Colorado statewide fishing report and conditions – August 30, 2020

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Published Sunday, August 30, 2020

Conditions Report - Metro Denver Area

Aurora Reservoir

As of 8/17/2020, trout fishing from shore is slow. There are occasional reports of trout being caught using PowerBait from the dam. The trout are deeper now so casting out 40-50 yards is recommended. There is fair action for anglers targeting trout from boats with crawlers and spoons. Walleye action has slowed down but anglers can find success trolling with bottom bouncers and crawlers in 25-30 ft. of water. No other reports on other species. For more information call 303-326-8425. Park Hours for August are 5:30am-9:00pm. Restricted to electric motors only and portable gas tanks must be removed.
Aurora Reservoir

Chatfield Reservoir

As of 8/20/2020, there have been increasing reports of anglers pulling in both walleye and smallmouth bass at Chatfield Reservoir. Anglers have noted catching both species on a combination of flies, and hard and soft plastics. A recent water temperature measurement was recorded at 72 degrees and the water level was estimated to be approximate 3 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 8/28/2020, Cherry Creek has not produced any current fishing report. For the most up-to-date conditions for Cherry Creek Reservoir, please contact park staff by calling 303-690-1166. 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 8/17/2020, 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 are a few reports of smallmouth being caught from the dam using jigs. Restricted to artificial flies and lures only. Only watercraft capable of being launched by hand permitted. Vehicles and trailers are not permitted in the water. Park hours for August are 5:30am-9:00pm. For more information call 303-326-8424.  
Quincy Reservoir

Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado

Eleven Mile Reservoir

As of 8/27/2020, Eleven Mile Reservoir has good trout and northern pike fishing. The 11 Mile Marina noted that the trout bite is "sporadic but strong when it happens. Tube jigging has been good, especially when scented with Pautzke Fire Gel, shrimp or crawfish. Pitching spoons and spinners has gotten anglers into fish, specifically at 20' or deeper. In addition, we've seen fish hanging just outside the shallows in drop offs in coves around the lake. In general lots of fish suspended 20'-35' in water that is 25'-60' deep." Meanwhile, "action picked up dramatically last week with many respectable northern pike being caught and landed. Tube jigs, Bills Spinner Baits and a variety of spoons were successful. The bite among northern pike was happening all over the lake." https://www.11milesports.com/fishing-report
Eleven Mile Reservoir

Boyd Lake

As of 8/20/2020, water clarity has rebounded with reported visibility at about 3'-4' at Boyd Lake. There have been reports of anglers having the most success catching trout on worms and spinners near the Pumphouse or along the shorelines at depths around 8' deep. Fishing for carp has been fair to good for anglers using worms and insects. Meanwhile, there has been poor to fair activity among other species, such as bass, catfish, crappie and walleye. One angler mentioned having mild success catching largemouth bass on frog patterns in the morning hours. 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 8/20/2020, rangers at North Sterling Reservoir report that "water temperature has been in the mid 70's and warming overall. Fishing for walleye and crappie has been fair but success has varied. Specifically, shore fishermen are catching a few crappie. Anglers have also had success catching catfish, specifically in the evenings." The Elks Ramp recently closed for the season due to low water levels. Staff 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-4pm.; Fr., 8am-8pm; Sa.-Su., 7am-8pm.
North Sterling Reservoir

Spinney Mountain Reservoir

As of 8/24/2020, anglers have noted that fishing is slow at Spinney Mountain Reservoir. Water temperature have been increasing and water levels have been dropping. One angler took multiple measurements where water temperature ranged between 62-68 degrees throughout the morning and afternoon. Warmer water temperatures have pushed trout into deeper, colder water. 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 8/23/2020, an angler reported having some success catching smallmouth bass with small swimbaits. Fish were found suspended in the 5'-20' range but were fairly small, approximately 10" with some moderately bigger exceptions. Recent water temperature measurements ranged between 71-73 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

Antero Reservoir

As of 8/21/2020, reports from Antero Reservoir indicate that fishing continues to be good. Water capacity is at 98% full. Water temperature was recently recorded at approximately 63 degrees with good water clarity. There have been reports of anglers catching many fish but most are measured around 17". The ANS inspection station is open 6am-8pm daily at the South Ramp and 6am 8pm Th.-Su. at the North Ramp.
Antero Reservoir

