quite small, smallmouth bass. Although not large, the bass were most attracted to a 4-inch Rage Craw in summer green. Water temperature was recently recorded at 72 degrees. ANS stations are open 6am to 10pm, 7 days a week at the following boat ramps: South Bay Ramp, Inlet Bay Ramp, and Satanka Ramp.
Horsetooth Reservoir

Barr Lake

As of 8/8/2020, the staff at Barr Lake State Park report, "wipers are active near the dam and walleyes have been caught in the deeper waters. Shoreline fishing has improved due to lower water levels, creating better shore access. Due to cooler temps, mornings and evenings are the best time to fish at Barr Lake." Boating is only allowed on the North end of the lake, only motors 10hp or less are allowed to be used.
Barr Lake

Tarryall Reservoir

As of 8/10/2020, fishing at Tarryall Reservoir has been fair. An angler noted that the water level is at or near full capacity and surface water, temperature was recorded at 66 degrees. They also reported there being poor water visibility, at about 1-2 feet. A report indicated the best fishing was in water of about 14 feet while suspending a nightcrawler just above the bottom. 
Tarryall Reservoir

Conditions Report - Southeast Colorado

Arkansas River - Leadville to Buena Vista

As of 8/7/2020, Braden Baker with Ark Anglers writes, "we've got excellent conditions right now on the upper Arkansas. 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 available along the edges. Expect to see some gray drake, pale morning dun and caddis activity in Hayden Meadows, with more golden stoneflies and yellow sallies as you head towards Buena Vista. Even if nothing is hatching, you will 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. The fish in Hayden meadows are starting to disperse along the entire river. Many fish will still be found in the undercut banks and pockets on the edge but do not forget to cast into riffles and pools out away from the bank too. Below the Twin Lakes confluence the majority of your fish are still along the edges where they can find shelter from the current." Flows: 175 CFS at Hayden Meadows, 500 CFS at Granite (8/13/2020) http://www.arkanglers.com/
Arkansas River - Leadville to Buena Vista

Rampart Reservoir

As of 8/10/2020, Rampart Reservoir has given anglers some good fishing. Anglers can get into trout by fishing deep. One angler noted that the majority of fish that they caught was at a depth of about 100 feet below the surface. Like many reservoirs at this time, Rampart Reservoir was reported to continue to drop in water level. Water temperature was recorded at 64 degrees and was estimated to be about 19 feet below full pool. According to the US Forest Service, "all trailered and motorized watercraft are only allowed from 7am to 5pm Thursdays through Sundays when CPW is performing aquatic nuisance species inspections. Hand launched watercraft may be launched from the boat ramp Monday - Sunday 7am to 5 pm."
Rampart Reservoir

Pueblo Reservoir

As of 8/7/2020, Lake Pueblo has had mixed results. Water clarity appears to be an issue on the west side of the lake; visibility was reported to be only 2-3 feet. Dependent on the conditions of the day, one angler noted a lot of surface activity, especially between wiper and bass. An increase of weed growth close to shorelines has made shoreline fishing difficult. A recent measurement recorded the surface water temperature as high as the low 80's at Lake Pueblo. 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. 
Pueblo Reservoir

Lake Trinidad

As of 8/5/2020, there continues to be good fishing at Lake Trinidad. Surface water temperatures have recently been recorded between 71-74 degrees. These temperatures have pushed trout into deeper waters and other species have been active in shallow waters. Walleye, perch, and bluegill have been noted to be active recently, especially in waters 25 feet deep or less. Boaters have had luck trolling for walleye and perch at around 15 to 25 feet below the surface, meanwhile, boaters can troll deeper in the water column to find trout. Shore anglers have been successful with hooks tipped in dough bait or nightcrawlers, especially in the mornings and evenings. In Reilly Canyon, water levels have been low and significant grass blooms have restricted fishing opportunities along shorelines. Beyond the weeds, boaters have been successful reeling in walleye and bluegill. 
Lake Trinidad

Horseshoe Lake

As of 7/29/2020, rangers at Lathrop State Park report that, "trout fishing has become more productive with increased rainfall and slightly cooler temperatures. Crappie and bass fishing on Horseshoe has been more productive than on Martin, with most anglers stating that artificial lures, jigs, plastic worms, and spinners result in the most takes. Warm late summer 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, and anglers are having success with worms or liver based baits."
Horseshoe Lake