Conditions Report - Southeast Colorado

Arkansas River - Leadville to Buena Vista

As of 8/22/2020, Braden Baker with Ark Anglers writes, "the rocky pocket water north of Buena Vista holds a lot of oxygen and can be a good place to try on these hot afternoons, when fish will move to find cooler, oxygenated water. Expect to see some grasshopper, golden stonefly, pale morning dun and caddis activity north of Buena Vista. 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 attractor flies like chernobyl ants, stimulators, golden stoneflies, etc. in the mornings and switch to a deep dry-dropper or nymph rig through the afternoon heat to try to reach fish seeking cooler temperatures lower in the water column. Look for transitions from slow to fast or shallow to deeper water, as well as deeper riffles to find fish mid-day. Flows have dropped considerably this week opening up a lots more terrain for wade fishermen and making more of the river itself usable to the resident trout population." Flows: 89 CFS at Hayden Meadows, 176 CFS at Granite (8/22/2020) http://www.arkanglers.com/
Arkansas River - Leadville to Buena Vista

Rampart Reservoir

As of 8/10/2020, Rampart Reservoir has provided anglers some good fishing. Anglers can get into trout by fishing deep. One angler noted that the majority of fish that they caught were at a depth of about 100 feet below the surface. Like many reservoirs at this time, Rampart Reservoir has been dropping 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 8/18/2020, many anglers have struck out at Lake Pueblo, however, other anglers have been boasting nice sized fish they have reeled in. With low water levels and increased water temperatures around the shorelines, trolling appears to be the best method right now. Trollers have had success on both hard and soft plastics. Boat ramps are open with inspection hours 5am-12am and decontamination hours 8am-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 8/24/2020, fishing is good at Lake Trinidad. Boaters have had luck trolling for walleye and perch at depths of 15' - 25'. Meanwhile, trout and wiper can be found in deeper, cooler water. Fishing from the south shore has been successful with all species. Anglers have had the best success with hooks tipped with dough bait and worms. 12" to 15" fish are common and the best luck is in the early morning or late evenings. Low water levels in Reilly Canyon have created conditions for a grass bloom that has restricted fishing from the north side of the river. The boat ramp is currently open and ANS inspections are completed daily 6am-8pm.
Lake Trinidad

Arkansas River - Buena Vista to Salida

As of 8/22/2020, Braden Baker with Ark Anglers writes, "with flows dropping this week, fish are in a state of adjustment as they adapt to the new conditions. Once the flow stabilizes, flows will allow fish to spread out throughout the river, rather than being congregated out along the edges like you'll find during higher flows. 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've 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 and red quills are the key food items here, and a mix of caddis are active as well. Dry flies and dry-droppers rigs are excellent in the mornings, but the afternoons may be best approached with a little deeper setup, as fish will move to find cooler, more oxygenated water in the heat of the day and may be less likely to feed near the surface. The hottest afternoons can make for tough fishing conditions, so get an early start until temperatures begin to drop toward the end of the month." Flows: 281 CFS at Helca Junction (8/22/2020) http://www.arkanglers.com/
Arkansas River - Buena Vista to Salida

Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado

Navajo Lake

As of 8/25/2020, staff at Navajo State Park report that "fishing at Navajo lake has been good, but has slowed down a bit as the water temperature rises. The water temperature at the boat ramp in Arboles is currently 71 degrees. Fishing is best early in the morning when temperatures are cooler. Smallmouth bass and northern pike are being caught in coves and along rocky points, using spinners or crank bait. There have also been reports of catfish being caught using cut bait or night crawlers." 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 8/27/2020, fishing is possible on the Animas, however, water temperature and water levels remain outside of the norm for this time of the year. In the past two weeks water temperature measurements have been recorded near 70 degrees at a USGS station in Durango. Due to these conditions, it is advised that anglers get off the river by 12pm to protect vulnerable fish. While fishing in the cooler morning hours, anglers can get into fish by throwing terrestrial patterns. If fish are not rising, anglers should consider tying on a Prince Nymph dropper for a tried and true hopper-dropper set up.
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 8/13/2020, it has been reported that at Jackson Gulch Reservoir "the lake is fully open for fishing but the water level is low, below the bottom of the concrete boat ramp. Trout are rising consistently during still evenings and are catchable with small jigs, streamers, and dry flies. 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' under a float or slightly deeper below a slip bobber. Most yellow perch are small but late summer/fall can be a great time of year to catch some of the larger perch."
Jackson Gulch Reservoir

Conditions Report - Statewide

Statewide

Rivers, streams, and creeks throughout Colorado have recorded exceptionally low flows and high water temperatures this summer. As discussed in previous reports, these conditions can have dramatic impacts on fish behavior and their vulnerability. As of 8/17/2020, CPW is asking anglers to curtail their fishing activity early in the day and to observe a voluntary closure in several rivers in southwest Colorado. The voluntary closure is effective from now through Sept. 25 or until river conditions improve significantly. While CPW encourages anglers to fish high-elevation lakes and streams instead, some high-elevation streams may also become too warm. CPW has suggested anglers carry a thermometer and refrain from fishing in streams 70 degrees or higher. Reservoir tailwaters offer an exceptional opportunity for great late summer fishing without putting additional stress on vulnerable fish populations. A couple of examples of tailwaters that retain near normal flows and temperature 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 Eleven Mile Reservoir or Cheesman Lake.
Statewide

Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado

Williams Fork Reservoir

As of 8/23/2020, Randy, a guide with Fishing with Bernie, reports that "water capacity is 91% and dropping. Ramp hours are 6AM to 8PM daily. Surface temp is 64 warming to 67 late in the day. Lake trout are biting well once you locate a group. We're starting to see mixed age groups bunched up. Anglers should target lake trout at approximately 80'-90' deep. Small rubber grubs tipped with sucker meat worked on the bottom will get bites. Rainbows are slow in the shallow water areas around the campgrounds. Your best bet is the deeper drop offs, bottom fishing with bait, or casting small spinners in the inlet. Kokanee trolling is slow but trollers are catching a few in 40'-50' along with small lake trout. The northern pike bite has also been particularly slow. We're seeing followers in the bays, but they don't want to hit." https://www.fishingwithbernie.com/weekly-fishing-reports
Williams Fork Reservoir

Grand Lake

As of 8/23/2020, Sam, a Fishing With Bernie guide, writes that the "the lake trout bite has picked up a bit this week with most days having a decent bite in the morning and fish hanging in 40'-70' of water. Jigging is the best way to target lake trout right now. Browns and rainbows can be found near the surface at first light and between 15'-25' of water by mid-morning. Trolling at these depths have produced most of the browns and rainbows" https://www.fishingwithbernie.com/weekly-fishing-reports
Grand Lake

Lake Granby

As of 8/23/2020, Fishing With Bernie guides report that "a few rainbows are being caught from the banks with bait. The bite is best early and late in the day. Trollers are picking up a few fish over the deeper water. Night fishing continues to improve for brown trout. Minnow baits of large flies are getting bit as well. Lake trout are eating small grubs tipped with sucker meat at about 60'-90', the best bite has been before 11am." https://www.fishingwithbernie.com/weekly-fishing-reports
Lake Granby

Vega Reservoir

As of 8/24/2020, fishing at Vega Reservoir remains good. Staff report that "PowerBait and worms have been successful in landing some nice rainbow and cutthroat trout in the 14"-18" range. Boat anglers may encounter new restrictions due to low water levels. The Island boat dock has reached the end of the concrete. The ramp will stay open to boats for as long as there is enough water, but launching will have to be done without the dock. All of the buoys have been removed from the lake, so please be extra cautious if you are out boating. At this point we do not anticipate the lake being open to boating for Labor Day weekend. The ANS boat inspection station is open daily from 7:00am-8:30pm."
Vega Reservoir

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

Steamboat Lake

As of 8/27/2020, fishing is good at Steamboat Lake. Anglers have been particularly successful catching trout using green and yellow PowerBait and nightcrawlers. Shore fishing has been best in the morning and evening hours. Park staff note that "there is a toxic cyanobacteria in the lake due to high temperatures and little rain and is dangerous upon contact. You can still boat and fish, but swimming and water sports such as paddleboarding and wakeboarding are prohibited until the water is free of the toxins." Anglers are especially advised not to wade into the water. All boat inspections will be at the ANS Booth by the marina. Inspection Hours: 8am-6pm M-Th.; 6am-9pm F., S., & Su.. The ramp gates will be locked after inspection hours nightly.
Steamboat Lake

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