Martin Lake

As of 7/29/2020, park staff at Lathrop State Park reported the following conditions for Martin Lake: "recent rains and slightly cooler temperatures have led to more anglers pulling in trout. Worms, PowerBait, and salmon eggs seem to be the most productive baits when fishing off the bottom for trout species. Fishing for pike and muskie has been productive over the last week, with multiple reports of anglers landing 30-inch or larger northern pike. The best wiper and bass fishing is still being reported to be in the earlier morning hours."
Martin Lake

Arkansas River - Buena Vista to Salida

As of 8/7/2020, Braden Baker with Ark Anglers writes, "conditions have been great in the middle basin (outside of the recent rains) with flows hovering around 700 cfs. As flows have dropped, there is more quality edge water for wade anglers to use, and flows are still great for float fishing. Fish will still hold along the bank where structure is good, but are now able to utilize more of the river away from shore. Currently, you will want to focus on fishing the soft pockets of slower water along the edges, drop-offs and mid-stream pocket water. We have had some great reports from anglers working the edges with large attractor dry/dropper setups, and flies that imitate grasshoppers and stoneflies are usually the ticket. Golden stones, yellow sallies and pale morning duns are the key food items here, and a mix of caddis are active as well. " Flows: 656 CFS at Helca Junction (8/13/2020) http://www.arkanglers.com/
Arkansas River - Buena Vista to Salida

Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado

Navajo Lake

As of 8/13/2020, fishing at Navajo Lake remains good. Reports from anglers coming off the water indicate they have had success reeling in both pike and bass. Anglers can attract northern pike by using large crank bait lures. Meanwhile, anglers can get into both smallmouth and largemouth bass by throwing crankbaits in and around structures where bass will typically hide. The boat ramp is currently open 7am-8pm, Su.-Th.; 7am-9pm, Fr.-Sa. The boat ramp gate closes and is locked when the ANS station closes for the day. 
Navajo Lake

Blue Mesa Reservoir

As of 8/10/2020, a recent report from an angler indicates that Blue Mesa Reservoir has not been fishing well among any species. The angler reported having little success trolling on the lake and their experience was backed up with testimony from boat inspectors who regularly communicate with boaters coming off the water. 
Blue Mesa Reservoir

Animas River

As of 8/13/2020, the Animas River has been reported to be fishable again. While the river is running especially low, 195 CFS in Durango as of 8/13/2020, there are fish eager to bite. Evening caddis hatches have been particularly strong recently. Anglers should be prepared to get on the water in the evening with a variety of dry caddis flies, such as elk hair, goddard, and trude fly patterns. When the hatch has not started quite yet, tie on a Prince Nymph dropper to attract eager and hungry trout. 
Animas River

James M. Robb Colorado River

As of 8/11/2020, staff at James M. Robb Colorado River State Park report that "trout fishing has slowed with the warmer summer temperatures. Blue gill will begin to pick up. All types of baits and lures work well. In order to minimize stress on the fish, it is better to fish in the mornings or evenings."
James M. Robb Colorado River

Jackson Gulch Reservoir

As of 8/5/2020, it has been reported that at Jackson Gulch Reservoir "the water level is relatively low, specifically below the bottom of the concrete boat ramp. Trout are rising occasionally, especially during still evenings and are catchable with small jigs and streamers. Standard baits under a float: PowerBait, nightcrawlers, waxworms, and mealworms will work for both trout and yellow perch. Try a small ice fishing jig, tipped with bait about 4 feet under a float or slightly deeper below a slip bobber. Most yellow perch are small but this can be a great time of year to catch some of the larger perch."
Jackson Gulch Reservoir

Conditions Report - Statewide

Statewide

The majority of rivers, streams, and creeks throughout Colorado continue to flow well below median historical flows. As discussed in previous reports, low water flows can have dramatic impacts on fish behavior and their vulnerability. For now, the only exceptions to this statewide trend are tail waters of some large reservoirs across the state. A couple of examples of rivers with near normal flows include, the Yampa River below Stagecoach Reservoir, Uncompahgre River below Ridgway Reservoir, Blue River below Green Mountain Reservoir, Williams Fork River below Williams Fork Reservoir, or the South Platte River below Cheesman Lake. Considering the conditions of many other rivers, streams, and creeks across the state, anglers should consider seeking out reservoir tail waters for excellent fishing this dry summer. Tail waters allow anglers to continue to fish this summer for large and healthy fish while not putting the resource into further jeopardy.  
Statewide

Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado

Williams Fork Reservoir

As of 8/8/2020, Randy, a guide with Fishing with Bernie, reports that "water capacity is at 96%. Ramp hours are 6AM to 8PM daily. Surface temperature is hanging at 65 warming to 67 in the main body. The lake trout bite has picked up. Look for them in 80' to 90' of water. Jigging small grubs or tubes tipped with sucker meat will produce bites. The bite drops off around 11AM and picks up again late in the afternoon. Bottom fishing with bait for rainbows around the east campground bay is slow. Fish the deeper drop offs where the water is cooler. Casting small spoons, spinners, or flies around the inlet is producing some hits early and late in the day. Kokanee trolling is slow but some fish are being caught in 40 to 50 foot range but you will mostly hook young lake trout. Northern pike are slow but they are catchable early and late in the day." https://www.fishingwithbernie.com/weekly-fishing-reports
Williams Fork Reservoir

Grand Lake

As of 8/8/2020, Sam, a Fishing With Bernie guide, writes that the "fishing is still slow at Grand Lake. Lake trout are hanging in the 35 to 70 foot range. Jigs, 3.5 to 5 inches, tipped with sucker meat have been producing fish. Most bites have come while working the jig very slow on the bottom. Rainbow and brown trout are rising at the surface early in the morning, however, they are going deeper shortly after the sun hits the water." https://www.fishingwithbernie.com/weekly-fishing-reports
Grand Lake

Lake Granby

As of 8/8/2020, Fishing With Bernie guides report that "the heat of the day is bringing browns to the shorelines at night. Casting large flies or minnow baits has become better for catching brown trout. Since rainbows have been mostly in deeper water, trolling minnow baits over deep water has been catching a few fish. Lake trout have been getting pickier but will still hit small grubs tipped with sucker meat. The bite has been fair in 60-90 feet of water." https://www.fishingwithbernie.com/weekly-fishing-reports
Lake Granby

Vega Reservoir

As of 8/12/2020, fishing at Vega Reservoir remains strong. Reports indicate that anglers have had the most success attracting rainbow and cutthroat trout with PowerBait and night crawlers. The lake is open for boating and you may access it via the Island boat ramp. Early Settlers and Oak Point boat ramps remain closed for the season. The ANS boat inspection station is open daily from 7am-8:30pm."
Vega Reservoir

Delaney Lakes

As of 8/1/2020, the staff at Lake John Resort report, "the Delaney lakes have been fishing well. The surface water temperature was recently recorded at about 65 degrees. East Delaney Lake has been producing smaller fish, 12-13 inches, but has the most activity. Meanwhile, South Delaney Lake has produced bigger fish at approximately 16-20 inches. North Delaney Lake has produced the largest fish but has also had the least amount of activity. Rapala's, tub jigs, leeches, chironomids, damsels, scuds, and nymphs 10-20 feet under an indicator has been best during the day, stripping crayfish and leeches has been successful at night and in the twilight hours." https://lakejohnresort.com/fishing
Delaney Lakes

Lake John

As of 8/1/2020, the folks at Lake John Resort report, "Lake John has quality fish coming out right now, but the bite is still. The surface water temperature is at about 63 degrees. Anglers fishing from boats have been using Rapala's, tube jigs, kastmasters, thomas bouyants and ruby eyed leech flies under an indicator. Meanwhile, shore fisherman having been using garlic PowerBait, marshmallows, cheese, night crawlers, and black leech flies." https://lakejohnresort.com/fishing
Lake John

Stagecoach Reservoir

As of 8/8/2020, Stagecoach Reservoir has had slow fishing. Reports indicate that any fish activity is occurring in the mornings and evenings. The surface water temperature was recently recorded at 71 degrees. Algae has become thick at Stagecoach Reservoir which can severely deteriorate water clarity. Despite these conditions, one angler did report pulling in a few rainbow trout at about 15-inches. They suggested anglers use PowerBait and nightcrawlers to attract fish. The North/Marina boat ramp is currently open and ANS inspections are available Su.-Th., 7am-8pm; Fr.-Sa., 7am-9pm. 
Stagecoach Reservoir

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